Two hundred thirty-three years ago, a defiant Lt. Col. John McIntosh, commander of 200 patriots defending an earthen fortification overlooking the Medway River, defied a British officer’s demand to surrender Fort Morris.
“Come and take it!” McIntosh challenged the much-larger British force.
The British commander respectfully declined McIntosh’s challenge and took his forces back to Florida, where a growing contingent of British regulars, Indian allies and Loyalists from Georgia and the Carolinas were mounting a campaign to retake Georgia. The British returned to Fort Morris about six weeks later with a force of more than 2,000 and after a short but heavy bombardment, the fort and the port city of Sunbury fell into British hands.
Colonial re-enactors were on hand at Fort Morris Historic Site near Midway on Saturday to commemorate McIntosh’s defiant stand against overwhelming odds. His reply to the British demand to surrender was typical of the independent spirit that eventually would win against what then was the most powerful military in the world.
Called a “Come and Take it!” Revolutionary War Encampment, re-enactors from all over Georgia and Florida demonstrated musket and cannon drills and participated in a skirmish with British re-enactors. Others, dressed in Colonial-era civilian attire, represented and interpreted a variety of activities, such as cooking and knitting.
The event began with remarks by Jason Baker, the fort’s assistant manager, and was followed by a presentation of colors led by Ed Rigel, commander of the Sons of the American Revolutionary War Color Guard. Jack Ferguson from Marietta, Ga., was part of the color guard. He said their organization does presentations at re-enactments and in schools and they mark the graves of America’s first veterans – Revolutionary War soldiers – and recognize the anniversary of Revolutionary War battles fought in Georgia.
Read more in the Nov. 23 edition of the News.