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Frontier fort found: Revolutionary War battle in Georgia

Frontier fort found on a farm in Georgia was the scene of a 1779 shootout with British troops. The frontier fort was found by archeologists midway between Athens and Augusta.

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Archaeologists from the nonprofit LAMAR Institute use metal detectors to search for artifacts from a small Revolutionary War fort in Wilkes County in northeast Georgia.

(AP Photo/LAMAR Institute, Rita Elliott)

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Less than two months after British forces captured Savannah in December 1778, patriot militiamen scored a rare Revolutionary War victory in Georgia after a short but violent gun battle forced British loyalists to abandon a small fort built on a frontiersman's cattle farm.

More than 234 years later, archaeologists say they've pinpointed the location of Carr's Fort in northeastern Georgia after a search with metal detectors covering more than 4 square miles turned up musket balls and rifle parts as well as horse shoes and old frying pans.

The February 1779 shootout at Carr's Fort turned back men sent to Wilkes County to recruit colonists loyal to the British army. It was also a prelude to the more prominent battle of Kettle Creek, where the same patriot fighters who attacked the fort went on to ambush and decimate an advancing British force of roughly 800 men.

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The battles were a blow to British plans to make gains in Georgia, the last of the original 13 colonies, and other Southern settlements by bolstering their ranks with colonists sympathetic to the crown.

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