FORT PULASKI AND TYBEE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE

One day in Savannah we visited the below places. The day was windy and a little chilly 65, haha, but all in all it was a good day.

FORT PULASKI

Construction of the fort began in 1829. It would take another 18 years and $1 million to complete. In 1833. An estimated 25 million bricks were used to build the fort, with walls eleven feet thick that were thought to be impossible to get through.

At the mouth of the Savannah River, the fort’s original purpose was to defend Savannah, then a booming port city, from any attacks. After South Carolina seceded from the United States, starting the Civil War, Fort Pulaski was taken over by the state of Georgia’s Confederate troops. Most of them, however, abandoned it later that year because of the fort’s isolated location.

Seeing that the fort was mostly unprotected, Union forces took their chance and began building batteries on the beaches of Tybee Island, with the intention of taking the fort in the middle of the Confederate States. In 1862, the Union army asked Colonel Charles Olmstead, commander of the Confederate garrison, to surrender but he refused. And so began the siege of Fort Pulaski, where Union troops used state-of-the-art guns, among them the new James Rifled Cannon and the Parrott Rifle, in a 30-hour bombardment of the fort until it was penetrated. The Confederate commander surrendered. The siege became a historic experiment of military science and invention, and a case against military masonry construction.

Towards the end of the war a group of Confederate prisoners of war were housed in the fort under deplorable conditions. Known as the “Immortal 600” was a group of Confederate officers. They survived in spite of starvation rations and brutality. Some of these men remained in Pulaski until March, 1865. Thirteen of these men would die at the fort. They are buried under the memorial.

Our guide told us these men were really very rough in language and other things just all around very, very terrible to be around or near. But who can blame them. Fort Pulaski was declared a National Monument in October 1924 as a last measure to save the building, which had been for the most part unused, from ruin.

Both Dave and I learned a lot from our tour guide about the fort and the daily life of a soldier and saw two different cannons being fired. “Cover your ears with your government listed ear plugs, meaning Your fingers. haha

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The mounds in back of the fort were not there during the civil war, they were put in much later as storage bunkers for munitions. The point faces toward the river.

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Entrance to the fort.

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View inside the fort, with cannon.

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A photo of inside the fort, all of the openings would of had a blindage built of heavy timeber covering them as the photo shows.

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One of the many rooms.

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All of the cannon would have been able to swing left to right.

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This is a mortor, as opposed to a cannon this lobed shots high in the air like an arc. A bowling ball could fit in the opening.

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Some of the cannon fired hot shot.

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One of the openings for the cannon, look how thick.

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A view from atop the fort looking in.

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A view looking out to the river.

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In 30 hours that’s the total number of shots fired ,and the battle was over.

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A view of where the breach was made in the seven foot thick walls.

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One union shell hit a cannon inside and caused severe damage as you see.

Below is views of the battle damage to the wall by the union guns. The one corner you can see newer brick this is where the breach in the wall was. It took the union only a few weeks to repair the damage.

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Below, After the union took over the fort, there was also a lot of idle time. This photo is believed to be the first ever of a baseball game in progress.

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TYBEE ISLAND

Tybee Island is located 20 minutes from Savannah. It’s a island where you can swim, fish and explore a nice place to visit with, of course lots of history. Tybee Island you’ll find Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse. It’s a complete light station whose history dates back to 1732. Tybee Light was commissioned in 1732. The tower stands 145 feet tall and has three Light Keeper’s Cottages nearby with a small 1812 Summer Kitchen that now holds archaeological finds.  It played a great part into Savannah’s ports of call. In 1861, Confederate troops burned Tybee Light’s wooden stairs, as well as 40 feet of the tower. They did this to prevent Union troops from using the tower to guide their ships into port. After the Civil War, a completely fireproof lighthouse was built and this is what we saw today.

A Light house keeper was really a very hard lonely job , it wasn’t the aura of majesty, strength and beauty that you might think . Living in a lighthouse would Not have been romantic and beautiful.

You had to be physically strong to be able to carry out all the duties of a light keeper – from carrying 50-lb. pails of oil up flights of stairs, to winding the gears that turned the light, rowing the light-house boat, and carrying supplies into the lighthouse, to name a few.   It was also hard if he had a family there, they would be all alone and away from everything they had to be self-sufficient, and in some cases the family was not allowed to live with the light house keeper.   Who would want that job? Not Dave nor me neither!

“It took a special kind of person, a special kind of strength, to be a light keeper. A person who denied himself the comfort of others. A person who was committed to the task. A person who understood the

importance of the job. A person who recognized the position as a service to mankind. Such dedication was vital to survive the role and accomplish the goal – saving the lives of others.”

Across the street is Fort Screven’s Battery, it served as the gun battery and magazine for a 12-inch long-range gun. The room that formally stored over six hundred-pound projectiles and two hundred-pound bags of gun powder, is now the Tybee Island Museum. In 1950 the Tybee Island Museum opened and now it has exhibits that cover the time of the Euchee tribe, the history of Fort Screven and Tybee’s Golden Era.

North Beach on Tybee Island is a popular destination during the summer months for both tourists and Savannah residents. At the end of the nineteenth century, physicians told patients the salt water was good and cured things like ailments such as asthma and also allergies.

It  was also known during this time as a resort town. The island was famous for it’s crystal ball, big bands, and dances, it was a popular destination. With the opening of Tybee Road in 1923 to automobile traffic, the way of life on the island slowly started to change. and the end of an era was closing.

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This is a real nice shot of the grounds.

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Metal stairs were put in after they were burned by the union army after they took over the island. We climbed I think 187 stairs to the top.

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The summer kitchen was the oldest building still standing built in 1812. It was used a a kitchen as people did not cook in there houses ,afraid of fires.

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Some of the furnishings from the 1930’s owners.

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Also from the 1930’s owners

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View of the lighthouse from atop Fort Sweven.

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Looking out toward the Atlantic, there are big container ships way out in the distance.

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A view of the Atlantic from the top of the lighthouse.

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A view from the beach.

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The Atlantic ocean and beach.

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Wasn’t sure if I even could go on the beach Jeeez.

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A little about Fort Screven.

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A top of the fort, there were six buildings like this all had two huge coast guns on them. Never were they used.

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Pirates were on Tybee island way back in the day,

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Would like to think I would have been a pirate not the poor slug digging his own grave????

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Tybee was a very popular place in the early teens and into the thirties.

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This is a man’s tank top ,worn in the day.

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Amusement parks were the rage in the day here also.

 

 

 

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