First Battle of Savannah

Ah, the First Battle of Savannah. Not one of the wildly famous battles of the American Revolution, no, but it isn’t without its charm. Punching this one into Google sure yields precious little, but I’ll give you what I can find combined with what I remember from history class and hope for the best. About four thousand men, British and American, scrapping over a small town in Georgia. The British, outnumbering the Americans, take it and manage to hold on to it for a while, despite a later and unsuccessful attempt by the Americans to steal it back (the SECOND Battle of Savannah). There, that’s the abridged version.

You might want to read the American Revolution node if you don’t know much about the Revolutionary War. I don’t really feel like schooling you on the introductory details if you don’t know who the loyalists are and stuff like that. I’d rather jump right into things.


Okay, so we set the scene around 1778. We have British General Henry Clinton, in charge of the Union Jack’s military forces in America. He’s hanging around New York (the big British center of military activity at the time) and overseeing things there when orders come for him to take some troops and go occupy the South. Supposedly there’s a bunch of Loyalists kicking around down South and it looks like a place Britain might be able to get a nice foothold in. However, the problem is that General Clinton doesn’t want to remove too many of his men from the North, as that would leave things nice and open there to attack by George Washington and his American forces. So Clinton goes into a huddle with his advisors and after a great deal of whispering and such they scratch together a plan. They send 3500 soldiers on their merry way to Savannah, Georgia.

They do it like so. Forces from New York, led by Lt. Colonel Archibald Campbell, scoot down to Tybee Island. There they meet up with troops, led by Augustine Prevost, from St. Augustine. And down they all go to Savannah, Georgia to kick some colonial arse.

So the New York forces arrive in Savannah on December 28, 1778. They are met by the Americans, who are led by General Robert Howe. Howe’s got the local militia and some Continental soldiers fighting for him. Even so, he's only got about 700 men, which is nothing compared the 3500 of the British. Savannah is really bloody small and the invading British fleet more-or-less dances circles around them. The locals flee and the Americans do the only thing they really can—surrender and leave Savannah in the hands of the British. So it goes.

The score is as follows:
Americans83 dead, 450 captured.
British9 dead, 4 wounded.

And thus Britain enters the South, a-searching for Loyalist support. This, incidentally, Did Not Work Out in the long-run.

And pssst, if you notice any glaring errors /msg me! Thanks. =)

-my history class notes
-my poor addled brain.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.