Tuesday, May 6, 2008
On the weekend of April 12th and 13th, large crowds witnessed the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Pulaski. Members of six living history groups were on hand to commemorate the landmark battle. Fought on April 10-11, 1862, the battle featured the first significant use of rifled artillery in combat. Park staff and volunteers portrayed members of both the Confederate garrison at Fort Pulaski and Union troops besieging the fort from Tybee Island.
Confederate activities at the fort included cannon firings, musket demonstrations, Civil War medical demonstrations, music, and special lectures on the battle.
Battery Park, a new area under development on Tybee Island, was open to the public for the event. The area offers breathtaking views of the Savannah River, and helps visitors to better understand the battle from the Union perspective. In April 1862, this area was located midway along the length of the federal siege lines. Today, visitors can look across the Savannah River and see Fort Pulaski, more than a mile distant, and marvel at the effectiveness of the federal guns at such long ranges. From Tybee Island, Union artillery breached the walls of Fort Pulaski in less than 30 hours, a feat that Robert E. Lee said was impossible.
A reproduction 30-Pounder Parrott siege cannon, like the type used by Union forces during the battle, was fired throughout the weekend from Battery Park. The reproduction cannon is the largest in the National Park Service, and is something that superintendent Charlie Fenwick believes âwill definitely make a lasting impression on anyone who visits Fort Pulaski.â