After living in Savannah for 10 years, I’m still finding new places to explore! Last week Jacob and I visited Old Fort Jackson, just 2 miles south of the city of Savannah. It was the last line of defense on the Savannah River.
It is a National Historic Landmark, and is the oldest standing brick fort in Georgia. Built between 1808 and 1812, it was constructed over an old earthen battery from the American Revolutional War. During the War of 1812 there were local militia as well as US troops stationed here. In 1862 the Fort was shelled by a ship captained by Robert Smalls, an escaped slave.
Robert Smalls won recognition from Abraham Lincoln, and showed the Union that blacks were capable of serving in the army, even captaining their own ship. He was born in Beaufort, South Carolina, and escaped and commandeered a ship from Charleston harbor. After the Civil War he became a politician, serving in both state and national legislatures.
In 1864 the Union Army captured Fort Jackson. After the war the 55th Massachusetts Regiment was stationed there, the first black regiment.