USS Fort Jackson - History

USS Fort Jackson - History

Fort Jackson

A fortification on the Mississippi which surrendered to Rear Admiral Porter on 28 April 1862.

(SwStr: dp. 1,850; 1. 250'; b. 38'6"; dr. 18',s. 14 k.;
a. 1 100-pdr. r., 2 30-pdr. r., 8 9" sb.)

Fort Jackson, a side wheel steamer formerly named Kentucky and Union, was purchased by Rear Admiral Paulding for the Navy on 20 July 1863 and placed in commission on 18 August 1863, Captain Henry Walke in command.

On 2 September she departed New York for Fort Monroe where she was ordered to join with steamer Connecticut in intercepting a British arms shipment from Bermuda to Wilmington. While sailing from Bermuda on 16 September a boiler burned out and forced her to repair at New York

In December 1863 Fort Jackson was assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron to cruise off the Western Bar, Cape Fear, and the following month helped in destroying the grounded blockade runner Bendigo at Folly Inlet. In April, Captain B. F. Sands, her commanding officer, organized a boat expedition in which her crew crossed the bar to Masonboro Sound and destroyed valuable State salt works, and seized a number of prisoners.

The steamer captured the blockade runner Thistle in June and took the runner Boston as prize during the next month. The success of her voyage was heightened when in the same period she plucked drifting cotton bales and bags from the sea and sent them to Philadelphia for adjudication.

During October she was attached to the 2d Division North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and on 21 October captured CSS Wando attempting to run through with a cargo of cotton.

During December Fort Jackson fought in the battle off Wilmington and in the first bombardment of Fort Fisher (24-25 December) during which she covered troop landings and received on board the dead and wounded.

After loading supplies for the fleet at Fort Monroe and Norfolk, she returned in mid-January 1865 to cannonade Fort Fisher until its surrender on the 15th.

On 1 February she was transferred to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron, underwent repair at Pensacola and took up station on the Texas coast. She aided steamer Columbia in capturing the schooner Chaos off Galveston during April, and was present at the surrender of Forts Point and Magruder in June.

Fort Jackson returned to New York where she was decommissioned on 7 August and later sold.


Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson (Front)

Fort Jefferson was built to protect one of the most strategic deepwater anchorages in North America.


By fortifying this spacious harbor, the United States maintained an important “advance post” for ships patrolling the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida. Nestled within the islands and shoals that make up the Dry Tortugas, the harbor offered ships the chance to resupply, refit, or seek refuge from storms. The location of the Tortugas along one the world’s busiest shipping lanes was its greatest military asset. Though passing ships could easily avoid the largest of Fort Jefferson’s guns, they could not avoid the warships that used its harbor.

In enemy hands, the Tortugas would have threatened the heavy ship traffic that passed between the Gulf Coast (including New Orleans, Mobile and Pensacola) and the eastern seaboard of the United States. It could also serve as a potential staging area, or “springboard” for enemy forces. From here they could launch an attack virtually anywhere along the Gulf Coast.

Casemate Interiors Front 6 1937

A Powerful Deterrent

Poised to protect this valuable harbor was one of the largest forts ever built. Nearly thirty years in the making (1846-1875), Fort Jefferson was never finished nor fully armed. Yet it was a vital link in a chain of coastal forts that stretched from Maine to California. Fort Jefferson, the most sophisticated of these, was a brilliant and undeniable symbol that the United States wanted to be left alone. Though never attacked, the fort fulfilled its intended role. It helped to protect the peace and prosperity of a young nation.

During the Civil War, Union warships used the harbor in their campaign to blockade Southern shipping. The fort was also used as a prison, mainly for Union deserters. Its most famous prisoner was Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who set the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth.

Abandoned by the Army in 1874, the fort was later used as a coaling station for warships. In 1898, the USS Maine sailed into history, departing the Tortugas on its fateful mission to Havana, Cuba. Though used briefly during both world wars, the fort’s final chapter as “Guardian of the Gulf” had long since closed.

Click here to learn more about the preservation work that has been completed on Fort Jefferson.


USS Fort Jackson , a 1850-ton (burden) wooden side-wheel cruiser, was built at New York City in 1862 as the civilian steamship Union . The U.S. Navy purchased her in July 1863 and, after conversion to a warship, placed her in commission as USS Fort Jackson in August of that year. A boiler casualty kept her out of combat service until late in 1863, when she joined the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron. During the next year, Fort Jackson worked to enforce the blockade of the Confederate Atlantic coast. While performing this duty, she assisted in destroying the blockade runner Bendigo (3 January 1864) and captured the steamers Thistle (4 June), Boston (8 July) and Wando (21 October 1864).

