On March 3, 1779, 238 years ago  , the first major battle of the British Army’s push into the American South took place at Brier Creek at the old road between Savannah and Augusta. According to Battle and President of the Brier Creek Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution Craig Wildi, the American loss resulted in the deaths of at least 200 patriots.
Studies done by Battle in conjunction with other professional organizations have uncovered evidence that some of Georgia’s soldiers who lost their lives in the fight for independence may still lie in graves at the battle site.
“This was the 16th bloodiest of all battle sites throughout the Revolutionary War,” Battle said. “We found so many artifacts under our original permit, Georgia DNR (Department of natural Resources) shut the study down.”
The land around the battle site is public, managed by Georgia DNR as part of the Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area. The wildlife management area is about 15,000 acres. Battle and Wildi said they want 500-600 acres set aside to fully study the site, but said DNR hasn’t been willing to dedicate more than about five acres for site preservation and management.
Last year, the Sons of the American Revolution held a commemorative event to place flags in honor of those who died at the battlefield. Because the event was hosted by a non-profit organization, Wildi said Georgia DNR waived the requirements for certain liability insurance policies and other fees for group events. This year, he said they are requiring the group to pay for those requirements; payments the small non-profit says it can’t afford.
During the surveys for and original push for the Palmetto Pipeline, bulldozers and other equipment were brought onto the site to widen roads across it inside the wildlife management area. The proposed pipeline map originally had the right of way slated to cross the battlefield. While both said they were relieved the pipeline was stopped, they say other challenges remain in saving the site.
Note that story above was from the Augusta Chronicle and published in 2017. The Brier Creek Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution can be found on the internet and on Facebook.
In February 1819, Representative James Tallmadge of New York introduced a bill that would admit Missouri into the Union as a state where slavery was prohibited. At the time, there were 11 free states and 10 slave states. Southern congressmen feared that the entrance of Missouri as a free state would upset the balance of power between North and South, as the North far outdistanced the South in population, and thus, U.S. representatives. Opponents to the bill also questioned the congressional precedent of prohibiting the expansion of slavery into a territory where slave status was favored.
Even after Alabama was granted statehood in December 1819 with no prohibition on its practice of slavery, Congress remained deadlocked on the issue of Missouri. Finally, a compromise was reached. On March 3, 1820, Congress passed a bill granting Missouri statehood as a slave state under the condition that slavery was to be forever prohibited in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36th parallel, which runs approximately along the southern border of Missouri. In addition, Maine, formerly part of Massachusetts, was admitted as a free state, thus preserving the balance between Northern and Southern senators.
The Missouri Compromise, although criticized by many on both sides of the slavery debate, succeeded in keeping the Union together for more than 30 years.
In his inaugural address, Lincoln promised not to interfere with the institution of slavery where it existed, and pledged to suspend the activities of the federal government temporarily in areas of hostility. However, he also took a firm stance against secession and the seizure of federal property. The government, insisted Lincoln, would “hold, occupy, and possess” its property and collect its taxes. He closed his remarks with an eloquent reminder of the nation’s common heritage:
“In your hand, my fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it… We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
The act required the humane treatment of convicts and limited them to a ten-hour work day, with Sunday off. Equally important, leases had to free the state from all costs associated with prisoner maintenance. Once all state convicts were leased, the law provided that all state penitentiary officers and employees be discharged.
Three years ago today, the big story was that two coronavirus cases had been confirmed in Georgia, according to the AJC.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Today was a Committee Work Day, and Session resumes Monday, March 6, 2023, which is Crossover Day.
The game of chicken continues between avian scofflaws and good citizens who just want to luxuriate in the quiet of their own home. From WTOC:
A Jesup city ordinance is ruffling some feathers.
As it stands now, you cannot legally own livestock within city limits without special approval from the city commission. One resident applied for permission to keep the chickens he already had, but the commissioners voted it down 6-0.
“I’ve had chickens since I’ve been here about the past 35 years,” Randy Little said.
According to the city, someone filed a complaint against Little’s chickens causing the city to issue a warning and a citation for violating the city ordinance that bans livestock within city limits.
