I took advantage of the no-fee weekend at the Fort Pulaski National Monument to go out and see the the Cockspur Island Lighthouse (USA-181). It is a bit of a trek back to haul equipment, but it wouldn’t be difficult to set up a small portable station to activate the lighthouse, especially if it was a QRP station. I’ve toured the fort many times and there was a quite a crowd today so I didn’t go inside, but I did take some photos from outside, some from an angle I haven’t taken photos of it from before.
The Cockspur Island Lighthouse was built in 1865 to help guide ships into the Savannah River’s south channel. It operated until 1909 when it’s light was extinguished and then served as a day marker. Amazingly, it stood between Fort Pulaski and the Union batteries on Tybee Island during the battle for Fort Pulaski and was never hit! Considering that over 5,000 rounds were fired, the Cockspur Island Lighthouse was lucky indeed.
The photo above was taken from the area of the lighthouse. It must be similar to the view that the Union batteries would have had from Tybee Island as they looked through their binoculars at their target. Damage from the rifled cannon shells are easily seen on the walls and in closer photos below.
Commercial traffic on the Savannah River wasn’t taking a weekend break. While I was there 2 ships were outbound and 1 ship was inbound. The trail from Fort Pulaski to the Cockspur Island Lighthouse made a good spot to watch ships in the mouth of the Savannah River.