Friday, April 15, 2016

Fort Pulaski National Monument

Fort Pulaski Demilune - the island
protecting the front gate
Our next move was up I-95 just barely into South Carolina. From this campground we were centrally located between sites we wanted to see. The first attraction was Fort Pulaski National Monument. Construction of Fort Pulaski began in 1829 and required $1 million, 25 million bricks, and 18 years of toil to finish. Many considered it invincible. By the Civil War, however, its armament was still not completed and it was not yet garrisoned. As it turned out, before United States troops could occupy the fort, they had to conquer it. In 1861, Georgia militia seized the fort. Long story short, in 1862 Federal troops used new experimental rifled cannons to bombard the fort from a mile away on Tybee Island.  

Fort Pulaski inside
On the second day they had opened holes in the wall that threatened the main powder magazine resulting in the Confederate commander surrendering only 30 hours after the bombardment began. Federal troops repaired the fort right away and garrisoned it until the war's end. The fort was used as a prison for a while and eventually abandoned. In 1924 the entire island was made a national monument.

Fort Pulaski inside
Restoration efforts began by the CCC in the 1930s. The fort is beautifully restored now and worth a visit. A striking visual is to walk around the entire structure and see all of the positions for cannons on two levels. It never received anywhere near the number of cannons that it could have handled but it was built to take on an attack from any angle.

Cannon in place


Fort Pulaski with wounds showing.
You can see the new brick where the
gaping holes were repaired

When we left the fort we drove over to Tybee Island to check it out (it is only a mile away) and get some lunch. We then drove to the town of Beaufort, SC. Beaufort is an old port town, second oldest town in the state, with many pre-Revolutionary War and antebellum houses. We walked for several miles around the historic old homes and enjoyed the quiet, well maintained neighborhoods. Several movies have been filmed at old homes in the town but we had a hard time getting a good view of the homes behind huge, old live Oak trees and bushes. I'm including a few pictures of the homes we could see.
Fort Pulaski outside

Beaufort SC mansion

Beaufort SC mansion

Beaufort SC row of homes

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