As I mentioned in my last post, I recently found myself back in the South. On our way to Alabama, the lady and I stopped over in Savannah, where my mother grew up and my uncle still lives. He took us on a tour, and we motored over the bridge to Fort Pulaski. Halfway between Savannah and Tybee Island, the fort overlooks the only deep-water route into the city. James Madison ordered construction of the fort, and dozens of others like it, after the War of 1812 exposed the vulnerabilities of America's most economically important ports.
Finished in 1847, the fort cost $1 million and took fourteen years to complete. The brick walls are 11 feet thick, and at the time, were thought to be impenetrable. However, only 15 years after its completion it was rendered obsolete by a 30-hour Union barrage from nearby Tybee Island. The Yanks used new rifled cannon, which bored through the masonry structure from a distance greater than the range of the Rebel's smoothbore weapons. Unable to retaliate, they surrendered. Union forces then occupied the fort for the duration of the war, using it to blockade cotton exports and weapon imports.Read More