By the outbreak of the American Civil War, Tybee would again play an important military role in U.S. History. First, confederates occupied the island. In December of 1861, the Confederate forces withdrew to Fort Pulaski under orders from Robert E. Lee to defend Savannah and the Savannah River. Union forces under the command of Quincy Adams Gilmore took control of Tybee Island. The Union forces constructed earthen batteries on the Northwest part of the island facing Fort Pulaski about one mile across the Savannah River.
On April 11th, 1862, the Union batteries fired a new weapon called the “rifled cannon” at Fort Pulaski and changed forever the way the world protected its coastal areas. Within 30 hours the rifled guns had such a devastating effect on the brick fort that it was surrendered and brick masonry forts like Pulaski were considered obsolete.
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Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum
30 Meddin Ave