GEORGIA COUNTIES NAMED FOR
PATRIOTS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
Georgia County Map
Revolution greatly affected the hearts and minds of Georgians who sought to
memorialize the Patriots by naming counties for numerous figures evocative of
these historic times. Similar to Georgia’s uneven performance during the war,
the Patriots demonstrated strengths and shortcomings; achieved some victories
but experienced many more defeats. The Georgia Patriots sacrificed their lives
and fortunes until more powerful support could come to their assistance to
remove the British from Georgia.
On February 5, 1777, the Constitution of Georgia created eight counties from
the colonial parishes and named seven for British champions of America —
Georgia’s first acknowledged Patriots. The other original county, Liberty,
honors American Independence. In the years following the Revolutionary War,
Georgia legislators named 56 additional counties for Patriots — exemplars of
Georgia’s efforts during the American Revolution. In addition, at least 30
Georgia towns honor the names of Patriots and two recognize important battles
— Lexington and Cowpens.
With this rich inheritance, we demonstrate honor for the
named Patriots, as well as the many other men and women who fought and
supported the American Revolution. Although several served Georgia as governor
and other elected positions and fought to sustain America’s independence after
the war, the following brief sketches focus only on their actions and
sacrifices during the American Revolution, with emphasis on the battles in
Georgia. We encourage all Georgians to learn more about these and other
Patriots of the American Revolution while celebrating Patriots Day on the 19th
Created During the American Revolution 1775-1783
honors Edmund Burke, who took a leading role in the debate over constitutional
limits to the executive authority of the King. He frequently expressed support
for grievances of the American colonists in the House of Commons.
honors Charles Pratt, 1st Earl of Camden. Dismissed as Lord
Chancellor because of his denunciation of the government’s policy toward the
American colonists, he continued to oppose taxes imposed on the colonists.
honors William, Lord Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham. The House of Lords
rejected his bill for reconciliation with the colonies. After the war broke
out, he warned that Britain could not conquer America.
County honors Thomas Howard, Lord Effingham, 3rd Earl of Effingham.
He resigned his military commission as captain rather than fight in America,
which he considered incompatible with his obligations of a citizen.
honors John Glynn, a lawyer known for his pleading skills. His speeches in
Parliament supporting the cause of American Independence received wide
honors the early zeal for independence of the settlers of St. John’s Parish,
dominated by implacable citizens who significantly influenced Revolutionary
Georgia. Its citizens elected Dr. Lyman Hall to represent them at the
Continental Congress, Georgia’s only representative in 1775.
County honors Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, a colonel in
the British Army and an ambassador in Paris. He initiated a debate in
the House of Lords calling for the removal of British troops from America.
honors John Wilkes, known for his arguments of freedom of the press.
Parliament expelled Wilkes, but he gained re-election and continued to oppose
the war with the American colonies.
Named for American Revolution Patriots
honors John Baker, a resident of Midway and lieutenant colonel in the Georgia
Continental Line. During the Second Florida Expedition in 1777, the British
ambushed and routed Baker’s command at Thomas Creek near the mouth of the
Nassau River. Wounded in Liberty County fighting during November 1778, Baker
served until the end of the war.
honors Abraham Baldwin, a chaplain in the Connecticut Line during the
Revolution. He is called “Founder of the University of Georgia” since he
prepared the charter and served as president during its planning phase.
honors Jonathan Bryan, who had fought the Spanish with James Oglethorpe and
later served on the Revolutionary Council of Safety and as vice-president of
Georgia. The British captured Bryan at Savannah in 1779, and placed him aboard
a prison ship in New York for two years until released at the age of 70.
honors Archibald Bulloch, a resident of Savannah who served as the first
president and commander of the Georgia Militia in 1775. He read and
promulgated the Declaration of Independence in Savannah in August 1776.
Bulloch convened the Georgia Constitutional Convention, but died in office
before the Constitution received approval in 1777.
honors Charles Carroll of Maryland, a member of the Continental Congress and a
signer of the Declaration of Independence.
honors Elijah Clarke, Georgia’s capable and committed militia commander.
