Fort Pulaski was built to protect the port of Savannah against foreign invasion. One of the Confederate soldiers who supervised the construction of the fort was Second Lieutenant Robert E. Lee. Lee would later become a general in the Confederate army.
In addition to heavy weaponry and 11-foot-thick brick walls, the fort was also protected by a moat that surrounded the entire compound. Perhaps, though, it wasn’t the moat that prevented enemy troops from approaching the fort on foot. Instead, it may have been what lies beneath the surface of the dark water that deterred intruders.
Inside the walls of the fort is a vast parade ground where soldiers conducted drills and other official military details. This is also the site of the first known photograph of a baseball game.
Baseball game taking place behind the rows of soldiers.
The fort overlooked the mouth of the Savannah River, where today large container ships enter from the Atlantic Ocean on their way to the ports in Savannah.
Confederate soldiers at Fort Pulaski slept in dormitory-style quarters.
The commander of forces at Fort Pulaski, Colonel Charles H. Olmstead, enjoyed slightly better living conditions than the soldiers who served under him.
Father Peter Whalen, chaplain of Confederate forces at Fort Pulaski, became a prisoner of war after the capture of the fort in April of 1862. He returned to Savannah after his release and ministered to Confederate forces throughout the state. In 1864, Father Whalen volunteered to minister to suffering Union prisoners of war.
Church at Fort Pulaski
Quartermaster’s supply room.
Jail facility inside the walls of Fort Pulaski
Dormitory-style sleeping quarters for prisoners
Arched grooves in the wooden floorboards were tracks/guides for cannon mounts that allowed the heavy weapons to rotate to various firing positions.
Cannon mount. Notice the wheels positioned in the arched grooves cut into the floorboards.
Cannons stood ready to fire at all times
Finally, we see a fully loaded ship leaving the Savannah River, entering the Atlantic Ocean at Tybee Island.
And, here’s a view of the Atlantic from a recently constructed fort at Tybee Island.