A relentless barrage of Union cannon fire prompted the Confederate forces in Fort Pulaski near Savannah, Georgia, to surrender in April 1862. Today you can gain a new perspective of this assault when national monument rangers offer a special water tour of the fort.
The special tours will be offered April 10 and April 11 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Siege & Reduction of Fort Pulaski.
For nearly two months, Union troops erected 36 guns in 11 batteries on the western shore of Tybee Island. The Union cannon on Tybee Island, more than a mile away, converged on Fort Pulaski on April 10, 1862. After 30 hours, the brick walls of the fort were breached, and the Confederate forces surrendered on April 11, 1862. The historic battle featured the first significant use of rifled artillery against a masonry fort and had international ramifications on the future design and construction of coastal forts.
The naval campaign was as important to the Union victory as the new artillery. Faced with confusing channels, treacherous tides, and a fort bristling with powerful cannons, the Union Navy was still able to encircle and isolate the fort.
During the upcoming boat tours visitors will get a taste of naval operations as the boats wind through Lazaretto Creek - the "back door" to the fort from Savannah - and see the Tybee Island coastline, two historic lighthouses, and cruise around Cockspur Island.
Participants will gain a new understanding of the planning and efforts involved in the months leading to the battle, as well as the larger impact of the battle by putting the importance of Fort Pulaski's location into context.
The Fort Pulaski boat tours will last approximately 2 hours. Visitors are welcome to bring food on board to enjoy lunch on the water.
WHAT: "Fort Pulaski Naval Campaign" Boat Tour
WHEN: April 10 & April 11 at 11 a.m.
WHERE: Meet at Captain Derek's dock, Tybee Island, the first left-hand turn after you cross the Highway 80 bridge to Tybee Island.
Seating is limited. Reservations are required. Please contact Park Ranger Mike Weinstein at (912) 786-5787, extension 213 or via email for more information. The fee for the boat tour is $5 per person; ages 15 and under are free. The fee is payable by cash or check made out to the "National Park Service."