Construction of Fort Pulaski, a massive five-sided fort built to protect the city and port of Savannah, began in 1829. Named for Casimir Pulaski, a Revolutionary War commander, the fort was ranked one of the “most spectacular harbor defense structures” in the United States during the Civil War years.
The government rented enslaved people from nearby plantations to build Fort Pulaski. The wall towers are 22 feet high inside and the walls average between five and eleven feet thick. It’s estimated that 25 million bricks, handmade locally by enslaved men, women and children, were used when it was completed in 1847. A close look reveals some bricks carry their fingerprints.
In 1862, the Confederate-held fort fell to Union soldiers. The north then formed a blockade that cut off the South’s ability to export cotton and other goods via the Savannah port…all part of the plan to weaken the southern economy and win the war.
The site was declared a National Monument in 1924.
Before leaving, we walked the two-mile round trip on the Lighthouse Overlook Trail. At the end was a view of Georgia’s smallest lighthouse. It ceased operation as a beacon in 1909, but was relit for historical purposes in 2007.
For all you movie buffs, I have one more fun fact to share. It seems Fort Pulaski has a bit of a starring role in scenes from the B-movie Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies. Pop some corn, it looks like a good one!