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EARLY FORTS and MILITIA - Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania

Fort PATTERSON and POMFRET CASTLE

Posted: 11 Nov 2000 12:00PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 20 Feb 2004 3:38PM GMT
Surnames: PATTERSON, FRANKLIN, CROGHAN, MORRIS, BURD
The Indian Wars of Pennsylvania, p 266.

"On March 24th, Captain William Patterson with a scouting party had an encounter with a party of Delawares on Middle Creek, in what is now Snyder County.
Frontier Forts of Penna, Vol 1, pp 549-595.)

"Patterson's Fort near which some of the murders of January 27th, were committed, was the fortified residence of James PATTERSON, situated where the town of Mexico, Juniata County, now stands. The residence was fortified before the close of 1755. Captain James PATTERSON was the father of Captain William PATTERSON. The son lived opposite Mexico, and had a fortified residence, also called Fort PATTERSON, but it seems that the son's fort was not erected until the time of PONTIAC's War.

"There has been much confusion as to these two forts. By instructions given by Benjamin FRANKLIN to George CROGHAN, on December 17th, 1755, the latter was to "fix on proper places for erecting three stockades, one back of Patterson's". This stockade "back of Patterson's" was to be called POMFRET CASTLE, and was to be erected on Mahantango Creek, near Richfield, Juniata County, but within the limits of Snyder County. Many historians doubt whether POMFRET CASTLE was ever erected. Governor MORRIS wrote on January 29th, 1756, saying it was erected. Then, hearing of the massacre on January 27th, he wrote to Captain BURD, on February 3rd, reprimanding him and Captain PATTERSON for remiss in NOT having erected the fort that was "ordered to be built at Machitongo". (Pa. Archives, Vol. 2, pp 556-557.)

EARLY FORTS and MILITIA - Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania

Posted: 11 Nov 2000 12:00PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 20 Feb 2004 3:36PM GMT
Surnames: FRANKLIN, SHIPPEN, POTTER, CHAMBERS, ALLISON, ALLEN, ARMSTRONG, HAMILTON, MERCER, WARD, CALLENDER, THOMPSON, HAYES, HOGG, HOLLIDAY, PRENTICE, SMALLMAN, LYON, CARTLAND, CROGRAN, BURD, PATTERSON
The following is to answer queries concerning Forts in Cumberland County, PA from the "History of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania 1886", pp 50,51.

With the Indians committing depredations on the South Side of the Blue Mountains, the province of Pennsylvania erected a chain of forts and block houses along the Kittatinny Hills, from the Delaware to the Maryland line, and garrisoned them with twenty to seventy-five men each. The whole expense was £85,000. Benjamin FRANKLIN and his son William were leading spirits and raised 500 men, with whom they marched to the frontier and assisted in garrisoning the forts.

October 30, 1755, about eighteen citizens met at the residence of Mr. SHIPPEN, of Shippensburg, pursuant to a call by Sheriff John POTTER, and resolved to built five forts: one at Carlisle, Shippensburg, Benjamin CHAMBERS', STEEL's meeting house and William ALLISON's. Edward SHIPPEN, writing to William ALLEN June 30, 1755, tells of murders committed by the Indians "near our fort".

Twenty five companies of militia, numbering 1,400 men, were raised and equipped for the defense of the frontier. The second battalion comprising 700 men, and stationed west of the Susquehanna, was commanded by Col. John ARMSTRONG, of Carlisle. His subordinates were, captains, Hans HAMILTON, John POTTER, Hugh MERCER, George ARMSTRONG, Edward WARD, Joseph ARMSTRONG and Robert CALLENDER; lieutenants, William THOMPSON, James HAYES, James HOGG, William ARMSTRONG and James HOLLIDAY; ensigns James POTTER, John PRENTICE, Thomas SMALLMAN, William LYON and Nathaniel CARTLAND.

Four forts were built by the province west of the Susquehanna, viz.: Fort LYTTLETON, in the northern part of what is now Fulton County; Fort SHIRLEY at Augharich, the residence of George CROGRAN, where Shirleysburg now is, in Huntingdon County; Fort GRANVILLE, near the confluence of the Juniata and Kishicoquillas, in Mifflin County; and the POMFRET Castle on the Mahantango Creek, nearly midway between Fort GRANVILLE and Fort AUGUSTA (Sunbury) on the south line of Snyder County. Capt. Hans HAMILTON commanded Fort LYTTLETON; Capt. Hugh MERCER, Fort SHIRLEY, subsequent to the resignation of Capt. George CROGRAN; Col. James BURD, Fort GRANVILLE; and Col. James PATTERSON, POMFRET Castle. These forts were too far from considerable settlements to be effectual, and in 1756 John ARMSTRONG advised the building of another line along the Cumberland Valley, with one at Carlisle, as the old fort (Fort LOUTHER) at Carlisle was simply a stockade of logs, with loop holes for muskets and swivel guns at each corner of the fort.

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