Headed by her French Captain, the Frigate La Fayette (based in Toulon), will make a courtesy port of call visit up the Savannah River on June 24th of this year. Named for American Revolutionary War Hero and famous Frenchman, the Marquis De Lafayette, the frigate will take part in the recognition of thousands of French soldiers and sailors who fought on our side during the Battle of Savannah on October 9, 1779. Invited to the ceremony by Savannah Mayor, Otis Johnson, the Coastal Heritage Society is planning a celebration for the French Crew at Battlefield Park in the Historic District.
In a bit of historic irony for history buffs documenting Savannah’s importance to America in naval warfare along coastal Georgia, the La Fayette will receive a cannon salute as she sails up river by Old Fort Jackson. Resting just 40 feet below the surface is the Confederate ironclad “The Georgia” that was scuttled there on the evening of December 20, 1864 to keep her from falling into Union hands during the Civil War. Divers have bought up some unique pieces of Civil War naval history in the form of cannon and ammunition that are on display for all to see at Old Fort Jackson and the Savannah History Museum. Plan to be in coastal Georgia in late June to take in this history filled weekend stretching back through 228 years of history.