Revolutionary War submarine maker to be honored

One of Columbia County’s original settlers will be honored with a monument this weekend in Warrenton for his leadership during the American Revolution, which included the invention of “The Turtle,” the nation’s first war submarine.


Capt. David Bushnell’s service as a “Revolutionary War Patriot” will be commemorated at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Warrenton City Cemetery off North Norwood Street.

Wreaths will be presented, a color guard will be in attendance and, following the ceremony, a buffet style lunch will be available at Miss Jane’s Restaurant on the town square.

In the event of bad weather, the dedication will be held in the Warrenton Community Center a block away. The Atlanta Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, city of Warrenton and Burkhalter Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution are sponsoring the event. Seating for 100 people will be provided.

Bushnell, the first commander of the Corps of Engineers, led the Sappers and Miners at Yorktown and is credited as the inventor of The Turtle submarine, which was first used to launch explosives against British ships during the American Revolution.

Under a different identity – David Bush – the New England native became one of the original settlers of Columbia County in the late 1790s. In 1803, he bought land in Warrenton and became a commissioner when the city was incorporated in 1810 and a practicing physician in 1818. He died in 1826, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia.


From Augusta, take Interstate 20 West toward Atlanta to Georgia Highway 80 (Exit 165). Turn left and go seven miles to East Main Street. Turn right and go about a half-mile to Norwood Street. Turn right and go about 2-tenths of a mile. Cemetery is on the right.