On December 13, Fort McAllister State Park will host its largest Civil War re-enactment – exactly 150 years after Gen. William T. Sherman ended his “March to the Sea” by overtaking the fort.
Winter Muster is expected to bring more than 300 re-enactors and 1,000 visitors to the park south of Savannah, with additional public events planned for December 11 and 12 as well.
The three-day commemoration begins Thursday, December 11 as Union soldiers set up camp at the Richmond Hill Museum and answer visitors’ questions about the upcoming battle. On Friday, soldiers will march from the intersection of Highway 144 and Fort McAllister Road to the park, setting up camp when they arrive.
By 9 a.m. on Saturday, the fort will be filled with Confederate soldiers as they prepare for the battle they know is coming. Throughout the day, visitors can watch skirmishes between Union and Confederate troop as they fire muskets and cannons. Guests can also walk among the earthworks and tour a Civil War museum. Then at 5 p.m., the same time that the actual battle occurred 150 years ago, visitors can watch Union forces breach the fort and take Confederates as prisoners.
When Union troops took control of Fort McAllister in 1864, they marked the end of Gen. Sherman’s “March to the Sea” and enabled him to present Savannah as a Christmas gift to President Lincoln.
“Fort McAllister is a very significant part of Georgia’s history, and we’re especially pleased that our annual Winter Muster falls on the exact date of the original battle” said Park Manager Jason Carter. “This event is expected bring in a large number of visitors to the Richmond Hill and Savannah areas, so it’s good for tourism. They will be dining and shopping at local businesses and making a positive impact on our community.”
Fort McAllister State Park is located on the Ogeechee River with beautiful low-country scenery. Admission to Winter Muster is $6. Visitors can stay overnight in cabins or the campground with advance reservations. Popular activities include fishing, boating, hiking, biking, geocaching, birding and nature photography.