Battle of Kettle Creek
The Battle of Kettle Creek was a minor encounter in the back country of Georgia during the American Revolutionary War. It was fought in Wilkes County about eight miles from present-day Georgia. A militia force of Patriots decisively defeated and scattered a Loyalist militia force, on its way to British-controlled Augusta; the victory demonstrated the inability of British forces to hold the interior of the state, or to protect sizable numbers of Loyalist recruits outside their immediate area. The British, who had decided to abandon Augusta, recovered some prestige a few weeks surprising a Patriot force in the Battle of Brier Creek. Georgia's back country would not come under British control until after the 1780 Siege of Charleston broke Patriot forces in the South; the British began their "southern strategy" by sending expeditions from New York City and Saint Augustine, East Florida to capture the port of Savannah, Georgia in late 1778. The New York expedition, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell, arrived first, landing at Tybee Island on December 3, 1778, captured Savannah on December 29, 1778.
When British Brigadier General Augustine Prevost arrived from Saint Augustine in mid-January, he assumed command of the garrison there and sent a force under Campbell to take control of Augusta and raise Loyalist forces. Leaving Savannah on January 24, Campbell and more than 1,000 men arrived near Augusta a week with only minimal harassment from Georgia Patriot militia on the way. Augusta had been defended by South Carolina General Andrew Williamson leading about 1,000 militia from Georgia and South Carolina, but he withdrew most of his men when Campbell approached, his rear guard skirmished with Campbell's men before withdrawing across the Savannah River into South Carolina. Campbell started recruiting Loyalists. By February 10, 1779, about 1,100 men signed up, but few formed militia companies, forming only 20 companies of the British Army. Campbell began requiring oaths of loyalty, on pain of forfeiture of property. Early in his march, Campbell dispatched Major John Hamilton to recruit Loyalists in Wilkes County and Lt. Colonel John Boyd on an expedition to raise Loyalists in the backcountry of North and South Carolina.
Boyd recruited several hundred men. As he traveled south back toward Augusta, more Loyalists joined his company until it numbered over 600 men in central South Carolina; as this column moved on, the men plundered and pillaged along the way, predictably drawing angered Patriots to take up arms. The Continental Army commander in the South, Major General Benjamin Lincoln, based in Charleston, South Carolina, had been unable to respond adequately to the capture of Savannah. With only limited resources, he was able to raise about 1,400 South Carolina militia, but did not have authorization to order them outside the state. On January 30, he was further reinforced at Charleston by the arrival of 1,100 North Carolina militia under General John Ashe, he dispatched them to join Williamson on the South Carolina side of the Savannah River near Augusta. The Georgia banks of the Savannah in the Augusta area were controlled by a Loyalist force led by Colonel Daniel McGirth, while the South Carolina banks were controlled by a Georgia Patriot militia led by Colonel John Dooly.
When about 250 South Carolina militia under Colonel Andrew Pickens arrived and Dooly joined forces to conduct offensive operations into Georgia, with Pickens taking overall command. They were at some point joined by a few companies of North Carolina light horse militia. On February 10, Pickens and Dooly crossed the Savannah River to attack a British Army camp southeast of Augusta. Finding the camp unoccupied, they learned. Suspecting they would head for a stockaded frontier post called Carr's Fort, Pickens sent men directly there while the main body chased after the British; the British made it into the fort, but were forced to abandon their horses and baggage outside its walls. Pickens besieged the fort until he learned that Boyd was passing through the Ninety Six district of South Carolina with seven to eight hundred Loyalists, headed for Georgia, he reluctantly moved to intercept Boyd. Pickens established a strong presence near the mouth of the Broad River, where he expected Boyd might try to cross.
However, his force grown by to 800 men, chose to go to the north. He first tried Cherokee Ford, the southernmost fording of the Savannah River, where he was met with some resistance known as the Engagement at McGowen's Blockhouse; the encounter consisted of a detachment of eight Patriots commanded by Capt. Robert Anderson with two small swivel guns in an entrenched position, who thwarted Boyd's approach to Cherokee Ford. Boyd moved north upstream about 5 miles and crossed the Savannah River there, skirmishing with a small Patriot force that had shadowed his movements on the Georgia side. Boyd reported losing 100 men, wounded, or deserted, in the encounter. By the time Pickens learned that Boyd had crossed the river, he had himself crossed into South Carolina in an attempt to intercept Boyd, he recrossed into Georgia upon learning of Boyd's whereabouts. On February 14, Pickens caught up with Boyd when he paused to rest his troops near Kettle Creek, only a few miles from Colonel McGirth's Loyalist camp.
