Oglethorpe, seeing the need to settle the Spanish-threatened coast
below Savannah with soldiers whose fierceness in battle was legendary,
sent out recruiters to Scotland to choose "the Freemen of Gentlemen's
families...Industrious, laborious and Brave; speaking the Highland
language." In January, 1736, the first of these Scottish Highlanders
recruited from Inverness made landfall at the place they were to call
From the time of the
Highlanders to the present, McIntosh County has experienced good fortune
and bad. The Highlanders were nearly wiped out at Battle of Fort Moosa in
1740, but rallied with new recruits from Scotland two years later, and
defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Bloody Marsh. The county flourished
with plantations of rice and sugar cane and exportation of timber on the
Altamaha. Although interrupted with two hurricanes in 1804 and 1824
McIntosh recovered from each and Darien was reported to be a beautiful
town when the Union troops looted and set fire to it in June, 1863.
Still, Darien was rebuilt and the lumber mills were soon running again.
Then, in 1898, the worst hurricane of record struck, devastating the
county. Since that time, the scenic fishing town of Darien and the
county's many islands and waterways have become a refuge for those seeking
quiet and serenity among its mossy oaks and marshes.