Monday, October 26, 2009
Montiano's Georgia Campaign: Part Three
Once ashore on St. Simons Island, the Spanish troops from Florida occupied the ruins of Fort St. Simons, repaired the fortification and mounted cannon of their own. Then, on July 7, 1742, an advance force was sent up the Military Road carved across the island by the English, to establish a fortified line near Fort Frederica.
These troops, numbering only around 200, encountered English pickets as they approached the swath of open marsh surrounding Gully Hole Creek near today's Christ Church. The pickets alerted General James Oglethorpe at nearby Fort Frederica and he began to rush troops to the scene.
Fortunately for the English, the first of Oglethorpe's commands to reach the scene was the Independent Company of Highlanders from Darien, Georgia. A unit of hard-fighting Scottish Highlanders, they stormed into the intensifying fight and actually won the Battle of Gully Hole Creek before the rest of Oglethorpe's troops could come up.
Leaving 12 soldiers dead on the field and losing another 10 as prisoners of war, the Spanish withdrew back down the island to meet reinforcements being sent forward by Governor Don Manuel de Montiano. The withdrawal was the first in a series of blows that would forever end Spain's hopes of reclaiming its lost lands in Georgia.
To learn more about the Battle of Gully Hole Creek, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/gullyholecreek.