On the Road: Fort McAllister - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/14/03

On the Road: Fort McAllister

You know the name, but what do you know about the town of Richmond Hill? We're on the road there all this week. Today's stop was Fort McAllister off Highway 144. Tucked away from the community of Richmond Hill remains this small, but unique piece of Civil War history. Constructed in 1861, Fort McAllister was built to protect Savannah from invading Union troops. It still sits quietly along the Ogeechee River.

"Troops would build earthworks for protection, typically temporarily, but the success of the fort definitely contributed to other earthworks being built and constructed," explained Brian Nichols, the assistant park manager.

But the Confederacy was only able to occupy this earth-built fort for about three years. After seven naval assaults and one final land assault by Gen. Sherman, the Union Army was able to take this fort with in about 15 minutes. "There was a detachment of 1,500 that attacked the 200 Confederates that were here," said Nichols. "Behind the 1,500 were another 3,500 that were available on beck and call, so you had about 5,000 verses 200."

After Fort McAllister fell to Sherman's army, it was left abandoned until Henry Ford bought the land and had it restored in the 1930s. It's remained as close to its original state ever since. "We like to think of it as a gem that, when people travel, they can stop by and find something very unique," said Nichols.

Fort McAllister is open seven days a week for tours and for people looking for a unique place to camp out for a couple of days. You can call them at 912.727.2339.

WTOC will be on the road from Richmond Hill all week long. We'll wrap everything up on Friday with live coverage from the Memorial Health-Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival.

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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