Historic Savannah is beautiful, with azaleas blooming in brilliant pinks, reds and purples, and dogwood trees blossoming and so much more. So it’s worth visiting in springtime for its natural beauty alone. But, there’s more!
If you enjoy walking paths, gorgeous trees and fragrant flowers, be sure to stroll through Forsyth Park, the largest park in the historical district, one planned out by General James Oglethorpe in the eighteenth century. In 1779, this plot of land was located just outside of the British defenses of Savannah, and this peaceful ground was also where French and American allies camped during bloody fighting of the Revolutionary War.
In 1858, a stunning fountain was added to the park in the style of one located in the Place de la Concorde in Paris. And, if you stand by the fountain, this is very near where French forces began to dig trenches to approach British earthworks during the Revolutionary War.
Confederate War Memorial
The Confederate War Memorial located in Forsyth Park is one of the largest Confederate monuments in the country, located in the park because soldiers practiced drills there. The monument consists of a bronze soldier on a sandstone base and a poignant raised relief where a widow grieves while surrounded by four winged angels. The woman is sitting beneath a weeping willow tree, a tree that has often been used to symbolize survival during great loss.
The monument faces north, following the tradition of having a war monument face the enemy, and is surrounded by an iron fence. Busts of two heroes located within the fence are tributes to Major General Lafayette McLaws and Brigadier General Francis S. Barlow.
Money began being collected for this monument in 1868 by the Savannah’s Ladies Memorial Association. It took them six years to raise $10,000 and it was important to them that no Northern materials were used in its construction and that no Northern workers participated in creating it. Initially unveiled in 1875, the bronze soldier was not included. Instead, two statues labeled Judgment and Silence were featured, with Victorian trim included for embellishment.
Citizens did not like the design, so the trim was removed and the Silence status was moved to the Laurel Grove Cemetery near soldiers killed at Gettysburg, while Judgment was sent to a Thomasville, Georgia cemetery. The revised statue featuring the soldier was unveiled in 1879. Here’s more.
Walking Tours of Savannah
As you walk through historic Savannah, history is everywhere – sometimes obviously so, with other echoes of yesterday more subtle. For more insight, we recommend going on a walking tour of Savannah. We offer several choices of group tours, as well as private walking tours of historic Savannah.
One of our group tours focuses on the city’s architecture, led by an accredited architect. We recently blogged on that subject; here’s an overview:
More than 40 percent of the 2,500 buildings inventoried in the city have architectural and/or historical significance – which is also remarkable, especially since renovations have typically taken place one building at a time, by one person at a time. This information was collected and published by the well-respected Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) – and, to quote the Savannah Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, “From the simple Colonial style to the intricate Medieval-influenced cathedrals, to the gingerbread accents of the Victorian period; examples of most, if not all, of the nation’s 18th and 19th century prevailing architectural styles can be found in Savannah.”
Book your tours today!