A small wooden shelter (R) covers Jasper Spring, 8.7 m., where Sergeant William Jasper, aided by Sergeant John Newton, captured ten British soldiers who were taking American prisoners to Savannah to be hanged. Jasper was killed in the Battle of Savannah, and a large monument to him stands in the center of Madison Square in that city.
---Georgia, A Guide to Its Towns and Countryside, 1940
The spring still stands. There is a wooden shelter over it, but it is too new to be the same one from 1940. There is a monument at the spring that was erected in 1932, but was not mentioned in the guide. An historical marker has been added next to the spring.
The historical marker reads:
"On this spot, according to long and persistent tradition, occurred one of Sergeant William Jasper's most famous exploits during the American Revolution. Here, in 1779, at the spring then located along the road to Augusta, Sergeant Jasper and Sergeant John Newton ambushed a detachment of ten British soldiers and liberated several Patriot prisoners who were being taken to Savannah.
While no contemporary confirmation of Jasper's feat exists (it was first publicized by Parson Weems in 1809 in his Life of Gen. Francis Marion), the exploit was in every way characteristic of the immortal sergeant. An illustration of his courage and resourcefulness is found in the following item published in the VIRGINIA GAZETTE (Williamsburg), May 15, 1779: "The brave serjeant Jasper ... has lately given a new proof of his courage and address: He, with another serjeant, a few days ago, crossed the Savannah river, took, and brought to Major General Lincoln's headquarters, two Captains, named Scott and Young, of the British troops in Georgia."
Sergeant Jasper was mortally wounded, Oct. 9, 1779, while heroically bearing the colors of the 2nd South Carolina Continental Regiment in the assault on the British entrenchments at Savannah.
025-48 Georgia Historical Commission 1957"
The monument reads:
"At this spring close by the entrenchments of the British who held Savannah, Sergeant William Jasper and Sergeant John Newton in 1779, effected their heroic rescue of a number of American Patriots who were being taken to Savannah for military trial. These prisoners were under a guard of ten British soldiers. Sergeants Jasper and Newton had followed them for many miles almost within sight of the British fortifications. The escort here stacked arms. Two soldiers guarded the prisoners while the others refreshed themselves at the spring. Rushing from their concealment in the heavy underbrush, the gallant Americans shot down the two guards, seized the guns, disabled two others of the enemy and made the remainder prisoners. The rescued patriots were released and armed with the captured guns. The British prisoners were then marched to the American camp in South Carolina.
Sergeant William Jasper was enlisted in St. George's Parish, now Burke County, Georgia, July seventh, 1775, and served continuously until he received a mortal wound, a few hundred yards east of this spot, on October 9, 1779, while placing his regimental flag on the British earthworks in the assault by the American and French allied forces on Savannah.
Sergeant John Newton, taken prisoner on the surrender of Charleston in 1780, died soon after on a British prison ship.
Erected by the United States 1932"