“With the neighbor reporting it, we’re obligated to go enforce that ordinance. The city doesn’t have a chicken patrol, so we’re not out looking for that. Now, if they see it, or if a citizen files a complaint, we have an obligation to follow up on that,” Jesup Mayor Ralph Hickox said.
“Everybody knows there’s chickens all over Jesup. They’ve been here since I was a youngin’. I still don’t understand how it’s okay for them to be uptown but not here,” Little said.
“The board has never given an exception to anybody because of the fear of opening up Pandora’s Box, and then you’ve got a pile of animals in the city,” he said.
“I don’t know what it’s going to take to get it changed. Glennville’s got it, Savannah you can have chickens, Jacksonville you can have chickens, I don’t know what it’s going to take to get it changed, but I’m going to work on it,” Little said.
Georgia senators are backing a bill that would create a commission to discipline or remove prosecutors, which supporters say would provide a needed corrective for district attorneys who engage in misconduct.
The House is working on a similar bill, House Bill 231, which could be debated Monday.
Sen. Randy Robertson, the Cataula Republican sponsoring the bill, said it’s aimed at “somebody who says they can choose, not based on evidence, but on how they feel about their political leanings, who they can prosecute.”
Sen. Josh McLaurin, a Sandy Springs Democrat, said he has supported the concept at times, but fears the commission will be “twisted and turned into something else,” and that majority Republicans will “use a commission like this, potentially, to harass or put the fire under prosecutors of a certain party in certain urban areas that don’t align with what state government wants.”
“What do we do about these prosecutors who won’t prosecute?” asked Sen. Ed Setzler, an Acworth Republican.
The bills say a prosecutor can be disciplined or removed if they “categorically (refuse) to prosecute any offense or offenses of which he or she is required by law to prosecute.”
Lawmakers voted 37-19 against Senate Bill 57, which would have ordered the state lottery to set up sports betting and wagering on horse races, so long as winnings at the track were paid by the track itself or another company instead of by the betting pool. That traditional set-up, which also allows odds to change right up to race time, is known as pari-mutuel betting.
Lawmakers are set to revisit the issue before Monday. Another bill that would allow sports betting but exclude horse racing is awaiting a vote in the Georgia House, and a proposal to let voters decide the question via referendum could still get a vote in the Senate. Georgia’s Constitution explicitly bans pari-mutuel betting and casinos.
Avoiding a constitutional amendment is an advantage because it requires a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of the General Assembly, then approval by a majority of voters statewide. Republicans don’t have a two-thirds majority in either legislative chamber and some in the party refuse to support gambling on moral grounds. A standard bill, like the one defeated in the Senate Thursday, needs only a simple majority of both chambers and the signature of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.
Senate Bill 57 was defeated 37-19, as senators opposed to gambling joined forces with those who believe legalizing sports betting requires a constitutional amendment.
But since it would be limited to online betting, the other Senate measure wouldn’t have significant economic impact, said Sen. Billy Hickman, R-Statesboro, Senate Bill 57’s chief sponsor. “SB 57 creates jobs,” Hickman said. “When you just bet on sports on your phone, no jobs are created.”
Hickman cited a study conducted by Georgia Southern University last year that found sports betting could inject $1.1 billion annually into Georgia’s economy and create more than 8,500 jobs, many in rural areas of the state.
But Sen. Marty Harbin, R-Tyrone, argued the revenue sports betting would bring in wouldn’t be worth the societal toll of expanding legalized gambling in Georgia. “Much like drugs and alcohol, [gambling] leads to addiction,” Harbin said. “Gambling is financial foolishness. … The house always wins.”
The Senate voted 33-23 along party lines Thursday to approve Senate Bill 222, sending it to the House for more debate.
The measure would tighten a provision from a 2021 Georgia law that made it illegal for elections officials themselves to accept outside money after Republicans grew alarmed that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg donated more than $400 million to election officials nationwide.
