On February 12, 1733,
General James Oglethorpe and settlers from the ship Anne landed at
Yamacraw Bluff and were greeted by
Yamacraws, and Indian traders John and
Mary Musgrove. Mary Musgrove often served as an interpreter. The city of Savannah was founded on that date, along with the colony of Georgia. In 1751, Savannah and the rest of Georgia became a
Royal Colony and Savannah was made the colonial capital of Georgia.
 By the outbreak of the
American Revolutionary War, Savannah had become the southernmost commercial port of the
Thirteen Colonies. British troops took the city in 1778, and the following year a combined force of American and French soldiers failed to rout the British at the
Siege of Savannah. The British did not leave the city until July 1782.
 Savannah, a prosperous seaport throughout the nineteenth century, was the Confederacy's
sixth most populous city and the prime objective of General
William T. Sherman's
March to the Sea. Early on December 21, 1864, local authorities negotiated a peaceful surrender to save Savannah from destruction, and Union troops marched into the city at dawn.
Savannah was named for the Savannah River, which probably derives from variant names for the
Shawnee, a Native American people who migrated to the river in the 1680s. The Shawnee destroyed another Native people, the
Westo, and occupied their lands at the head of the Savannah River's navigation on the
fall line, near present-day
 These Shawnee, whose Native name was Ša·wano·ki (literally, "southerners"),
 were known by several local variants, including Shawano, Savano, Savana and Savannah.
 Another theory is that the name Savannah refers to the extensive marshlands surrounding the river for miles inland, and is derived from the English term "
savanna", a kind of tropical grassland, which was borrowed by the English from Spanish sabana and used in the
Southern Colonies. (The Spanish word comes from the
Taino word zabana.)
 Still other theories suggest that the name Savannah originates from
Algonquian terms meaning not only "southerners" but perhaps "salt".