The Civil War Sesquicentennial

Inside the breech of Fort Pulaski
Aftermath from the battle for Fort Pulaski


The National Park Service Sesquicentennial Commemoration

The Civil War was a defining event in our nation's history. The National Park Service is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War from 2011 to 2015.

Civil War to Civil Rights

The Civil War culminated 80 years of sectional tensions over economics, cultural values, the extent and reach of the federal government, but, most importantly, the role of slavery in American society. Following the fall of Fort Pulaski in April 1862, Union Major General David Hunter emancipated area slaves. Fort Pulaski became a final destination on the Underground Railroad as slaves sought freedom on Cockspur Island.

Fort Pulaski National Monument will portray the fort as it was during the period of the Civil War from 1861 to 1865. As a part of our commemoration, we are using reproduction flags as a visually effective way of depicting historic events.

The Confederate National flag will fly above the fort six days a week from March 2011 until the 150th anniversary of the Siege of Fort Pulaski in 2012.The park will fly the 34-star United States flag on Sundays, in order to continue to interpret the Union occupation of the fort from April 1862 until the end of the Civil War. Likewise, when Fort Pulaski begins flying the 34-star American flag in April 2012, the Stars and Bars will fly on Sundays to interpret the Confederate occupation.


January 2, 2011: 150th anniversary of seizure of Fort Pulaski by Georgia state troops

With South Carolina's secession from the United States in December of 1860, federal facilities, including armories, foundries, and forts, from across the south were being taken by their home states. On January 3, 1861, Georgia troops, under the direction of Govenor Joseph Brown, seized Fort Pulaski. This was just a first step that would lead to Georgia's secession a few weeks later. Fort Pulaski National Monument flew the Georgia Flag of Secession from January to March 2011.

March 5, 2011: 150th anniversary of adoption of 1st Confederate National Flag

From January 1861 until April 1862, the Fort Pulaski was Confederate occupied. On March 4, 1861, the Confederate national flag, also known as the Stars and Bars, was adopted in Montgomery, AL, the original capital of the Confederacy. This flag would fly above the fort for the next thirteen months. During that time, the garrison was busy preparing for whatever test that lay ahead. Fort Pulaski National Monument began flying the Confederate national flag in March 2011. The Stars and Bars will continue to fly until April 2012.

December 9 & 10, 2011: 150th anniversary of Fort Pulaski's Confederate "Nog Party"

Fort Pulaski celebrated Christmas, 1861, in a big way. The Confederate garrison invited guests from Savannah to share in a lively Christmas party. Their first, and only, holiday at Fort Pulaski was filled with eggnog parties and amusement in many of the casemates. Fort Pulaski National Monument commemorate the "Nog" party with a candle lantern event in early December, 2011.

April 10-15, 2012: 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Pulaski

For nearly two months, Union troops erected 36 guns in 11 batteries on the western shore of Tybee Island. The Union cannons on Tybee Island, over a mile away, converged on Fort Pulaski on April 10, 1862. After 30 hours, the brick walls of the fort were breached, and the Confederate fort surrendered on April 11. The historic battle featured the first significant use of rifled artillery against a masonry fort and had international ramifications on the future design and construction of coastal forts. Fort Pulaski National will fly the 34-star United States flag from April 2012 until the end of the Civil War Sesquicentennial in April 2015.

November 24, 2012: 150th anniversary of the Grand Thanksgiving Fete and Festival

This event gave the Union garrison of Fort Pulaski a respite from the constant vigilance which they maintained throughout their year-long residence on Cockspur Island. The 48th New York State Volunteers threw the grand festival that included competitions, games, and even a great burlesque parade. The event concluded with a grand ball held within the fort attended by soldiers, families, and special guests alike. Fort Pulaski National Monument recreated some of the events from the festival including wheel barrow races, sack races, even a 19th century dress parade.

Georgia Civil War Website
The Georgia Civil War Commemoration Website


Georgia's Civil War Sesquicentennial Site

The goal of the State of Georgia's Sesquicentennial Commemoration website is to facilitate and promote an understanding of the Civil War and Georgia's role in it. Examining the many facets of the Civil War gives us a better understanding of Georgia's past.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 30757
Savannah, GA 31410


(912) 786-5787

Contact Us