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Reasons for the Defeat at Savannah

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

The following are some of the reasons that have been assigned why the assault on Savannah did not succeed, viz.:

First. The enemy had a much more numerous garrison than had been represented, being said to consist of about seventeen hundred effective regulars, and a great number of sailors marines, militia, armed blacks, &c.

Secondly. Their having the advantage of the presence, skill, and activity of Colonel Maitland; who, while the American army were obliged to wait for the bringing up proper cannon and mortars from the fleet, (which took up many days, and was attended with inconceivable difficulties on account of the distance of the shipping and a series of tempestuous weather,) was night and day incessantly engaged in adding to the strength and number of the works, upon which it is said he employed upwards of two hundred negroes.

Thirdly. The enemy having by some means or other discovered the approach of the American columns a full hour before it was possible for them to reach their respective stations, by which they had an opportunity of pouring upon their respective assailants such a heavy and incessant front, flank, and cross fire, as no troops whatever could have sustained without being disordered, and occasioned the order for discontinuing the assault, even while the brave French troops had gained one of the enemy’s works, and ours, as brave troops, another.1


1 New York Journal, December 20.