Record ID: 152

Site Name

Savannah

Type

Seaport - American

Description

city (1990 pop. 137,560; 2000 pop. 131,510), (cap.) Chatham co., SE Ga., a port of entry on the Savannah R. 18 miles upstream from its mouth; 32�01'N 81�08'W. A RR, fishing, and industrial center, it is a leading Southern port for the import and export of a wide variety of goods. The port of Savannah is connected by RR and interstate roads to the rest of the country. A 985 acres container berth terminal was available to shipping in 1996 at the Garden City Terminal. The Ocean Terminal is a 208 acres facility. Tourism is becoming increasingly important as a major industry of Savannah. Savannah is Georgia�s oldest city; it was founded by James Oglethorpe in 1733 and served as the colonial capital. During the Amer. Revolution the British took Savannah on Dec. 29, 1778, and held it until July 1782. A land-sea force of French and Americans tried to retake the city in 1779, first by siege and then by direct assault (on Oct. 9), but failed dismally. Savannah was the state capital 1782�1785. With the growth of trade, and esp. after the invention of the cotton gin and the construction of RRs extending to the cotton fields of central Ga., the city became a rival of Charleston as a commercial center. The first steamship to cross the Atlantic, the Savannah , sailed from there to Liverpool in 1819. In the Civil War, Fort Pulaski, on Cockspur Isl. near the mouth of the Savannah R., was captured by Federals in 1862, but the city did not fall until Dec. 21, 1864, when Sherman entered. The original design of the city included a series of public squares surrounded by homes and important bldgs. (churches, mansions, schools). This area now forms the largest historic district in the U.S. on the Natl. Register.