Savannah Villas

Savannah’s Old Fort Jackson

March 21st, 2011 by Robbie Bell

Many guests of our Savannah Vacation Rentals take time to explore a bit of Savannah’s history while in town, whether here for business, a wedding, or simply pleasure. Old Fort Jackson is a great place to start.

Savannah’s Old Fort Jackson is the oldest brick fortification in Georgia, and one of the few forts built before the War of 1812 still standing in this country. It helped defend Savannah during the War of 1812, and again during the Civil War, when it served as headquarters for the Savannah River Defenses.

Old Fort Jackson was constructed on the site of an earthen battery that American forces built in the middle of the 18th century to protect Savannah from British invaders. The original earthen fortress was abandoned in 1778, when disease took hold of all stationned there. The Fort Jackson we see today was built under orders from President Thomas Jefferson, who understood that cities along the country’s eastern seaboard were not properly protected from European threats.

Confederate troops took control of Fort Jackson in 1861 and used it to defend against Union attacks for nearly 4 years. On December 20, 1864, Fort Jackson fell during General Sherman’s “March to the Sea”. Unable to defend the fort against 65,000 Union soldiers, the Confederate garrison set the barracks on fire and rigged the front gates to explode before fleeing.

Today, Old Fort Jackson is managed by the Coastal Heritage Society, and is open for visitation seven days a week. Old Fort Jackson is approximately 4 miles from our Savannah Vacation Rentals – close enough to travel by bike.

Additional information about the fort is available at Old Fort Jackson.

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