Roger Allen-021311Listen to Roger Allen read his Bulloch History column.
Back when Bulloch County was nothing but wilderness, the area's Native Americans regularly hunted throughout the area. As whites began to establish farms and then settle, they were attacked and driven back into the settlements around Savannah.
In fact, on February 17, 1788, Brigadier General James Jackson, the Commander of Georgia's First District Militia, ordered that scouts were to be sent "up and down from Fort Argyle" to search for Indian hunting or war parties.
On March 1, 1788, Lieutenant Sheftall, the Commander of the Chatham Detachment at Fort Argyle was warned by Captain Mann that "fresh signs of the Indians were discovered yesterday up Conunchee (the Canoochee River), about ten miles above you."
Mann continued, further advising Sheftall that "you had best keep a good look out and keep yourself in the best of order for an attack, for no one knows from what quarter they may fall on you."
Little is written of actual battles with hostile Indians, but it is well-known that the "First Fort" was soon abandoned as an untenable defensive post.
Another Fort Argyle was built, closer to Savannah, and easier to both provision and support in case of an attack.
In the "Regimental Book" written by First Lieutenant Benjamin Sheftall of the West Company of the Savannah Militia wrote in November of 1789 that the situation had become so tense that troops of the Chatham Militia were to be ready at a moment's notice to set out on a march that might last for as long as 10 days.
Colonel Gunn, Commander of the Chatham Militia ordered that three Captains and six Subalterns be ready to lead the men into possible battle. His orders allowed, however, that those who had furnished the Company with one hundred pounds of powder and two hundred pounds of lead were to be exempted from this duty.
These men were to be led by Captains Rees, Bullock, and Mann, along with First Lieutenants Sheftall, King, Simmons, and Maxwell, as well as Second Lieutenants Sewcer, Theus, and Cox. Their order stated that they were to proceed to the village of Ogeechee, near Fort Argyle (known also as the "first Fort".)
Here, the men were to be stationed at Colonel Gunn's, Dr. McLeod's or Mrs. Read's plantations. McLeod's Overseer was to provide them with a barrel of rice and sufficient beef to feed the men if the Company's Commissary wagon(s) had not yet arrived.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. Allen provides a brief look at Bulloch County's historical past. E-mail Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org