Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Confederate Battery on Jekyll Island, Georgia

A major and beautiful resort area on Georgia's Atlantic Coast, Jekyll Island is steeped in the history of America.

Guale Indians once occupied the island, followed in turn by the Spanish, English, Americans and Confederates. Now noted for its spectacular beaches, stunning marsh views and magnificent historic district, Jekyll Island was once a strategic point for the Confederate military as it tried to defend Brunswick harbor from Union attack.

Southern troops built earthwork batteries faced in part with iron taken from railroad lines and placed heavy cannon on the island. The batteries were occupied into 1862 when General Robert E. Lee, then assigned to oversee the defense of Georgia, decided that his limited forces and artillery were too dispersed. He recommended the evacuation of the batteries on Jekyll Island and the guns were moved to Savannah.

The remains of the Confederate batteries are one of the most overlooked historic sites on Jekyll Island. Although the earthworks themselves are located adjacent to the runways of the island's airport and are not open to the public, they can be viewed from a small picnic area on River View next to the airport.

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