Boyd was unaware that he was being followed so and his camp though guards were posted, was not alert. Pickens advanced, leading the center, with his right fl
Battle of Great Bridge
The Battle of Great Bridge was fought December 9, 1775, in the area of Great Bridge, early in the American Revolutionary War. The victory by colonial Virginia militia forces led to the departure of Royal Governor Lord Dunmore and any remaining vestiges of British power over the Colony of Virginia during the early days of the conflict. Following increasing political and military tensions in early 1775, both Dunmore and colonial rebel leaders recruited troops and engaged in a struggle for available military supplies; the struggle focused on Norfolk, where Dunmore had taken refuge aboard a Royal Navy vessel. Dunmore's forces had fortified one side of a critical river crossing south of Norfolk at Great Bridge, while rebel forces had occupied the other side. In an attempt to break up the rebel gathering, Dunmore ordered an attack across the bridge, decisively repulsed. Colonel William Woodford, the Virginia militia commander at the battle, described it as "a second Bunker's Hill affair". Shortly thereafter, Norfolk, at the time a Loyalist center, was abandoned by Dunmore and the Tories, who fled to navy ships in the harbor.
Rebel-occupied Norfolk was destroyed on January 1, 1776 in an action begun by Dunmore and completed by rebel forces. Tensions in the British Colony of Virginia were raised in April 1775 at the same time that the hostilities of the American Revolutionary War broke out in the Province of Massachusetts Bay with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, the royal governor of Virginia, had dismissed the colonial legislative assembly, the House of Burgesses, who established a provisional assembly in Virginia Conventions; the Burgesses authorized existing and newly raised militia troops to arm themselves, leading to a struggle for control of the colony's military supplies. Under orders from Lord Dunmore, British forces removed gunpowder from the colonial storehouse in the capital of Williamsburg, causing a confrontation between royal and militia forces. Although the incident was resolved without violence, fearing for his personal safety, left Williamsburg in June 1775 and placed his family on board a Royal Navy ship.
A small British fleet took shape at Norfolk, a port town whose merchants had significant Loyalist tendencies. The threat posed by the British fleet may have played a role in minimizing Whig activity in the town. Incidents continued between rebels on one side and loyalists on the other until October, when Dunmore had acquired enough military support to begin operations against the rebellious colonists. General Thomas Gage, the British commander-in-chief for North America, had ordered small detachments of the 14th Regiment of Foot to Virginia in response to pleas by Dunmore for military help; these troops began raiding surrounding counties for rebel military supplies on October 12. This activity continued through the end of October, when a small British ship ran aground and was captured by rebels during a skirmish near Hampton. Navy boats sent to punish the townspeople were repulsed by colonial militia in a brief gunfight that resulted in the killing and capture of several sailors. Dunmore reacted to this event by issuing a proclamation on November 7 in which he declared martial law, offered to emancipate colonist slaves in Virginia willing to serve in the British Army.
The proclamation alarmed rebel and loyalist slaveholders alike, concerned by the idea of armed former slaves and the potential loss of their property. Dunmore was able to recruit enough slaves to form the Ethiopian Regiment, as well as raising a company of Tories he called the Queen's Own Loyal Virginia Regiment; these local forces supplemented the two companies of the 14th Foot, in addition to the naval forces, that were the sole British military presence in the colony. This successful recruiting drive prompted Dunmore to write on November 30, 1775 that he would soon be able to "reduce this colony to a proper sense of their duty." Lord Dunmore had, on arrival in Norfolk, ordered the fortification of the bridge across the Elizabeth River, about 9 miles south of Norfolk in the village of Great Bridge. The bridge formed a natural defense point since it was on the only road leading south from Norfolk toward North Carolina, it was bordered on both sides by the Great Dismal Swamp, the access to the bridge on both sides was via narrow causeways.
