A Look into Fort Morris and its Tale of Bravery and Defiance

Categories: News,The Right Blend Blog

Tucked away in the marsh grass along the Medway River, you will find a place of quiet serenity that was once a fortress of protection for the neighboring town of Sunbury. Tensions were rising in the American colonies so it was decided in 1776 that the booming port of Sunbury should be protected from all enemies, including England. Soon after the earthen work walls of Fort Morris were established and garrisoned by 200 patriots to ensure only allies were allowed further inland to reach the dock.

 

Image courtesy of Fort Morris Historic Site

 

It was customary that incoming friendly ships would signal to the fort with a single cannon shot to make their presence and intentions known. However, on November 25, 1778, a ship was spotted coming into the waters surrounding the fort but no cannon fire could be heard. It was the British! Demands of surrender were issued to the fort but the defiant leader Col. John McIntosh responded with “Come and take it!” The British forces withdrew to Florida rather than take on the soldiers of Fort Morris but the victory would be short lived. The British troops gathered additional forces and returned forty-five days later to claim victory against Fort Morris on January 9, 1779. Sunbury was destroyed and what was once a thriving community, became a forgotten ghost town.

Fort Morris found purpose again in the War of 1812 where the former earthen work walls were recommissioned to create a new fortress, Fort Defiance. Along with armed barges, the fortress protected the Georgia coast from British invasion until a peace treaty was finally formed between England and America. The conclusion of the war meant peace for Liberty County and retirement for the fort after many years of service.

 

Image courtesy of Fort Morris Historic Site

 

Today the grounds are open to the public every day of the year to take in the beauty and history found within the earthen work walls that still stand. An on-site museum is a great addition to the experience at the fort to learn more of its history and the history of Sunbury as well. Don’t be surprised to see a Continental solider parading the grounds or even a Red Coat when visiting at certain times of the year! The site hosts a number of annual events where reenactments take place to include cannon and musket firing, traditional colonial games and soldiers in the uniforms of the past.

For more information about Fort Morris and to see a list of the annual events, be sure to check out their website here.

 

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