Old Fort Jackson
Savannah, Georgia

1. 2006 Richard Edling, Philadelphia, PA
2. 1985 Mike Stround, Bluffton, SC
Please contact
Webmaster for any use of these images

Savannah, GA Home: CivilWarAlbum.com

CSS Georgia Photos

1. Fort Tours | Old Fort Jackson
2. Discover Old Fort Jackson in Savannah

On the Savannah River in Savannah.


Take I-16 East to Montgomery St. (Exit 167B, Savannah / Civic Center / Downtown - Last exit). In .8 miles turn right on Liberty St. Turn left on Randolph, then make an almost immediate right on E. President St. This becomes the President St. Extension. In 1.9 miles, turn left on Woodcock Road, for .3 miles. Turn right on Old Fort Jackson Road and continue for .2 miles. Enter through the "Tybee Depot".
Fort Jackson
Old Fort Jackson is the oldest standing fort in Georgia. Used extensively during the War of 1812 and the Civil War, Fort Jackson stands on the River near Savannah and was the home port for the ironclad CSS Georgia which was scuttled across the river from the fort to keep the ironclad out of the hands of the Union Army when Union General Sherman neared Savannah on his infamous "March to the Sea". Being heavily outnumbered Confederate troops pulled back from Savannah as Sherman pushed near after taking Fort McAllister in Richmond Hill Georgia.

Fort James Jackson, also known as Old Fort Jackson, has been a part of Coastal Georgia’s history for nearly two centuries. Named in honor of Georgia governor and Revolutionary War soldier James Jackson, the fort is the oldest standing brick fortification in the state. Fort Jackson is also a National Historic Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The fort is one of only eight Second System fortifications (a series of forts built prior to the War of 1812) still standing in the United States. It served as headquarters for the Confederate Savannah River defenses during the American Civil War.
Nearly obsolete, having Fort Pulaski as a much stronger defense for Savannah, Old Fort Jackson became the Confederate headquarters for all of the river defenses guarding Savannah during the War Between the States. In addition to the numerous earthen work fortifications General Robert E. Lee had authorized to be built along the rivers surrounding Savannah, the Savannah River Squadron was formed consisting of a handful of small armed ships and three new ironclads, the C.S.S. Georgia, C.S.S. Atlanta, and C.S.S. Savannah, all of which had been built at the Savannah shipyards.
On December 17, 1864, General William T. Sherman demanded the surrender of "the surrender of the city of Savannah and its dependent forts." The surrender demand was received by General William Hardee, who commanded the Confederate forces in Savannah. Rather than fight (General Hardee was overwhelmingly outnumbered nearly 6 to 1), the order was given to evacuate the city of Savannah and surrounding defenses on the evening of December 20, 1864. The following morning General Sherman's army marched into Savannah seizing all military fortifications including Fort Jackson."
Old Fort Jackson is now owned by the state of Georgia, but operated by the non-profit Coastal Heritage Society. Fort Jackson receives no federal or state funding for its operations. Thousands of visitors enjoy the fort every year, including numerous student and scout groups, as well as people who rent the fort for community events or after-hours gatherings. Old Fort Jackson is also known for its daily cannon firing demonstrations each summer, and is the only historic fort in the United States delivering cannon salutes to passing military vessels.
Visiting Old Fort Jackson
Plan on spending at least 1 hour when you visit the fort. As you leave the Tybee Depot the site of the C. S. S Georgia is directly in front, near a cannon embankment. From here continue to the sentry box in front of the "sally port," the technical designation for the entrance to a fort. The open land in front of the fort was once a rice field.
After entering through the sally port there is a brief film describing the history of the fort. A highlight of the visit is the Coastal Heritage Society exhibits that explain the fort's relationship with the city of Savannah, weapons used at the fort, and the fort itself. These displays are located in the casemates (technically a protected chamber within the fort) beneath the ramparts.
Then comes the tour of the ramparts itself. In addition to the cannon, there is a beautiful view of the Savannah River and the coastal plain. Leaving the rampart be sure to visit the privy in the southeast corner of the fort. Once a day the tidal nature of the river would "flush" it out.

(1985) Fort Jackson from the Savannah River
Courtesy of Mike Stroud, Bluffton, SC

(2006) Old Fort Jackson entrance sign
Photo by Richard Edling, Philadelphia, PA


(2006)  Original Old Fort Jackson cannon
Photo by Richard Edling


(2006) Rear view of cannon in previous photo
Photo by Richard Edling

  (2006) Original Old Fort Jackson cannon
Photo by Richard Edling

Old Fort Jackson Page1     Page2     Page3     Page4     Page5     Page6     Page7     Page8

Page9     Page10     Page11     Page12     Page13     Page14     Page15     Page16     Page17     Page18     Next

Sites by State Home         Site Index