Siege of Savannah

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SAVANNAH, SIEGE OF (1864). On 10 December, Union general William Tecumseh Sherman approached Savannah. A skillful Confederate defense at Honey Hill kept the railroad open to Charleston, South Carolina. But Fort McAllister, eighteen miles southwest of Savannah and commanding the southern water approach, was captured, and connection was established with the Union supply fleet. Greatly outnumbered, but his line of escape still open, General William J. Hardee, the Confederate commander, after a brief defense on the night of 20 December, withdrew into South Carolina. Sherman telegraphed President Abraham Lincoln: "Ibeg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the City of Savannah."


Glatthaar, Joseph T. The March to the Sea and Beyond. New York: New York University Press, 1985.

Jones, Charles C. The Siege of Savannah in December 1864. Albany, N.Y.: J. Munsell, 1874.

Royster, Charles. The Destructive War. New York: Knopf, 1991.

Thomas RobsonHay/a. r.

See alsoSherman's March to the Sea .

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SAVANNAH, SIEGE OF (1779). Comte Jean Baptiste Hector d'Estaing with about 4,500 soldiers, joined by Benjamin Lincoln with about 2,100 Americans, sought to wrest Savannah from the British, who had about 2,500 defenders. After a siege of three weeks, on 9 October 1779 a general assault resulted in a disastrous failure. More than 1,000 of the attacking forces were killed, including Count Casimir Pulaski and Sergeant William Jasper, of Fort Moultrie fame. Lack of coordination and under-standing between the French and Americans was considered to be the reason for the defeat.


Lawrence, Alexander A. Storm over Savannah. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1951.

Nadelhaft, Jerome J. The Disorders of War: The Revolution in South Carolina. Orono: University of Maine at Orono Press, 1981.

E. MertonCoulter/a. r.

See alsoMoultrie, Fort, Battle of ; Southern Campaigns .

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