Dunmore sent 25 men of the 14th Foot to the bridge, where they erected a small stockade fort they called Fort Murray on the Norfolk side of the bridge. They removed the bridge planking to make crossing it more difficult; the fort was armed with two cannons and several smaller swivel guns. The men of the 14th were augmented by small companies from the Ethiopian and Queen's Own regiments, bringing the garrison size to between 40 and 80 men. In response to Dunmore's proclamation, Virginia's assembly ordered its militia troops to march on Norfolk. William Woodford, the colonel leading the 2nd Virginia Regiment, advanced toward the bridge with his regiment of 400 and about 100 riflemen from the Culpeper Minutemen. On December 2 they set up a camp across the bridge from the British fort. Upon their arrival the British set about destroying buildings near the fort to ensure a clear field of fire. Woodford was at first unwilling to assault the British position, thinking he lacked enough cannons to overcome an overly generous estimate of the garrison's strength.
He therefore began entrenching his position, while more and more militia companies arrived from the surrounding counties and North Carolina. Some cannons arrived with a contingent of North Carolina men, but they were useless because they lacked mountings and carriages. Woodford bec
The Continental Army was formed by the Second Continental Congress after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War by the ex-British colonies that became the United States of America. Established by a resolution of the Congress on June 14, 1775, it was created to coordinate the military efforts of the Thirteen Colonies in their revolt against the rule of Great Britain; the Continental Army was supplemented by local militias and volunteer troops that remained under control of the individual states or were otherwise independent. General George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the army throughout the war. Most of the Continental Army was disbanded in 1783; the 1st and 2nd Regiments went on to form the nucleus of the Legion of the United States in 1792 under General Anthony Wayne. This became the foundation of the United States Army in 1796; the Continental Army consisted of soldiers from all 13 colonies and, after 1776, from all 13 states. When the American Revolutionary War began at the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, the colonial revolutionaries did not have an army.
Each colony had relied upon the militia, made up of part-time citizen-soldiers, for local defense, or the raising of temporary "provincial regiments" during specific crises such as the French and Indian War of 1754–63. As tensions with Great Britain increased in the years leading to the war, colonists began to reform their militias in preparation for the perceived potential conflict. Training of militiamen increased after the passage of the Intolerable Acts in 1774. Colonists such as Richard Henry Lee proposed forming a national militia force, but the First Continental Congress rejected the idea. On April 23, 1775, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress authorized the raising of a colonial army consisting of 26 company regiments. New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut soon raised similar but smaller forces. On June 14, 1775, the Second Continental Congress decided to proceed with the establishment of a Continental Army for purposes of common defense, adopting the forces in place outside Boston and New York.
It raised the first ten companies of Continental troops on a one-year enlistment, riflemen from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia to be used as light infantry, who became the 1st Continental Regiment in 1776. On June 15, 1775, the Congress elected by unanimous vote George Washington as Commander-in-Chief, who accepted and served throughout the war without any compensation except for reimbursement of expenses. On July 18, 1775, the Congress requested all colonies form militia companies from "all able bodied effective men, between sixteen and fifty years of age." It was not uncommon for men younger than sixteen to enlist as most colonies had no requirement of parental consent for those under twenty-one. Four major-generals and eight brigadier-generals were appointed by the Second Continental Congress in the course of a few days. After Pomeroy did not accept, John Thomas was appointed in his place; as the Continental Congress adopted the responsibilities and posture of a legislature for a sovereign state, the role of the Continental Army became the subject of considerable debate.
Some Americans had a general aversion to maintaining a standing army. As a result, the army went through several distinct phases, characterized by official dissolution and reorganization of units. Soldiers in the Continental Army were citizens who had volunteered to serve in the army, at various times during the war, standard enlistment periods lasted from one to three years. Early in the war the enlistment periods were short, as the Continental Congress feared the possibility of the Continental Army evolving into a permanent army; the army never numbered more than 17,000 men. Turnover proved a constant problem in the winter of 1776–77, longer enlistments were approved. Broadly speaking, Continental forces consisted of several successive armies, or establishments: The Continental Army of 1775, comprising the initial New England Army, organized by Washington into three divisions, six brigades, 38 regiments. Major General Philip Schuyler's ten regiments in New York were sent to invade Canada; the Continental Army of 1776, reorganized after the initial enlistment period of the soldiers in the 1775 army had expired.
