Chapter 12 Georgia in the American Revolution



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Chapter 12

Georgia in the American Revolution

Georgia in the Early Days of the American Revolution

  • Although fighting had begun in Massachusetts in April 1775, months went by before there was any action in GA.

  • In 1776 a fleet of British navy vessels sailed into the Savannah River. The British wanted to buy rice for their troops on duty in the northern colonies but the Patriots who controlled Savannah thought the British were there to invade GA and put a stop to the resistance.

  • GA’s Patriots prepared to fight if necessary.

Georgia in the Early Days of the American Revolution

  • Georgia developed two parts in its military. A main part of the Patriot defense would be the militia, Georgia citizen soldiers who would be paid by the GA Patriot government.

  • GA also raised a battalion of over 700 men and officers called Continental troops.

  • Men from other colonies could join the Georgia Continental troops which were under the command of Colonel Lachlan McIntosh of Darian. Eventually other battalions were allowed , forming a brigade, and McIntosh was promoted to brigadier general.

Battle of the Rice Boats

  • Loyalists began leaving GA.

  • The British naval commander tried to convince GA Patriots that all he wanted was supplies, not a fight.

  • The British sailed to the backside of Hutchinson Island, and landed men.

  • These men marched across and boarded the rice boats. The Patriots sent men to take the sails so the rice boats couldn’t leave. They were captured by the British.

  • Patriot riflemen went into the river to shoot at the British. The first shots of the Revolution in GA had been fired.

Battle of the Rice Boats

  • That night the Patriots set fire to two boats, cut them loose, and sent them towards the rice boats. They hoped the burning boats would set the rice boats on fire. Only two caught fire and the British were able to move the others down the river, unload the rice onto their boats and sail away. With them was Governor Wright and most of the royal government of GA.

  • The battle was over. The Patriots thought they had saved Savannah. GA was now in the hands of the revolutionaries.

Establishing a State Government

  • With the royal government gone, the Patriots wanted a government that could run GA and keep law and order.

  • In April 1776, the provincial congress wrote a temporary constitution that made the provincial congress the official legislature and gave it most of the governmental power.

  • On August 8, a copy of the Declaration of Independence arrived in GA, where it was read in three locations in Savannah as they did in towns all over the colonies.

Declaration of Independence

  • We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--

Native Americans and the War

  • One of the major issues in GA throughout the war involved the Indians, who were caught between the warring whites, whose disagreements they did not entirely understand.

  • The British government was urged to make allies of the Indians and get them to fight in the war on the side of the British.

  • In the end, most, but not all, Indians who fought sided with the British, who wanted to keep the trade going.

Florida and the War in GA

  • Georgia Patriots wanted to fight for the Revolutionary cause. They thought that invading British Florida and possible capturing St. Augustine would not only help protect GA, but would also help the war for independence.

  • Florida raids into GA began. The GA militia made it the Florida border, fought some Florida Rangers and British soldiers there, then left to return to GA. It was mostly a failure.

  • The growing division among the Patriots in GA became a major problem. One group, centered in Savannah wanted to be independent from Britain. The other group wanted independence but also changes within GA that allowed ordinary people to have more say in the government.

The Constitution of 1777

  • GA needed a permanent state constitution and a reorganization of its government. A new constitution was written in 1777.

  • This made the twelve parishes into 8 counties. These counties took over the work of local government. They each had a sheriff to maintain the law, as well as tax collectors.

  • County officials were elected by eligible voters. All free white males over 21 who owned property worth 10 pounds or who had a trade or craft could vote. These requirements represented the view of the radical patriots (those who wanted the most change).

Questions for Your Chapter 12 Graded Question Sheet

  • Write on loose-leaf paper to be turned in (see syllabus for due date)

  • In _________ a fleet of British navy vessels sailed into the Savannah River.

  • Georgia developed two parts in its military. A main part of the Patriot defense would be the __________, Georgia citizen soldiers who would be paid by the GA Patriot government.

3) GA also raised a battalion of over _______ men and officers called Continental troops.

4) The British sailed to the backside of _____________, and landed men.

  • On August 8, a copy of the ____________________arrived in GA, where it was read in three locations in Savannah as they did in towns all over the colonies.

