You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Come and take it!” But, did you know that it’s attributed to a historic moment that a Coastal South town resisted more than 500 British troops?
P/C Explore Georgia
The people of Sunbury didn’t just build an extremely successful port, they also wanted to make it impenetrable against the Creek Indians and, later, the British. How? They fortified their properties with earthworks (imagine an M. Night Shyamalan-style Village).
Sunbury’s substantial defense included Fort Morris. In 1778, when the British demanded the fort and town’s surrender, Sunbury’s defiant Col. John McIntosh replied, “Come and take it!”
The British withdrew back to Florida. Forty-five days later, they gathered more forces and returned. On January 9, 1779, Fort Morris was bombarded and fell shortly after.
However, the citizens of Sunbury were undeterred. After the Revolution, they renamed their fort as “Fort Defiance” and used it against the British again during 1812.
Aside from the earthworks, the only remaining feature of the ghost town is the Sunbury Cemetery. Only 34 grave markers have survived, however, there are numerous depressions in the ground – indicating that many more people are buried there. The oldest stone dates back to 1788, but prior to this, it was also common to use wood markers (which eventually decomposed).
Posts are a combination of my own research, visits, and conversations, plus various information found around the web. I try to provide sources, but if you have specific questions, feel free to ask!