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In Their Own Words

March 23, 1779

Letter Described Low Point of Revolution

Savannah merchant and Revolutionary soldier Joseph Clay had fled to South Carolina to escape the British occupying Savannah. From there he wrote to friends of the dire military situation in Georgia and the need for more support there:

“… I wrote you sometime ago with the Situation of our State, & of the progress of Enemy in it. They are still in possession of all the Sea Coast, more than half of the best part of the state, & for any Force we have at present they may remain there as long as they please. And shoud they get reinforced before any Troops arrive to our Assistance from your part of the world, I make no doubt they will attempt to penetrate into this, & its more probable, succeed in it; & shoud that unfortunately happen, its consequences to the United States must be very alarming. If we had rec’d the least support in Georgia, the Enemy woud never have got the footing in it they have nor woud they have kept possession of it till this time…had they been Active the Enemy woud have been drove out of our Country or at least confined to the Town of Savannah… . If General Lincoln can once have as many regular Troops under his Comm’d as they have, I have not the least doubt he woud soon give a very good Account of them… . “

Source: Collections of the Georgia Historical Society, Vol. VIII, Letters of Joseph Clay, Merchant of Savannah, 1776-1793 (Savannah: Georgia Historical Society, 1913), pp. 129-130.