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Tybee Island in Chatham County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Cisterns of the Construction Village

Fort Pulaski National Monument

 
 
Cisterns of the Construction Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 19, 2008
1. Cisterns of the Construction Village Marker
Inscription. Robert E. Lee, newly graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, joined Major Samuel Babcock of the Army Corps of Engineers in 1829 to begin work on building a construction village on this site. Two years later Lee transferred to Hampton Roads, Virginia. Due to failing health, Babock was replaced by Lieutenant Joseph K.F. Mansfield in 1831 who completed the construction village. Mansfield remeined in charge of all work on Cockspur Island until 1845 and deserves primary credit for the construction of Fort Pulaski.
Drawing of Construction Village
The construction village contained the shops and quarters required by workers building Fort Pulaski. Enslaved African Americans, rented from owners of neighboring rice plantations, performed much of the hard labor. Skilled masons and carpenters, including freed African Americans, were recruited not only in Savannah but were also brought down each fall from Northern States. Workers suffered from malaria yellow fever, typhoid, dysentery, destructive hurricanes and bone-chilling winter gales during the eighteen years that it took to complete the fort.

Fresh drinking water was an important but scarce commodity in the salty environment of Cockspur Island. Pipes running off roofs of buildings carried rainwater to round
Cisterns of the Construction Village Marker, and 2 cisterns in background image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 19, 2008
2. Cisterns of the Construction Village Marker, and 2 cisterns in background
brick cisterns where it was stored for drinking and cooking. All that remains today are these brick cisterns to remind us of the construction village, which was the scene of so much human drama.

Over the years harsh environmental conditions on Cockspur Island took their toll on the wooden buildings that comprised the construction village. During a return trip to Fort Pukaski in 1861, then Confederate General Robert E. Lee reported that all of the temporary frame structures that he could recall on the island were gone. The remaining buildings survived the battle for Fort Pulaski in 1862 only to be completely destroyed during a hurricane nineteen years later.
 
Erected by National Park Service - U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 32° 1.646′ N, 80° 53.558′ W. Marker is in Tybee Island, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker can be reached from Islands Expressway (U.S. 80), on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Located At Fort Pulaski National Monument, near Visitor Center Parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Tybee Island GA 31328, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Waving Girl (here, next to this marker); Cockspur Island Lighthouse (a few
Sketch of Construction Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By National Park Service
3. Sketch of Construction Village Marker
steps from this marker); History of Emancipation: (a few steps from this marker); John Wesley (1703-1791) (within shouting distance of this marker); Quest for Freedom (within shouting distance of this marker); Immortal Six Hundred (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Burial Sites of Immortal 600 (about 300 feet away); A Changing Landscape (about 400 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Tybee Island.
 
More about this marker. On the left is a drawing of the construction village, showing the locations of several buildings. In the upper center is a Sketch of Cockspur Island by Lt. Robert E. Lee, 1830. Below it is a photo of the cisterns as they look today. On the right is a photo of the Hospital, Ft Pukaski, Cockspur Island, Georgia_1863. Blow it is a photo of the
Southwest corner, Fort Pulaski, 1863.

 
Also see . . .  Fort Pulaski. National Park Service (Submitted on November 1, 2008, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesMilitaryWar, US Civil
 
Cisterns of the Construction Village Marker image. Click for full size.
By National Park Service
4. Cisterns of the Construction Village Marker
Hospital, Ft Pukaski, Cockspur Island, Georgia-1863.
Southwest corner, Fort Pulaski, 1863. image. Click for full size.
By National Park Service
5. Southwest corner, Fort Pulaski, 1863.
Cisterns , as they look today image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 19, 2008
6. Cisterns , as they look today
Construction Tools at Fort Pulaski National Monument Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 28, 2009
7. Construction Tools at Fort Pulaski National Monument Visitor Center
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,303 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   7. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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