Battle of Savannah - Savannah, Georgia
Battle of Savannah
A reconstructed corner of the Spring Hill Redoubt,
the objective of a major Patriot attack, can be seen
at Battlefield Park in Savannah, Georgia.
Battle of Savannah, Georgia
Reconstructed British earthen fort
helps interpret the Battle of
Savannah, an action of the American
The American Column
Tablets at Battlefield Park help
visitors visualize the formation of the
attacking Patriot column.
Savannah, Georgia
France & Haiti fight for America
Copyright 2013 & 2015 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: November 15, 2015
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American Revolution in the South
Revolution in Savannah
British troops formed behind
earthworks like these when the
American army attacked Savannah,
Battlefield Park
This view faces to the west, the
direction from which the Patriot
column attacked. Pulaski died in the
The Battle of Savannah, also called the Siege
of Savannah, was fought during the American
Revolution for control of the vital coastal city
of Savannah, Georgia.

The memory of the battle is preserved today
at Battlefield Park and the nearby Savannah
History Museum. Both face Martin Luther
King, Jr., Boulevard on the west side of
downtown Savannah.

The Battle of Savannah was one of the most
unique actions of the Revolutionary War
because it involved not just Patriot and British
soldiers, but men from France, Haiti, Ireland,
Scotland, Germany and Poland. The future
king of Haiti, Henri Christophe, served as a
drummer. Count Casimer Pulaski, a Polish
nobleman, gave his live. American Indian
warriors and African-American soldiers also
took part in the fighting.

The Siege of Savannah began on September
16, 1779, when French admiral Charles
Hector, comte d'Estaing began moving his
4,000 man army into position south of the
city. His troops included both white soldiers
from France and black soldiers from what is
now Haiti.

d'Estaing hoped to intimidate the British, who
at that point had only around 2,500 regulars
and 200-300 African American slaves
laboring to dig trenches and build defenses.
A demand for the surrender of the city was
sent forward, but its commander - General
Augustine Prevost - requested 24 hours to
consider his options.

It was a trick. Prevost knew that 900
reinforcements were on their way from
Beaufort, South Carolina, under Colonel
John Maitland. This force came through the
winding channels connecting the two cities
and arrived in Savannah just hours before
the 24-hour truce expired. Prevost refused to
lower his flag.

At the same time, American general
Benjamin Lincoln arrived from Charleston,
South Carolina, with 2,000 U.S. Continentals
and militiamen.

Instead of launching an immediate attack,
the allied forces began a siege of the city.
Trenches and parallels were dug, batteries
were erected and heavy cannon were
brought ashore from the French warships off
the coast. The American forces were
primarily west of the city, while the French
army was to the south.

Forsyth Park, now one of the most beautiful
spots in Savannah, was the scene of French
camps and approach trenches during the

A massive bombardment of Savannah took
place October 3-8, but despite widespread
damage and destruction inflicted on civilian
homes and shops, the British clung to their
defenses. The number of civilians killed is

The failure of the bombardment led to a rash
decision by the allied forces to launch frontal
assaults against the heavily fortified city. The
key point of the attack was the Spring Hill
Redoubt, a small square earthen fort on the
west side of the city. It was believed to be
held only by Loyalist militia as opposed to
British regulars and d'Estaing believed it
could be overrun.
The attack fell apart even before it could
begin. A heavy fog rose during the predawn
hours of October 9, 1779, and the troops
moving into position for the assault became
lost in the nearby swamps and were delayed
in reaching their planned positions. To make
matters worse, General Prevost learned of
the planned surprise attack.

Then, when the allied troops finally broke into
the open and began their charge on the
Spring Hill Redoubt, they were stunned to
find it held not only by militia, but by Scottish
regulars as well. Some of the British militia
were armed with rifles and they shot down
the French troops, who wore white uniforms,
almost as fast as they appeared. Admiral
d'Staing himself was wounded twice.

The first wave, made up largely of American
troops, was driven back in disorder. Count
Casimer Pulaski, a Polish cavalry officer
fighting alongside the Patriots, was killed by
a British grapeshot.

A second wave, led by Count Curt von
Stedingk of Sweden, planted an American
flag on the British works, but soon was driven
back as well. Its commander later lamented
the "cries of our dying comrades."

The Battle of Savannah was a disaster for the
allied forces. The siege was abandoned on
October 17, 1779, and the American and
French forces withdrew. For the time being,
Great Britain held Savannah.

Allied casualties were 244 killed, nearly 600
wounded and 120 taken prisoner. The British
lost 40 killed, 63 wounded and 52 missing.

Begin your visit of the battlefield at the
Savannah History Museum at 1100 Martin
Luther King, Jr., Boulevard in Savannah. After
exploring the exhibits there, cross the street
to Battlefield Park which features the actual
site of the Spring Hill Redoubt, reconstructed
fortifications, displays and a monument.
Spring Hill Redoubt
A monument to the Battle of
Savannah stands on the site of the
Spring Hill Redoubt, a British fort
attacked by Patriot forces.