6) The British government was urged to make allies of the __________and get them to fight in the war on the side of the British.

7) Florida raids into GA began. The GA militia made it the Florida border, fought some _________and British soldiers there, then left to return to GA.

8) This made the twelve parishes into ____counties. These counties took over the work of local government. They each had a sheriff to maintain the law, as well as tax collectors.

Georgia in the Latter Part of the Revolution

  • In October 1777 the Americans won the Battle of Saratoga in New York. This victory was good for the morale of the Patriots. It also resulted in the Americans gaining a major ally in their fight—France.

  • In February 1778 France and the US signed a military alliance.

Another Invasion of FL

  • Georgia leaders planned yet another expedition to FL. All three attempts to invade FL were unsuccessful due to the troops becoming sick and exhausted in the heat and humidity. Also, the commanders were never in agreement about who was in charge.

The Fall of Savannah, Sunbury and Augusta

  • The British prepared for another invasion. Savannah was the first target. The troops invaded Savannah.

  • The British captured several hundred Patriots.

  • The British then captured Ft. Morris at Sunbury and took over command in Savannah.

The Battles at Kettle and Brier Creeks

  • The Patriots attacked a camp of British soldiers who were resting near Kettle Creek. The Patriots defeated the Loyalists here.

  • Later the Patriots set up camp near Brier Creek and were surprised by British forces. Most of the Patriots were captured.

  • Now the British held Savannah, the upper coast and the land up the Savannah River for many miles.

  • The Patriots controlled the lower coast and Augusta.

The Siege of Savannah

  • In September 1779, Georgia Patriots received some surprise help from France. The French Naval Commander arrived with 22 ships and 4,000 troops to recapture Savannah from the British.

  • The French began to bombard Savannah hoping to force the British to surrender. The French and Patriots decided to attack. Hundreds of French and Americans died.

  • The French retreated and sailed away.

  • Savannah remained under British control.

The War in the Backcountry

  • The British then began to attempt to capture the backcountry of both South Carolina and GA.

  • The Patriots were disorganized but hadn’t given up.

  • Homes were raided, families murdered and crops were burned.

Nancy Hart

  • Nancy Hart was a famous woman of the Revolution. Nancy gathered information for the Patriots on the activities of the Loyalists. In one story she went to Augusta dressed as a man when the British were occupying the town. Another told of her capture of several Loyalists. These Loyalists came to her cabin demanding food while Nancy’s husband was away. She and her daughter cooked while the Loyalists relaxed. Twice she sent her daughter out to get water. Her daughter actually blew on a large conch shell to warn her father and other Patriots that they needed to come to the cabin.

  • While the Loyalists ate, Nancy slowly began to remove their guns. One noticed and jumped to his feet. She pulled the gun on him and took them prisoner, killing one. She held them at gunpoint until her husband returned. They were hanged.

The Battles for Augusta

  • The Patriots made plans to recapture Augusta. Just when the Patriots thought they had the upper hand, the British called in reinforcements. The Battle was a British victory.

  • The Patriots invaded again with a new General and successfully took over Augusta once again.

The End of the War in GA

  • British General Cornwallis had some victories but several losses. General George Washington and French Commander Rochambeau came up behind Cornwallis. He was forced to surrender his whole army.

  • Great Britain decided that continued fighting was not in its best interest.

  • Loyalists and Patriots in GA continued to fight each other.

  • The British troops finally left GA and the Patriot Government took over. GA was finally finished with fighting.

  • GA began to rebuild their state, towns and their lives.

Questions for Your Chapter 12 Graded Question Sheet

  • Write on loose-leaf paper to be turned in (see syllabus for due date)

  • In October 1777 the Americans won the Battle of _________ in New York.

  • In February _______ France and the US signed a military alliance.

3) The British prepared for another invasion. _______ was the first target.

4) The British then captured Ft. Morris at _________ and took over command in Savannah.

  • The Patriots attacked a camp of British soldiers who were resting near _____ Creek.

6) The French Naval Commander arrived with 22 ships and ______ troops to recapture Savannah from the British.

7) _______was a famous woman of the Revolution.

8) British General ________ had some victories but several losses.



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