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Today in Georgia History
is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.

September 16

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Siege of Savannah

September 16, 1779 - Savannah

On September 16, 1779, the Siege of Savannah began during the American Revolution.

Captured in December 1778, Georgia was the only colony the British re-conquered. The following September, America's new French allies anchored a fleet of 47 ships offshore carrying 5,000 soldiers, including 500 Haitians.  Their commander, Admiral Charles–Hector d'Estaing, linked up with American General Benjamin Lincoln's Continental soldiers, demanding that British Commander Augustine Prevost and his 2,500 Redcoats surrender the city. The British general asked for 24 hours to consider the demand. The Allies, unwisely, said yes.  After 800 British reinforcements arrived, Prevost refused to surrender. The Allies bombarded the city before launching a frontal assault on the British lines in October. It failed badly. 

In one of the war's bloodiest and costliest battles, the 700-plus Allied casualties included Polish volunteer Count Pulaski, and Patriot Sgt. William Jasper, who died trying to raise the fallen flag.

The British held Savannah three more years, after the siege that began on September 16, 1779, Today in Georgia History.

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Fast Fact

The Siege of Savannah is remembered each year on October 11 as General Pulaski Memorial Day, named in honor of the Polish volunteer killed in combat.