Georgia had become a valuable partner in the British mercantile system. The colony supplied raw materials in the form of rice, indigo, lumber and naval stores, and regularly purchased manufactured goods from the mother country. Strong Loyalist sentiment was fostered in Georgia by close economic bonds with England, the presence of dependable British soldiers to guard against Indian attack, and several administrations of remarkably able royal governors. The colony elected not to send delegates to the First Continental Congress in 1774, but attitudes began to change following the initial battles at Lexington and Concord in April 1775. Patriot elements gained control of the government and dispatched representatives to the Second Continental Congress, where they voted in favor of independence. Like the Carolinas, revolutionary Georgia applied the terms "Whigs" and "Tories" to the patriots and loyalists of the day. Tory sentiment was arguably stronger in this colony than elsewhere and it was the only one in which the Stamp Tax was actually collected; in all other colonies the Sons of Liberty managed to either cajole or intimidate the tax officials into noncompliance. Georgia was not the site of significant military action in the early stages of the war, but in late 1778, British forces captured Savannah. Efforts were made the following year to retake the city with French naval assistance; this assault failed and was very costly to the Americans. Bitter guerilla-style fighting continued for years. The British maintained their grip on Georgia and held all of the major towns until well after the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. See chronology of the American Revolution. See also Indian Wars Time Table.