When traveling to Savannah, Georgia, in June, one must remember that one of the most loved generals of the American Revolution, General Greene, died there. From what you ask? Heat stroke. Yes, she is quite warm in the summer months. My wife and I call Savannah our Southern Boston. One of the oldest cities in the United States, it holds everything from American Revolution battle fields to Civil War battle fields to plantation homes to delicious seafood restaurants with a beach thrown in at Tybee Island.
The city of Savannah, Georgia, the county seat of Chatham County, Georgia, was established in 1733 and was the first colonial and state capital of Georgia. It is known as Georgia’s first planned city. Even today, Savannah’s downtown area is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States! It supposedly all started in November 1732 the ship Anne sailed from Britain carrying 114 colonists, including General James Oglethorpe. On February 12, 1733, after a brief stay at Charles Town, South Carolina, Oglethorpe and his settlers landed at Yamacraw Bluff and, in an example of some of the earliest “Southern hospitality,” were greeted by Tomochici, the Yamacraws, and John and Mary Musgrove, Indian traders. The city of Savannah was founded on that date, along with the Province of Georgia. Pretty cool, huh?
One of my favorite stories that is often told while on many city tours is of a time during the Civil War. It is a tale of General Sherman sparing the city from the torch. He reportedly did this because of the beauty of the town and gave it as a gift to President Lincoln. An interesting part of the story is that his troops still ravaged the city, desecrating graves (evident even to this day) and looting homes. During this time, a set of church bells were taken from a church steeple, to be melted down for some other purpose. The ladies of the church, infuriated by the actions of the Union soldiers, fired off a letter to President Lincoln and demanded their bells. President Lincoln responded rather swiftly, sending a letter to General Sherman to return the bells and give his apologies. To this day, the bells still hang in that very steeple.
Because of travel arrangements, my wife and I could not take our bikes and had to rent some when we arrived. It is always fun for us to ride bikes in this beautiful city. Spanish moss hanging from massive oak trees, many centuries old, shade the still cobbled streets that wrap around houses ranging from modern day to the 18th Century. Architecture from sprawling decades blend and never leave visitors of the city tired of the view. The grid-layout of the city gives a pleasant flow to bike riders who just want to spin and look at the many beautiful areas around the city. The Savannah Century is held every year and is one of the premier attractions for cyclists all over the country. I have ridden it several times and was never left disappointed.
You can always escape the heat with a trip to the beach or by sitting on a big shaded porch that welcomes the Atlantic trade winds. Savannah, Georgia should be a destination for anyone who likes history, architecture, natural beauty, boating, riding, walking, food, drink, and the list goes on. Our Southern Boston will always have a special place in our hearts. Deemed as one of the most haunted cities in the United States, with several ghost tours from which a person can choose, Savannah is more of a “Casper” than a “Freddy Krueger” city.
Savannah history provided by http://www.visitsavannah.com