Saturday, May 3, 2014

5/2/14 Fort Jackson; Savannah GA

Fort Jackson; GA

     Welcome to Fort Jackson Georgia.  This fort was constructed in 1808 on the ruins of a fort that was here during the American Revolution.  Fort Jackson again sat in ruins until the City of Savannah brought it back to life in the 1970's.

     This was Savannah's third line of defense, about five miles upstream from the batteries on Tybee Island and four miles from Fort Pulaski.  

     Strategically positioned, the fort had a good line of fire all along the river.

     Today, two busloads of visitors have arrived.  These are the history students from High School in Jacksonville Florida.

     The students are in for a bit of culture shock when they get off the bus.  Sadly, I lost my notes with the names and email addresses from this visit, but the fellow playing the role of the Sargent below recently served a couple of tours in Afghanistan as a combat adviser to the Afghanistan Army.  The students are rousted off the  buses and he harasses them in typical Drill Sargent style.  

     After being lined up, given basic tests for combat fitness and instructions on marching and saluting, the students are marched into the fort where they are divided into three groups.

     Each group then tours numerous stations where they are given demonstrations of what life was like for a soldier stationed at the fort.

     This fellow has his master's degree in History and is licensed as a teacher, but prefers this style of teaching to classroom instruction.  He claimed that students retained more information from a day of teaching in this style than in a week of regular classes.  Here he walked them step by step through what a cannon firing crew did.

     The next station was a demonstration of communication techniques.  Students were taught the codes to use for signalling with flags, taught about courier systems and discussed the invention and early days of telegraph use.

    Clothing, cooking, barracks life and health issues were discussed at other stations.

     Also included were workshops on iron working, tool making and how to use basic weapons.

     The rangers did a great job of playing their roles and the fort has good facilities for teaching in this style.  The vast majority of the students were interested and involved, and I am sure they enjoyed getting out of the classroom for a day. 

     Just offshore of the fort lies the wreck of one of the old Confederate iron-sides battleships.  This being one of the largest ports in the United States, the wreck poses an obstacle to the numerous ships that use this river every day.  On numerous occasions both the State of Georgia and the City of Savannah have tried to have the wreck moved, but being it was captured during war it is the property of the United States Federal Government.  The USA has not been willing or able to bring themselves to move it, so it still remains as a significant shipping hazard 150 years after it sank.  The red marker buoy marks the spot it lies.

     If you like military history, a great one day tour is the string of forts that line the Savannah River.  You can work in some beach time out on Tybee Island and end back in Savannah, and each stop has friendly and informative folks on hand to answer questions.  So we leave Fort Jackson's old cannons to maintain their quiet watch over modern day Savannah.

     A few miles from Fort Jackson lies Bonaventure Cemetery.  I was there in the afternoon and the light was difficult for shooting photos.  But if you like life-like statuary, this is a neat place.  There are numerous statues carved of folks in realistic rather than formal poses.

     Today's parting shot is of a mother and child upon seeing John Sandifer playing his role as Forest Gump.  

     Forest Gump is one of those rare fictional characters that gets a big reaction out of adults, but kids just don't seem all that interested.  And on that note, we say our goodbye to Forest Gump and all the other fine folks we have met in Savannah.

Have a great Saturday !!

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1 comment:

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