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Traveling Back In Time With A Visit To The Fort Pulaski National Monument – Day 180

We took on a different type of travel today, stepping back in time to the Civil War era with a visit to Fort Pulaski National Monument on Cockspur Island.

Pulaski National Monument entrance
The entrance to Fort Pulaski National Monument. The Fort played a key role on several occasions in the Civil War.

Cosckspur Island sits at the mouth of the Savannah River, just 15 miles east of Savannah, Georgia. It is also sits just a mile or two from the edge of Tybee Island. All of which made this Fort a prime player in the history of the American Civil War.

The history of the Fort and it’s ties to the civil war run deep. Although, to be sure, it’s original purpose for being built was not for the Civil War at all.

Fort Pulaski Cannons
I am not sure what was more impressive, seeing the cannons on top of the fort, or wondering how they ever got them up there!

Construction of the fort began back in 1829 by the U.S. Government. It was originally built by the United States as part of series of protective forts after the war of 1812.

Interestingly enough, the man in charge of the project was none other than General Lee. Lee, of course, would later command the Confederate forces during the Civil War.

Fort Pulaski National Monumnet
The only entrance into the fort was via the drawbridge over the moat. The moat is 8′ deep, which was planned to be deep enough that a soldier could not wade through it’s waters and still keep his gun above water.

Although started in 1829, Port Pulaski had numerous delays throughout the building process. In fact, so many, it didn’t have its opening until 1847.

Millions Of Bricks!

The fort is a monument to building with bricks. In fact, it took over 25,000,000 bricks to complete it! And when it was finally completed, it was considered to be state-of-the-art.

the fort on Cockspur Island
Fort Pulaski National Monument. When it was completed, the Fort was thought to be impossible to penetrate.

For one, the thick brick walls were thought to be impenetrable. And to make it even more intimidating, a moat surrounded the entire structure. One deep enough that a soldier could not wade through it without getting his gun full of water.

Fort Pulaski National Monument & The Civil War

The Fort never saw much action before the Civil War. In fact, it was only protected by a few men when the Georgia militia seized it at the start of the Civil War in 1861.

Behind these doors were the cells to hold prisoners of war.

Fort Pulaski was an important holding for the Confederacy. For both controlling and protecting the Savannah harbor, and as a way for supplies to make their way into the South.

But as it turned out, Fort Pulaski wasn’t as impenetrable as thought. And when the Union forces came calling in 1864, the walls fell quickly and quite easily with cannon fire. It is one of the reasons after the war was over, it wasn’t used again.

The jail cells where prisoners were held. The grooves in the floor in the forefront are where the cannons wheels could roll for position.

It really was a bit surreal to walk throughout the fort and see how it all looked back in the 1860’s. From the jail cells, to the cannons and more, you can just imagine it full of soldiers and life.

Fort Pulaski National Monument

The National Park Staff of Fort Pulaski National Monument have really done a great job keeping it all preserved. It truly is amazing to walk all about the Fort and take in the stories of the era.

Cockspur Lighthouse
The Cockspur Lighthouse still remains out in the water.

As we left the Fort, we took the 3/4 mile walk out to check out the Cockspur Lighthouse. The famous lighthouse sits out in the water, and although it has been battered and beaten, it remains in place.

From learning more of our country’s history and people, to taking new paths along the way, every day on this journey seems to always find us discovering something interesting.

And speaking of that, it’s just about time to head to the next state of South Carolina! Happy Traveling! Jim and Mary.


  • Day 180 of 365
  • States : 22/50
  • National Parks / Monuments : 20
  • Stayed In : Savannah, Georgia
  • Miles Driven : 46.6
  • Total Trip Miles To Date : 19,057.2
  • Total Gallons Used : 1,361.22
  • Biking Miles : 0.0
  • Biking Miles To Date : 186.7
  • Hiking Miles : 4.6
  • Hiking Miles To Date : 411.1

About Our Living Simple Tour

On September 9th, 2019, we set out in our NuCamp T@B 400 Teardrop Camper to travel to every state. You can check out all of our dates here : Dates for the States

You can follow along by signing up for our twice weekly email updates at the bottom of the page. You can also follow us on Facebook : Live Simple Tour Facebook and Instagram : Live Simple Now Instagram Page.