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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: "Thanks" from Old Dog
In Response To: "Thanks" from Old Dog ()

The location on which is believed to be the original battle field site of what was actually called The Siege of Savannah, 1779 is located down town proper, just off Montgomery Street between the Savannah History Museum and the Historic Rail Road shops and yard.

The Black Troops that fought at that location who were allied with the colonials or “Rebels” were not identified as Haitian troops but were properly call Chasseurs de St. Dominque, from the island of St. Dominque that would be renamed Haiti after the revolution. These Black troops were a part of the French contribution to the battle.They did not participate in the initial assault, they were the reserve. The entrenched British forces blunted and defeated the “Rebel” attack to such an extent that they saw opportunity to slaughter what was left of the “Rebels” left dead, dying and retreating in confusion from the field. The British force moved forward onto the field with the intent to fully destroy what was now left of the helpless and vulnerable “Rebel” force. Upon seeing the imminent danger to the remaining “Rebel” force on the field, the regiment of Chasseurs de St. Dominque was sent forward onto the field to cover the “Rebel” retreat. The fire from this regiment alone caused more causality among the British forces then did the initial attack by the “Rebels”. The accuracy of the fire was such that there was no safe haven for the British troops who had climbed out of and beyond their entrenchments to administer the death blow to the badly beaten and disorganized “Rebel” force on the plain of battle. The “Rebels” were able to gather them selves and retreat in good order, protected by the rear guard action of the regiment of Chasseurs de St. Dominque.

There were three historic personalities present at the battle, two well known who would die on the battle field and another who would survive and become famous several years after.

Casimir Pulaski, a Polish aristocrat and officer who served under Washington and is, called the Father of the American Cavalry. He would lead the attack mounted and be mortally wounded. He has a monument in his honor in the center of Pulaski Square in down town Savannah.

Sgt. Chris Jasper was a hero of earlier battles in the war and a favorite in the contingent of The Irish Jasper Greens or Guards who participated in the attack. He would attempt to duplicate a heroic feat that earlier won him national acclaim. He would for the second time grasp a set of colors that had fallen from the grasp of a felled color bearer and rushed forward with them rallying the troops as he raced toward the British entrenchments and parapet. It is said he reached the entrenchments, climbed to the top of the parapet and was shot down with the colors. He as well has a monument of his likeness in one of the squares in Savannah. The likeness of him holds the colors in the left hand; the right hand covers a mortal wound in his side.

The third was a mere boy, believed to be a drummer or a musician. He had come with the regiment of Chasseurs de Saint Dominque. The boy would survive the carnage and death that day. He would return home grow to manhood and help lead the first successful slave revolt in history; a revolt that would free his people and give birth to a new nation, Haiti. That Boy was Toussaint L’Ouverture

Source documentation can be obtained from the Coastal Heritage Society; Savannah GA. CHS are the care takers and owners of 3 historic sites in Savannah, the Savannah History Museum, the Historic Rail Road Yard or Shops and Historic Old Fort Jackson, (where I was once site Manager). Two of the 3 sites have a significant Black historical presence, the rail road yard and Ft. Jackson, Battle Field Park as it was to be known a few years ago would be the third site with such history and the fourth site owned by the organization.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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