Georgia As early as July 10, 1775, Captain Bowen, commanding a Georgia armed schooner carrying ten carriage guns and many swivels, manned by a detachment of fifty picked men, captured a British armed schooner arriving from London, at the mouth of the Savannah River. The British ship was commanded by Captain Maitland and had, besides other military stores, 14,000 pounds of gunpowder. 5,000 pounds were shipped to Philadelphia to be used by the American army at Bunker Hill; 5,000 pounds were kept for the military forces in Georgia and South Carolina. Observations of a Loyalist:
“It will be observed that the war which had opened in Massachusetts was steadily drifting southward. Great campaigns 77 had been fought in what is known as the Middle States, which continued to be the theatre of operations for several years. In the extreme South, matters were in a deplorable condition. Tories were numerous, and in may places civil war reigned. The patriots were so few in numbers that the enemy prepared a careful campaign for the capture of Savannay and the conquest of Georgia.”
“Five thousand additional troops were to be landed at Charleston, and a strong force of Indians was to be brought from Florida and Alabama to assail the frontier settlements, while the commandant at Detroit was to send others to join them from the Northwest.”
“General Prevost (british), was in command of a mingled force of regulars, Tories and Indians in East Florida. They committed many outrages and brought away an enormous amount of plunder. In the latter part of November, Clinton despatched Lieutenants Campbell and two thousand troops to invade Georgia.” “The troops went by sea and landed at Savannah on the morning of December 29th. The patriot general, Robert Howe of North Carolina, with less than a thousand dispirted men, hurried up from Sunbury, and three miles from Savannah, at Brewton’s Hill, fought a battle with a much superior force, and was badly defeated.”
“In the plight through rice-fields and streams, a hundred patriots were drowned and four hundred made prisoners. The others who succeeded in escaping took refuge in South Carolina, while the enemy occupied Savannah.” (History of the United States by Ellis, vol. ii, pp. 524–525).
A fleet sailed from New York via Sandy Hook on the 8th of November 1778, for Savannah. The troops were under the command of Colonel Campbell of the 71st Regt. and the New York Volunteers were of the expedition. On…