On the evenings of Friday, December 12th and Saturday, December 13th, Fort Pulaski National Monument staff and volunteers conducted the parkâs annual âCandlelantern Tour,â which recreates the Confederate ânog partyâ of 1861. Over 500 visitors attended 12 programs over the two evenings.
With a full moon high above, visitors celebrated the holiday season with cookies and hot cider, period music and merrymaking. Fresh garlands, handmade ribbons, hardtack ornaments, and other period decorations brightened the officerâs quarters. The highlight of each program was the firing of the parkâs 30-pounder rifled cannon, one of the largest firing reproduction cannons in the country.
A Savannah tradition for over three decades, the tour allows visitors to be transported back in time to December 1861, when Confederate forces held Fort Pulaski early in the Civil War. Less than four months later, the Battle of Fort Pulaski in April 1862 marked a turning point in military history. It featured the first significant use of rifled cannons in combat. These accurate, long-range weapons shattered Fort Pulaski's walls from over a mile away. After 30 hours of bombardment, the fort surrendered. The battle surprised military strategists worldwide, signaling the end of masonry fortifications.