If you spend much time in Liberty County  you’ll probably hear someone mention that a certain place or person is “over near Sunbury.” Such is the lasting legacy of this long-gone piece of Georgia history on the Midway River that locals still refer to it in the present tense, though the old town itself is no more.
Founded soon after Midway in 1758, by 1761 Sunbury rivaled Savannah  as Georgia’s main commercial port, with a thriving trade in lumber, rice, indigo, corn, and, unfortunately, slaves as well. At one time, one writer recalls, seven square-rigged vessels called on the port in a single day. At various times, all three of Georgia’s signers of the Declaration of Independence — Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and George Walton — had connections to Sunbury.
The beginning of the end came with those heady days of revolution, however, when Sunbury was the scene of much fighting between colonists and the British army in 1776–1779. A British siege in 1778 culminated in this immortal reply from the colonial commander, Colonel John McIntosh, to a redcoat demand for surrender: “Come and take it.”
By the beginning of 1779, however, a separate British assault did indeed “take it,” adding to the increasingly violent pillage of the surrounding area. Though after American independence Sunbury remained the Liberty County  seat until 1797, it was never the same, beset by decay, hurricanes, and yellow fever outbreaks. (Fort Morris, however, would defend the area against the British one more time, in the War of 1812 as Fort Defiance.)
By 1848, nothing of the town remained but the old cemetery, which you can find a short drive from the Fort Morris State Historic Site ; ask a park employee for directions.