Mo’ Betta’ Blues (Part II)
Front entry, St. Helena's Church, Beaufort, SC
To continue the previous post about Savannah/Beaufort, I wouild be hard-pressed to leave Beaufort and NOT mention St. Helena’s Episcopal Church. If the homes around Beaufort could tell stories, I’m sure this church could provide books. The Church was established in 1712 as a colonial parish of the Church of England and one of its original parishioners was a signatory to the Declaration of Independence. Rather than me tell its history, click on the link and read the historical signpost.
Historical signpost for St. Helena's
Savannah and Beaufort (frankly, the whole region) is steeped in Revolutionary and Civil War History. A
visit to this area reminds me of all the American history I forgot from high school (Washington DC does that to me big-time!).
Because we stayed out on Tybee Island, 12 miles east of Savannah, we passed Fort Pulaski
every morning on our way into Savannah and every evening as we returned to our rental cottage on the Island. A testament to brick masonry, Fort Pulaski has an extremely interesting history itself. The fort is one of several built along the eastern coast to guard important ports, in this case Savannah, just a few miles up the Savannah River. A young engineer, Lt. Robert E. Lee, helped in the construction of the fort (c. 1830-31). Thirty years later, General Lee was to return, inspecting coastal defenses during the Civil War. History was made here during the Civil War, not by the involvement of Gen. Lee, but due to the first use of rifled artillery (by the Union) in an attack on the fort. The superiority of this artillery lead to a quick surrender by the Confederate occupants. According to the National Park website, “On April 11, 1862, after thirty hours of bombardment, Confederate troops inside Fort Pulaski surrendered to Union forces on Tybee Island. The rifled cannon rendered masonry forts obsolete. Rifled pieces could throw heavier shot, with greater accuracy and higher velocity than smooth-bore guns.
” Shelling by the Union occurred from Tybee Island, so views from the river side of the fort and the side facing Tybee are compelling. Repairs to where the wall was breached by the shelling are clearly evident. In one remaining crater, there is still a shell embedded in the wall!
Unmarked side of Ft. Pulaski facing the Savannah River
Shelled face of Fort Pulaski facing Tybee Island
Panoramic view of the interior of Fort Pulaski
Union artillery shell remaining in the masonry wall of Fort Pulaski
OK, OK, enough of history. I do want to post some images from Tybee. It’s all about sunrises and sunsets. Here is an early morning shot of the pier on Tybee Beach. I recall it was darned cold that morning – I was out there, in the dark, for about an hour waiting for the sun to come up (now I’m more careful to check the web for time of sunrise).
Morning blues, Tybee sunrise
Evening blues, Tybee