In December 1864 and January 1865, Fort Jackson participated in the operations that finally captured Fort Fisher, North Carolina, thus ending blockade running into the port of Wilmington. She was transferred to the West Gulf Blockading Squadron in February 1865 and served off Texas until after the final surrender of Confederate positions there in June. USS Fort Jackson was decommissioned and sold in August 1865. She subsequently became commercial steamer North America and was not broken up until 1879.

This page features all the views we have related to USS Fort Jackson (1863-1865) and the civilian steamships Union and North America .

USS Fort Jackson (1863-1865)

Photographed during the Civil War, circa 1863-1865.

USS Fort Jackson (1863-1865)

Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1951, painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I.

"Second Attack upon Fort Fisher, showing the positions of the vessels, and the lines of fire", 13-15 January 1865

Chart by Walter A. Lane, published in "The Soldier in our Civil War", Volume II.
The positions of 58 ships are represented on the chart.

North America (American Steamship, 1862)

Watercolor by Erik Heyl, 1951, painted for use in his book "Early American Steamers", Volume I.
Built as the merchant steamer Union , this ship served as USS Fort Jackson during 1863-1865. After returning to civilian ownership, she was renamed North America .


Outer Banks Milepost System

Many newcomers to the Outer Banks who are browsing the local restaurants, shops and area attractions online or in the local guide books notice an interesting addition to the standard address. Besides the typical business name, street name, street number and town, many local businesses also include a Milepost number. This may initially appear to be an odd notation to include, but on the Outer Banks, this is incredibly helpful to new visitors on the lookout for a specific restaurant or shop.


USS Fort Jackson - History

The Jackson (LCS 6) is the third ship in the Independence-class littoral combat ships and the first ship in the United States Navy named for Jackson, Mississippi. Construction began on August 1, 2011, with the first cutting of aluminum at Austal USA's Modular Manufacturing facility in Mobile, Alabama. The keel was laid down on October 18, 2012.

December 5, 2013 The Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Jackson exited the assembly bay for the first time and was transported down river by two tugs, while sitting on a deck barge, to BAE Systems Southeast Shipyard for some exterior work.

December 14, The littoral combat ship was rolled onto dry-dock and launched into the water for the first time.

March 22, 2014 PCU Jackson was christened during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony at Austal USA Shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. Dr. Katherine Holmes Cochran, the daughter of U.S. Sen. William Thad Cochran, served as sponsor of the ship. The prospective commanding officer of the Blue crew is Cmdr. Michael B. Davies and Cmdr. Brian S. Amador is CO of the Gold crew.

June 26, 2015 LCS 6 returned to Mobile, Ala., after successfully completed acceptance trials in the Gulf of Mexico.

August 11, The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the PCU Jackson during a short ceremony at Austal USA Shipyard in Mobile, Ala.

November 30, The Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Jackson (Crew 203), commanded by Cmdr. Allen D. Adkins, departed Mobile for the last time en route to Gulfport, Miss.

December 5, USS Jackson was commissioned during a 10 a.m. CST ceremony at Berth 2, West Pier Terminal in Port of Gulfport.

December 11, USS Jackson moored at BAE Systems Jacksonville Ship Repair facility on Fanning Island, Florida, for a pre-shock trials emergent availability. The ship will remain at Naval Station Mayport throughout spring and summer of 2016, and will be ultimately homeported in San Diego.

February ?, 2016 Rotational LCS Crew 212 assumed command of the Jackson during a crew exchange ceremony on board the ship.

February 29, Cmdr. Patrick A. Keller relieved Cmdr. Michael B. Davies as CO of the LCS 6 (Crew 212).

March ?, 2016 USS Jackson moored at Wharf D4 on Naval Station Mayport.

June 10, The Jackson recently departed Mayport to conduct the first phase of full ship shock trials (FSST), in the Jacksonville Op. Area Conducted third and final FSST test on July 16.

August 31, USS Jackson (Crew 206) recently departed Mayport en route to its homeport of San Diego, California Brief stop at Bravo Wharf, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay to refuel on Sept. 4.

September 6, LCS 6 moored at Vasco Nunez de Balboa Naval Base for a three-day liberty port visit to Panama City after transiting Panama Canal.

