SAVANNAH Georgia (June 12, 2013) — Was it in June or July that American independence from Great Britain began in Savannah, Georgia — an All-American city?
June and July are grand holiday times for an Independence Day celebration in this grand, patriotic American city — an historical place where American independence was fought and won. Savannah USA, on the Georgia Coast!
The British began leaving Savannah on June 20, 1782. The “United Colonies” — a term spoken by George Washington — had won! On June 20, 1782, Congress also adopted the Great Seal of the United States of America.
No need to be a by-stander here! Green Palm Inn bed and breakfast will point out the All-American spots to savor America’s most beautiful city. Psst! Don’t miss July 4th fireworks on the waterfront!
WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN SAVANNAH BETWEEN JULY 4, 1776 AND JULY 11, 1782?
Have you thought much about what transpired in the six years between the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 to when the British troops evacuated Savannah on July 11, 1782?
- We re-read the Declaration of Independence, dated July 4, 1776. We notice the “u” is lower case — “Declaration of united States of America….” Though a mighty wish for independence, does the typography tell us that union was hoped for, but that the “United Colonies” perhaps was chiseled only in George Washington’s mind?
- We read of the stalwart men who became Georgia colony signers of the Declaration of Independence — Button Gwinnett, Lymon Hall, and George Walton. Button Gwinnett is buried in Colonial Cemetery, downtown Savannah. Downtown Savannah streets — Gwinnett and Hall — are named to honor those two men of history.
Surely along the Georgia coast of America’s 13th Colony, we honor the Revolutionary War Battle of Savannah — December 29, 1778. A statue honoring Sergeant William Jasper is found along Bull Street in Madison Square. In Tricentennial Park Sites there is Battlefield Park, Savannah History Museum. Historical markers dot the downtown Savannah landscape. Old Fort Jackson (once called Fort Mud) is just east off President Street on a small island.
- We read of the Patriots in Georgia — the ones reportedly who tarred, feathered and carted loyalists raiders (Kings Rangers) about the city in a wagon for hours. Resource: Voices from Colonial America: Georgia 1629-1776 by Michael Burgan, National Geographic
- Known affectionately as the Liberty Boys, three of the Habersham family patriots called today’s famous The Olde Pink House restaurant his family’s mansion home — John, Joseph, and James Jr. The mansion of one revolutionary brothers overlooks Reynolds Square. Reportedly, the ghost of James Habersham Jr., is said to visit the mansion still.
- We read of the French who became the mighty ally to America’s independence seekers. General Marquis de Lafayette was George Washington’s Aide de Camp and representative of the French allies in the War for American Independence.
- In 1824 the returning hero Lafayette spoke from the balcony of Telfair Museums’ Owens-Thomas House, located on Oglethorpe Square. The mansion is open for tours. Lafayette Square is named to honor General Lafayette.
- In Savannah on October 9, 1779, was one of the bloodiest battles of the American Revolution. “Arrayed in the opposing armies that day were soldiers of many lands — American Continentals, Grenadiers of Old France, Irishmen in the service of King Louis XVI, Polish Lancers, French Creoles, and Negro volunteers from Haiti, fighting for American Independence against English Redcoats, Scotch Highlanders, Hessians, Royalist provincials from New York, Tory militia, armed slaves, and Cherokee Indians.” Source: ColonialAmerica.com
“EVACUATION DAY: JULY 11, 1782”
In the RevolutionWarArchives.org we discovered this excerpt under the title “Evacuation Day: July 11, 1782“:
[In Savannah, 1782] “… June 20 the British and Hessian soldiers moved the whole of their heavy regimental baggage to the waterside below Fort Prévost.** From June 22 to June 23 they began ferrying the heavy baggage down the Savannah River to Tybee Island in large boats and schooners.”
Fort Prévost, we discover, is the remnants of “The Old Fort”, located at East Broad and Bay Street. Today tourists and locals dine in The Pirates’ House restaurant, and attend weddings and entertainment functions at Charles H. Morris Center. Both are situated on the Old Fort grounds.
Fort Prevost –“Built on the Trustee Garden, dating back to 1733, by the English after they captured the city in 1779. Named for [the British brigadier general] Augustine Prévost. Other names applied to forts in this area include Fort Halifax, Fort Savannah, and Fort Wayne.” Source: OurGeorgiaHistory.com
Interestingly, Augustine Prévost was born to a French Huguenot family that was originally from Poitou, France. His brother Mark was dispatched also to take part also in the Seige of Savannah. After the British evacuated, Fort Prévost was renamed to Fort Wayne, honoring “Mad” Anthony Wayne. It was Continental General Anthony Wayne, who on January 19, 1782, arrived in Georgia, crossing the Savannah River on horseback with orders to rid the state of the British in spite of being outnumbered 2 or 3 to 1.
As you see, in Savannah we cherish daily life that includes our rich American history. It could be said that our “Hostess City of the South” is part socialite and part doting historian — the one who invites you in to see and sense, to be in the moment and in the places where America’s history still takes place every day!
Aren’t you ready to declare a few days of independence and ramble about this All-American city where USA independence was won? Come discover Savannah’s rich city of heroes and historical places.
It’s truly one of America’s choicest lands of liberty here along the Georgia coast. We love it and want to share it with you.
“The blood which flowed from the suffering patriots of that day, should never be forgotten; and the precious jewel which was purchased by it, should be preserved with courage and remembered with gratitude, by succeeding generations.” — Hugh McCall ((1767-1823), author of first history of Georgia. He is buried in Colonial Cemetery in downtown Savannah.
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