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This Day in Georgia History

May 16, 1777

Gwnntt-McIntosh Duel

For months, animosity between Gen. Lachlan McIntosh and former Council of Safety president Button Gwinnett had been growing - especially when Gwinnett in March had ordered the arrest of McIntosh’s brother for treason (at the request of the Continental Congress). Both the general and Gwinnett had been involved in a failed invasion of British Florida, and each blamed the other. When the Georgia legislature cleared Gwinnett of responsibility, McIntosh responded by calling Gwinnett “a Scoundrell & lying Rascal.” The result was a duel on May 16 outside of Savannah. At close range, both fired their pistols at the same time, each striking the other. McIntosh’s bullet shattered Gwinnett’s thigh, producing a wound that would prove fatal days later.