September 15, USS Jackson moored at Cruise Pier in Port of Manzanillo, Mexico, for a three-day liberty visit.

September 22, USS Jackson moored at Berth 5, Pier 6 on Naval Base San Diego after a three-week transit from Mayport, Fla.

October 13, The Jackson returned to San Diego after a three-day underway off the coast of southern California.

December 9, The Rotational LCS Crew 212 (Blue) assumed command of the USS Jackson during a crew exchange ceremony on board the ship.

December 20, The Jackson recently moved from Berth 5, Pier 6 to Berth 5, Pier 5 on Naval Base San Diego.

January 12, 2017 USS Jackson moored at Navy Fuel Farm (NFF) on Naval Base Point Loma for a brief stop to refuel Underway for routine training from Jan. 17-19.

February 9, LCS 6 moored at Bravo Pier, Naval Air Station North Island for a brief stop to onload ammo before underway in the SOCAL Op. Area Returned home on Feb. 10.

February 23, USS Jackson moored at the newly-constructed fuel pier on Naval Base Point Loma for a brief stop to refuel before underway for routine training Moored at Berth 5, Pier 5 on Feb. 27 Underway again from March 13-21.

March 31, The Jackson moored at Berth 6, Pier 6 on Naval Base San Diego after a four-day underway off the coast of southern California Underway for Combat Systems Ship's Qualification Trials (CSSQT) on April 19 Moored at Wharf 311 on Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach for ammo onload from April 19-2? Brief stop at Bravo Pier before moored at Berth 5, Pier 5 on April 26.

May 4, USS Jackson returned to homeport after a one-day underway for SeaRAM missile test off the coast of Point Mugu Underway for Final Contract Trials (FCT) with the INSURV from May 17-18 Day-long underway on May 30 Underway en route to Portland, Ore., on June 5.

June 8, The Jackson moored at Pier 2E in Port of Astoria, Ore., just after midnight for a brief stop to refuel.

June 8, USS Jackson moored at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, Oregon, for a four-day port visit to participate in the annual Rose Festival.

June 15, The littoral combat ship moored at Berth 6, Pier 6 on Naval Base San Diego Moored at Bravo Pier for a brief stop to offload ammo before underway again on June 20 Returned home on June 21.

June 2?, USS Jackson moored pierside at the BAE Systems San Diego Ship Repair for a Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) Entered the Pride of San Diego Dry Dock on Sept. 12.

February ?, 2018 The Jackson undocked and moored pierside at BAE Systems shipyard Moored at Berth 5, Pier 5 in Naval Base San Diego on March 1?.

October 25, USS Jackson (Blue), commanded by Cmdr. David W. Walton, Jr., moored at NFF for a brief stop to refuel before moored at Berth 6, Pier 5 on Naval Base San Diego, after a one-day underway for sea trials.

January 22, 2019 LCS 6 moored at Bravo Pier, NAS North Island for a brief stop to onload ammo Underway again from Feb. 4-6.

February 21, USS Jackson moored at Berth 5, Pier 5 on Naval Base San Diego after a two-day underway off the coast of southern California Moved to Berth 1, Pier 5 on April 22.

May 3, The Rotational LCS Crew 213 (Blue), commanded by Cmdr. John P. Barrientos, assumed command of the Jackson during a crew exchange ceremony on board the ship.

May 30, The Jackson moored at Bravo Pier for a brief stop to onload ammunition Underway for Surface-to-Surface Missile Module (SSMM) testing, at the Point Mugu Test Range, from June 6-8 and June 10-13.

June 28, USS Jackson moored at Berth 6, Pier 6 on Naval Base San Diego after a four-day underway in the SOCAL Op. Area Underway again from July 1-3.

August 3, The Jackson moored at Berth 1, Pier 5 on Naval Base San Diego after a five-day underway in the SOCAL Op. Area Underway for SSMM testing from Aug. 7-12 Moored at Bravo Pier for a brief stop to onload ammo on Sept. 5 Underway again on Sept. 25 Conducted testing at the Point Mugu Test Range from Sept. 28-29 Returned home on Sept. 30 Underway again on Oct. 7.

From October 8-9 and Oct. 11, the Jackson conducted operations at the Point Mugu Test Range Moored at NFF for a brief stop to refuel before returned home on Oct. 15 Moored at Bravo Pier for a brief stop to onload ammo before underway again on Oct. 21.

