Friday, January 3, 2014

War of 1812 on the Georgia Coast

Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island
I've added two new pages to my site that focus on War of 1812 actions on the Georgia coast.

The first tells the story of the British Raid on St. Simons Island and the other the virtually unknown story of the Battle of the St. Mary's, the last land battle of the War of 1812.

Georgia was the focus of the last campaign of the War of 1812. As a major British army moved against New Orleans in December 1814, a second amphibious force struck Cumberland Island on the Georgia Coast. Commanded by Rear Admiral George Cockburn, the same officer who had burned Washington, D.C., British forces landed on Cumberland on January 11, 1815. Two days later they took the U.S. Army battery and fort at Point Petre (Point Peter) near St. Mary's in a small but sharp battle.

Slave cabin on a plantation raided by the British in 1815.
Then, near the end of January 1815, Cockburn ordered his forces to invade St. Simons Island. Coming ashore on the island's southern end, they raided homes and plantations while liberating African American slaves and inviting them to join the British military.

Old Fort Frederica, on the west side of the island, became the command post for the operation and was the scene of one of the largest military emancipations of slaves in Georgia history.

To learn more about the raid on St. Simons Island, please visit

Sailing vessel on the St. Mary's River
The final offensive action of the War of 1812 took place along Georgia's southern border on the St. Mary's River. A small flotilla of seven barges and a captain's gig rowed up the river to destroy the American outpost of Camp Pinckney near what is now Folkston.

On February 24, 1815, the British Royal Marines and sailors were attacked by U.S. Army troops and "Patriot" revolutionaries from Spanish Florida in what is known as the Battle of the St. Mary's. The action took place after the Battle of New Orleans, the Battle of Point Petre (Point Peter) and the Second Battle of Fort Bowyer, all of which have been labeled by various historians as the last battle of the War of 1812.  So far as is known, however, British and American land forces never fought against each other again after the Battle of the St. Mary's.

To learn more about the Battle of the St. Mary's, please visit

Don't forget, you can read about dozens of other Georgia historic sites anytime at  Just scroll down the page to the index and look for the Georgia section.

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