Battle of Thomas Creek marker

Fourteen years before the Declaration of Independence, Spain conceded Florida to the British following the Seven Years War.  The territory would go on to become a strategic territory for British troops, supply ships, and sympathizers of the crown during the early days of the Revolutionary War. Less than a year later, the Battle of Thomas Creek between American colonists and British loyalists occurred; it became known as the southernmost battle of the war.

To set the scene: Colonists, including the Georgia militia and the Continental Army, teamed up for an expedition and began their venture into Florida with the goal of capturing St. Augustine, a British stronghold.  The colonist’s original plan involved a strategic journey rendezvous along the Nassau River, taking the militia overland as they trudged through the marsh on foot, while the army guided a fleet of ships near the shore.

Unfortunately, the plan was bungled when British soldiers were tipped off about the forthcoming attack.   The Georgia militia were ambushed and immediately turned in retreat, subsequently leaving half of its infantry captured. Two other attempts would also repeal the Colonialist pursuit to capture St. Augustine.   The offshore Flotilla arrived 6 days later than expected, due their inability to navigate the narrow channels near the Florida border, and proved no help. It was a sad defeat for the young Patriot Army.

The Battle of Thomas Creek remains the only known military skirmish on Florida territory during the Revolutionary War. Today a historical marker stands on the site of the battleground; it reads “American Revolutionary War, Battle of Thomas Creek, May 7th 1777”.  The bronze marker was sponsored by the Society of Sons and Daughters of American Revolution and was unveiled on March 21st 2015.  Recently the organization celebrated the 242nd anniversary of the battle in full regalia and with replica muskets similar to those used in the era.  You can visit this famous site, better known today as the Seaton Creek Historic Preserve, where you can go horseback riding, hiking and kayaking too.