Washington had submitted recommendations to the Continental Congress immediately after he had accepted the position of Commander-in-Chief, but the Congress took time to consider and implement these. Despite attempts to broaden the recruiting base beyond New England, the 1776 army remained skewed toward the Northeast both in terms of its composition and of its geographical focus; this army consisted of 36 regiments, most standardized to a single battalion of 768 men strong and formed into eight companies, with a rank-and-file strength of 640. The Continental Army of 1777–80 evolved out of several critical reforms and political decisions that came about when it became apparent that the British were sending massive forces to put an end to the American Revolution; the Continental Congress passed the "Eighty-eight Battalion Resolve", ordering each state to contribute one-battalion regiments in proportion to their population, Washington subsequently received authority to raise an additional 16 battalions.
Enlistment terms extended to three years or to "the length of the war" to avoid the year-end crises that deplet
The Gunpowder Incident was a conflict early in the American Revolutionary War between Lord Dunmore, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia, militia led by Patrick Henry. On April 20, 1775, one day after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, Lord Dunmore ordered the removal of the gunpowder from the magazine in Williamsburg, Virginia to a Royal Navy ship; this action sparked local unrest, militia companies began mustering throughout the colony. Patrick Henry led a small militia force toward Williamsburg to force return of the gunpowder to the colony's control; the matter was resolved without conflict. Dunmore, fearing for his personal safety retreated to a naval vessel, ending royal control of the colony. Military tensions began to rise in the British colonies of North America in 1774 when a series of legislative acts by the British Parliament known as the Intolerable Acts began to be implemented in the colonies; the colonies, in solidarity with the Province of Massachusetts Bay, singled out for punishment by those acts in the wake of the Boston Tea Party, had organized a Congress to meet in September 1774.
During the meeting of the First Continental Congress word arrived of a militia uprising in Massachusetts that became known as the Powder Alarm. In early September, General Thomas Gage, the royal governor of Massachusetts, had removed gunpowder from a powder magazine in Charlestown, militia from all over New England had flocked to the area in response to false rumors that violence had been involved. One consequence of this action was that the Congress called for the colonies to organize militia companies for their defense. Another was that Lord Dartmouth, the Secretary of State for the Colonies, advised the colonial governors to secure their military supplies, prohibited importation of further supplies of powder. In early 1775, Virginians began to organize militia companies and seek out military supplies to arm and equip them. Lord Dunmore, Virginia's royal governor, saw this rising unrest in his colony and sought to deprive Virginia militia of these supplies, it was not until after Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech at the Second Virginia Convention on March 23 that Dunmore " it prudent to remove some Gunpowder, in a Magazine in this place."
Although British Army troops had been withdrawn from Virginia in the wake of the Powder Alarm, there were several Royal Navy ships in the Virginia waters of Chesapeake Bay. On April 19, Lord Dunmore brought a company of British sailors into Williamsburg and quartered them in the governor's mansion. Dunmore ordered Captain Henry Collins, commander of HMS Magdalen, to remove the gunpowder from the magazine in Williamsburg. On the night of April 20, Royal Navy sailors went to the Williamsburg powder magazine, loaded fifteen half barrels of powder into the governor's wagon, transported it to the eastern end of the Quarterpath Road to be loaded aboard the Magdalen in the James River; the act was discovered by townsfolk while underway, they sounded an alarm. Local militia rallied to the scene, riders spread word of the incident across the colony. Dunmore had as a precaution armed his servants with muskets, it was only the calming words of Patriot leaders, including the Speaker of the House of Burgesses, Peyton Randolph, that prevented the assembling crowd from storming Dunmore's mansion.
