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Bulloch History with Roger Allen: Southeast Georgia forts help Patriots, British in Revolution
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Roger Allen

Note: The following is part of a series of columns looking at how Georgia and Bulloch County evolved from wilderness into a state and a county.


In addition to establishing outposts to provide some security to southeast Georgia, several forts built before and during the Revolutionary War became important sanctuaries for Patriots, and those that were captured were later used by the British.


Fort Barrington (later Fort Howe): Named after Lt. Col. Josiah Barrington, Fort Barrington sat on the Altamaha River. It was captured by British Loyalist forces in 1777 and renamed Fort Howe after Gen. William Howe, commander of British forces in North America.


Fort MacKay (MacKay's Trading Post): Known to locals as "the White House," Patriot forces lay siege to British forces here until the Patriots were driven off by reinforcements from South Carolina. The wounded Patriots left behind were hanged or given over to Britain's American Indian allies to be tortured.


Fort Prevost (also referred to as Trustee's Garden Battery, Fort Savannah, Fort Halifax and Fort Wayne): The original fort was an earthen structure situated on the bluff on the eastern end of Savannah. It was enlarged when Savannah fell to the British and renamed after Maj. Gen. Augustine Prevost.


Fort George: This earthwork fort, built on Cockspur Island, had mud walls lined with palmetto logs, with officers' quarters inside. In September 1773, it was garrisoned by only one officer and three men.


Beard's Bluff Fort (Beard's Bluff): In January 1777, Col. Lachlan McIntosh sent Lt. Bugg and a detachment of Continental troops to establish a garrison on this high point overlooking the Altamaha River.

Fort Grierson: This fort was the home of Loyalist James Grierson, who was killed by Patriots because his Loyalist patrols had been killing farmers and their families and burning their farms. One-half mile from Fort Cornwallis, it was connected by a deep gully to the Savannah River.


Fort McIntosh: This fort was erected on the banks of the Satilla River in order to defend the colony south of the Altamaha River. A small stockade, it was garrisoned by Capt. Richard Winn and men from both the Third South Carolina and Georgia Continental regiments.

Fort Morgan (Morgan's Fort): Capt. Fann and his company of Burke County militiamen garrisoned this fort. In March 1779, Loyalist Maj. Henry Sharp and his Georgia Light Dragoons were able to capture the outpost from the Patriots.


Fort Tybee: British Col. Campbell built a fort on Tybee Island's north side after the British captured Savannah. When French Adm. Comte d'Estaing brought the French fleet up the Savannah River, he landed and attacked the fort, only to discover the British had already fled.

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. Email Roger at



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