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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Richmond Hill in Bryan County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Capt. John McCrady

Designer of Fort McAllister

 
 
Capt. John McCrady Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 5, 2008
1. Capt. John McCrady Marker
Inscription. Charlestonian, a student of Agassiz at Harvard, then professor of mathematics at the College of Charleston, he resigned his position at the outbreak of the war and became an officer in the Confederate engineers. Transferred to Savannah he spent his efforts surrounding that city with an extensive ring of defenses. The rest of his life was academic. He returned to his old professorship in Charleston, later became assistant to Agassiz, then professor of biology at the University of the South, Sewannee, Tennessee.
 
Erected 1963 by Georgia Historical Commission.
 
Location. 31° 53.395′ N, 81° 11.905′ W. Marker is in Richmond Hill, Georgia, in Bryan County. Marker can be reached from Fort McAllister Road, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Behind the visitor center at Fort McAllister. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3894 Fort McAllister Road, Richmond Hill GA 31324, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Major John B. Gallie (a few steps from this marker); Fort McAllister The Assault From The Rear (a few steps from this marker); Tom Cat (a few steps from this marker); Fort McAllister The Naval Bombardments
Capt. John McCrady Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
2. Capt. John McCrady Marker
(within shouting distance of this marker); Sinking of the CSS ''Nashville (Rattlesnake)" (within shouting distance of this marker); Destruction of the C.S.S. Nashville (within shouting distance of this marker); C.S.S. Nashville (within shouting distance of this marker); Machinery From The C.S.S. Nashville (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line). Click for a list of all markers in Richmond Hill.
 
Regarding Capt. John McCrady. In February 1862, Gnl. Robert E. Lee, then commander of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, authorized improvements of Ft. McAllister just before leaving to accept command of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Fort McAllister was attacked 6 times by Union ironclads, gunboats and mortars, each time repelling the enemy. Damage to the fort was minimal, with repairs done usually over night. Injuries were few and mortality much less.
The seventh Yankee attack on Ft. McAllister on December 13, 1864 was land based, and was the only successful one.
 
Also see . . .
1. Fort McAllister. Along with the soldiers, 30 leased slaves provided
Fort McAllister image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
3. Fort McAllister
the labor to construct this earthen fortification. The work on the battery was under the direction of Capt. John McCrady, Engineer. (Submitted on October 20, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

2. Our Georgia History. On July 7, 1861 Company A of the 1st Georgia Infantry ("DeKalb Rifles") was detached and ordered to build the fort with available materials. (Submitted on October 20, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

3. SherpaGuides, Fort McAllister State Historic Park. Fort McAllister, a Civil War fort that guarded the back entrance to Savannah (Submitted on October 20, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesWar, US Civil
 
Fort McAllister, south side image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
4. Fort McAllister, south side
Fort McAllister, one of several Powder Magazines image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
5. Fort McAllister, one of several Powder Magazines
Fort McAllister, moat area, north side image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2008
6. Fort McAllister, moat area, north side
Fort McAllister image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 30, 2008
7. Fort McAllister
Fort McAllister : A Proving Ground image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 5, 2008
8. Fort McAllister : A Proving Ground
Although it was a small fort with comparatively few men and guns, Fort McAllister played a key role in both Confederate and Union strategies for naval warfare.
Knowing that block-running ships carrying Confederate goods hid in the Ogeechee River, the Union Navy first sent the Potomsak, a 3 masted wooden gunboat, to cruise upriver. Arriving at Fort McAllister on July 1, 1862 the Potomsak fired twice and retreated. It was the first of many Union ships to test the earthen fort.
On July 29, the Union ships, Paul Jones, Unadilla, Huron, and Madgie shelled Fort McAllister with their 11- inch smoothbore, Parrott rifles, and smaller-caliber guns. The shells sank into the fort's dirt walls, while the Confederates fired back relentlessly until the gunboats retreated.
But the Union Navy had other opponents for Fort McAllister: ironclads. A few months earlier, a legendary battle between theC.S.S. Virginia( formerly the Merrimack ) and the U.S.S. Monitor - gunboats covered by iron plates - had changed naval warfare forever. Against iron-hulled ships, conventional weapons no longer worked.
However, ironclads were hard to maneuver, and handling weaponry was difficult inside their tight spaces. Union officers wanted to test the vessels again before attacking the Confederate stronghold at Charleston.
Fort McAllister, an isolated outpost on deep water, was the ideal proving ground. In two seperate battles in early 1863, the Union attacked with the ironclad Montauk and then with a combined force of the Montauk plus three additional ironclads - the Passaic, the Patapsco, and the Nahunt. After nearly seven hours of fighting, both sides sustained heavy damages, but neither was defeated. In the battle of competing technologies, both sides won.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,414 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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