The city council demanded the return of the powder, claiming it was the property of the colony and not the Crown. Dunmore demurred, stating that he was moving the powder as protection against its seizure during a rumored slave uprising, would return it; this seemed to satisfy the assembled crowd, it dispersed peacefully. Unrest however spread throughout the countryside. After a second crowd was convinced to disperse by Patriot leaders, Dunmore reacted angrily, warning on April 22 that if attacked, he would "declare Freedom to the Slaves, reduce the City of Williamsburg to Ashes." He told a Williamsburg alderman that he had "once fought for the Virginians" but "By God, I would let them see that I could fight against them." By April 29, militia mobilizing in the countryside had learned of the battles at Lexington and Concord. Nearly 700 men mustered at Fredericksburg, decided to send a messenger to Williamsburg to assess the situation before marching on the capital. Peyton Randolph advised against violence, George Washington, a longtime leader of the Virginia militia, concurred.
In response to their advice, the Fredericksburg militia voted by a narrow margin not to march. However, militia from other parts of the colony did march to Williamsburg; the Hanover County militia, led by Patrick Henry, voted on May 2 to march on Williamsburg. Henry dispatched a small company to the home of Richard Corbin, the Deputy Collector of the Royal Revenue in Virginia, in a bid to force him to pay for the powder from Crown revenue in his possession; that day Dunmore's family escaped Williamsburg to Porto Bello, Lord Dunmore's hunting lodge on the York River, from there to HMS Fowey, lying at anchor in the York River. Corbin was not at home—he was in Williamsburg, meeting with Dunmore. Henry was advised by Carter Braxton, Corbin's son-in-law and a Patriot member of the House of Burgesses, not to enter the city, while Braxton rode into the city and negotiated a payment; the next day, May 4, Henry received a bill of exchange for £330 signed by a wealthy pl
Battle of Great Cane Brake
The Battle of Great Cane Brake was a skirmish fought on December 22, 1775, during the American Revolutionary War in what was Ninety-Six District, South Carolina, modern Greenville County. With the coming of the American Revolution, the patriot government in Charles Town was opposed by a large concentration of "King's men" in the upcountry. Both sides recognized the need to cultivate the friendship of the Cherokees in a nearly lawless area of the state. In October 1775, the patriot Council of Safety in Charles Town sent 1,000 pounds of powder and 2,000 pounds of lead to the Indians, but a force of loyalists under the command of Patrick Cunningham intercepted the wagon train. Following an unsuccessful attempt to retake the munitions, the Charles Town leaders determined to break the strength of upcountry loyalism by raising an overwhelming force of militiamen under the command of Colonel Richard Richardson. Outnumbered, the King's men fell back toward the Piedmont. By late December, Richardson had as many as 5,000 troops under his command and had captured the major loyalist leaders.
On December 21, Richardson ordered 1,300 men under Major William "Danger" Thomson to pursue the loyalists into Indian territory. Thomson marched 25 miles through the night to a camp where loyalists had been sheltering from cold rain and snow flurries in a "Brake of Canes." Because the ground was wet and the loyalists had been burning cane stalks that popped and crackled, Thomson's men nearly managed to surround the camp before being discovered as they attacked at dawn. Cunningham escaped on an unsaddled horse and without his breeches, shouting for every man "to shift for himself." The patriots recaptured the munitions intended for the Cherokees, they took 130 prisoners, forcing them to sign a document promising not to take up arms again. Only five or six loyalists were killed, though Thomson had to restrain his men from harming the prisoners, some of whom were sent off to Charles Town in chains. Despite the Patriot success, an unusual, heavy snowstorm occurred the following day, which caused considerable suffering among the militiamen, called to duty on short notice with inadequate clothing and without tents.
Some were permanently injured by frostbite. Thereafter the episode was known as the "Snow Campaign." Richardson believed that his victory had pacified the upcountry, but the Cherokees soon joined the loyalists in what became a brutal civil war on the South Carolina frontier. The exact location of the skirmish is unknown, although it took place near the Reedy River 7 miles southwest of Simpsonville, South Carolina. There is a state historical marker on Fork Shoals Road south of Old Hundred Road
George Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville
George Germain, 1st Viscount Sackville, PC, styled The Honourable George Sackville until 1720, Lord George Sackville from 1720 to 1770 and Lord George Germain from 1770 to 1782, was a British soldier and politician, Secretary of State for America in Lord North's cabinet during the American War of Independence. His ministry received much of the blame for Britain's loss of thirteen American colonies, his issuance of detailed instructions in military matters, coupled with his failure to understand either the geography of the colonies or the determination of the colonists, may justify this conclusion. He had two careers, his military career ended with a court martial. Sackville served in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War, including at the decisive Battle of Minden, his political career ended with the fall of the North government in March 1782. Sackville was the third son of Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset, his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Lieutenant-General Walter Philip Colyear.
