June 5

American Patriots Capture Augusta

June 5, 1781 - Augusta, Savannah

Georgians might have been speaking with a different accent had it not been for a key Patriot victory in Augusta during the American Revolution.

In 1778, the British launched their southern campaign, hoping to break the stalemate in the northern states and rally loyalists to their cause. Savannah fell and later, Charleston. Augusta then became hotly contested, changing hands several times until captured in 1780 by Thomas Brown, a fierce Loyalist. But in 1781, General Nathanael Greene sent Andrew Pickens and Lt. Col. “Light Horse Harry” Lee to assist the Georgia Patriots in recapturing Augusta. The Loyalists finally surrendered after a two-week siege — a critical victory for the Patriots.

Since Savannah remained in British hands, even after their surrender at Yorktown, the taking of Augusta gave American peace negotiators leverage. They were able to insist that Georgia be part of the new United States thanks to the Patriots capture of Augusta on June 5, 1781, Today in Georgia History.