October 24, USS Jackson moored at Berth 1, Pier 5 on Naval Base San Diego Underway again on Nov. 15 Conducted operations at the Point Mugu Test Range from Nov. 16-17 Returned home on Nov. 19.

December 20, The Rotational LCS Crew 204 (Gold), commanded by Cmdr. Karl Brandl, assumed command of the Jackson during a crew exchange ceremony on board the ship.

January 27, 2020 USS Jackson moored at Bravo Pier, NAS North Island for a brief stop to offload ammo Entered the floating dry-dock at NASSCO shipyard on March 1.

June 5, The Rotational LCS Crew 213 assumed command of the Jackson during a crew exchange ceremony on board the Floating Base Platform (YRBM) ?.

June 19, Cmdr. Stacy M. Wuthier relieved Cmdr. John P. Barrientos as CO of the LCS 6 (Blue) during a change-of-command ceremony at NASSCO shipyard.

August 28, The Rotational LCS Crew 204 assumed command of the Jackson during a crew exchange ceremony on board the Floating Base Platform.

September ?, USS Jackson undocked and moored at Berth 4 on NASSCO shipyard Underway for sea trials on Nov. 11 Moored at Berth 6, Pier 5 on Nov. 12.

March 10, 2021 USS Jackson moored at Berth 6, Pier 5 on Naval Base San Diego, around 8 a.m., after suffered an engineering casualty shortly after underway at 0720 local time Underway again on March 12 Moored at Wharf 311 on Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach for ammo onload from March 15-17 Returned home on Wednesday afternoon Underway again on April 5.

April 7, The Jackson moored at Bravo Pier on Naval Air Station North Island for a brief stop to onload ammo Moored at Berth 6, Pier 5 for a brief stop on April 11 Moored at NFF for a brief stop to refuel on April 14 Moored at Berth 6, Pier 6 on April 19.


Fort Jackson IDs trainee accused of hijacking school bus with Army-issued M-4

Surveillance video shows Fort Jackson trainee hijacking school bus

A trainee from Fort Jackson in South Carolina has been arrested after he fled from the base and hijacked a school bus while carrying his gun, officials said.

A trainee from Fort Jackson in South Carolina has been arrested after he fled from the base and hijacked a school bus while carrying his gun, officials said.

Fort Jackson's commander, Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr., said that the trainee, 23, was reported missing at about 7 a.m. Thursday, leading to a suspension of drills while the base scrambled to locate him. Authorities identified him later in the day as Pvt. Jovan Collazo.

Richland County deputies said at some point he abandoned his government-issued M-4 carbine rifle before they arrested him. The Army said he had no access to ammunition.

Prior to his arrest, the trainee had fled to nearby Highway 77, where he boarded a school bus and allegedly took control of it. He released the driver and the children on board.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Thursday that the suspect brought the kids to the front of the bus, and their questions frustrated him. The bus stopped shortly after that, letting off the 18 elementary school students and the driver.

None of the students or the bus driver was harmed during the incident, but schools in the area went into a "lockout" as a precaution, WIS News 10 reported.

The trainee then drove a mile further down the road before abandoning the bus and his rifle, officials said.

Fort Jackson officials have said they are cooperating fully with the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, which is leading the investigation and has Collazo in custody.

Beagle Jr. told reporters that base officials believe that the trainee escaped by jumping a fence, topped with barbwire, which was not heavily monitored. He said the area around the base is "heavily forested."

He also noted that the trainee’s actions open him up to disciplinary action, in addition to his civilian actions, such as going AWOL (absent without official leave) or theft of a weapon. Collazo's family has been informed of the serious charges against him, Fort Jackson said in a statement.

The base is also conducting its own investigation into the matter.

Trainees are not allowed to start weapons training until their fourth week, and they face "shakedowns" to make sure they have no ammo on them when they leave the firing range. The trainee had his gun but was a week away from even starting his training, according to officials.

Beagle Jr. said that the trainees often experience "a certain anxiety" in the early weeks after arriving at the base.

"He’s been in training only for three weeks at this point," Beagle Jr. told reporters at a news conference Thursday. Beagle Jr. also said that the trainee had been known to be "very quiet" and had no disciplinary actions prior to the incident.

"We believe he was just trying to make an attempt to go back home, nothing more sinister," he added.

Beagle Jr. noted only "a few times" in the past that trainees have actually fled from the base, but "never with a weapon."

He expects the trainee will be "separated permanently" from the service.

"Rarely will you see an individual let back in after an AWOL action," Beagle Jr. said. "That’s not in line with our Army values, and you’ll see that individual separated permanently."


