Historic Markers Across Georgia

Hot Shot Furnace

Marker ID: NPS 
Location: at Fort Pulaski NM located on Cockspur Island and the end of Fort Pulaski Rd, north of US 80, Savannah, GA.
County: Chatham
Coordinates: N 32° 1.655    W 080° 53.405
  32.02758333    -80.89008333
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMKQ97
Hot Shot Furnace Marker  


Only the foundation remains of one of the fort's furnaces which heated cannon balls. Used against wooden ships, the red-hot projectiles could start a disastrous fire- even after skipping on the water several times.

Loading a cannon with hot shot required special precautions. The paper powder bag, double thick, was inserted first. Hay wadding, first dry, then wet, served as a buffer between powder and cherry-red projectile. Wet clay was then often placed ahead of the shot.

( Above illustrations of a fork for hot shot and tongs : )
Tools such as these were used to handle the hot cannon balls.

It took about thirty minutes to heat a 32-pounder shot in a hot furnace. More than 60 rounds could be prepared at one time.

The invention of the ironclad ship, along with the widespread use of exploding shells, made hot shot obsolete.


Hot Shot Furnace


More information:
NPS: Fort Pulaski NM
Wikipedia: Fort Pulaski National Monument
Civil War in GA: Federals attack Ft Pulaski
CWSAC: Fort Pulaski