Founded in Feb. 12, 1733, as a buffer colony between South Carolina and the Spanish in Florida
Savannah is credited as being America's first planned city. It was laid the city out in a series of grids that allowed for wide open streets intertwined with shady public squares and parks that served as town meeting places and centers of business. Savannah had 24 original squares with 21 still in existence.
During the American Revolution the British took Savannah in 1778, and held it until July, 1782. A land-sea force of French and Americans tried to retake the city in 1779, first by siege and then by direct assault, but failed.
Rich and prosperous, pre Civil War Savannah was praised by many as the most picturesque and serene city in America with grand oak trees dripping with Spanish moss and genteel people who exhibit exceptional charm. The Georgia Historical Society was founded in that era and Forsyth Park got its grand ornate, cast-iron fountain in 1858.
With the onslaught of the Civil War, the city suffered from sea trade blockades so strict that Savannah's economy was soon crumpled. Fort Pulaski, built to be impregnable on Cockspur Island at the mouth of the Savannah River, was captured by Federalist Soldiers in 1862. The city did not fall until Union General William Tecumseh Sherman entered the city walls. In 1864, Sherman began his march to the sea, burning the city of Atlanta and everything else in their path on the way to the coast. Savannah was evacuated and avoided destruction. Upon entering Savannah, Sherman was so taken back by its beauty that on December 22, 1864, a legendary telegram was sent from Savannah and delivered to then President Abraham Lincoln, by which Sherman presented the city of Savannah to Lincoln as a Christmas present. With the arrival of Sherman's troops, the war was over for Savannah and a period of reconstruction would begin.
Today Savannah’s rich heritage and historic preservation make it one of America’s true jewels. One cannot help but to walk the streets and squares of the historic district and admire with awe the well preserved architect wonders that once graced this great land. Savannah is also considered by many to be one of the most haunted cities in America. One does not have to look to deeply to sense that much of its historic past still lives just behind the invisible veil of our perceptions. Savannah is one of the ‘must’ see places for anyone interested in history and ghostly encounters.