Facts about the Battle of Fort Pulaski, including dates, casualties, participants, who won, and more interesting facts you might not know. This fact sheet provides a quick overview of the battle and is for kids doing research and students preparing for the AP U.S. History (APUSH) exam.
- Date Started: The Battle of Fort Pulaski started on April 10, 1862.
- Date Ended: The fighting ended on April 11, 1862.
- Location: The Battle of Fort Pulaski took place in Chatham County, Georgia.
- Who Won: The Union won the Battle of Fort Pulaski.
- Union forces on Tybee Island fired over 5,000 shells during the Battle of Fort Pulaski.
- The Union victory at the Battle of Fort Pulaski effectively strangled shipping to and from the port city of Savannah, Georgia for the remainder of the Civil War.
- Union Captain Quincy A. Gillmore’s use of rifled artillery during the Battle of Fort Pulaski revolutionized siege warfare.
- On April 13, 1862, two days after the surrender of Fort Pulaski, David Hunter created a firestorm in the North and the South by issuing General Order Number 7 (Department of the South), which freed all slaves on Cockspur Island, Georgia.
- On May 9, 1862, less than one month after the surrender of Fort Pulaski, David Hunter emancipated all slaves in Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.
- On May 19, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln rescinded David Hunter’s emancipation orders.
- The Battle of Fort Pulaski was part of the South Atlantic Blockade.
Principal Union Commanders
- Brigadier General Thomas W. Sherman
- Captain Quincy A. Gillmore
- Major General David Hunter
- Brigadier General Henry Washington Benham
Principal Confederate Commanders
- Colonel Charles H. Olmstead
Union Forces Engaged
- South Atlantic Blockading Squadron
- Port Royal Expedition Force
Confederate Forces Engaged
- Fort Pulaski Garrison
Number of Union Soldiers Engaged
- Roughly 10,000
Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged
- Roughly 361
Estimated Union Casualties
- One dead
Estimated Confederate Casualties
- 363 (2 wounded, 361 captured)
- Union victory
Captain Quincy A. Gillmore’s use of rifled artillery during the Battle of Fort Pulaski revolutionized siege warfare. The quick reduction of Fort Pulaski debunked the invincibility of thick-walled masonry forts. The Union victory catapulted Gillmore’s career and his reputation. Military experts at home and abroad soon exalted him as the first officer to use rifled artillery to reduce masonry fortresses that were formerly thought to be impregnable. Shortly after Gillmore’s success, the army promoted him to brigadier general in the volunteer army on April 28, 1862. In July 1863, Gillmore unsuccessfully used the same strategy and tactics to attempt to reduce Fort Wagner on Morris Island in Charleston Harbor.