Haitians would like a Thank You Note from U.S. on 4th of July Independence Day

This is a little-known fact in history that Haiti played an important role in U.S. independence. In December 1778, with the capture of Savannah in Georgia by the British forces, the about-to-be-formed United States lost one of its important and good sources of finance. The U.S Major General Benjamin badly needed a little hand in regaining this port. The French came forward to the aid of future United States of America and sent one Frenchman, Charles Henri d'Estaing to the rescue. On October 9, 1779, a force comprised of American, French, and free Haitian soldiers under the leadership of d'Estaing laid siege on the city in an attempt to oust the British from their Southern stronghold. D'Estaing, the French General, had an army of about 800 (or 1,500, historians differ out of total 3,500 troops) mulattoes and black Haitians who shed their blood in the effort of the French and Americans to recover Savannah from the British. Those gallant soldiers were known as Chasseurs-Volontaires de Saint-Domingue.


Battle of Savannah was an important fight in the U.S. history for independence from England and it is one of the bloodiest independence battles that the U.S ever fought. D'Estaing was a veteran of Austrian War; he was badly wounded in this fight.

However, very few of us remember that battle of Savannah is not the only battle where the brave Haitians shed blood for U.S independence. Historian and journalist Ralph Pezzullo points out at another battle that took place at Lynnwood Harbor off the coast of Florida in 1781, in which British commander Lord Cornwallis was defeated by a fleet from St. Domingue (Haiti's French colonial name).

Recently, on the official celebration of the 242nd Anniversary of American Independence, US Ambassador to Haiti Michele Jeanne Sison, while speaking before an audience of distinguished guests, reminded and accredited the bravery of the Haitians at the siege of Savannah, Georgia alongside the troops of American against the British colonialist army.

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