THE GEORGIA REFUGEES
EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Excerpted from The Revolutionary Records of the State of Georgia
Compiled and published under authority of the Georgia Legislature by Allen D. Candler.
The Franklin-Turner Company, Atlanta, GA 1908
April 5, 2001
…RESOLVED, First—That there is every reason, from the appearance of things at this time, to apprehend a war with the Creek Indians is become unavoidable, they having actually killed several of the inhabitants of this State and taken and carried away a number of horses and cattle from the same.
Second—That it is prudent and necessary to make provision for such an event in the best manner the State can, and the Council advises that the Governor do order the Militia of Wilkes and Richmond to be immediately drafted into two parts; the one to be called out and placed on duty, either in Scouts or otherwise, as the Field Officers of the said Counties respectively shall judge fit, and at the end of a fortnight to be relieved by the other; and that the detachments of these Counties do as circumstances require occasionally move to the assistance of each other; that nothing herein contained extend to prevent the Commanding Officer of each regiment from calling out and placing on duty, either in Scouts or posts the whole of his regiment, if an alarm or other intelligence shall so require;…
Wednesday, 2 December, 1778
…WHEREAS, by the late Militia law passed on the .. day of November last past [Note: this date is 15 November, T.O.] it is directed that new elections for Officers of the militia be held throughout the State, within two months from the passing of the said law.
It is Therefore Ordered, the several Colonels, or other Commanding Officers of regiments within the several Counties, do cause such elections to be held at the usual places, within the time limited by the said law; and that due notice thereof be given by them before the holding of such elections.
It is Further Ordered, that the Clerk of this Board do immediately furnish each of the said Colonels or other Commanding Officers as aforesaid with a copy of this order by express, if no safe opportunity shall otherwise offer, and also of the law as soon as the same can be procured from the Printer, at public charge.
Tuesday, 26 January, 1779
The Council met,— A return being made from the County of Wilkes for Officers elected for said County Viz, John Dooly, Colonel; Elijah Clark, Lieutenant Colonel; and Burwell Smith, Major; Commissions were accordingly made out and delivered.
Thursday, 17 June, 1779
The Council met, and took into consideration General Lincoln’s recommendation to the inhabitants of the State of Georgia, and recommended to Colo. Dooly to put it in execution.
Saturday, 26 June, 1779 The Council Met.
It is recommended by this Council to Colo. Dooly, as soon as he can have an opportunity, to order to Colo. Baker, with all his men under his Command to join him.
It is also recommended, that all prizes taken by the Militia now acting in this State, under the command of the said to Colo. Dooly, should be disposed of as recommended by His Excellency General Lincoln; and that all share alike in all prizes taken by any part or parties of the present detachment: provided nevertheless, that if any effects be taken wherein there may be a probability that such effects does [sic] not belong to the person or persons which they are taken from, at the time of taking them, that they shall not be disposed of till they are ten days published or advertised in Main Camp, so that if they should belong to a friend of the States; they may have an opportunity of getting their property on paying one sixth part of the value thereof. And it is our opinion that to Colo. Baker as well as all other forces now in arms in this State is [sic], and has been [sic] under the Command of to Colo. Dooly ever since his appointment to Colo. Commandant.
Issued orders for one Delegate to be chosen to represent us in Congress, as per copy taken.
Thursday, 1 July, 1779 The Council met.
Took into consideration a letter from to Colo. Dooly, and the proceedings of a Court of Enquiry held at Butlers Creek on the 30th day of June last, enquiring into the conduct of to Colo. George Wells; and maturely considering the matter, it appears by the first article, Section 17th of the Continental Articles of war; also by the express words of the late Militia Act of this State, which refers to the continental articles of war for the rule of conduct to govern the militia by, when on duty; that that matter does in no wise come before this Board. …
Saturday, 24 July, 1779
Appointment of nine member Supreme Executive Council, upon which devolved all control of State power. One of the members of the Supreme Executive Council was John Dooly.
Friday, 6 August, 1779
…A return being made by Colo. Dooly, of the Free Citizens from Wilkes County, Who signed the delegation of the late House of Assembly from that County. It appeared that there were three hundred and three, who signed the same.
Saturday, 14 August, 1779
…RESOLVED, that this Board will particularly interest themselves with Congress, General Lincoln and the State of South Carolina, to put the Militia of this State upon the same footing with respect to their pay for past services as the militia of South Carolina have been, since the pay of the Militia of that State has been augmented, and that for the future, they shall be in every respect on the same footing that the Carolina Militia at present are….
