Patriots from across the southeast gathered at the historic Brier Creek Revolutionary War Battlefield on the first Saturday of the month, March 5, to celebrate the 243rd anniversary of the Battle of Brier Creek.
Making the trip to participate in the commemorative event were members of the local Wiregrass Chapter. They, along with approximately 50 other groups, went forward and presented a wreath to honor the more than 150 patriots buried in unmarked graves there.
The ceremony began at 11 a.m. with the invocation, presentation of colors by Color Guard Commander Bill Palmer and the color guard, as well as the Pledge of Allegiance.
Once distinguished guests were recognized, Georgia Society – Sons of the American Revolution (GASSAR) Senior Vice President Dr. David Ludley, Georgia Society – Daughters of the American Revolution State Regent O.B. McCorkle, Georgia Senator for District 23 Max Burns, Georgia House Representative for District 159 Jon Burns all brought greetings.
William J. Tankersley Sr., vice president of GASSAR’s East Fall Line Region, then introduced the guest speaker for the occasion, Swainsboro’s own Dr. John K. Derden.
While having the floor, Dr. Derden gave a talk entitled the “Court Martial of General John Ashe.” The subject of the informative address was the commander of the American forces who fought at the Battle of Brier Creek.
The wreath presentations were made upon Dr. Derden’s conclusion and were followed up by a 3-round volley fired by 25 militiamen and continentals. The Brier Creek Artillery acted next, firing its 6-pounder naval cannon, 6-pounder mortar, and 8-pounder field gun.
Compatriot Don Bazemore then played “Taps” on his bugle, the Georgia Society’s combined color guard retired the colors, and the assembled heard a benediction and the ceremony’s closing remarks.
The Battle of Brier Creek was fought in Screven County on March 3, 1779 between the American Patriots and the British Loyalists.