SYLVANIA - A $100,000 grant awarded the City of Sylvania this week by the Georgia Department of Transportation will make possible the uncovering of a Revolutionary War battleground, where 150 patriots lost their lives 232 years ago.
In December 2010, the city applied for the Transportation Enhancement Grant with a local match of $25,000, creating $125,000 funding for the project.
The purpose of the grant is to provide the means to pinpoint the location of the Revolutionary War Battle of Brier Creek and to identify the site of the American soldiers' mass grave, so the battle site may be preserved.
There is currently no official marker for the grave of 150 Americans who died in the battle fought on March 3, 1779. Details of the Battle of Brier Creek can be found on a marker just past Brannens Bridges, but the actual battle site is located off the main roadway within the nearby Tuckahoe Wildlife Preserve.
"I am so excited about having the means to provide an appropriate marker for the [site]," said Sylvania Mayor Margaret Evans.
When Screven County historian Alex Lee was asked to give an account of the battle at a stakeholder's meeting two years ago, Sylvania officials felt the importance of such a project and included it in the city's comprehensive plan.
Immediately following, a committee was formed to pursue a grant that would make the project possible, including Jason Beard, Alex Lee, Norm Hill, Dr. A.L. Freeland, Rev. David Buie, Caroline Pope, Mayor Evans, and City Manager Carter Crawford.
"We are very fortunate to have a Revolutionary War battle site in Screven County, and it is great to be able to identify and preserve this sacred battle site," said Evans.
"We pause to remember these men also contributed to the freedoms we enjoy today," she said, "and they need to have an appropriately marked resting place."
Artifact recovery is not an objective of this project, but any artifacts recovered in the course of the survey will be appropriately curated.
While the project will not be a speedy one, Evans said, the preliminary meetings that will get the ball rolling are currently being schedule.