Lighthouse Trail is an easy family friendly hike in in Fort Pulaski National Monument near Savannah Georgia that features tremendous history. This trail crossed the historic dike designed by Robert E. Lee. Along the way hikers will pass by red cedars, cabbage palms and beautiful wildflowers as they wind along the east side of Cockspur Island. The trail ends with a close up view of Cockspur Island Lighthouse, which was built in 1856 and marks the entrance to the south channel of the Savannah river. This hike is dog friendly, but your furry friend must be on leash.
Construction on Fort Pulaski started in 1829. The fort played an important role during the Civil War. When the south seceded from the Union, Georgia seized control of the fort. On April 10, 1862 Union forces converged on Fort Pulaski and asked for its surrender. A request the commanding Confederate officer declined. After 30 hours of bombardment, the fort was under Union control and the south had lost the valuable Savannah port. The fort came under the command of Union General David Hunter. Hunter was a controversial figure in the Union. He advocated and enlisted black soldiers to fight for the union cause. While initially met with disapproval, he eventually got congressional backing. Perhaps the most controversial move was his General Order No. 11. “…the persons in these three States — Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina— heretofore held as slaves, are therefore declared forever free. “ -Maj. Gen. David Hunter, Department of the South, General Order No. 11, May 9, 1862 President Abraham Lincoln, who was concerned with its political effects in border-states, quickly rescinded the order. However, Lincoln would issue the Emancipation Proclamation a few months later. Hunter’s legacy of pushing for new freedoms for slaves and freed slaves lead Confederate President Jefferson Davis to label Hunter a “felon to be executed if captured.”
Contact: Fort Pulaski National Monument P.O. Box 30757 Hwy 80 East Savannah, GA 31410