Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Battle of Bloody Marsh - St. Simons Island, Georgia

The English victory at the Battle of Gully Hole Creek on the morning of July 7, 1742, stunned the Spanish army invading St. Simons Island and sent it reeling back on its base at Fort St. Simons (on the site of today's St. Simons Lighthouse). As English General James Oglethorpe pushed forces up the military road across the island and returned to Fort Frederica for reinforcements, Spanish commander Don Manuel de Montiano attempted to reverse the situation faced by his forces.

Bringing forward a stronger body of troops, Montiano started back up the military road. Aware that a second Spanish advance was likely, Oglethorpe had thrown the 42nd Regiment of Foot and a company of Highlanders from Darien into position on a low wooded bluff overlooking a marsh that the Spanish soldiers would have to cross. The miltiary road passed over the edge of the marsh by a low causeway.

On the afternoon of July 7, 1742, just hours after their defeat earlier in the day at Gully Hole Creek, the Spanish army marched into Oglethorpe's ambush. As Montiano's soldiers crossed into the open marsh, the English soldiers opened fire. A sharp battle erupted and by the time the smoke cleared, the Spanish were once again in retreat.

The battlefield would become known as Bloody Marsh, because legend holds that the wetlands ran red with the blood of Spanish soldiers. While this may have been true, only seven of Montiano's soldiers were killed in the fighting, far fewer than had died earlier in the day at Gully Hole Creek.

The Battle of Bloody Marsh is rememebered today as a landmark event in Georgia history. It forever ended Spain's hope of reclaiming is lost lands in Georgia and assured the survival of the English colony that would eventually become the State of Georgia. To learn more, please visit

No comments:

Post a Comment