His Godfather George I attended his baptism. He was educated at Westminster School in London and graduated from Trinity College in Dublin in 1737. Between 1730 and 1737 and again from 1750 to 1755, his father held the post of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. While in Dublin he befriended the celebrated writer Jonathan Swift, he encountered Lord Ligonier who would assist his career in the military. He entered the army. Sackville was elected Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of Ireland in 1751, serving in this post for the next two years, he married Diana Sambrooke, daughter of John Sambrooke and Elizabeth Forester, on 3 September 1754. They had two sons and three daughters, including: Hon. Diana Sackville. Hon. Charles Sackville changed his name to Charles Sackville-Germain. George Sackville Elizabeth, married Henry Herbert, MP Sackville started as a captain in the 7th Horse. In 1740, he transferred to the Gloucestershire Regiment of Foot as a lieutenant colonel; the regiment was sent to Germany to participate in the War of the Austrian Succession.
In 1743. Sackville was advanced to brevet colonel, he saw his first battle, leading the charge of the Duke of Cumberland's infantry in the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745. He led his regiment so deep into the French lines that when he was wounded and captured he was taken to the tent of Louis XV; when he was released and returned home, it was to duty in Scotland as the Colonel of the 20th Foot Regiment. In 1747 and 1748, he again joined the Duke of Cumberland, he served in Holland. There was a break in his military career between wars when he served as first secretary to his father. During the Seven Years' War, Sackville returned to active military service, he had been considered for the post of Commander-in-Chief in North America, which went to Edward Braddock who led his force to disaster during the Braddock Campaign. In 1755, he was returned to active service to oversee ordnance. In 1758, he joined the Duke of Marlborough as a lieutenant general, he was sworn of the Privy Council in January 1758. In June 1758 Sackville was second in command of a British expedition led by Marlborough which attempted an amphibious Raid on St Malo.
While it failed to take the town as instructed, the raid was still considered to have been successful as a diversion. Follow-up raids were considered against Le Havre and other targets in Normandy but no further landings were attempted and the force returned home. In 1758 they joined the allied forces of Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick in Germany, with the first detachment of British troops sent to the Continent; when Marlborough died, Sackville became Commander of the British contingent of the army, although still under the overall command of the Duke of Brunswick. In the Battle of Minden on 1 August 1759, British and Hanoverian infantry of the centre made an advance on the French cavalry and artillery in that sector, they went in without orders and their attacking line formation repulsed repeated French cavalry charges, holding until the last moment firing a massive volley when the charge came within ten yards. As the disrupted French began to fall back on Minden, Ferdinand called for a British cavalry charge to complete the victory, but Sackville withheld permission for their advance.
Ferdinand sent his order several times, but Sackville was estranged from Lord Granby, the force commander. He continued to withhold permission for Granby to gain glory through an attack. For this action, he was sent home. Granby replaced him as commander of the British contingent for the remainder of the war. Sackville refused to accept responsibility for refusing to obey orders. Back in England, he demanded a court martial, made it a large enough issue that he obtained his demand in 1760; the court found him guilty, imposed one of the strangest and strongest verdicts rendered against a general officer. The court's verdict not only upheld his discharge, but ruled that he was "...unfit to serve His Majesty in any military Capacity whatever." ordered that their verdict be read to and entered in the orderly book of every regiment in the army. The king had his name struck from the Privy Council rolls. Sackville had been a Member of Parliament at intervals since 1733, he had served terms in both the Dublin and the Westminster bodies, sometimes but had not taken sides in political wrangles.
