Fort McAllister Interpretive Park Ranger Trevor Johnston called them “solemn voices from the wilderness.”
Johnston was speaking to a group at the fort's Memorial Day observance Saturday and was referring to those who gave their lives in defense of Fort McAllister between 1861 and 1864.
“For the love of country, they accepted death,” he said. On Dec. 13, 1864, the day the fort fell to the ground troops of Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, an estimated 71 Confederate and 134 Union soldiers were killed as the northern soldiers fought to take the fort and the southern soldiers fought to keep it.
The Memorial Day observance normally attracts several hundred visitors who come to pay homage to the soldiers who died there while also learning about the hardships the soldiers faced on a daily basis.
This year was no different as visitors gathered at the fort Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for living history demonstrations and cannon and musket firings.
“I liked hearing the rifles get fired and the cannon get fired,” said 7-year-old Bobby Timmis. “It was cool.”
Period musical entertainment was provided by the Clyo-based singing group Three Fold Chord.