When political dissent evolved into armedrevolution in America, Oglethorpe's colonyhad only been in existence for four decades. Georgians confronted the same political andeconomic issues associated with Britishtaxation as the more established colonies. Ageneral deterioration of Royal authorityintensified when news of armed resistance at Lexington and Concord (Massachusetts)reached Savannah in May 1775. On July 4,1775, Georgia's second provincial congressconvened to determine the colony's future.Delegates decided that Georgia would join the other 12 colonies to unite against the British Crown.
(Pictures included ;Sons of Liberty at Tondee's Savannah Tavern,"American Liberty"-American Flag Flown Over Georgia & HMS Rose)
HMS Rose was a 6th rate frigate stationed in Savannahduring the British Occupation. The Rose was in the river below Savannah to obstruct navigation when the French fleetarrived in September 1779.
Battle of the Rice Boats
In January 1776, Royal navy vessels entered the SavannahRiver. Captain Andrew Barkley only proposed to purchasesupplies, but Savannah Whigs flatly refused. Barkley sailed upriverand through Back River capturing 26 merchantmen at the northwestend of Hutchinson Island. Georgia malitia frustrated the raid, but the rice boats were captured. Americans torched several in hopes thatthe burning craft would drift into the British anchorage. Despitetheir valiant efforts, Barkley made his way downstream through theBack River with the prize vessels in tow.
British Attack on Savannah December 28, 1778
By 1778, the British altered their strategy to subdue theAmerican rebellion. An army of over 3,000 British regulars, Germanmercenaries and American Loyalists sailed from New York to captureSavannah. Under the command of Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell, theexpedition would use the city as a base of operations against Patriotforces in the South. The British advance into Savannah was virtuallyuncontested by the surprised Georgia Continentals. For the durationof the war in America, Savannah was an occupied city.
American Attempt to Liberate Savannah
On September 11, 1779, American forces under command ofGen. Benjamin Lincoln and Count Casimir Pulaski rendezvousednorthwest of Savannah. The following day, Count Charles-Henrid' Estaing's French fleet debarked 3,200 French, Irish and Haitian soldiers who marched on Savannah to support the American attack. Allied forces chose to lay siege to the city and and unleashed a five-day bombardment. Unfortunately, there was little damage to the British defenses. Savannah remained under British control for morethan six months after Gen. Cornwallis surrendered to Gen. GeorgeWashington at Yorktown, Virginia in October 1781.