Between 1750 and 1755 he served as Chief Secretary for Ireland, during his father's second term as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. When George III
For the Department of Energy facility, see Savannah River Site The Savannah River is a major river in the southeastern United States, forming most of the border between the states of South Carolina and Georgia. Two tributaries of the Savannah, the Tugaloo River and the Chattooga River, form the northernmost part of the border; the Savannah River drainage basin extends into the southeastern side of the Appalachian Mountains just inside North Carolina, bounded by the Eastern Continental Divide. The river is around 301 miles long, it is formed by the confluence of the Seneca River. Today this confluence is submerged beneath Lake Hartwell; the Tallulah Gorge is located on the Tallulah River, a tributary of the Tugaloo River that forms the northwest branch of the Savannah River. Two major cities are located along the Savannah River: Savannah, Augusta, Georgia, they were nuclei of early English settlements during the Colonial period of American history. The Savannah River is tidal at Savannah proper.
Downstream from there, the river broadens into an estuary before flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. The area where the river's estuary meets the ocean is known as "Tybee Roads"; the Intracoastal Waterway flows through a section of the Savannah River near the city of Savannah. The name "Savannah" comes from a group of Shawnee, they destroyed the Westo and occupied established Westo lands at the Savannah River's head of navigation on the Fall Line, near present-day Augusta. These Shawnee were called by several variant names that all derive from their native name, Ša·wano·ki; the local variants included Shawano, Savano and Savannah. Another theory is that the name was derived from the English term "savanna", a kind of tropical grassland, borrowed by the English from Spanish sabana and used in the colonial southeast; the Spanish word was borrowed from the Taino word zabana. Other theories interpret the name Savannah to come from Atlantic coastal tribes, who spoke Algonquian languages, as there are similar terms meaning not only "southerner" but "salt".
Historical and variant names of the Savannah River, as listed by the U. S. Geological Survey, include May River, Westobou River, Kosalu River, Isundiga River and Girande River, among others; the Westobou River was the former name of the Savannah River, derived from the Westo Native American Indians. The Westo were thought to have come from the northeast, pushed out by the more powerful tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy, who had acquired firearms through trade; this migration beginning in the late 16th century resulted in the Westo Indians reaching the present area of Augusta, Georgia, in what was to be the 1660s. The Westo used the river for fishing and water supplies, for transportation, for trade, they were strong enough to hold off the Spanish colonists making incursions from Florida. The Carolina Colony needed the Westo alliance during its early years; when Carolinians desired to expand its trade to Charleston, they viewed the Westo tribe as an obstacle. In order to remove the tribe, they sent a group called the Goose Creek Men to arm the Savanna Indians, a Shawnee tribe, who defeated the Westo in the Westo War of 1680.
Following this, the English colonists renamed the river as the Savannah. They founded two major cities on the river during the colonial era: Savannah was established in 1733 as a seaport on the Atlantic Ocean, Augusta is located where the river crosses the Fall Line of the Piedmont; the two large cities on the Savannah served as Georgia's first two state capitals. In the nineteenth century, the sandy river channel changed causing numerous steamboat accidents. During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a blockade around the Confederate states, forcing merchantmen to use specific ports along the coast best suited for this purpose; the harbor at Savannah became one of the busiest ports for blockade runners bringing in supplies for the Confederacy. The Savannah River was significant during the 1950s when construction started on the U. S. government's Savannah River Plant for making tritium for nuclear weapons. In 1956 Clyde L. Cowan and Frederick Reines detected neutrinos with an experiment carried out at the Savannah River Nuclear Plant, after a preliminary experiment at the Hanford Site.
They placed a 10-ton tank of water next to a powerful nuclear reactor engaged in making plutonium for use in nuclear weapons. After shielding the neutrino trap underground and running it for about 100 days over the course of a year, they detected a few synchronized flashes of gamma radiation that signaled the interaction of a few neutrinos with the protons in the water; the neutrinos were not themselves observed, they never have been. Their presence is inferred by an exceedingly rare interaction. One out of every billion billion neutrinos that pass through the water tank hits a proton, producing the telltale burst of radiation. In 1995 Reines was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for this accomplishment, but Cowen did not live long enough to share it. Between 1946 and 1985, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers built three major dams on the Savannah for hydroelectricity, flood control, navigation; the J. Strom Thurmond Dam, the Hartwell Dam, the Richard B. Russell Dam and their reservoirs combine in order to form over 120 miles of lakes.
Donnie Thompson named a small subdivision "Westobou Crossing", located in North Augusta, South Carolina. The area of the subdivision is located marks the first natural ford that crosses the Savannah River, thus promoting trade and allowing travel. Many native a