Excerpt from " History of West Virginia" by Virgil A. Lewis
Philadelphia :: Hubbard Bros., 1887
Submitted by K. Torp
A GLANCE at that part of Virginia's western domain now included within the limits of West Virginia, at the close of the Revolution, cannot fail to be of interest. In 1784, there were but five counties in all that territory : Hampshire and Berkeley, formed before the war began, and Monongalia, Ohio, and Greenbrier, created during its continuance. The log-cabin of the pioneer dotted the landscape along the banks and in the valleys of the South Branch, Cacapon, and Opequon rivers, and columns of smoke rising above the primeval forest, indicated his place of habitation on the upper tributaries of the Monongahela. Other adventurers had pushed farther west, and reared the standard of civilization on the banks of the Ohio, while at the same time frontiersmen from Augusta passed over the Alleghenies and found homes in the Greenbrier valley and on Muddy creek, Indian creek, and other tributaries of New river. Leonard Morris had led the way to the Great Kanawha valley, and reared his cabin about ten miles above where Charleston now stands, where other determined spirits soon came to live beside him. Stockades, forts, and block-houses had been erected in several localities, and in them the pioneers found refuse from the merciless storm of savage warfare. Edwards' Fort stood on the Warm Spring mountain; Fort Pleasant was situated in the South Branch valley; Fort Frederick was located within the present limits of Berkeley county; Evan's Fort was situated within two miles of the present site of Martinsburg; Nutter's Fort had been reared near where Clarkesburg now stands; Donnally's Fort was within two miles of the present town of Frankfort, in Greenbrier county; and Fort Randolph, at the mouth of Great Kanawha, and Fort Henry, on the present site of Wheeling, both reared before the Revolution, were the most western outposts of civilization. These settlements were but spots in an unbroken and almost untrodden wilderness, for no white man had yet found a home in the valleys' of the Little Kanawha, Guyandotte, Twelve Pole, or Big Sandy rivers, and from the latter, stretching northward to Mason and Dixon's line, a primeval forest overshadowed the landscape. The close of the Revolution,brought peace and quiet to the dwellers on the Atlantic seaboard, but not to those destined to settle the wilderness. For years they were to withstand the shock of savage warfare waged by a fierce and relentless foe.
Excerpt from "The South in the building of the nation: a history of the southern states ... By Julian Alvin Carroll Chandler, Walter Lynwood Fleming...", 1909
...But now the old French and Indian War—the final struggle between the French and English for territorial supremacy in America—was at hand, and barbarian warfare was to desolate the West Virginia settlements. The colonial government of Virginia, at the head of which was the lieutenant-governor, Robert Dinwiddie, hastened preparations for defense. Col. George Washington, with the First Virginia Regiment, was sent to the West Virginia frontier. Forts for defensive and offensive operations were speedily erected. Fort Ashby stood on the east bank of Patterson's Creek, in what is now Frankfort district, Mineral county; Fort Waggener was on the South Branch of the Potomac, three miles above the site of Moorefield, in Hardy county; Fort Capon was at Forks of Capon, now in Bloomery district, in Hampshire county; Fort Cox stood on the lower point of land at the confluence of the Little Cacapon and Potomac rivers; Fort Edwards was near the site of Capon Bridge, now in Bloomery district, Hampshire county; Fort Evans was two miles south of where Martinsburg, in Arden district, Berkeley county, now stands; Fort Ohio stood where the village of Ridgeley, in Frankfort district, Mineral county, is now situated; Fort Pearsall was on the site of the present town of Romney, in Hampshire county, Fort Peterson was on the South Branch of the Potomac, in Milroy district, Grant county; Fort Pleasant was erected on the Indian Old Fields, now in Hardy county; Fort Riddle was in Lost River district, Hardy county; Fort Sellers was at the mouth of Patterson's Creek, now in Frankfort district, Mineral county; Fort Upper Tract was in what is now Mill Run district, Pendleton county, and Fort Seybert stood on the bank of the South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac in the same county.
The French, with their savage allies, bore down with resistless fury upon the West Virginia border, and around these primitive forts were enacted many of the tragedies and dramas of the wilderness. The Tygart and Foyle settlements on Tygart's Valley River, together with those of the Eckarlys on Cheat River, and of the Deckers on the Monongahela, were destroyed, and many persons killed on Greenbrier River. Fierce battles were waged in the vicinity of Fort Edwards, Fort Riddle and Fort Pleasant; bloody massacres occurred at Fort Upper Tract and Fort Seybert, and many a West Virginia family became victims of savage barbarity. After seven years of war, hostilities were ended; then came the conspiracy of Pontiac in 1763, and with it the Muddy Creek massacre in the Greenbrier Valley, in which the entire settlement was destroyed by a band of Shawnee Indians.
Other WV Forts
||Built in 1755, Ashby's Fort was established by orders of Colonel George Washington.
It stood on the east bank of Patterson's Creek on the site of the present village of Alaska, formerly Frankfort, in Frankfort district, Mineral County.
Erected by Lieutenant John Hacon under orders from Colonel Washington, in 1755. December 21, 1773, Captain Charles Lewis of Fredericksburg assumed command at this fort in which he found a garrison of twenty-one men to whom Lieutenant Bacon, whom he had appointed adjutant, read the Articles of War. On the 11th of October, Colonel Washington received letters from Captain John Ashby regarding conditions there.