"We are resolved not to suffer defeat; we will rather die like Leonidas and his Spartans, if we can but protect Georgia and Carolina and the rest of the Americans from desolation." --- OGLETHORPE.

The Spaniards soon prepared to carry out their threat to put an end to the colony of Georgia, but nearly two years passed before everything was ready. A great fleet of fifty-six ships, with seven thousand men on board, was fitted out at Havana, and set sail for St. Augustine. Oglethorpe heard of it at Frederica, and at once sent a request to South Carolina for troops. He collected all the guns, powder, and cannon of the colony, and called together his Indian allies and a regiment of Highland soldiers. Thus prepared, he fortified his camp at Frederica, and waited for the coming of the enemy. June, 1742, nine of the Spanish ships appeared in Amelia Sound, but were driven away by the guns of the fort on Cumberland Island. They next appeared in Cumberland Sound, but Oglethorpe, with six boats and a hundred men, again drove them off.

A large fleet of thirty-six vessels, with over five thousand men, appeared near St. Simon's Island, June 28th, but made no movement to attack until July 5th. The flood tide then brought the fleet in beautiful array into the harbor. The Spaniards raised the red flag, and landed their troops on the southern end of the island. Here they planted a battery of eighteen guns.

Oglethorpe abandoned Fort St. Simon, having spiked all the guns and ruined all the powder. The troops fell back to Frederica, and made ready to meet the attack of the Spaniards. He had only six hundred and fifty men to oppose the Spanish army.

July 7th, a scout announced a party of the enemy within two miles of Frederica. Oglethorpe sallied forth to meet them in the woods. Taking them by surprise, he killed or captured nearly all the advance force. Oglethorpe took two prisoners with his own hands. Pushing on several miles toward the main body, he laid an ambush in the woods. Before long the enemy came in sight, halted within the defile where the ambush was, and, stacking their arms, some began to cook their meals and others lay down to rest. One of their horses noticed a uniform in the bushes, and by rearing and pitching, gave the alarm. Oglethorpe then gave the signal of attack. A deadly fire was poured down upon the unprepared enemy. They fled in all directions, but were met by the bayonet of the soldier and the scalping-knife of the Indian warrior. So complete was their surprise that many fled without their arms. The ground was strewed with the dead. Next morning an escaped prisoner told Oglethorpe that the Spaniards had lost two hundred and fifty-nine men. From this victory and the great slaughter of the Spanish the place was afterward called Bloody Marsh.

Though his forces were small, Oglethorpe now resolved to surprise the Spaniards by night. He advanced to within a mile and a half of their camp, when a Frenchman, who, without Oglethorpe's knowledge, had come with the volunteers, fired off his gun and ran into the Spanish camp. The Indians pursued the man, but could not overtake him. Oglethorpe then hastily retreated. He knew this deserter would tell the enemy of the real strength and position of his army, and he thought of a plan to thwart his treason. He sent a letter to him, written in French, urging him by all means to persuade the Spaniards to the attack, to speak of the smallness of his forces, and the exposure of his position; or, at least, to persuade them to remain three days longer on the island, when other troops would arrive, and he could make an attack upon them.

Handing this letter to a Spanish prisoner, he told him to give it to the deserter who was a spy in the Spanish camp. He then gave the prisoner his liberty. The letter, of course, went at once to the Spanish headquarters. It there produced such alarm among the Spaniards that they hastily went aboard

Bethesda Orphanage

their ships and sailed away, forgetting in their hurry part of their arms and ammunition. In this way ended the Spanish invasion of Georgia, July 14, 1742. That a small force of six or seven hundred should have put to flight an army of five thousand soldiers, was a wonderful achievement. A noted minister, Whitefield, said: "The deliverance of Georgia from the Spaniards is such as cannot be paralleled but by some instance out of the Old Testament."

After the Spanish war, Oglethorpe was called to England on business. He took with him a quantity of raw silk made in the colony, which pleased the Trustees very much. With this silk a dress was made for the Queen of England, who wore it to one of her receptions, in honor of Oglethorpe and the new colony. Oglethorpe never came back to Georgia. War with France occurring in 1754, King George II, made him a brigadier-general. He also became major-general, and one of the companies in his command was named the Georgia Rangers. In 1765, having passed through the grade of lieutenant-general, he was made commander-in-chief of all his Majesty's forces. By many it was said that he was offered command of the armies sent to subdue the American colonies in the war of the Revolution. This he declined, saying he knew "the Americans well; that they never would be subdued by force, but that obedience would be secured by doing them justice." He lived to see Georgia an independent State. In the ninety-seventh year of his age he died, full of years and honor.

George Whitefield Among the honored names of the early history of Georgia we must not forget that of the young English preacher, Rev. George Whitefield. When John Wesley was in Georgia and needed help with his work among the Indians and settlers of the new colony, he wrote to Whitefield: "What if thou art the man, Mr. Whitefield? Do you ask me what you shall have? Food to eat and raiment to put on; a house to lay your head in such as your Lord had not, and a crown of glory that fadeth not away." Whitefield came in the next ship, and with him came James Habersham and a troop of soldiers.

When he arrived he found that John Wesley had resigned and returned to England. He turned his attention at once to the erection of an orphan asylum. The Trustees granted him five hundred acres of land about ten miles from Savannah. Upon that tract, in 1741, the orphan asylum was built and named Bethesda, "house of mercy." Forty orphans entered at first, and the number increased to one hundred and fifty. Whitefield raised money for the building from many sources, preaching all over England and America. He was very eloquent, so much so that Lord Chesterfield said: "He is the greatest orator I ever heard, and I cannot conceive of a greater." The orphan asylum was burned after several years, but was rebuilt, and is still a lasting monument to the inspiration and generosity of its founder.

[Of George Whitefield's eloquence in raising money for his asylum, Benjamin Franklin wrote:

"I happened soon after to attend one of his sermons, in the course of which I perceived he intended to finish with a collection, and I silently resolved that he should get nothing from me. I had in my pocket a handful of copper money, three or four silver dollars, and five pistoles of gold. As he proceeded, I began to soften, and concluded to give the copper. Another stroke of oratory made me ashamed of that and determined me to give the silver; and he finished so admirably that I emptied my pocket wholly into the collector's dish, gold and all."]

[Miss Hannah More writes: "I have got a new admirer; it is the famous General Oglethorpe, perhaps the most remarkable man of his time. He is much above ninety years old; the finest figure of a man you ever saw. He perfectly realizes all my ideas of Nestor. His literature is great, his knowledge of the world extensive, and his faculties as bright as ever. He is quite a preux chevalier, heroic, romantic, and full of the old gallantry."

The following are Pope's lines on Oglethorpe:

"Hail, Oglethorpe! With nobler triumphs crowned
Than ever were in camps or sieges found ---
Thy great example shall through ages shine,
A fav'rite theme with poet and divine;
People unborn thy merits shall proclaim.
And add new honors to thy deathless name."

"His body reposes within Cranham Church, and a memorial tablet proclaims his excellence; but here the Savannah repeats to the Altamaha the story of his virtues and his valor, and the Atlantic publishes to the mountains the greatness of his fame, for all Georgia is his living, speaking monument."]

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