by Chase Anderson – Savannah Cultural Heritage Tour Events
Not far from Savannah’s development-threatened Civil War defense works and battlefields is a city steeped in Civil War history. Hundreds of antebellum houses, buildings and churches abound with Civil War stories. The Savannah area has three historic forts once occupied by Confederate and Union forces, and miles of coastal channels where gunboats and ironclads sailed and slithered through the marshes, inlets and backwaters of historic Chatham County.
The Civil War is more than what happened on the killing fields of battle. The old city is woven with the stories of generals, planters and brokers, enslaved (and later free) West Africans who lived in the historic lanes. And there are the families — regardless of color or nationality — Savannah’s diverse multicultural population is another side to Civil War Savannah that is more than worth the time to explore.
Civil War Savannah is also a place where a grizzled Union General, William T. Sherman, and 60,000 Union troops entered in December of 1864. It is the Underground Railroad and Robert E. Lee. It is the sites of tragic slave auctions, and the stories of those who survived and endured. It is Laurel Grove and Bonaventure cemeteries, riverfront cotton warehouses and sunken ironclads. Savannah also brought Hollywood to town for the making of Civil War era films like “Roots” and “Glory.” Last year, Robert Redford returned to Savannah to film his new Civil War era movie, “The Conspirator.”
Civil War Savannah is also a modern grouping of diverse arts and historic organizations that are presenting special Civil War era programs over the next four years; including the Coastal Heritage Society, First African Baptist Church, the Georgia Historical Society, the Beech Institute, the Andrew Low House, the Green-Meldrim House and Ships of the Sea Museum. Dozens of local and coastal Georgia historical organizations and hundreds of individuals will engage the public over the next four years with Civil War Savannah exhibits, concerts, lectures, guided tours and a myriad of other Civil War cultural heritage events.
Civil War Savannah is many threads woven through and beyond the years 1861-65. It is a city brave enough to present an authentic Civil War past in tours and events that can reach through and across ethnic, class and political lines. Savannah, Georgia will undoubtedly surprise and enthrall Civil War and all cultural heritage visitors over the next four years.
Visit some of the many significant Civil War Savannah related organizations online:
Coastal Heritage Society/Old Fort Jackson:
Georgia Historical Society:
First African Baptist Church:
Andrew Low House:
Second African Baptist Church:
Savannah Area Convention and Visitors Bureau:
Ships of the Sea Museum: