Wednesday, April 7, 2010
fort pulaski, savannah, georgia
back in the old UK now though so will endevour to unload more models as completed, next up for completion will be a brigade of confederate infantry and some AWI american riflemen and minutemen
on the american theme whilst on holiday in orlando, florida we were able to visit some relatives in savannah, georgia, only a 4 hour drive away. Savannah is a beutiful city which unlike nearly all the other US cities ive visited maintains a feel of the old colonial times, with the old mansion houses, cotton exchange and warehouses and helped significantly by the eerie feeling created by the spanish moss clinging to the trees
whilst there i was able to visit Fort Pulaski a fortification from the ACW era named after count casimir pulaski revolutionary war hero who was killed during the siege of savnnah in 1779. The fort was begun in 1829 and took 18 years to build was what deemed to be the height of military engineering. The fort was never garrisoned until the secession of georgia in 1861 when it was occupied by georgia state troops before being handed over to the confederate army.
the fort covered the only waterway approach to savannah sitting between the savannah river and south pass on cockspur island, therfore safe from infantry attack. as part of Burnsides operations along the coast to isolate the confederacy by naval blockade.
Col Charles Olmstead occupied the fort with 384 men whilst the Union forces led by captain Quincy A. Gillmore spent 2 months hauling 36 mortars and cannon (including 10 rifled cannon, 5 of which were 30lb parrotts) into 11 batteries on the nearby Tybee island before opening a bombardment of the fort on 10th April 1862. the bombardment lasted just 30 hours before a breech opened (the newer bricks in one of the pictures show were the extent of the breech) threatening the main magazine forcing Col Olmstead to sue for terms. Gillmore was breveted Brigadier General for his actions.
The destruction of a state of the art fort in such a short time highlighted the massive change in defensive tactics caused by the introduction of rifled artillery which allowed increased range and destructive potential (smoothbore artillery would have been effectively out of range due to the surrounding water).