American Revolution in Georgia


 

By the begriming of the 1770's Georgia was the least populated of the 13 American colonies. Of the 50,000 inhabitants, half were slaves, and almost all of it's citizens were clustered near the coast. As events to the north began to lead to war with Britain, Georgia, for the most part, continued with business as usual. When the colonial representatives began convening The Continental Congress, Georgia reluctantly sent delegates. In 1776, this Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. The Georgians that signed this document were:

The early years of the American Revolution were quiet in Georgia. In 1778 new orders from London marked out the South as the main theater of war. British warships that had been sailing off the New York Harbor headed to the South Carolina and Georgia coast.

Major General Provost took Savannah with little resistance and converted the small community back to the British. For a brief time the Georgia assembly met under the authority of the British crown. Provost expanded his control of Georgia to Augusta and Sunbury, and with the Cherokees support in northwest Georgia he effectively controlled all of the state.

In South Carolina General Benjamin Lincoln put together a small force of locals to fight the British. In the summer of 1779 they contacted Admiral Valerie D'estaing, sailing in the French West Indies. Together they decided to attack Savannah. In early September D'estaing put in at the mouth of the Savannah River. His troops landed without opposition and probably could have walked into the city unopposed. Instead, D'estaing sent a demand for surrender to Provost in Savannah. Provost responded by quickening the pace at which he was strengthening the enforcements around the city. On October 9, 1779, the combined forces of Lincoln and D'estaing attack the city. Provost's men hold the line and as the attack is repelled, advance on the retreating army. From an initial force of 5000 men, by the end of the day over 800 French and American soldiers lay dead. (See The Siege and Battle of Savannah for in depth detail on the fighting)

A brief history of Georgia's Warwoman

When grading crews went out that fateful day in 1912 to work on the Elberton and Eastern Railroad, they could not know the effect they were about to have on Georgia History. These men were about to prove that a Georgian by the name of Nancy "Warwoman" Hart actually existed. Near a piece of property she once owned they uncovered the grave of six men from the late 1700's, probably British, and changed the way America viewed a woman whose exploits had grown to mythical proportions.

The first story about Nancy Hart appeared in the Milledgeville Southern Recorder in 1825.

"One day six Tories paid Nancy a call and demanded a meal. She soon spread before them smoking venison, hoe-cakes, and fresh honeycomb. Having stacked their arms, they seated themselves, and started to eat, when Nancy quick as a flash seized one of the guns, cocked it, and with a blazing oath declared she would blow out the brains of the first mortal that offered to rise or taste a mouthful! She sent one of her sons to inform the Whigs of her prisoners. Whether uncertain because of her cross-eyes which one she was aiming at, or transfixed by her ferocity, they remained quiet. The Whigs soon arrived and dealt with the Tories according to the rules of the times."

Over the years many historians began to debunk the stories of Nancy Hart. Finding the grave so close to Hart property gave the story such credence that today it is accepted as historical fact. On the northeast border with South Carolina, Hart County is the only county in Georgia named for a woman.

 

Excerpt: http://ngeorgia.com/history/nghistar.html

 

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The Military page Coordinators are   Margie Glover-Daniels and Chuck Pierce  and Gloria Holback 

  This site  was last updated 06/10/2004 09:32:38 AM CDT

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