Savannah and Charleston

Trip Start Jun 04, 2010
Trip End Sep 08, 2010

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Where I stayed
Days Inn

Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Starting our day in by leaving Vidalia around 10 minutes to 7 this morning. It was a beautiful 2 hours drive on back roads of Georgia and South Carolina. While driving we played the recording of the Rosary and it just seemed to fit the countryside.  It really makes you know how wonderful our good Lord is to create such beautiful scenery.
We arrived in Savannah around 9 AM and tried to find our way around the city.  It is not a user friendly city.  Lack of directional signs made it difficult to find anything.

A little background on Savannah;

British Gen. James Oglethorpe first landed on the historic bluff above the Savannah River in 2733, a number of American Tribes lived in costal Georgia. With the help of the native American Leader Tomochichi, Oglethorpe created a city in the heart of the Georgia wilderness.  Oglethorpe devised an innovative and world-renowned city plan.   Homes, churches and business based on a system of squares, creating a network of interconnecting neighborhoods.  22 of the original 24 squares each with its own distinctive style have lasted for 3 centuries.

After driving around looking for a restaurant that served breakfasts (in a safe looking part of town) was a big challenge.  We stumbled on Fort Jackson.  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.  It served as headquarters for the Confederate Savannah River defenses during the American Civil War.

The fort was manned almost continuously during the first months of the War of 1812, when British privateers were setting fire to American sloops and schooners just off the coast of Georgia, and again near the end of the war when a British fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Alexander Cochrane was reportedly in the area (Georgia and the War of 1812).

Residents of Savannah turned to old Fort Jackson for protection from the Union Navy during the War Between the States (Civil War). In addition to Fort Jackson, there were ironclads, (the Georgia and the Savannah), and a line of obstructions. The Navy never made it inland from Fort Pulaski. General Sherman did, though, after completing his March to the Sea.  

On December 17, 1864, General William T. Sherman demanded  "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 (Hardee was overwhelmingly outnumbered), the Confederates pulled back from the city. On December 20, 1864, Sherman captured the city of Savannah and Fort Jackson.

During the next 40 years the fort saw limited use, eventually being de-commissioned in 1905.

After the visit to the Fort, the gift shop attendant suggested a restaurant for breakfast (The Breakfast Place) in town.  After we finished eating we headed for Perris Island Recruit Marine Corps Training Center.  We were still listening to the many songs I loaded on my Sony ebook and the Marine Corps Hymn started playing just after we passed the entry gate.  Dave and I were both impressed with the coincident. We filled up with gas for $2.44 per gal.  Great price, yes?  Followed it up with a visit to the Base Exchange and Commissary.   Bought a few items and we were off and running again!

We started to head to Charleston and came across the entrance to Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort.  Dave was stationed here for 9 months of on the job training before he was sent to Vietnam.  He didn't recognize anything.  Everything looked like it was remodeled.  But it was still a nice trip down memory lane for him.   After a brief visit we continued the short trip of about an hour to Charleston. 

When we got to Charleston we took a carriage ride tour through the city.  Our guide, Nick, was celebrating his 23th Birthday today and was giving his last tour before returning to his home town in New York.  He had been here doing this for 4 years while going to college.  He didn’t care who got mad, he took us to some places we were not suppose to be while in the carriage.  Our horse’s name was Yance, he was Draft and Paint horse.

Hope you enjoy the pictures of the town.  I liked Charleston much better then Savanna.  Since we decided to take the Fort Sumter boat and tour in the morning we thought we might drive over to the landing at Patriots Point.  Missed the turn and found ourselves at Fort Moultire on Sullivan Island.  The visitor’s center was closed, but we were able to walk around the fort and see some Civil War relics.  Fort Moultrie's history covers 171 years of seacoast defense, including the first decisive victory in the American Revolution and the firing onto Fort Sumter during the first battle of the Civil War. The third Fort Moultrie, built in 1809, stands today. By touring the fort, visitors can see how coastal defenses have evolved.

The first fort on Sullivan's Island was still incomplete when Commodore Sir Peter Parker and nine warships attacked it on June 28, 1776. After a nine-hour battle, the ships were forced to retire. Charleston was saved from British occupation, and the fort was named in honor of its commander, Colonel. William Moultrie. In 1780 the British finally captured Charleston, abandoning it only on the advent of peace.

After the Revolution, Fort Moultrie was neglected, and by 1791 little of it remained. Then, in 1793, war broke out between England and France. The next year Congress, seeking to safeguard American shores, authorized the first system of nationwide coastal fortifications. A second Fort Moultrie, one of 20 new forts along the Atlantic coast, was completed in 1798. It too suffered from neglect and was finally destroyed by a hurricane in 1804. By 1807 many of the other First System fortifications were in need of extensive repair. Congress responded by authorizing funds for a Second System, which included a third Fort Moultrie. By 1809 a new brick fort stood on Sullivan's Island.

Between 1809 and 1860 Fort Moultrie changed little. The parapet was altered and the armament modernized, but the big improvement in Charleston’s defenses during this period was the construction of Fort Sumter at the entrance of the harbor. The forts ringing Charleston Harbor – Moultrie, Sumter, Johnson, and Castle Pinckney – were meant to complement each other, but ironically received their baptism of fire as opponents. In December 1860 South Carolina seceded from the Union, and the Federal garrison abandoned Fort Moultrie for the stronger Sumter. Three and a half months later, Confederate troops shelled Sumter into submission, plunging the nation into civil war. In April 1863, Federal iron-clads and shore batteries began a 20-month bombardment of Sumter and Moultrie, yet Charleston’s defenses held. When the Confederate army evacuated the city in February 1865, Fort Sumter was little more than a pile of rubble and Fort Moultrie lay hidden under the band of sand that protected its walls from Federal shells. The new rifled cannon used during the Civil War had demolished the brick-walled fortifications.

Fort Moultrie was modernized in the 1870s, employing concepts developed during the war. Huge new cannon were installed, and magazines and bombproofs were built of thick concrete, and then buried under tons of earth to absorb the explosion of heavy shells. In 1885, President Grover Cleveland appointed Secretary of War William C. Endicott to head a board to review the coastal defenses in light of newly developing weapons technology. The system that emerged, named for Endicott, again modernized the nation’s fortifications. New batteries of concrete and steel were constructed in Fort Moultrie. Larger weapons were emplaced elsewhere on Sullivan's Island, and the old fort became just a small part of the Fort Moultrie Military Reservation that covered much of the island.

After Ft. Moultrie we again headed for the Fort Sumter boat landing.  Upon finding it we discovered that Disney Pictures was doing a taping of Army Wives.  Episode 417 (I think).  We walked around a bit talked to some of the staff and since it was starting to get late we went to find a hotel for the night. 

We had bought some sandwich makings while at the commissary so we just went directly to our hotel (Days Inn in Mount Pleasant) only mile for the
Sumter Boat landing. 
Good night to all my friends and may God keep you in his care.

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John on

I had forgotten about Ft Jackson, I'm glad you found it!

Thanks again for all the wonderful meals and good company.

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