Named for James Jackson, the fort is the oldest standing fort in Georgia. The fort was manned almost continuously during the first months of the War of 1812, when British privateers were setting fire to American sloops and schooners just off the coast of Georgia. Residents of Savannah turned to old Fort Jackson for protection from the Union Navy during the Civil War. During the next 40 years the fort saw limited use, eventually being de-commissioned in 1905. Today the fort is owned and run by the Coastal Heritage Society.