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Collazo slipped away after a morning exercise session, while his fellow trainees were cleaning up before breakfast, said Fort Jackson spokeswoman Leslie Sully.

/>Jovan Collazo, a trainee at Fort Jackson, S.C., was arrested and charged with dozens of crimes after authorities say he boarded a South Carolina school bus with a gun Thursday, May 6, 2021, and held the driver and elementary students hostage before letting them off the bus. (Richland County Sheriff’s Department)

Collazo was attempting to return home, but after failing to hitch a ride on Interstate 77, he got on the school bus at one of its designated stops, according to Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.

He told the driver he didn’t want to hurt anyone, but he wanted to be taken to the next town, Army Times previously reported.

He became frustrated and let the children and bus driver out before driving away. A few miles later, he abandoned both the rifle and the bus and went off in search of clothes in a nearby neighborhood, Lott added.

Police found him and he was arrested without incident.

Beagle is coordinating with subordinate leaders at Fort Jackson to assess force protection and personnel accountability measures to prevent future incidents, according to post officials.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is the lead agency in the investigation, but Fort Jackson has initiated an investigation, as well.

Collazo has been in jail since he was arrested on two dozen charges, including 19 counts of kidnapping.


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Soon, he became frustrated and let the children and bus driver out and drove away. A few miles later, he abandoned both the rifle and the bus and went off in search of clothes in a nearby neighborhood, Lott added. Police found him and he was arrested without incident.

/>An Army trainee hijacked a school bus near Fort Jackson. (Photo via Richland County School District 2 Facebook)

Lott added that the bus driver is to be credited with keeping the children protected and de-escalating the situation.

Trainees like Collazo are issued rifles in preparation for marksmanship training, said Sully.

But they do not have access to ammunition “until they are on a designated marksmanship range,” she said.

Collazo, a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry Regiment, had not yet been to a marksmanship range or had access to ammunition. He arrived at Fort Jackson the second week of April and was in his third week of basic training with his unit.

Fort Jackson commander Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., convened leaders from across the installation “to assess force protection, personnel accountability, and any additional measures to prevent any future incidents,” Sully said. “The entire Fort Jackson team continues to communicate and work with Army headquarters leadership to immediately implement changes that ensure the safety of Fort Jackson and our local community.”

/>Fort Jackson Commander Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle speaks to reporters onMay 6, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. (Stephen Fastenau/The Post And Courier via AP)

In addition to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, which is the lead agency in the investigation, Fort Jackson leadership has initiated their own investigation and continues to work with the sheriff’s department, Sully noted.

“His next of kin have been notified that Collazo committed a serious offense and remains in the custody of local law enforcement pending . charges,” Sully said.


History

This fortification is located on the Savannah River, just 3 miles east of the city. It was constructed in 1808 as part of President Thomas Jefferson's Second System coastal defense initiative and named after Revolutionary War patriot James Jackson. This brick fort was constructed over an old earthen battery from the Revolutionary War which had been called "Mud Fort." Soldiers were stationed at Fort James Jackson to guard Savannah during the War of 1812. Following the War of 1812, two periods of construction continued expansion of the fort from the 1840s-1850s, prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War.

Local Confederate militia units occupied the fort at the start of the Civil War in 1861. In 1862, it became the headquarters for Savannah's river defenses after the fall of Fort Pulaski. In 1864 the Confederate troops quickly evacuated Fort Jackson just prior to the arrival of federal troops under the leadership of General William Tecumesh Sherman after his infamous "March to the Sea," leaving Fort Jackson under control of federal troops. The last American soldiers to be stationed at Fort Jackson were members of the 55th Massachusetts, an African- American unit of the Federal Army.

The War Department abandoned the fort in 1905 and the state of Georgia reopened it in 1965 as a maritime museum. After the state decided to close the museum in 1975, the newly formed nonprofit Coastal Heritage Society approached the State in 1976 asking permission to re-open and operate the site, which was granted. The historic site was now referred to as Old Fort Jackson. In 1978, Fort Jackson and CHS came under the leadership of Scott W. Smith. Operation continued to grow with modest success as did development of educational programming for regular guests and student field trips.

Currently, Old Fort Jackson has a successful model of independent operation and a solid reputation of delivering high-quality, engaging educational programming for booked groups. This program offering has been expanded to regular operation for daily museum guests and includes cannon, musket firings and other interactive & hands-on activities.


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