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The LAMAR Institute, Inc.

P. O. Box 2992 Savannah, Georgia 31402


Contact:     Rita Elliott, Public Outreach

706-341-7796, or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


LAMAR Institute

Releases Documentary Film

on Revolutionary War Battle of Purysburg


Savannah, May 10, 2016. The LAMAR Institute has made available to the public its latest documentary film on conflict archaeology in the lower Savannah River region. This film, entitled, Documenting the Battle of Purysburg, highlights the historical archaeology search for the lost Revolutionary War battlefield at Purysburg, South Carolina. The film explores the historical search for documents and records pertaining to the battle, the archaeological field search and discovery of the battlefield, and the laboratory analysis that help  to reconstruct an accurate portrayal of this little known but important Revolutionary War battle. The battle on April 29, 1779 pitted nearly 2,000 British troops, including the 71st Regiment, the Light Infantry and East Florida Ranger Indian guides, commanded by Colonel John Maitland against a few hundred Patriots from the 2nd and 5th South Carolina Continentals and the Charles Towne militia, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander McIntosh. The British soldiers, who had spend the preceding evening marching up to their necks in the Savannah River swamp, emerged from the Swamp at dawn to do battle. With their ammunition completely soaked the British resulted to a bayonet charge. Faced with overwhelming odds, the Patriots retreated and the British took the town. While the number of killed and wounded was relatively slight, this engagement helped delay the British in their surge to conquer Charleston. That attempt proved unsuccessful and the war in the south was prolonged for a year when the British finally took Charleston in May 1780. The archaeologists located the battlefield and defined several defensive works and through careful metal detector survey, Ground Penetrating Radar survey, GPS mapping and GIS manipulation were able to reconstruct the entire battlefield. This effort was funded by the American Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service and the LAMAR Institute. The film was created by Michael Jordan and Dan Kurtz of Cosmos Mariner Productions. Those wishing to watch and/or download it may do so by visiting the Reports section of LAMAR Institute’s website, http://thelamarinstitute.org ,  or by clicking https://youtu.be/b7dy5PYaANE . The release of the complete battlefield survey report by the LAMAR Institute is expected within a few months.

Savannah, July 30. Th



LAMAR Institute

Helps to Raise the CSS Georgia Wreck

Savannah, July 30 [2015]. The LAMAR Institute helped to raise the wreck of the Confederate ironclad CSS Georgia at the Raise the Wreck Festival held at Fort Jackson Historic Site in Savannah, Georgia. The festival was held on July 25 and was attended by nearly 1,400 people. LAMAR Institute archaeologists Dawn Ashlock and Betsy Shirk demonstrated the use of Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) equipment and answered questions from visitors about archaeology. They also presented information on the LAMAR Institute's Battle of Monteith Swamp battlefield study and a few lucky teachers were handed DVDs of Michael Jordan's short documentary film about that Civil War battlefield project. The battle at Monteith Swamp was the first domino to fall in the capture of Savannah in 1864. Major General W. T.Sherman's 20th Corps, more than 10,000 strong, faced about 300 Confederates at a fortified causeway at the Chatham-Effingham County line. While a Union victory, the Confederate defenders managed to slow the progress of Sherman's Army on December 9, 1864, which allowed Savannah to prepare for the pending siege. The LAMAR Institute's battlefield survey in 2010 and 2011, which was funded in part by a grant from the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program resulted in the location of the battlefield, presented the findings and intepretations and  identified important areas of the battle ground for potential historic preservation. As the battle of Monteith Swamp was a prelude to the Siege of Savannah, the intentional scuttling of the CSS Georgia marked its end. The "Raise the Wreck Festival" was sponsored by the Savannah District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as one public outreach opportunity to share the exploration of this shipwreck.

Archaeologists Dawn Ashlock (left) and Betsy Shirk (right) Demonstrate GPR Survey Equipment and Discuss LAMAR Institute's Civil War Battlefield Research in the Savannah Area at the July 25th Raise the Wreck Festival.