Clarke fought in many Georgia battles, including the victory at Kettle Creek
in 1779, the siege of Augusta in 1780 and the capture of Augusta in 1781. He
also commanded the Wilkes County Militia in seven major battles in South
Carolina. Called “Hero of the Hornet’s Nest” due to his prowess in fighting,
Clarke received serious wounds at least four times.
honors Johann Kalb, a decorated soldier who had been born in what is now
Bavaria. The Continental Congress appointed him a general, and he served with
distinction at Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, and Camden. In this last
fight he received eleven wounds, and died three days later
honors John Dooly, a Patriot commander at Kettle Creek — one of Georgia’s few
Revolutionary War victories. He commanded the Wilkes County Militia during the
Franco-American Siege of Savannah in 1779. Vengeful Tories murdered Dooly in
his bed while he was on parole in 1780.
honors Samuel Elbert, who commanded the Georgia Continentals in two Florida
Expeditions, the Frederica Naval Action and the British capture of Savannah in
1778. After a courageous stand at Brier Creek in 1779, the British captured
and held him prisoner in Savannah for two years. Exchanged and captured again
at Charleston in 1780; Elbert served at Yorktown in 1781, and made general in
the Continental Army.
honors David Emanuel, a resident of Burke County. British Loyalists captured
him and two other members of the Executive Council in 1781. The Loyalists
killed two of them, but Emanuel escaped.
honors the Marquis de Lafayette, a native of France. Appointed general by the
Continental Congress, he served with distinction at Brandywine, Monmouth and
County honors Benjamin Franklin from Pennsylvania, who helped draft and then
signed the two most significant documents associated with the American
Revolution: Declaration of Independence and Treaty of Paris. He also helped
draft the United States Constitution after the war.
honors Nathanael Greene, a Rhode Islander who began his service as a private
and rose to the rank of major general. As commander of the Southern Department
of the Continental Army, Greene led a brilliant campaign that ended the
British occupation of the South. He stopped Cornwallis at Guilford Court
House, which lead to Cornwallis’ defeat at Yorktown and ultimately caused the
British to evacuate Charleston. Greene directed Continental troops to
recapture Augusta in 1781 and Savannah in 1782, and to help restore Georgia’s
County honors Button Gwinnett, a resident of Liberty County and one of
Georgia’s signers of the Declaration of Independence. Gwinnett exercised
significant influence in developing Georgia’s first Constitution. As commander
of the militia, he intended to invade British East Florida in 1777, but
disputes over command caused recall of both Gwinnett and General Lachlan
McIntosh. This struggle led to a duel, which resulted in wounds to both men
and Gwinnett died of complications a few days later.
County honors Joseph Habersham, a leader of the Liberty Boys in Savannah who
broke into the powder magazine in 1775, and seized Sir James Wright, the
colonial governor in early 1776. Habersham achieved the rank of colonel in the
Continental Line, but the Georgia Constitution required him to resign his
Continental commission in order to serve in the General Assembly.
honors Lyman Hall from Connecticut who became a physician in Liberty County.
An early leader for Independence and as one of Georgia’s three representatives
to the Continental Congress in 1776, he signed the Declaration of
honors John Hancock, of Massachusetts and president of the Continental
Congress from 1775 to 1777. Hancock became the first Patriot to sign the
Declaration of Independence, doing so in large bold letters.
honors Nancy Morgan Hart, who resided with her husband, Benjamin in Wilkes
County. She allegedly confronted Tories who had just murdered Colonel John
Dooly. They demanded food and during the meal, she captured them and summoned
her husband from the fields. Together, they hanged the Tories without benefit
of trial or clergy.
honors Stephen Heard, who the British captured and imprisoned at Augusta. His
faithful slave, Mammy Kate, supposedly hid him in a laundry basket and carried
him past the guards. Heard became acting governor, residing at Heard’s Fort
near Washington in Wilkes County.
