Home » Cockspur Island Lighthouse » Fort Pulaski National Monument – 15 January 2012

Fort Pulaski National Monument – 15 January 2012


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.

Cockspur Island Lighthouse

Cockspur Island Lighthouse

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.

Fort Pulaski as seen from the direction of Cockspur Island Light and Tybee Island

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.

Damage to the South and Southeast Faces of Fort Pulaski

Damage to the South and Southeast Faces of Fort Pulaski

Unexploded shell still in Fort Pulaski's wall

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.

Ocean Tug Capt. Magen and Ocean Tank Barge Key West outbound passing Cockspur Island

Container Ship UASC Al Noof entering the mouth of the Savannah River

Container Ship Westertal exiting the Savannah River into the Atlantic Ocean

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