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Fort Morris marks site's 1779 fall to British
History enthusiasts re-enact battle
Peeling turnips
Elizabeth Genard, 12, and another colonial re-enactor pass time at the fort by peeling turnips and grinding pepper the “old-fashioned” way. - photo by Photo by Frenchi Jones
Face to face they stood as the morning fog lingered over Fort Morris on Saturday, the British on one side, demanding the surrender of the fort, and Georgia’s Continental troops on the other side, proclaiming they would fight until the bitter end.
“We, sir, are fighting the battle for America … as to surrendering the fort, receive this laconic reply …,” Samuel Harrison said, reading a letter written by Lt. Col. John McIntosh. “Come and take it!”
Spectators seated on metal bleachers on the outskirts of the “battlefield” watched closely to see what would happen next. The scene, staged by the Georgia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, was designed to commemorate the 231st anniversary of the British demand to surrender Fort Morris.
“Today, we’re here to remember the sacrifice that our American patriots made and the courage that they showed,” said Dr. Samuel C. Powell, vice president general of the National Society Sons of the American Revolution.
“The British may have won the battle, but they lost the war,” Powell continued. “They couldn’t kill the American spirit.”
During Saturday’s re-enactment of the Jan. 9, 1779 British attack, Taps resonated over the trees and the pungent smell of gunpowder hung in the air. Hazy clouds and wisps of smoke from freshly fired muskets conjured images of what the soldiers likely experienced the day the fort fell to the British.
“We feel like it’s important for young people so that they might learn and appreciate and understand when they study it in school they can actually see some uniforms and customs … so we feel like that might make it more meaningful for them as they remember the liberty and freedoms that we have,” said Bill Ramsaur of the GSSAR.
“We just forget where we come from sometime,” added  Arthur Edgar, Fort Morris Historic Site manager. “But we must remember that it wasn’t necessarily the guns and the weapons that really determined the Revolution. It was the resolve of the American people and the Revolutionary spirit of the American people that gained us our independence.”
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