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

Construction of Fort Jackson

 
 
British Military Force Threatens the United States Marker - Panel one image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
1. British Military Force Threatens the United States Marker - Panel one
Inscription. (Panel one)
In the early years of the 19th century, the United States
was a fledgling nation with a population of 7,700,000, a standing army of 6,700, and a navy of only 12 ships. The Americans were vastly outnumbered by the major powers of the time, France with an army of well over 600,000 and Great Britain with a navy of nearly 600 ships.
Presidents Washington, Adams, and Jefferson had pursued neutral policies making every effort to avoid becoming embroiled in the world wide conflict between Great Britain and France. Following several events which threatened to bring the United States into this war, President Jefferson authorized the construction of forts and ships in 1807. One spot selected to be fortified was lot 12 at Five Fathom Hole on the Savannah River. This fortification was to become Fort James Jackson.
(Panel two)
Captain William McRee:
Supervising Engineer

In the spring of 1808, Captain William McRee, a member of the United States Army Engineer Department began supervising the construction of Fort Jackson. The work force consisted of hired laborers and leased slaves. McRee was born in 1787, in Wilmington North Carolina. At the age of 15, McRee decided on a military career and enrolled at West Point. After two years, he graduated second
Captain William McRee: Supervising Engineer - Panel two image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
2. Captain William McRee: Supervising Engineer - Panel two
Construction of Fort Jackson
in his class of three cadets and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Engineer Department. McRee was only 21 years old when he started construction of Fort Jackson. Except for a brief absence in 1811, he continued this work until his transfer in October of 1812. After his reassignment, he was still consulted by his successor regarding the Fort's construction. McRee served with distinction during the War of 1812 on the Canadian border. After the war, he resigned his commission in 1819 and spent the rest of his life as a government surveyor. William McRee died on May 15, 1833.
(Panel three)
War With Britain is Declared
At the request of President Jefferson, the United States Congress voted on the issue of the war with Britain. The results were close, with the house voting 79 to 49 and the Senate voting 19 to 13 in favor of war. Sentiments for going to war were stronger in the south as the city of Savannah indicated when the city council unanimously voted on a resolution which referred to war with Britain as "...just, necessary, and righteous..."
In responce to hostilities, Captain McRee at Fort Jackson recieved the following letter from General Thomas Pinckney:
You will proceed with all possible dispatch to complete the fortifications of Fort Jackson and Wayne according to the plans which
War With Britain is Declared - Panel three image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
3. War With Britain is Declared - Panel three
Features a drawing of President Jefferson
I have this day examined and approved, and it being indispensably necessary that these posts should when completed be furnished with garrisons for their defense, but no troops of the old army of the United States having been assigned to that duty / you are hereby authorized and directed to make application to the Governor of Georgia for as many officers and men of Militia of this State as may be necessary for their immediate protection and defense not exceeding in the whole three hundred rank and file.
P.S. I have just recieved official notification of the declaration of war which had taken place on June 18 and took nearly six days for the news to reach Savannah.

 
Erected by Coastal Heritage Society.
 
Location. 32° 4.903′ N, 81° 2.233′ W. Marker is in Savannah, Georgia, in Chatham County. Marker can be reached from Fort Jackson Road. Click for map. North (left) off of Presidents Street (US80) at Woodcock Street ,east (right) off of Woodcock Street onto Fort Jackson Road, Located at Old Fort Jackson. Marker is in this post office area: Savannah GA 31404, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Garrison of Fort Jackson (within shouting distance of this marker); Republican Blues
British Military Force Threatens the United States panel 1 image. Click for full size.
By Coastal Heritage Society
4. British Military Force Threatens the United States panel 1
British Navy H.M.S. Tribune Enlistedman (top)
British Army Sutherland's 93rd Private (lower)
(within shouting distance of this marker); The Napoleon 12-Pounder Field Gun Model 1857 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Colonials at Bonaventure (approx. 2.5 miles away); King Cotton (approx. 2.6 miles away); Fred Wessels, Senior (approx. 2.6 miles away); Savannah's Liberty Ships and the Atlantic Bridge (approx. 2.7 miles away); Savannah's Early Economy (approx. 2.7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Savannah.
 
Regarding Construction of Fort Jackson. Entry on National Register of Historic Places:
Built in the period 1808–1812; defended Savannah and its harbor; used by the Confederacy; withstood a minor Union attack in 1862.
Designated National Historic Landmark:
February 16, 2000

Fort James Jackson (added 1970 - - #70000200)
Also known as Fort Oglethorpe
♦ Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
♦ Architect, builder, or engineer: Unknown
♦ Architectural Style: No Style Listed
♦ Area of Significance: Military, Architecture
♦ Period
British Military Force Threatens the United States panel 1 image. Click for full size.
By Coastal Heritage Society
5. British Military Force Threatens the United States panel 1
British Army Royal Horse Artillery Driver (top)
British Army 9th East Norfolk Infantry Regiment Ensign (lower)
of Significance: 1850-1874, 1825-1849, 1800-1824
♦ Owner: State
♦ Historic Function: Defense
♦ Historic Sub-function: Fortification
 
Categories. Forts, CastlesMilitaryWar of 1812
 
Captain William McRee, panel 2 image. Click for full size.
By Coastal Heritage Society
6. Captain William McRee, panel 2
Captain William McRee:Supervising Engineer
Fort Jackson, west moat and wall area image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
7. Fort Jackson, west moat and wall area
Fort Jackson, south and east wall image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
8. Fort Jackson, south and east wall
Navy 24-pdr Gun on the northeast parapet image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
9. Navy 24-pdr Gun on the northeast parapet
Navy Shellgun (or Dahlgren) image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
10. Navy Shellgun (or Dahlgren)
Navy 24-pdr Gun on west parapet image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
11. Navy 24-pdr Gun on west parapet
Magazine area image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
12. Magazine area
Magazine image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
13. Magazine
Magazine image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
14. Magazine
Fort Jackson Demi- Bastion image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, November 29, 2009
15. Fort Jackson Demi- Bastion
This is one of four "demi-bastions" in Fort Jackson. They were designed to protect the Fort's walls by firing into the flanks or sides of attacking troops. This demi-bastion had a 32-pounder cannon on a casemate carriage. It sat upon a wooden platform. Cannons were never mounted in the remaining three demi-bastions.
S.C. Militia image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, 2009
16. S.C. Militia
Fort Jackson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 28, 2009
17. Fort Jackson Marker
Construction of Fort Jackson Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 28, 2009
18. Construction of Fort Jackson Marker
Artillery Store Room image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 28, 2009
19. Artillery Store Room
Fort Jackson image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, November 28, 2009
20. Fort Jackson
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,262 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   16. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   17, 18, 19, 20. 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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