Note: The following is part of a series of columns looking at the founding and general history of southeast Georgia and Bulloch County.
Georgia's Militia Districts had their origin in the colonial Acts of Jan. 24, 1755 and Sept. 29, 1773. The provincial governor, who served as state militia commander in chief, created one or more militia companies in each county.
The designated captain of each company was then ordered to enroll every able-bodied adult male in that district as a member of the militia company. The age limits for militia service changed repeatedly, from as young as 15 years old to as old as 60.
The first Militia Act of the newly-formed state of Georgia, adopted by the state legislature on Nov. 15, 1778, provided for the election of the company officers (captain and lieutenants) by the militiamen themselves.
The next Militia Act, adopted at the end of the Revolutionary War, established militia units as the civil divisions in all of Georgia's counties. Each militia district had their own meeting place.
The first Georgia Militia Districts (or GMD) created in Bulloch County were Sink Hole, the 44th GMD; Club House, the 45th GMD; Lockhart, the 46th GMD; Briar Patch, the 47th GMD; and Hagin, the 48th GMD.
When the first state-wide GMD “realignment” was made, more GMDs’ were created in Bulloch County: Statesboro, the 1209th GMD; Laston, the 1320th GMD; and Bay, the 1340th GMD.
When the second state-wide GMD realignment was made, the first of Bulloch’s new districts was Nellwood, the 1523rd GMD, which was created from parts of Briar Patch (the 47th GMD), Hagin (the 48th GMD), and Bay (the 1340th GMD).
The second was Emit, the 1547th GMD. This was created from parts of Sink Hole (the 44th GMD), Bay (the 1340th GMD, and Nellwood (1523rd GMD).
The third was Blitch, the 1575th GMD, created from parts of Laston (the 46th GMD), Statesboro (1209th GMD), and Hagin (the 48th GMD).
The fourth was Metter, the 1685th GMD. This was created from parts of Club House (the 45th GMD), and Laston (the 1320th GMD). The fifth and final new district was Portal (1716) created from part of Laston, the 1320th GMD.
Following these changes, the next state-wide GMD realignment resulted in the creation 0f Register, the newly-renamed 45th GMD; Stilson, the newly-renamed 47th GMD; Brooklet, the newly-renamed 1523rd GMD; and Nevils, the 1803rd, formed from part of Bay, the 1340th GMD.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org.