Savannah, Georgia military and fire companies record book
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Savannah, Georgia military and fire companies record book

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Unknown..
Title: Savannah, Georgia military and fire companies record book
Dates: 1858-1859
Extent: 0.08 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 1172

Biographical/Historical Note

The various fire companies organized in Savannah, Georgia have been outlined in Historical Souvenir: Savannah Fire Department by John E. Maguire. A copy is located in the Georgia Historical Society collection. In 1824, the city council passed a measure creating the Savannah Fire Company. The company was headed by a single chief and appointed twenty-one firemen. The Oglethorpe Fire Company was organized in 1846, in response to the number of young men wishing to participate in the Savannah Fire Company. The Oglethorpe Fire Company was given one year to acquire their own equipment and was given equal privileges to the men of the Savannah Fire Company. In 1847, the Washington Fire Company and the Young America Fire Company were organized. The Young America Fire Company was made up of a rough element and at almost every fire they attended a fight ensued. The Young America Fire Company was disbanded in 1856, when the Savannah Fire Company confiscated their engine because of insubordination. Without a means to fight fires, the company went out of service, much to the satisfaction of the public at large. In 1860, the city of Savannah bought the lot at 27 Franklin Ward to house the Germania Fire Company. The Mechanics Fire Company was housed at Fireman's Hall and operated Hook and Ladder truck number 1.

The military companies listed are the Chatham Artillery and the Georgia Hussars. The Chatham Artillery is the oldest military organization in the State of Georgia, form on May 1, 1786. It has always been, and continues to be, an important unit of the State Militia and participated in every war fought by United States forces with the exception of the War with Mexico, 1845-1848, at which time another Savannah military unit was chosen by lot. The company was called upon for both festive and solemn occasions, such as escorting President George Washington in 1791, the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825, and the funeral of General Nathanael Greene in 1786. In earlier days, the Chatham Artillery was known for its colorful dress uniform, worn for parades and celebrations. It still exists as a separate corporation and still celebrates its anniversary in May of each year. Its present military designation is Battery B., 1st How. Battalion, 118th Artillery and Headquarter and Headquarter Battery, 48th Armored Division Artillery. General James Oglethorpe organized the Georgia Hussars in 1736 to protect the colony of Georgia. The Georgia Hussars fought in all wars through Vietnam, and today are part of the Georgia National Guard. Immediately after the War of 1812, the Chatham Light Dragoons and the Chatham Hussars merged into the Georgia Hussars. They remained a cavalry regiment from their founding until 1940.

Scope and Content Note

This collection is a membership list, arranged alphabetically, for various Savannah, Georgia military and fire companies. The military companies are the Chatham Artillery and the Georgia Hussars. The fire companies listed are the Germania Fire Company, Savannah Fire Company, Oglethorpe Fire Company, Young America Fire Company, Mechanics Fire Company, and Washington Fire Company. Some entries are followed by dated notations such as: not a member, over age, resigned, and deceased. There are also occasional references to physical conditions of members listed, such as hearing impairments. Part of the book is missing; the entries begin with the letter C.

Index Terms

Fire departments.
Georgia. Chatham Artillery of Savannah.
Georgia. Georgia Hussars.
Membership lists.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Savannah, Georgia military and fire companies record book, MS 1172, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Chatham County Office of Ordinary, 1965.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Item 1: Record book containing names of individuals associated with military and fire companies in Savannah, Georgia, 1858-1859