“We’ve had some communities that didn’t quite understand the intent, so this is an attempt to clarify the attempt,” said Senate Ethics Committee Chair Max Burns, a Sylvania Republican. He went on to say that a third party gives money for elections, “You influence the outcome of the elections.”
House Bill 520, which passed 163-3, has the dual goals of growing Georgia’s mental-health workforce and finding better alternatives for patients than shuffling between jails, emergency rooms and the streets.
“Eighty percent of every Georgia family is impacted by either mental health or substance abuse,” said Rep. Todd Jones, R-South Forsyth, one of the bill’s sponsors. “They need a place to turn. They need to know we are there for them.”
The legislation would address the state’s mental-health workforce shortage by creating a loan repayment program for nurses and other mental-health professionals who are already working in the field and agree to provide mental-health care in underserved communities. Last year’s bill limited loan forgiveness to students who had not begun their professional careers.
Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, another of House Bill 520’s sponsors, said Georgia’s mental-health workforce suffers from a 20% vacancy rate. She said an existing loan forgiveness program for physicians willing to practice in rural Georgia is working well.
Legislation establishing the crime of “interference with critical infrastructure” cleared the Georgia House of Representatives unanimously Thursday.
“Some people have decided it’s open season on our infrastructure,” Leverett said. “This is to send a message to those who would target vital infrastructure.”
Under the legislation, critical infrastructure includes electricity, water, sewers, telecommunications, internet, public transportation and public transit systems, hospitals, ambulances, emergency medical and rescue services, the military, police, Coast Guard, and prison and fire services.
The bill provides penalties of up to 20 years in prison for the most serious offenders, those who intentionally damage a form of critical infrastructure with the intention of disrupting service.
Georgia senators torpedoed an effort to let the affluent Buckhead neighborhood secede from Atlanta on Thursday, with 10 Republicans breaking ranks and voting with Democrats to doom the measure after Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration questioned its legality and workability.
“If we jerk the heart out of the city of Atlanta, which is Buckhead, I know our capital city will die,” said Sen. Frank Ginn, a Danielsville Republican who chairs the committee that sent the bill to the full Senate.
The 33-23 vote to reject Senate Bill 114 could end the multi-year movement to create the proposed Buckhead City, driven by conservative residents who claimed the Democratic-run city wasn’t doing enough to fight crime and provide services, especially considering that Buckhead makes up less than 20% of the city’s population of 500,000, but about 40% of its tax revenue.
In July 2021, the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission — created through a 2019 law — issued two Class I licenses and four tentative Class II licenses for medical marijuana after scoring more than 70 applicants.
The tentative licenses are still on hold due temporary restraining orders issued after lawsuits from nine applicants that weren’t awarded licenses alleging unfair and inconsistent scoring by the commission.
HB 196, if approved, would allow the commission to award up to four more Class I licenses that allow growing, cultivating and manufacturing THC oil in an indoor space no more than 10,000 square feet; and up to seven more Class II licenses, that allow up to 50,000 square feet of indoor space for growing, cultivating and manufacturing low THC oil. The bills state the total number of Class I and II licenses can’t exceed 14.
The current version of HB 196 approved Feb. 27 by the committee would allow applicant appeals to go through the Georgia Statewide Business Court, and allow licensees to sell products from others manufacturers. The bill would also make the commission subject to the Administrative Procedure Act and laws governing open meetings and open records, and establishes a legislative oversight committee.
Broun was first elected to the state senate in 1962 in a historic election that took place after the federal courts struck down Georgia’s long-established county unit election system. Broun was one of several new senators elected in a class that included Jimmy Carter, the future president of the United States; Leroy Johnson, the first black legislator elected in Georgia since Reconstruction; and politicians like Hugh Gillis, Culver Kidd, and Bobby Rowan, who would have a lasting impact on legislative politics.
Broun was elected to nineteen consecutive terms in the senate, where he served as the chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the University System Committee.
Dorothy Felton was born on March 1, 1929, and served as the first Republican woman elected to the Georgia legislature.
