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Bulloch History with Roger Allen: Why Archibald Bulloch deserved his namesake
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Roger Allen

Note: The following is part of a series of columns looking at the founding and general history of southeast Georgia and Bulloch County.

 

So, why name a county Bulloch?

Archibald Bulloch was born in Charleston in 1730. He was elected the leader of Savannah's Liberty Party after moving to Savannah.

After Bulloch was elected to the Georgia Commons House of Assembly, the first Provincial Congress of Georgia at Tondee's Tavern then elected Bulloch to be their new president. 

He was then elected to the new American Continental Congress. Bulloch was appointed to the Congress' “Secret Committee” on Nov. 7, 1775 which was charged with acquiring gunpowder, arms and ammunition for the coming revolution.

Bulloch served in several of the most important battles between the British and the Colonials, including the "Battle of Tybee Island" in which the British were handed major losses in men and equipment by the Americans.

On March 25, 1776, a raiding party of Georgia militia and Creek indians under the command of Bulloch attacked 12 British marines stationed on Tybee Island.  

The marines were sent to the island, with 12 slaves, to cut wood and get water. The Americans struck quickly, killing one, wounding two others and capturing a marine and all 12 of the slaves.

The Creek indians allied with the Georgia militia at the same time scalped three more of the marines. The Royal Navy ships lying offshore of the British camp quickly fired three broadsides at the Americans while they sent a landing party on shore.

The Americans kept up a constant rifle fire, forcing the British ships to move out of range. The Georgians also burned two houses being used by the British on the island. Shortly after this, all but two of the British vessels left the Savannah River. 

Not surprisingly, loyal hero Bulloch was appointed the president and commander of the new state of Georgia' s provisional government on June 20, 1776. He then assumed "Executive Powers of Government" on Feb. 22, 1777.

Unfortunately, upon returning to Savannah, Bulloch died three days later under what were termed very suspicious circumstances. Many rumors, thought to be true, circulated that his food had been poisoned by a female kitchen worker who was a British spy. 

 

Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look each week at the area's past. E-mail Roger at rwasr1953@gmail.com.

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