The American Revolution - Part II From 1776 to 1783. By: Colin McAfee, Jasmine Lee and Spencer Brown

The Siege of Savannah

The Seige of Savannah took place on December 29, 1778 after the battle the British took Savanna. The American troops lost 83 men, 11 were wounded and 453 were captured; While only 7 British troops were killed and 17 were wounded. The British launched a full raid on Savanah, the American troops lost the initial battle and Savanah fell into British Hands. By the end of the battle the American troops were forced to attempt to swim across Yamacraw Creek.

"Britain’s occupation of Savannah was only the first stroke in a strategy geared to bring Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia back under royal control." -HistoryNet. The British's plan to take the bigger colonies of The US by starting with the less populated colonies. The British started by targeting less populated citys before they attacked the greater populated citys.

Major General Robert Howe was in charge of the American troops in the defense of Savanah.
Archibald Campbell was the British commander in charge of British troops invading Savanah.
The Retaking of Savannah

The Americans and French attempted to retake Savannah, from September 16 to October 18, 1779. The siege failed, and the British remained in control of Savannah until July 1782, near the end of the war. On October 9 a major assault against the British siege works failed. During the attack, Polish nobleman Count Casimir Pułaski, leading the combined cavalry forces on the American side, was mortally wounded. With the failure of the joint American-French attack, the siege failed, and the British remained in control of Savannah until July 1782, near the end of the war

Map of Savannah
"The siege of Savannah, the second deadliest battle of the Revolutionary War." - New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Valley forge

Valley Forge was the military camp 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia where the American Continental Army spent the winter of 1777–78 during the American Revolutionary War.
The troops were so desperate, George Washington wasso srtong he was 1qwaable to advicate for his troops. "There is one thing more to which I would take the liberty of solliciting your most serious and constant attention; to wit, the cloathing of your Troops, and the procuring of every possible supply in your power from time to time for that end." - George Washington writing to Congress

The Continental Congress provided very little support to George Washington due to the weakness of his army.

It was here were the American troops transformed from a ragtag bunch of farm boys to trained soldiers. The trainers faced many troubles while there such as Starvation, disease, malnutrition, and exposure killed more than 2,500 American soldiers by the end of February 1778. Around 12,000 men were encamped there.

The soldiers lived so hard they felt happy just to be able to powder their wigs. “We live uncommonly well for Camp…We have Milk and sugar in plenty…I have my hair powdered every day.…”Samuel Ward, Jr. to Phebe Ward, Valley Forge, 5 May 1778. Without George Washingtons ability to keep an army together we wouldent have stood a chance against the strength of the British.

The seige (battle) of yorktown October 19, 1781

Siege of Yorktown. General Rochambeau and General Washington give last orders before an attack, October 1781
"The commander-in-chief earnestly recommends that the troops not on duty should universally attend with that seriousness of deportment and gratitude of heart which the recognition of such reiterated and astonishing interposition of Providence demands of us."

"I bore much for the sake of peace and the public good. My conscience tells me I acted rightly in these transactions, and should they ever come to the knowledge of the world I trust I shall stand acquitted by it."

The eagle has been considered a sign of strength since ancient times…

The national symbol, bald eagle, is related to its 1782 landing on the Great Seal of the United States. The Great seal represents liberty and freedom.

Now, let me tell you the whole story and why is it important...

July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed.

After The Declaration of Independence was signed, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams were assigned to design a new national seal. Unfortunately, their and the later two committees’ ideas were not approved by the Congress.

Mid-June, 1782. The job of designing was given to Charles Thomson, the secretary of Congress.

Charles Thomson referred to the previous and various designs, including a drawing of an small, white eagle drawn by the Pennsylvania lawyer, William Barton. He then replaced the eagle with a bald eagle. He chose to designed it like this because it symbolizes long life, great strength, and majestic look. Also, it represents most importantly liberty and freedom.

June 20, 1782. The Congress officially adopted the design.

MYTH

Benjamin Franklin thought a turkey is a better choice for national symbol, and he protested to the Congress, but there’s no evidence for that. However, he did write a letter to his daughter in 1784 saying that bald eagle is a bird of bad moral character.

Quotes from Benjamin Franklin

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him."

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

The bald eagle became an American icon as it showed up on official document, currency, flags, public buildings, and other government-related items. You can even see that on your passport!

IN CONCLUSION...

The design of this symbol is really important. It inspired the colonists during the war, and it has represented America since it was designed. The people who designed this also wanted it to inspire the future generations, and hoped that we could always remember the importance of freedom, liberty, peace, honesty, courage, and sacrifice. Now, this symbol os the Great Seal is still being used as I said it before, it is sometimes added to official and very important documents.

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