honors Patrick Henry, from Virginia. His speeches became the call to armed
resistance from Boston to Charleston, especially in one that he declared,
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
honors John Houstoun, governor and commander of the Georgia Militia, who
accompanied his troops during the unsuccessful Third Florida Expedition. As
governor of Georgia, he failed to organize a realistic defense of Savannah in
1778, resulting in the British capture and re-establishment of Georgia as a
honors Jared Irwin, a Burke County resident who served during the
honors James Jackson, a resident of Savannah who played a prominent part at
Cowpens and the recapture of Augusta in 1781. Lieutenant Colonel Jackson and
his Georgia Legion had the honor of being the first unit to enter Savannah
upon the British evacuation in 1782, and fought the last Revolutionary battle
in Georgia at Delegal’s Plantation on Skidaway Island.
honors William Jasper, a resident of Burke County, Georgia who became a
sergeant in the South Carolina Continental Line and displayed great heroism
during the British attack at Charleston in 1776. Jasper received a mortal
wound while defending the South Carolina standard on the Spring Hill Redoubt
parapet at Savannah on October 9, 1779.
County honors Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian and author of the Declaration of
Independence, who became the third president of the United States.
honors John Laurens, from South Carolina and aide-de-camp to General George
Washington at Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. Commanding a unit of the
South Carolina Infantry, Laurens attacked the Spring Hill Redoubt at Savannah
in 1779, and succeeded in gaining the parapet where Sergeant William Jasper
and many others received their mortal wounds.
honors Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. As a member of the Continental Congress,
Lee made the motion calling for Independence from Great Britain, and signed
the Declaration of Independence.
County honors Benjamin Lincoln of Massachusetts, major general and commander
of the Southern Department of the Continental Army. In 1779, Lincoln
implemented a campaign to retake Georgia, but the Patriots suffered major
defeats at Brier Creek and Savannah. The British captured Lincoln’s command at
Charleston in 1780,
one of the worst Continental defeats of the war.
honors Nathaniel Macon, who served as a soldier until elected to the North
Carolina Senate during the Revolutionary War.
honors James Madison of Virginia, called “Father of the Constitution” who
became the fourth president of the United States.
honors Francis Marion of South Carolina, who led his regiment in a gallant
assault at Savannah in 1779. Called the “Swamp Fox” because of his successful
guerrilla operations, Brigadier General Marion helped Nathanael Greene drive
the British from the Carolinas.
County honors the McIntosh family of St. Andrews Parish, of which six members
served in the Georgia Continental Line. Lachlan McIntosh, appointed colonel in
1776 and defended Savannah during the Battle of the Riceboats, subsequently
made brigadier general. Transferred outside Georgia after his duel with Button
Gwinnett, he returned to fight at Savannah in 1779, and served until the end
of the war.
County honors David Meriwether of Virginia who fought at Trenton, Princeton
and Brandywine. The British captured him at Savannah in 1779, and again at
Charleston in 1780.
honored John Milton, a Georgia Continental officer whom the British captured
at Fort McIntosh in 1777 and imprisoned at St. Augustine. During the British
capture of Savannah in 1778, Milton saved Georgia’s public records by taking
them to the Carolinas, and later to Maryland. He returned the records
following the re-establishment of Georgia’s government in 1782. Milton County
became part of Fulton County in 1931.
honors Henry Mitchell of Virginia who received serious saber wounds by British
Colonel Banastre Tarleton’s Legionnaires while bearing the American standard
at Waxhaws, South Carolina. Tarleton retrieved the flag and carried it to
England among other captured colors.
honors James Monroe, a lieutenant from Virginia who fought at Harlem Heights,
White Plains and Trenton, where he received a shoulder wound. Next, Monroe
fought at Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth, and later became the fifth
president of the United States.
