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Fort Pulaski National Monument
Information for planning your Trip:
• $3 gets you into the fort for ages 16+. Kids under 15 get in free and the ticket is valid for six days after your visit—and all fees go towards preserving the park, so that’s a very good deal for everyone!
• Bring Lunch! Fort Pulaski has covered and outdoor picnic grounds so you can take a break from exploring the grounds and have a bite to eat. There are also several trails on the grounds at Fort Pulaski and they are great for walking or bicycling.
• The Park is open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily, with extended hours in the summer. Daily guided tours are offered Monday through Friday at 11:00 AM and 2:30 PM, Saturday at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM and Sunday at 11:00 AM and 2:30 PM. Tours last about 45 minutes. The Visitor Center is open from 9 AM to 4:30 PM daily.
About the Fort and the Battle of Fort Pulaski:
Fort Pulaski is a National Monument and is located on Cockspur Island and most of the surrounding McQueen Islands. It was constructed to protect the port of Savannah under the order of President James Madison in 1829. The Fort was named in 1833 but wasn’t completed until 1847.
The Fort was thought to be impenetrable at the time of construction. The walls were eleven feet thick and the nearest land mass was Tybee Island. At the time, no artillery could fire the distance between Tybee Island and the Fort and even attempt to penetrate the walls. This opinion changed on April 10-11, 1862.
During the Battle of Fort Pulaski, the Union Army maintained a sustained attack on the outer walls of Fort. The Union Army was using new artillery, which could cover the distance between Tybee and Fort Pulaski. After 30 hours of continued fire, the Southeast wall of Fort Pulaski had been breached. Colonel Charles H. Olmstead was in command of Fort Pulaski at the time and surrendered to Union troops April 11th. While this meant the port of Savannah was closed to Confederate traffic early in the war, the city of Savannah remained in Confederate hands until 1864.
Fun Trivia about Fort Pulaski:
• Fort Pulaski was named after Count Casimir Pulaski, a polish nobleman. Count Pulaski saved the life of George Washington during the American Revolutionary War and became a general in the Continental Army. He was mortally wounded while fighting alongside American forces during the Battle of Savannah in 1779.
• The Cockspur Island Lighthouse is part of the Fort Pulaski National Monument. The base of the beacon is shaped like a ship bow to offset the impact of waves crashing upon it.