Locals take part in Education Day at Brier Creek Battlefield

A few local men who are members of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) organization attended Education Day at Brier Creek Battlefield on March 4. During that time, these individuals led various stations visited by more than 65 students and adults from Sylvania’s Screven Christian Academy.

Represented at this event were the Brier Creek, Wiregrass, and Little River chapters of the Georgia Society as well as the Henry Laurens Chapter of the South Carolina Society.

Attending on these chapters’ behalves were: Dr. John Derden, Ted Walker, Allen Mincey, Alton McCloud, Bernard Martin, Don Bazemore, John Tapley, Ryan Williams, Dess Smith III, and John Fitzner.

These men arrived at the battlefield around 9 a.m. and set up the three stations the students would rotate between, starting around 11 a.m.

Each station lasted approximately 20 minutes, beginning with Station #1, where Dr. Derden spoke about the battle itself.

Station #2 was led by instructors Walker and Mincey. They discussed artifacts and weapons systems.

Students and adults then journeyed to Station #3, where Burke and McCloud spoke about a lifetime of artifacts, relics, and roadkill skins made into vests, hats, and cloths.

The end of each 20-minute session was marked by McCloud firing his flintlock, signaling for the transition to take place.

At the end of the period, Compatriots fired their 50-caliber Pennsylvania/Kentucky rifles, 69-caliber Charleville muskets, and 75-caliber Brown Bess muskets in demonstration with the Brier Creek Artillery’s 6-pounder mortar, 6-pounder naval cannon, and 8-pounder field cannon. Each firing consisted of three rounds each.

Overall, students left the event with a much better idea of what the battle fought 243 years ago was like.

On March 3, 1779, more than 150 American patriots were killed. Their bodies are buried in unmarked graves across the battlefield.

Next year’s Education Day has already been planned. It is set for Friday, March 3, 2023.

Reservations can be made with time slots of 9 a.m., 11 a.m., and 1 p.m. to choose from.

For more information or to set up a time for your school to attend, contact Dess Smith III, chair, at 478-299-1039 or saussure@bellsouth.net.

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