County honors Richard Montgomery, a New York resident who had fought in the
colonial wars. Appointed major general, he commanded the expedition to Canada
in 1775; captured St. Johns and Montreal, but received a mortal wound during
the Siege of Quebec.
honors Daniel Morgan, a New Jersey native who while fighting in the colonial
wars earned the nickname, “Old Waggoner.” Captured at Quebec, and after his
release, Morgan played a decisive role at Saratoga. Appointed brigadier
general, he commanded Continentals and Militia during the textbook battle at
Cowpens in 1781, winning a resounding victory over British forces led by
Colonel Banastre Tarleton.
honors John Newton, a sergeant from South Carolina who with Sergeant William
Jasper rescued a party of Patriot prisoners the British were taking to
County honors John Paulding, who participated in the capture of Major John
Andre, the British spy who had revealed General Benedict Arnold as a traitor
to the American cause for Independence.
honors Andrew Pickens, colonel of the South Carolina Militia, who frequently
fought with Georgians. He commanded at the victories at Kettle Creek and
Augusta, and became brigadier general for his actions at Cowpens.
honors Casimir Pulaski; the Polish-born commander of Pulaski’s Legion and
considered “Father of the American Cavalry.” Pulaski received a mortal wound
while conducting a reconnaissance in search of a breach in the British lines
at Savannah in 1779.
honors Israel Putnam, a Massachusetts native who had fought in the colonial
wars. One of the leaders of the Battle of Bunker Hill, he achieved the rank of
major general in the Continental Line.
honors James Screven, a resident of Liberty County who fought in the Battle of
the Riceboats at Savannah in 1776. Promoted to brigadier general, he commanded
the Georgia Militia during the Second Florida Expedition. The British wounded
and captured Screven during the fight at Midway, where he died two days later
honors Daniel Stewart, a resident of Liberty County who fought under Generals
Sumter and Marion in South Carolina. The British captured Stewart near
Charleston and kept him in a prison ship in the Charleston Harbor.
honors Thomas Sumter, who had fought in the colonial wars. Called the
“Carolina Gamecock” due to his great physical endurance, Sumter became the
senior brigadier general of the South Carolina Militia.
County honors Benjamin Taliaferro, from Virginia who while serving under
General Washington at Princeton, captured a British officer and his entire
command. He joined Lieutenant Colonel “Light-horse Harry” Lee’s Legion with
whom he fought at the capture of Augusta in 1781.
County honors Josiah Tattnall Jr., a Savannah native who joined General
Anthony Wayne’s troops at Ebenezer during the campaign to liberate Georgia
from British rule in 1782.
honors Edward Telfair, a Savannah Liberty Boy who joined the break-in of the
powder magazine there in 1775. He served on the Council of Safety and in the
County honors John Adam Treutlen, a native of Swabia, which is now part of
Germany. A resident of Ebenezer, he defeated Button Gwinnett to become
Georgia’s first governor in 1777. Treutlen traveled to British-occupied
Charleston, where he took the oath of loyalty to the Crown in 1781. A Loyalist
detachment murdered Treutlen in March of 1782.
honors John Twiggs, a resident of Burke County who fought at the Burke County
Gaol (Jail) in 1779, with Colonel Benjamin Few and Lieutenant Colonel James
Ingram. Twiggs fought in General Sumter’s command in South Carolina and became
honors George Walton, secretary of Georgia’s first Provincial Congress,
president of the Council of Safety in 1775, and one of Georgia’s three signers
of the Declaration of Independence. A colonel in the militia, the British
wounded and captured him at Savannah, and held him prisoner at Sunbury until
honors Joseph Warren, a physician and leader in the Sons of Liberty in Boston.
Elected major general of the militia, he received a mortal wound at the Battle
of Bunker Hill.
County, the first county created in Georgia following the Revolutionary War.
It is the first county in America named to honor General George Washington, commanding
general during the Revolutionary War
and later first president of the United States.
honors Anthony Wayne from Pennsylvania. In January 1782, Nathanael Greene
ordered Brigadier General Wayne to restore Patriot authority and conduct a war
of attrition against the British defenders of Savannah. From his headquarters
at Ebenezer, Wayne drove the British outposts into Savannah, cut-off their
supplies and defeated relief attempts until the British evacuation in July
County honors James Wilkinson, a native of Maryland and general who served on
the staffs of Generals Nathanael Greene, Benedict Arnold and Horatio Gates.
Wilkinson resigned due to irregularities in his accounts and controversial