Savannah, Augusta & Brier Creek


Savannah, Augusta and Brier Creek examines the British conquest of Georgia during the American Revolution from several perspectives. The first part is a narrative history starting with the capture of Savannah by British troops, continuing with the march to Augusta led by Archibald Campbell, and culminating with the British victory at Battle of Brier Creek, which resulted in the resumption of colonial rule over Georgia. The narrative focuses on Samuel Elbert, the commander of Georgia’s Continental line, who resisted the capture of Savannah, harassed the march to Augusta, and made a valiant stand at Brier Creek before being taken prisoner.

The second part presents stories of dubious validity arising from the Battle of Brier Creek, and places them in the context of folklore and Arthurian legend.

The third part provides a biographical sketch of Samuel Elbert, who distinguished himself in the American Revolution and later served as governor of Georgia.

The fourth part contains a visitor’s guide to the Brier Creek Battleground and other Revolutionary War sites along the Savannah River from Savannah to Augusta.

This Cursed War: Lachlan McIntosh in the American Revolution

This Cursed WarLachlan McIntosh suffered setbacks to his military strategies and smears to his reputation throughout the American Revolution, all the while worried about the welfare of his wife, children, brothers and sister. Yet he persevered.

At the beginning of the war McIntosh was given command of Georgia’s continental troops, but he could never recruit enough soldiers to bring the battalion to full strength. He established a string of forts to protect Georgia’s southern border, but British, loyalist and Indian opponents overran the forts and raided into Georgia. In one of the border battles, a bullet struck McIntosh in the heel and the wound festered for weeks. Plantations in South Georgia belonging to Lachlan, his brothers and his sister were trampled by both British and American troops and left in ruins.

Lachlan’s younger brother George was arrested for treason, thrown in jail briefly, and had his plantations confiscated by political enemies of the McIntosh family. In response, Lachlan called Button Gwinnett a scoundrel and lying rascal, was challenged by Gwinnett to a duel, and not only inflicted a wound that led to Gwinnett’s death but also suffered a wound to his thigh. Gwinnett’s supporters called for Lachlan to be removed from command, and he transferred to George Washington’s army. While with Washington, he endured the terrible winter at Valley Forge.

Washington assigned McIntosh command of the Western Department, where McIntosh once again envisioned a string of forts along the frontier. Indians allied with the British besieged the outermost fort and McIntosh personally led a relief column at breakneck speed through rugged snow-covered terrain. Once again his ability as a military commander was subjected to criticism and once again he transferred to another department; this time back to the South.

McIntosh wanted to return to the South to protect his family. He had moved his wife and children from Darien in vulnerable South Georgia to Savannah, a place that seemed safe from British intrusions. But the British sent a force by sea that captured Savannah and trapped the McIntosh family behind British lines. Then the Americans and their French allies besieged Savannah. McIntosh begged the British commander to release his family without success. Sarah McIntosh and her children, like the other civilians in Savannah, huddled in basements while artillery from her husband’s army bombarded the town. The siege concluded with an assault on Savannah that ended disastrously for the Americans and their allies. When the allies withdrew, the McIntosh family remained confined inside British lines.

When the family was eventually released, Lachlan took Sarah and the children to Camden, South Carolina, where he thought they would be safe. He then participated in the defense of Charleston. While there, he received word that his political enemies in Georgia had once again smeared his reputation and that Congress had suspended him from command of Continental troops, and so he accepted command of militia units. He was taken prisoner when Charleston fell to British besiegers. McIntosh had witnessed two of the most disastrous defeats of the Revolution, the assault on Savannah and the capture of Charleston.

When the British moved toward Camden, the McIntosh family fled once again. The family wandered across North Carolina before finding refuge in Virginia. While McIntosh endured imprisonment for more than a year, he asked his son Lackie to protect Sarah and the children. As warfare slowly subsided, Lachlan returned to Georgia alone while Sarah and the children found refuge once again in Camden, where Lackie became ill and died.

Yet Lachlan McIntosh persevered.
This Cursed War

Brier Creek Battleground 2017 Revised Edition

Brier_Creek_Battlegr_CoverNew edition features more sites along Savannah River

The 2017 Revised Edition of Brier Creek Battleground contains information on Purrysburg, Ebinezer, Two Sisters Ferry, Tuckassee King, Palachacola, Hudson’s Ferry, Brier Creek, Miller Bridge, Matthews Bluff, Burton’s Ferry and Paris’s Mills.

Fort Morris Battleground

fort morris cover 640pFort Morris Battleground:

An illustrated guide to a Revolutionary War site at Sunbury, Georgia

Gives the history of the American Revolution in Georgia with emphasis on events at Sunbury, including the sieges of Fort Morris in November of 1778 and January of 1779. Displays color photos of Fort Morris Historic Site and related sites, including Midway, Savannah, Darien, Fort Barrington, Mallow, Fair Hope and Brier Creek. Describes feud between Button Gwinnett of Sunbury and the McIntosh family of Darien. Contains biographical sketches of Colonel John McIntosh, who served in the Continental army, and his relative Roderick “Rory” McIntosh, who served in the British Army. Provides visitor information on Fort Morris Historic Site.

