Documenting the Battle of Purysburg Film Release by LAMAR Institute
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.