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In Their Own Words

January 05, 1756

Georgia Unprepared for War

In 1754, England and France went to war over their worldwide empires. In North America, the conflict was known as the French and Indian War. Concerned about the defenses of the American colonies, the British Board of Trade wrote royal governor John Reynolds asking what needed to be done to put Georgia into a proper state of defense. On this day, Reynolds responded with a letter about how unprepared Georgia was:

” … The real state of defense of this colony is such that it may be laid before Your Lordships in a very few words.

“At Augusta, which is 150 miles northwest from Savannah, there is now remaining a wooden fort of 120-foot square, but it is so rotten that great part of it is propped up to prevent its falling. It has eight small iron guns, which are honeycombed, the carriage rotten, and there is no ordnance stores. This is the only fortification in the province. For Frederica, which lies 100 miles southwest from Savannah in the late war was well fortified, is now totally dismantled, and nothing remains there but twenty old cannon without carriages or any ordnance stores. At Savannah here are eleven old cannon, three- and four-pounders, without any carriages or any ordnance stores, except twenty-seven old swivel guns and sixty-one old muskets, most of them with broken stocks and many without locks. This is the true state of the forts, fortifications and ordnance stores in this province… .”

Source: Edward J. Cashin (ed.), Setting Out to Begin a New World: Colonial Georgia (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1995), pp. 112-114.