On January 27, 1863, the Union launched a major naval assault against Ft. McAllister, Georgia. With control of the fort, the Union navy would be able to interdict commerce from the interior to the coast. It would also be able to threaten the critical, Confederate port of Savannah.
The attack represented the first time in history that an ironclad ship, the Montauk*, was used against a fortified position on land. The exchange of fire between ironclad and fort would last five hours before the Montauk withdrew.
The Union Navy would continue to harass Ft. McAllister for the next several months. Nonetheless, the fort withstood the Union barrage until General William Tecumseh Sherman reached nearby Savannah on December 10, 1864.