During the revolutionary period Savannahians raised their own protests against the perceived injustices imposed by the Mother Country, especially the hated Stamp Act of 1765, which taxed every printed thing and every official paper. However, Georgia paused longer than any other colony before deciding to join the revolutionary movements and to participate in the Philadelphia meetings.
During the American Revolution the British took Savannah in 1778, and held it until July, 1782. A land-sea force of French and Americans tried to retake the city in 1779, first by siege and then by direct assault, but failed. In 1778, French forces under Count Henri D’Estaing joined to help the Americans in their fight for independence. Some of the bloodiest battles of the war followed. One of them was the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779.
Famous patriots and mercenaries from European nobility were involved in this grim battle. The Americans were led by General Benjamin Lincoln, who was joined by William Jasper and Count Casimir Pulaski. It was, though, another defeat for the Americans; shortly thereafter the British were commanding the whole South. In October, 1781, however, the English sword of surrender was presented to Lincoln at Yorktown, Virginia, and Savannah’s liberation was near.
The British evacuated Savannah and the Loyalists scurried back to England. On July 11 the Georgia legion received the keys to the city. After the revolution, Savannah was the capital city of Georgia until 1786, when Augusta, and later Atlanta, assumed Savannah’s role.