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Although McIntosh was born in Scotland, his family moved to Georgia in 1736, when Lachlan was 11 years old. The colony of Georgia came into existence as a military buffer zone between South Carolina rice plantations, run by African slaves while their British landlords enjoyed the Caribbean sun, and the Spanish colony of Florida. During the War of Jenkin’s Ear between British Georgians and Spanish Floridians, Lachlan’s father was taken captive in 1740. Though released, his health was never recovered, and he died shortly thereafter.
After a stint in famous British evangelist George Whitefield’s Savannah orphanage, Lachlan McIntosh set out to receive military training. He and his brother, William McIntosh, wanted to join the Jacobite Rebellion of Scots against Queen Mary and Prince William of Orange, but, as promising young men, were convinced to stay in Georgia by the colony’s founder, James Oglethorpe.
Lachlan McIntosh found plenty of other opportunities to fight the British crown beginning on January 7, 1776, when he received his commission as a colonel in the Georgia militia.