All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Brian D Steele

Advisory Committee Members

Harriet Doss

Andrew Keitt

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

MOUNTING MERMAIDS ON ALLIGATORS: ESTABLISHING THE GEORGIA CONTINENTAL LINE CHRISTOPHER LONG HISTORY ABSTRACT By the summer of 1776, Georgia was committed to the idea of separation from Great Britain and the formation of a union with twelve other rebelling colonies. Due to its relative youth as a colony and the presence of a popular and dynamic governor, Geor-gia was slow to embrace the revolutionary enthusiasm which gripped the other colonies. However, once the decision was made to rebel against British authorities, Georgia’s revo-lutionary leaders were eager to demonstrate their enthusiasm for the self-described cause of liberty. One method of displaying revolutionary enthusiasm was the establishment, at the request of congress, regular or continental forces as a part of the colonial military es-tablishment. Mounting Mermaids on Alligators examines the correspondence between Geor-gia’s leadership, the Continental Congress, and the military officers commissioned by the colony to find recruits. The nature of the economy in colonial Georgia, resistance to the establishment of congressional forces, as well competition from South Carolina made it very difficult to find the recruits necessary to fill the Georgia Continental Line. However, progress was made and Georgia’s military leader to claim to their superiors that Georgia was militarily, as well as politically, a part of the American Revolution. Recent scholarship in the military history of the American Revolution shifted from the traditional image of the yeoman farmer impulsively taking up arms to investigation of the immense difficulty in establishing military forces. Important to the new scholarship is the relationship between the political goals of the revolution and the pragmatic issues of maintaining standing forces. Mermaids on Alligators is an important addition to the new scholarship by examining the relationship of political and military concerns in the youngest and arguably poorest of the rebelling colonies. Keywords: Union, Continental Army, American Revolution, Georgia, Militia, Independence

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