Dorothy Felton was the first Republican woman elected to the Georgia General Assembly and eventually became the longest-serving Republican and the longest-serving woman of either party in the state legislature. She also worked for more than a quarter of a century for the right of the Sandy Springs community of Fulton County to incorporate as a municipality, a goal that was not achieved until four years after she retired from elective office.
Felton was first elected to the state House of Representatives in 1974 from a district in Sandy Springs.
The City of Camilla has placed a marker commemorating the 1868 Camilla Massacre, according to WALB.
In response to the expulsion of Georgia’s African-American legislators elected in April 1868, many members of the Republican party rallied in Albany to march to Camilla on September 19, 1868.
The group was met with violence and backlash from many white people and dozens of African-Americans were killed as a result. Many more were injured as well.
Following the incident, many Black voters did not participate in the November 1868 presidential election out of fear.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
National Democrats find themselves in a pickle when considering holding their 2024 National Convention in Georgia. From the New York Times:
The battle between Chicago and Atlanta over hosting the 2024 Democratic convention is heating up with a new claim from Illinois that Georgia’s lenient open-carry gun laws — already an issue with several public events in Atlanta — could make security a nightmare.
With a decision possibly weeks away, officials involved agree that Atlanta and Chicago now appear to lead New York, the third of the finalists still under consideration. Union officials have for weeks pressed President Biden and the Democratic National Committee to pick the more union-friendly city; Chicago has 45 unionized hotels while Atlanta has just two, they say.
But recent events have brought a new argument: Georgia’s lenient gun laws could make it extremely difficult to keep firearms away from the delegates. The Secret Service is likely to declare the convention a “national security special event” and supersede state ordinances with its own rules inside a fortified perimeter.
But in hotels, along bus routes and at meetings and parties far from the core convention sites, guns could find their way in, security consultants are warning, especially if Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, holds to his pro-gun views and refuses to intervene.
Georgia Democrats have scoffed at the pitch. The State Farm Arena, which would be one of the main sites of the convention should Atlanta win the bid, has protocols in place that prohibit carrying a firearm, despite gun laws that ostensibly allow weapons into most public spaces.
“Atlanta offers an enormous amount of historical and current symbolism. It’s obviously the home of the civil rights movement but also more recently the home of, you know, wins by Senators Ossoff and Warnock,” [Atlanta City Council President Doug] Shipman said, pointing to the narrow twin electoral victories of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in 2020, and Mr. Warnock’s victory again last fall. “I think there are a lot of different factors that go into that calculus. I’m not sure that the gun laws are going to have any particular impact on the decision.”
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney discussed what “special grand jurors” on the Fani Willis Trump investgation can say publicly, according to WJBF.
Judge Robert McBurney told ABC News that the panelists are only formally barred from speaking about the grand jury’s deliberations but can talk about witness testimony and the final report.
In a “farewell session” with the grand jury panelists, McBurney said he “reminded them of their oath, which is a statutory obligation that they not discuss with anyone outside their group their deliberations.”
“I explained you don’t talk about what the group discussed about the witnesses’ testimony, but you can talk about witness testimony,” he added, per ABC News. “You could talk about things that the assistant district attorneys told you. … And then finally, you can talk about the final report because that is the product of your deliberations, but it’s not your deliberations.”
Babs is a shy, bouncy, and gentle puppy. She gets along well with other dogs around her size but can be timid around larger dog and would need a less “crazy” play friend. She is fine with cats. She is crate trained and utilizes her crate as her safe space when she is nervous. She is working on housetraining. Babs is a huge thief, taking anything that she can reach and claiming it as her own. Once comfortable, Babs is very lovable and squishy. She still has super soft puppy fur and puppy curiosity. She loves tummy rubs and being held like a baby. She would do better in a calmer home as chaos scares her. She may not do well in a home with younger children due to their energy.
Elvis is an around six moths old, around 30 pound terrier mix. He is a very active, agile and smart fella who loves everything. Elvis will need another playful doggie friend to make his life complete. He is ready to bring so much life into a family of his own. Elvis has spent some time in boarding so is still working on housetraining. If interested in adoption or fostering, please message the page for an application.
