Patriots Day was celebrated in grand style on a beautiful spring day on
St. Simons Island, Georgia. At least two hundred DAR, SAR, SR & Society of
Cincinnati members from Georgia and Florida were joined by about one
hundred descendants and another hundred local citizens to honor soldiers
and sailors of the Revolutionary War. They dedicated SAR Markers for
four Patriots in the Christ Church, Frederica Churchyard and then unveiled
a Georgia Historical Marker at nearby Fort Frederica National Monument to
commemorate the Frederica Naval Action. During the previous day, water
tours were conducted on the Frederica River in which the Revolutionary War
battle occurred. The Georgia Patriots Day Celebration was planned and
conducted by the Marshes of Glynn SAR Chapter with substantial assistance
and support from the Georgia Society SAR and other hereditary and
Four Patriots Honored at Christ Church, Frederica Churchyard
In the morning, a Ceremony was conducted to honor Revolutionary War
Patriots: Cyrus Dart, Robert Grant, William Page and Samuel Wright.
The memorial service, attended by over 200 people, incorporated elements
of military reviews dating from the time of the Revolution including:
formation of troops, presentation of colors, and musical salutes.
Descendants read biographies of the Patriots which included a description
of their military service. Twenty-five members of the Georgia and Florida SAR Color
Guards led a procession to the burial sites of the Patriots. They stood at
attention while SAR bronze Markers were unveiled, flags and wreaths
presented, and bagpipe salute performed followed by Taps. George Thurmond,
Georgia SAR President, said that the Frederica Ceremony had the largest
attendance of the seventy-three cemetery marker services previously
conducted in Georgia.
Dedication of Historical Marker at Fort Frederica
A Georgia Historical Marker entitled "The Georgia Navy"
was dedicated at the entrance of the Fort Frederica National Monument
during the afternoon. The Marker describes the Georgia Navy’s victory on
April 19, 1778, against the British in a skirmish in Frederica River in
the shadow of the still standing Fort Frederica powder magazine
approximate location ). The
ceremony, attended by over 400 people, included over eighty descendants of
Patriots who participated in the Frederica Naval Action.
Coastal Georgia Historian Buddy Sullivan stated, "We're walking through
history'' to the large crowd gathered at Fort Frederica, many of whom
found shade under old live oaks. Virginia Steele Wood, Naval Specialist at
Library of Congress, gave an account of how Colonel
Samuel Elbert, Continental Line officers and Georgia Navy captains,
including John Cutler Braddock, and over five hundred soldiers and
sailors were helped by the tides, winds and good fortune in three galleys to
outmaneuver and capture three British vessels.
(Click here for description of battle, maps, illustrations &
photos.) A Proclamation, issued by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, was
read which "urged all Georgians to become more knowledgeable of the role
the Revolution played in the history of our great nation."
Featured in the ceremony was the U.S. Navy Band, Southeast from
Jacksonville, Florida Naval Air Station. The Georgia Society Color Guard,
smartly dressed in Revolutionary War uniforms and Militia clothing, were
joined by the Florida Brigade Color Guard. Wreaths, Bagpipe and Musket
Salutes and Taps honored Colonel Samuel Elbert and his Georgia sailors and
soldiers, and descendants of these Patriots were presented a pin with a
white ribbon attached.
Annual Celebration of Georgia Patriots Day
The Georgia Navy victory on April 19, 1778, in the Frederica River
occurred exactly three years after the "shot heard round the world" was
fired at Lexington on April 19, 1775. Georgia Society SAR President George
Thurmond said, "We would like to observe Georgia Patriots Day at Frederica
on April 19 in the future; not only to pay tribute to the heroes of the
American Revolution, but to remind everyone of the sacrifices they endured
during the eight years of struggle for American Independence."
Patriots Day 2005 Video Available
The Marshes of Glynn Chapter GASSAR has sponsored the production of a
ninety-minute professionally edited video. Key parts of both the morning
ceremony at Christ Church, Frederica Churchyard and the afternoon ceremony
at Fort Frederica National Monument are included. To obtain the
video, send a check (payable to Marshes of Glynn Chapter, GASSAR for $10
per copy- specify VHS or DVD format- plus $4 mailing cost) to Bill
Ramsaur, 116 Florence Street, St. Simons Island, GA 31522.