Wednesday, 18 August, 1779
A letter was drafted and sent to the Governor and Council of South Carolina detailing the depredations on Georgia since the fall of Savannah, and asking for assistance:
…When the enemy retreated from Augusta, those who had received protection, imagining that they would be deemed traitors, and treated as such, went down with them; to this we impute the cause of so many joining them. Since then, a number of the people of the Counties of Burke, Richmond, and Wilkes under the command of Colonels Dooly, Few and Twiggs, have given repeated proofs of their zealous attachment to the cause of their Country; among others the Militia under command of Colo. Dooly were very instrumental in defeating a large body of disaffected people from the back parts of your State, commanded by Colo. Boyd, which put a stop, in a great measure; to the enemy receiving the support they expected from thence; and while they were in Johns Island a party from Burke County under the Command of Colo. Twiggs, penetrated as low down as Ogechee Ferry, within fifteen miles of Savannah, and totally defeated a party of fifty picked regulars; at the same time near three hundred horse, under the Command of Colo. Dooly were on their March down the Country, and in all probability would have effected something of consequence had not a great part of the force of the enemy returned to Savannah.
These exertions of the people of the back Country have greatly exasperated General Provost [sic, Prevost], who declares he will have nothing unattempted, to ruin them. …
…Being reduced to situation that we expected would be out lot whenever the enemy made this State their object, without a legislative body, or the means of raising money, the greatest part of our Militia have received no pay since December last, which has occasioned much dissatisfaction amongst them; We are therefore, induced to apply to you for the loan of sixty thousand dollars for this and other necessary expenses, till our Delegates can make application to Congress for support. …
Monday, 23 August, 1779
…Received a letter from Colo. Dooly, dated 22d Instant, to which the following is an answer.
DEAR SIR, We are very sorry to be informed of your indisposition and that the Indians have been so very troublesome on the frontiers. In this situation of affairs, the Council are of opinion it would not be prudent for you to march any part of your regiment this way. We shall make Genl. McIntosh acquainted with our reasons for countermanding his orders, and in future whenever there is any occasion for the Militia, the Council will order them to be embodied, at present, as your people are out you will take such steps for the defence of the frontiers, as you shall judge best.
The express is in such a hurry to return, that the Council have not had time to determine what ought to be done with respect to enlarging the representation from Wilkes County, however, you may inform the people that every step shall be taken to do them justice in this matter, and if you can possibly attend the Council, towards the latter end of the week or beginning of next, we are in hopes you will have it in your power on your return not only to satisfy them respecting this business; but also, about their pay and salt, for both of which the Council have wrote [sic], and the express that was sent with the letters will return in a few days….
Wednesday, 19 January, 1780
…RESOLVED, That the Militia which shall be ordered on duty by his honor the Governor, or in his absence, the President of the Council, be supplied with rations of every kind, by the Deputy Quarter Master and Commissary General, in such quantity and proportion as directed for confederal Troops—That whenever any of the militia are ordered on duty, the same shall be made known by His Honor the Governor or in his absence, the President, to the Officers commanding in the confederal line, for the time being; to the end that orders may issue from him to the Deputy Quarter Master and Commissary General, for a necessary supply of provisions, forage, horses, wagons &C. for their use, to be received and dealt out in due proportion, by such persons as the Commanding Officer of the Militia shall duly appoint. That no returns made to the Deputy Quarter Master and Commissary General, from any Officer of the militia shall be received, unless it be under the above regulations.—…
January, 1780 [misplaced date, the meeting occurred between 19 and 28 January. T.O.]
…On a representation made to the Board by Colonels Dooly & Clark, of the necessity of having the newly erected Forts in the frontiers in Wilkes County properly garrisoned.
RESOLVED, That His Honor the Governor be requested to issue orders to Colonel Dooly to order thirty men for the defence of each Fort, including one hundred and eighty men in the whole, to be kept on constant duty, until the further orders of the Board.
RESOLVED, That a Fort be built at Harris old Fort and that the sum of five hundred pounds be allowed for the building the same, and to be erected under the direction of Captain Zachariah Philips agreeable to the regulations which were made with respect to the other Forts on that frontier. …
Saturday, 5 January, 1782
…It appears to this Board, by the deposition of James Rusin that the Indians & Tories have been & are now doing mischief in the upper part of this State. Therefore,
RESOLVED, That Lieut. Colo. Cunningham be immediately directed to proceed as speedily as possible with what men he has at Spirit-Creek, to Wilkes County, and that General Twiggs be made acquainted with the same; And likewise that Colo. Cunningham be supplied with a small quantity of ammunition for the men under his command….
Saturday, 19 January, 1782
ORDERED, That His Honor the Governor be requested and empowered to order a draft of one half of the militia of Burke, Effingham, & Richmond counties; and one third of the militia of Wilkes, to serve for two months, to be marched on foot and rendezvous at Spirit Creek, except those of Burke & Effingham, who will meet in the said Counties, as soon as possible. …
Tuesday, 29 January, 1782
…WHEREAS, it appears that the frontiers of this State, from information, is equally in danger of being distressed by the Indians &C. and as there is an expedition now forming in No. and South Carolina against the Indians, therefore,
RESOLVED, That His Honor the Governor be requested to countermand the orders respecting a draft of Militia for the County of Wilkes—…