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  • Savannah Under Attack

    Dr. Preston Russell, a medical doctor and historian, and colonial reenactor J. Edward Jackson explain fighting in Savannah from September to October 1779, when Georgia Patriots aided by the French tried to retake Savannah from the British.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. How did armies traditionally lay siege to a town?

    2. Explain the qualities that you think a hero has. How do the historians in the video describe the heroism during the Battle of Savannah?

    3. Who were the "chasseurs" and what role did they play in the battle?

    Expansion

    1. Discuss this battle and what it meant to both sides. Use the Internet to explore maps of Savannah to discover how the heroes of the battle have been commemorated.

    Vocabulary

    Patriots: the colonists who fought against the British for their independence
    siege: surrounding and attacking a fortified area or place to capture it or keep it from getting supplies
    redoubt: small mound of dirt and logs
    galley: small ship
    diorama: a miniature scene made up of objects, figures, etc. that are placed in front of a painted background
    Chasseurs: black soldiers from Haiti who fought with the American Patriots against the British

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. How did armies traditionally lay siege to a town?
    Armies would lay siege to a town by surrounding the area with large forces, bombarding the city with cannon to wreak havoc amongst the people, and by preventing supplies from getting in and essentially starving the population and defenders into submission. 

    2. Explain the qualities that you think a hero has. How do the historians in the video describe the heroism of rebel soldiers during the Battle of Savannah?
    Student answers may vary. Historians in the video describe the heroism of rebel soldiers during the Battle of Savannah as the willingness to put their lives on the line and sacrifice themselves for duty and country in the face of great adversity. Another quality historians note is the selflessness of troops refuting payment for their service but instead fighting for pride and duty. 

    3. Who were the "chasseurs," and what role did they play in the battle?
    Chasseurs were highly disciplined black, Haitian troops who fought on the American side during the Battle of Savannah. They were credited with resisting a large British bayonet attack and potentially averting a disastrous loss of life. Although the Americans lost the battle and many lives were lost, the chasseurs proved themselves highly capable in battle and worthy of respect while fighting for freedom.  

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