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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lachlan McIntosh of Georgia

American Pioneers Series
Published in the "Pioneer News

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Lachlan McIntosh of Georgia

General Lachlan McIntosh fought honorably for the American cause during the Revolutionary War but received ill-fame for it from his political adversary, Button Gwinnett. We know the story, ultimately the two men fought a dual in the streets of Savannah; Gwinnett was wounded and died several days later.

Knowing the historical background of the McIntosh family of Darien helps to explain. The old senior clan leader, John Mohr MacIntosh (Mohr means clan leader), came to Georgia with General Oglethorpe and settled his family in McIntosh County. It was from this vantage that they fought the British cause of 1740 (War of Jenkins' Ear) and defeated the Spanish. It was the Scottish settlers from Darien whose expert ability in using guerrilla tactics which confused the Spanish and caused them to give up St. Augustine. Previous to this, this particular group of Scots resided in Inverness (this is why they first named Darien New Inverness)where the clans had retreated during the Stuart's Rebellion of 1745. They, of course, lost the cause to restore a Stuart to the throne of England (Bonny Prince Charles), but they continued to spring surprise guerrilla attacks upon the British. Disowned, the various clans were ready to remove themselves from further British persecution and Oglethorpe remembered their skills.

Surprisingly, on the wrong side of the coin, some of them chose unwisely to support Great Britain during the American Revolution. Of course, many citizens were divided, but the Scots in Georgia suffered reprisals for it. It was Lachlan's Uncle William who caused the family's persecution. William openly supported the British, even using his schooner to run supplies to the British when they were near Charleston and Savannah. The family was so unpopular, that Lachlan, even though he had fought valiantly in several campaigns, removed himself from further criticism by going off to fight in the Northern Campaign. When he returned home, the buzz-word was being gossiped by a jealous politician, Button Gwinnett.

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