In a letter dated April 28, 1776, from Savannah, Georgia, Colonel Lachlan McIntosh informs General George Washington that he is pleased with his recruitment efforts in the colony. However, McIntosh’s news was not all good: he concluded his letter with the report that because the South had limited manufacturing capability, the price of needed goods was two or three times higher than in the North, making procurement of clothing and arms for the new recruits difficult.
McIntosh had only recently risen from the position of colonel in the Georgia militia to colonel in the Continental Army. The promotion was a reward for his successful defense of Savannah from British attack in the Battle of the Rice Boats, which had taken place in the Savannah River between Georgia and South Carolina on March 2 and 3.
Although McIntosh was born in Scotland, his family moved to Georgia in 1736, when Lachlan was 11 years old. The colony of Georgia came into existence as a military buffer zone between South Carolina rice plantations, run by African slaves while their British landlords enjoyed the Caribbean sun, and the Spanish colony of Florida. During the War of Jenkin’s Ear between British Georgians and Spanish Floridians, Lachlan’s father was taken captive in 1740. Though released, his health was never recovered, and he died shortly thereafter.
After a stint in famous British evangelist George Whitefield’s Savannah orphanage, Lachlan McIntosh set out to receive military training. He and his brother, William McIntosh, wanted to join the Jacobite Rebellion of Scots against Queen Mary and Prince William of Orange, but, as promising young men, were convinced to stay in Georgia by the colony’s founder, James Oglethorpe.
Lachlan McIntosh found plenty of other opportunities to fight the British crown beginning on January 7, 1776, when he received his commission as a colonel in the Georgia militia.