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This Day in Georgia History

January 03, 1861

Fort Pulaski Seized

Under orders by Gov. Joseph E. Brown, Col. A.R. Lawton and Maj. Charles Olmstead led a force of 134 members of Savannah volunteer militia units to take Fort Pulaski on Cockspur Island, which was located a mile upstream from the mouth of the Savannah River. The capture was accomplished without gunfire, as the fort was only defended by a U.S. artillery sergeant and a caretaker. Still, Georgia’s action in seizing a federal fort generated considerable attention across the South because Georgia was still in the Union.