Sprocket is a very energetic, playful, loving and curious pup. She is seeking a home that is ready to make their world all about her. She suffered from Parvo when she was younger and is now ready to learn and explore this big world. She loves everything. She is still learning to play with other canines, so her best match would be a patient doggie friend to show her the joys of being man’s best friend. She does fine with cats. Sprocket needs a family that is willing to be patient with her while she learns about the world, as she is very curious but weary. She is not housetrained. Sprocket is currently a whirlwind of energy but with proper stimulation and guidance, we know that she will be a great companion.
On February 28, 1854, 30 anti-slavery opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which would repeal the 1820 Missouri Compromise, met in Ripon, Wisconsin and called for the creation of the Republican Party.
Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson and Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter are hosting a paddle on the Withlacoochee River on March 4, 2023, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.
Matheson and Slaughter will embark on an 11-mile river paddle, past the future site of Troupville River Camp and Nature Park, along the Suwannee River Basin, past Valdosta’s outfall of its Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant and down to Spook Bridge.
Matheson started the tradition in 2020 and has partnered with the WWALS Watershed Coalition ever since as a way for the community to appreciate its surroundings.
“I am excited to partner once again with WWALS, plus this time with Lowndes County, to show people our fabulous blackwater rivers, only a few miles from City Hall and VSU. After the largest infrastructure project and single largest financial commitment in the history of our city was made toward a completely modern sewer system, we are now exploring the next phase toward beautifying our area’s waterways,” he said.
This precious girl we are calling Bella! She was on an adventure when spotted and arrived to the shelter on 2/19. She is quite scared of her new surroundings, can not blame her, the shelter is a scary place. She is super sweet and so well behaved. Bella knows to sit when asked and is a perfect lady on a leash. What a great addition she would be to any family. Come talk a walk with Bella. Ask for ID# 642690 Run 302. She will be spayed soon and micro-chipped upon adoption. Bella has tested negative for heart worms.
Meet the awesome 5 year old, 66 pound fellow we are calling Bowie. Bowie arrived at the shelter on 02/08 and his family did not come for him. Bowie is now in search of a new forever home, one that will keep him safe. His former family must have spent a lot of time with him because he knows a lot of commands. He will sit, shake, shake other paw and lay down and roll over when asked. He is a typical lab who loves to play ball. Bowie is as sweet as he is beautiful. He is current on vaccines, now neutered, tested negative for heart worms and will be micro-chipped upon adoption. He does have a scrape on his rear leg that seems to be healing nicely. It looks like it was caught in something. Bowie is waiting in run 89 and his ID# is 642471.
This yellow lab mix is Marigold! She arrived at the shelter as a lost girl on 2/8 and unfortunately, no one has come to reclaim her. Marigold is now hoping for a new forever home and family. She has a bit of a skin condition, but with a little TLC her coat will look good as new in no time! Marigold has been quiet and calm since her arrival. She is a beautiful girl and she is such a sweetheart! She does know how to sit nicely when asked. If you’re looking for a loving, chill new best friend, Marigold may just be your gal! Marigold is approximately 5 years old and she weighs 55 lbs. She is UTD on vaccines and spayed; she will be microchipped upon adoption. Marigold did test negative for heartworms so that is great news! Please come meet this golden girl in run 51, her ID # is 642459.
A chunk of weather-beaten flotsam (def: the wreckage of a ship or its cargo found floating on or washed up by the sea.) that washed up on a New York shoreline after Tropical Storm Ian last fall has piqued the interest of experts who say it is likely part of the SS Savannah, which ran aground and broke apart in 1821, two years after it became the first vessel to cross the Atlantic Ocean partly under steam power.
The roughly 13-foot (4-meter) square piece of wreckage was spotted in October off Fire Island, a barrier island that hugs Long Island’s southern shore, and is now in the custody of the Fire Island Lighthouse Preservation Society. It will work with National Park Service officials to identify the wreckage and put it on public display.
It may be difficult to identify the wreckage with 100% certainty, but park service officials said the Savannah is a top contender among Fire Island’s known shipwrecks.
