National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center in Columbus, Georgia
5 Places to Explore Military History in Georgia
Georgia has a rich military history. There are numerous sites to visit throughout the state to learn about the battles fought near and far, as well as many events you can attend to honor those who have served. The sites and events on this list commemorate the history of multiple conflicts.
Andersonville National Historic Site in Andersonville
Known as Camp Sumter during the Civil War, Andersonville was a prisoner of war camp run by the Confederacy. When the camp was liberated in 1865, there were 31,000 prisoners held there.
Today, you can walk the perimeter of the 26.5-acre site and learn about its history as part of a self-guided tour. The site is also home to the Andersonville National Cemetery, which includes 13,000 graves, and the National Prisoner of War Museum, which chronicles the plight of American prisoners of war in all periods.
Atlanta History Center
Explore the history of the Civil War at the Atlanta History Center in an extensive gallery featuring the story of the disagreement from both sides. "Turning Point: The American Civil War" has more than 1,500 original artifacts from soldier and civilian life during the Civil War. Special attention is paid to the Atlanta campaign.
The Atlanta Cyclorama was moved to its new home inside a recently built 23,000-square-foot building on the campus. When it opens to the public in 2019, the space will also house the restored 1856 Texas locomotive and enhanced displays about that point in history.
National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center in Columbus
See the stories of valor throughout the history of the United States come alive at this world-class museum. The immersive experience covers all of the nation's wars and has special exhibits featuring the story of Army Rangers. When you visit the National Infantry Museum, be sure to make time to stop at the nearby National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus.
Fort Pulaski in Savannah
Construction on a fort at the mouth of the Savannah River began in 1829. Its construction was eventually completed under the command of Second Lieutenant Robert E. Lee (yes, that Robert E. Lee). Named after Kazimierz Pulaski, a Polish soldier who fought under George Washington during the Revolutionary War and was responsible for training troops, the fort has 11-foot-thick walls, which were considered at the time of its completion in 1847 to be nearly impenetrable.
The fort was the site of a battle during the Civil War. It was declared a national monument in 1924 by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, whose own great-great-grandfather was an officer during the Revolutionary War.
Today, Fort Pulaski is known as Fort Pulaski National Monument. There are educational programs and guided tours for visitors to experience as well as a six-mile rails-to-trails path open to bikers, runners and walkers.
Old Fort Jackson in Savannah
Located just two miles from Savannah proper, Old Fort Jackson is the oldest standing brick fort in Georgia. It was constructed during the first part of the 19th century over an old Revolutionary War battery. During that time, the British captured land in the area, which led to Savannah being under British rule until 1782. During the Civil War, Old Fort Jackson served as a post for fighting the Union soldiers during Sherman’s March to the Sea.
Today, the National Historic Landmark offers daily cannon firings and plenty of space for children and adults to explore. There is a gift shop, and visitors can use purchase a combination ticket to explore the site and Coastal Heritage Society museums during their time in Savannah.
Many events honor local military history throughout the year in Georgia's communities. One of the oldest has been going on for nearly 100 years. On the first Saturday of August, Alpharetta and the American Legion celebrate soldiers from all of America's wars during Old Soldiers Day. The day begins with a patriotic band concert, followed by a memorial service and a parade honoring veterans. The festivities are rain or shine.