Local Forts: McAllister, Pulaski, Morris, Jackson

I’m sure you’re getting tired of people saying that Georgia is steep in history, but it is, and history played and will always play a vital role in our country.

For Civil War enthusiasts, Georgia is one treasure trove full of historic sites and impressive military forts. Some of the closest forts from Savannah are McAllister, Pulaski, Morris, and Jackson – four historic sites that are always worth your time.

Fort McAllister Historic State Park
Richmond Hill, GA

Opened in 1861 on the banks of the Ogeechee River, Fort McAllister is home to some of the best earthwork fortification done by the Confederacy. Within the historic state park, you’ll find barracks, palisades, cannons, and other articles of the Civil War. A museum is located within the grounds, where you can browse more artifacts and purchase a souvenir or two.

Fort McAllister is not only popular for its history. It’s a scenic state park often frequented by locals for great picnics and daytrips with friends and family. Camping within the grounds is also allowed, as the state park has over 60 campsites. Other park facilities include cabins, a boat ramp, a nature trail, and a fishing dock.

For more information, including admission fees and camping reservations, check out this page.

Fort Pulaski National Monument
Cockspur Island

Located 15 miles away from Savannah, Fort Pulaski’s completion was the product of several changes in management. When construction began in 1829, it was overseen by Major Samuel Babcock. When the fort was completed in 1845, Lieutenant Joseph K.F. Mansfield was already in charge.

Fort Pulaski was under Confederate control when it was seized from the State Militia in 1861. Tides turned eventually, and the fort fell to union hands and served as a prison for captured Confederate prisoners as well as a storage area.

Today, Fort Pulaski serves as a fine example of 19th century military architecture. For more information about operation hours, special events, and admission fees, log on to Fort Pulaski’s official website: https://www.nps.gov/fopu/index.htm.

Fort Morris Historic Site
Midway, GA

Found along the banks of Medway River, Fort Morris was an important military garrison used to defend the area against British military forces. It fell to the British in 1779, but the bulwark was used again as a defensive structure to keep the British at bay during the War of 1812. The earthwork used during those turbulent times can still be seen today by visitors.

Aside from its rich history, Fort Morris’s scenic location and vistas of Saint Catherines Sound has made it a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike. Birdwatchers also come by throughout the year to catch glimpses of great egrets, pileated woodpeckers, goldfinches, painted buntings, and other coastal bird species.

For visiting hours, tours, and admission fees, log on to http://gastateparks.org/FortMorris

Old Fort Jackson
Savannah, GA

Known as the oldest standing brick fortification in Georgia, this fort located along the Savannah River is a perfect ending to a day dedicated to visiting historic forts in the area. Named after James Jackson, Old Fort Jackson treats its visitors to weekend cannon firings and interactive programs from March through October. Some say one hour is enough to spend within the grounds, but if you’re an avid student of history, you’re welcome to stay until closing time.

For more information, log on to http://www.exploregeorgia.org/listing/3456-old-fort-jackson.