Explorers have searched for the Savannah for over two centuries but have not found anything they could definitively link to the famous ship. The newly discovered wreckage, though, “very well could be” a piece of the historic shipwreck, said Ira Breskin, a senior lecturer at the State University of New York Maritime College in the Bronx. “It makes perfect sense.”
Breskin, author of “The Business of Shipping,” noted that the Savannah’s use of steam power was so advanced for its time that the May 24, 1819, start of its transatlantic voyage is commemorated as National Maritime Day. “It’s important because they were trying to basically show the viability of a steam engine to make it across the pond,” he said.
The Savannah, a sailing ship outfitted with a 90-horsepower steam engine, traveled mainly under sail across the Atlantic, using steam power for 80 hours of the nearly month-long passage to Liverpool, England.
Crowds cheered as the Savannah sailed from Liverpool to Sweden and Russia and then back to its home port of Savannah, Georgia, but the ship was not a financial success, in part because people were afraid to travel on the hybrid vessel. The Savannah’s steam engine was removed and sold after the ship’s owners suffered losses in the Great Savannah Fire of 1820.
The Savannah was transporting cargo between Savannah and New York when it ran aground off Fire Island. It later broke apart. The crew made it safely to shore and the cargo of cotton was salvaged, but the Augusta Chronicle & Georgia Gazette reported that “Captain Holdridge was considerably hurt by being upset in the boat.”
In writing the decision, John Marshall argued that acts of Congress in conflict with the Constitution are not law and therefore are non-binding to the courts, and that the judiciary’s first responsibility is always to uphold the Constitution. If two laws conflict, Marshall wrote, the court bears responsibility for deciding which law applies in any given case.
Casualties were light. Thomas suffered fewer than 300 men killed, wounded, or captured, while Johnston lost around 140 troops. The Union generals did learn a valuable lesson, however; a direct attack against Rocky Face Ridge was foolish. Three months later, Sherman, in command after Grant was promoted to commander of all forces, sent part of his army further south to another gap that was undefended by the Confederates. The intelligence garnered from the Battle of Dalton helped pave the way for a Union victory that summer.
In 1867, the first Reconstruction Act was passed by a Republican-dominated U.S. Congress, dividing the South into five military districts and granting suffrage to all male citizens, regardless of race. A politically mobilized African American community joined with white allies in the Southern states to elect the Republican party to power, which in turn brought about radical changes across the South. By 1870, all the former Confederate states had been readmitted to the Union, and most were controlled by the Republican Party, thanks in large part to the support of African American voters.
On January 20, 1870, Hiram R. Revels was elected by the Mississippi legislature to fill the Senate seat once held by Jefferson Davis, the former president of the Confederacy. On February 25, two days after Mississippi was granted representation in Congress for the first time since it seceded in 1861, Revels was sworn in.
This first flag-raising was photographed by Marine photographer Sgt. Louis R. Lowery. On Lowery’s way down Mt. Suribachi, he ran into AP photographer Joe Rosenthal and two other Marine photographers, PFC Bob Campbell and PFC Bill Genaust, who was shooting movies, informing them that the flag-raising they were looking for had already occurred, but encouraging them to check out the view from the top of the hill. The three men continued up the volcano.
Once atop Mt. Suribachi, Rosenthal attempted but was unable to find the soldiers involved in the first flag-raising, deciding instead to photograph the second flag-raising, which featured a much bigger and more photogenic Stars and Stripes. Lowery’s film was sent back to military headquarters for processing via ordinary army post–and took a month to arrive. Rosenthal’s film was sent by seaplane to Guam, and sent from there via radio-photo to the United States. The photograph so impressed President Roosevelt that he ordered the men pictured in it to return home for a publicity tour. Rosenthal later won a Pulitzer Prize for the photo, but for years was forced to deny erroneous reports that he personally staged the second flag-raising and attempted to pass it off as the original.
Although the famous photograph has long led people to believe that the flag-raising was a turning point in the fight for Iwo Jima, vicious fighting to control the island actually continued for 31 more days.