Available at and other retail outlets.


Brier Creek illustrated

Brier Creek Battleground 2017 Revised Edition

Brier Creek Battleground 2017 Revised Edition

 Brier Creek Battleground:

A Revolutionary War site beside the Savannah River

The history and legend of the Battle of Brier Creek in Georgia during the American Revolution. Illustrated with color photos and maps. The chapter “Bodies in Motion” describes the reburials of Samuel Elbert and John McIntosh. Visitors’ guide contains information on sites along the Savannah River including Purrysburg, Ebenezer, Two Sisters Ferry, Tuckasee King, Palachacola, Hudson’s Ferry, Matthews Bluff, Brier Creek, Miller Bridge, Burton’s Ferry and Paris’s Mills.

Available at Amazon and other retail outlets.


Mr. McIntosh’s Family

mr mc family front coverMr. McIntosh’s Family reports history and legend of the Mackintosh clan and the McIntosh family in the Jacobite Risings, the settlement of Darien, Georgia, and the struggle for the colonial American southern frontier. Available in print and on Kindle at and other retail outlets.

Brigadier William Mackintosh of Borlum commanded a Jacobite army in the Rising of 1715 in Britain and participated in the Rising of 1719.

The Brigadier’s nephew John – who was distinguished from the many other clansmen with the same name by the Gaelic word “mor,” meaning big, and whose name was often written John McIntosh Mohr – went with him in the Jacobite Rising of 1715. As an adult, John Mackintosh Mor led the Highlanders who settled at Darien, Georgia.

The Highlanders were greeted by Aeneas Mackintosh, who served in a ranger troop that protected his relatives in the settlements of coastal Georgia. Aeneas Mackintosh returned to Scotland and became the 22nd Chief of Clan Mackintosh.

John Mackintosh Mor was taken prisoner in the Battle of Mosa near St. Augustine and held in a Spanish jail. His teenage son William escaped from Mosa and fought in the Battle of Bloody Marsh on St. Simons Island. Another son, Lachlan, served in the regiment on St. Simons.

In the Jacobite Rising of 1745 in Scotland, Aeneas Mackintosh remained loyal to the government while his wife earned the nickname Colonel Anne for rallying the clan in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

John Mackintosh Mor was released in a prisoner of war exchange and returned to his family in Georgia.

His family played a leading role in the campaign for independence from Great Britain.

mr mc family front cover art

Jacobites including Brigadier William Mackintosh of Borlum used the Eilean Donan castle in the Scottish Highlands (shown above after its reconstruction) as an ammunition depot.

mr mc family back cover art

Spanish forces used the Castillo de San Marcos at St. Augustine, Florida (shown above) as a stronghold during the struggle for the colonial American southern frontier.

Blood on the Marsh

bloodonmarshBlood on the Marsh

The adventures of General Lachlan McIntosh, Flora MacDonald, Roderick McIntosh, Colonel Anne Mackintosh, Colonel John McIntosh, John Mackintosh Mor, Captain Aeneas Mackintosh, Brigadier William Mackintosh, Sergeant Allen McDonald, and Alexander McDonald

Available at and other retail outlets, including the Salkehatchie Arts Center.

Brigadier William Mackintosh of Borlum led Jacobite forces in the Rising of 1715 and also participated in the Rising of 1719.

John Mackintosh Mor fought in the Rising of 1715, led the Scots who settled Darien, and was taken prisoner in the Battle of Mosa.

Aeneas the 22nd Chief of Clan Mackintosh served as a ranger in colonial South Carolina, returned to Scotland before the Rising of 1745, and remained loyal to the government.

‘Colonel Anne’ Mackintosh married the 22nd Chief of Clan Mackintosh and brought out the clan in the Rising of 1745.

Aeneas the 23rd Chief of Clan Mackintosh served as a captain in the 71st Highlanders throughout the American Revolution.

Continental General Lachlan McIntosh emigrated with his father John Mackintosh Mor from Scotland to the settlement at Darien, Georgia, served in Oglethorpe’s regiment at Fort Frederica, and held important commands during the American Revolution.

Roderick ‘Rory’ McIntosh, a grandson of Brigadier William Mackintosh of Borlum, grew up in Scotland, emigrated to Darien, and served in the British army during the American Revolution.

Continental Colonel John McIntosh defiantly defended Sunbury, Georgia, and was taken prisoner at Brier Creek.

Flora MacDonald rescued Bonnie Prince Charlie after the Jacobite Rising of 1745, emigrated to North Carolina before the American Revolution, lost her plantation because she, her husband and their sons remained loyal to the king, and returned to Scotland.

Allen McDonald performed heroic feats in Marion’s Brigade during the American Revolution.

Alexander McDonald was born in the Scottish Highlands and emigrated to Georgia as a recruit for the regiment at Fort Frederica.

His son Sergeant Alexander McDonald served in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment under the command of Francis Marion in the American Revolution.

Brier Creek

brier creek cover front text photoBRIER CREEK: A guide to the history and legend of a Revolutionary War battlefield and related sites near the Savannah River

Out of print.