Georgia Genealogy & History

Editor: Jeannette Holland Austin

www.georgiapioneers.com Volume No. 2 Issue No. 6 June 2006

FREE Georgia Genealogy Research in 2006 to New Subscribers of www.georgiapioneers.com

First Battle of Augusta: Revolutionary War

On January 31, 1779, Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell captured Augusta. For awhile, the British strategy in the South appeared successful. Fourteen Hundred men rallied to sign up for the royal militia in Augusta. By mid-summer Governor Sir Hames Wright returned to restore the province to the crown. The privilege exempted them from being taxed.  Georgia was the only one of thirteen rebelling states to be restored to royal allegiance.

Pvt. Alexander Smith had recently helped to construct Ft. Kiokee in Columbia County when he volunteered as an infantryman under Captain Hugh Middleton. As the British were preparing their assault, Pvt. Smith skirmished with the British on Spirit Creek, about 10 miles below Augusta.

Among those who rendezvoused on the Little River with Colonel Elijah Clarke was Pvt. Charles Jordan;. Lieutenant Daniel Conner, serving under Captain Micajah Williamson and Colonel Elijah Clarke, was wounded in the right knee. Pvt. Samuel Whatley serving under Colonel Elijah Clarke was shot in the left arm which resulted in loss of bone.  He painful wound caused him to lose the use of his hand. Even so, he fought in the battle of Long Cane on December 10, 1781 where he was again wounded and taken prisoner for four or five months.  When he returned home he had wounds all over him.  His wife testified in his pension application that he was loyal to the Whig cause and before he reached majority was twice frozen, once hung, and shot twice in the defense of liberty.

Present: Pvt. John Sharpe, Pvt. Ezekiel Cloud, Pvt. William Evans of Colonel Marbury’s Regiment, Sgt. John Fluker who’d fought at the first battle of Savannah under Captain Lachlan McIntosh and Colonel Joseph Habersham; Pvt. Thomas Leverett who had also protected the frontier; Pvt. Cornelius Whittington in Colonel Hammond’s Regiment;

After the siege, Jonathan Jones rendevoused with the troops on Little River in Wilkes County. Pvt. Joel Darcey was captured by the Tories when he was sent by Colonel John Twiggs to fetch some ground corn and carried to Savannah where he was kept as a prisoner from January to April of 1779 when he was released.  To avoid recapture, he traveled by moonlight in the woods until he came to Hudson’s Ferry on the Savannah River.  He saw a man that he knew from Glynn County who recognized him and told Captain Stephen Johnson.  The starving soldier was ferried across the river and fed. He rejoined Colonel Twiggs, Captain David Imanuel and William Young and about 30 men mounted on horses, and headed to the Ogeechee River where they captured a British store.  Then, they retreated to Butler’s plantations, taking prisoners with them.  About 2:00 in the afternoon a force of about 39 men led by Captain Muller and Lieutenant Swanton attacked the plantation.

The British received prisoners in Augusta.  James Langham was taken prisoner at Charleston on May 12, 1780 where he remained for six months before making his escape. However, he was recaptured by the tories and delivered to the British in Augusta where he remained six or eight months before escaping again and finding Colonel Samuel Hammond where the following year he fought at the battle of Eutaw Springs.

Second Siege of Savannah: September 3, 1779

Governor Wright scarcely had time to resume his political duties when a French fleet of twenty-five ships suddenly appeared off the Georgia coast.  The commander was Count Charles Henri d’Estaing who planned to recapture Savannah before returning to France. His army of over 4,000 troops disembarked on the Vernon River and proceeded to besiege Savannah.  D’Estaing demanded the surrender of Savannah on September 16th, but General Augustine Prevost asked for 24 hours before giving his answer.  In the meanwhile, 800 redcoats were enroute from Beaufort, South Carolina.  After they arrived, Prevost declined to surrender.

October 9, 1779, General Benjamin Lincoln joined the French allies, bringing his army from South Carolina to assault the British lines on October 9, 1779. But they suffered heavy casualties, while the British had few.  During the heat of the battle, Count Casimir Pulaski, a Polish nobleman who’d volunteered to fight the cause of liberty, died in front of the men he’d led.  Also dead was Sgt. William Jasper, the hero of the 1776 Battle of Ft. Moultrie.  Thus, the battered French army withdrew its ships and Lincoln’s troops returned to Charleston.

Digital Copies Project:

www.georgiapioneers.com plans to digitize the oldest estate records.  This is a long term project and the goal  is to locate  originals and documents which were not filmed during the 1950s. As we all know, Sherman destroyed many of our earliest records.  However, ledgers are showing up in attics and antique shops!  Luckily, the clerk of court sometimes took the ledgers home to work on. 

New Additions

Glynn County Loose Original Wills 1809-1845 (digital images); Glynn County Wills & Appraisements 1856-1866; McIntosh County Wills 1845-1915 (digital images); McIntosh County Estates 1887-1914 (digital images)

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…..Jeannette Holland Austin