Wilkes County and Georgia During The American Revolution

Links and Resources and Organizations

The American Revolution began unofficially before 1770, but the dates officially used are from 1775-1783. During the last half of the 18th century the political, social, and intellectual differences between Great Britain and the 13 colonies finally culminated with the separation as determined by the Declaration of Independence written and signed July 4th, 1776. The first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord April 19th, 1775. After the British declared war on the “Rebels or Whigs” or as we now call them “the Patriots or Americans”, there were many battles in the northern colonies in which the British army won most of them. However, after it appeared a stalemate when the French army entered the war early in 1778 and the Battle of Monmouth was won by Gen. George Washington and his Continental Army (it was the last major battle in the North) the British developed a “Southern Strategy” believing the Loyalists (British sympathizers) would rally to their flag and once the British took over the South, they would then build their army with Loyalists (and slaves) and march back north and defeat George Washington and his Army. Beginning in late 1778, the British took Savannah and in 1780 they overran Charleston. This gave the British the potential to overtake both Georgia and South Carolina. However, the British overestimated the Loyalist’s (or Tory’s) numbers and the Whigs or Patriots provided some chastising engagements to help control the advancement of the British influence. Wilkes County provided part of that resistance and ultimately provided a small but major victory to help provide a moral victory which resonated across the South . The Battle of Kettle Creek, as small as it was, gave incentative to the Whigs or Patriots to continue the fight and thus, Wilkes County became known as the “Hornet’s Nest”. Below are books and articles written by noted authors which explain more about Wilkes County and Georgia.