The Revolutionary War Battle of Thomas Creek was fought in North East Florida in 1777.
The Historical Marker, located on the northwest side of Jacksonville Florida, just 100 yards to the north of the “Welcome to Jacksonville City Limits/ Duval County line,” on US Highway 1, heading toward Callahan, FL, on the southbound side.
At this point in the War, Florida had chosen to side with the British and stay out of the fighting. The British were using the port and city of St Augustine for their base of their southern operations.
What a prize it would be to capture the City of St Augustine and drive the British out of the southernmost part of the country. I’m assuming this is what was going on in the minds of the Continental Army stationed in Georgia.
The Colonial Military commanders planned a surprise attack on the British at St Augustine. It wasn’t that much of a surprise because the British were ready and ambushed them at Thomas Creek, southeast of Callahan, FL.
The Battle of Thomas Creek, the American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War Battle of Thomas Creek took place on May 17, 1777. A regiment of approximately 100-200 Continental Army Troops and men from the Georgia Militia, were moving south.
The British had caught wind of the advance and answered with around 250 Regulars, Loyalist, and sympathetic Indians.
The Continental army was caught off guard and was send running into the nearby swamps. Below are the casualties experienced by the Americans and British.
The official report of Americans losses:
- 8 Died
- 9 Wounded
- 31 Captured, (of the 31, 15 of them were later executed by the Creek Indians who aided in the battle, supposedly as payback for what happened to one of their warriors in another conflict, later that same year.)
- Some accounts say that only around 42 soldiers returned to the Georgia headquarters.
The British reported no losses!
Why the Battle of Thomas Creek
I thought this story important because, throughout the war, the British controlled the Port and the City of St Augustine. The St Augustine Jail was where 3 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were held for approximately 1 year. The three of the signers were from the South Carolina Delegation:
- Thomas Heyward Jr.
- Arthur Middleton
- Edward Rutledge along with 34 additional men from the battle at Charleston SC.
The Battle of Thomas Creek was one of three American Revolutionary War battles/skirmishes fought in East Florida.
Here are a few links if you want more information on the Battle of Thomas Creek.