Following the War of 1812, President James Madison ordered a new system of coastal fortifications to protect the United States against foreign invasion. Construction of a fort to protect the port of Savannah began in 1829. In 1833, the new fort was named Fort Pulaski in honor of Kazimierz Pulaski, a Polish soldier and military commander who fought in the American Revolution under the command of George Washington. Pulaski was a noted cavalryman and played a large role in training Revolutionary troops. He took part in the sieges of Charleston and of Savannah.
Fort Pulaski was finally completed in 1847 following 18 years of construction and nearly $1,000,000 in construction costs.Walls were eleven feet thick, thought to be impenetrable except by only the largest land artillery- which at the time were smooth bore cannon. These cannons had a range of only around a half mile, and the nearest land (Tybee island) was much further away than that. It was assumed that the Fort would be