Indians and Fort Cumberland

Indians and Fort Cumberland (HM2KGV)

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N 39° 39.057', W 78° 45.968'

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Fort Cumberland Trail

Indians served on both sides during the French and Indian War. Some tribes seemed to switch loyalties during the war, when it better suited their purposes. Indians camped near here to consult with General Braddock just before his fateful expedition in 1755. He consulted them little, against the advice of colonial officers. Soldiers were attracted to the pretty Indian women making the Indian warriors angry. Rules issued by Braddock to prevent meetings between squaws and soldiers had little effect. They met across the river or beyond the picket lines. Most of the Indians became angry and eventually left because of various insults to them. Braddock lost valuable Indian allies. After his defeat, the Shawanese and Delaware Indians changed to the French side, in hopes of recovering lands from the British and other rewards.

British outposts were driven in, some smaller forts taken, and settlers fled eastward to Hancock, Maryland, and points east. "It was at the risk of life that anyone ventured a few rods from his door... The plantations were being deserted, and homes and property abandoned to plunder or the torch..." -Col. Washington. Some scalping parties were within thirty miles of Baltimore, Maryland. The governor called out the militia. In 1756, Fort Frederick was built a few miles east of Hancock. Indians continued raids during

the war and after in Western Maryland as far east as Fort Frederick. One of Thomas Cresap's sons was killed in April 1756, by Indians. Washington wrote to Lt. Governor Dinwiddie of the local settlers: "I have done everything in my power to quiet the minds of the inhabitants, by detaching all the men...yet nothing I fear will prevent the people from abandoning their dwellings..." "They are now retiring the securest parts in droves of fifties."

Indians harrassed the garrison with small arms fire from nearby hills. In the summer of 1756, 70 to 75 of Major Livingston's men marched across town one night, remained hidden, and in the morning destroyed a war party who had been firing into the fort from McKaig's Hill. The same summer, under Major Livingston, some trecherous Indians were allowed into the fort (they planned to attack once inside), then disarmed by the vigilant garrison, dressed in petticoats, and driven out in complete humiliation. Fort Cumberland barely held it's own, however, as it was usually undermanned. The Indians continued to be active in the area, scalping and murdering almost at will.

Friendly Indians including Cherokees were here in 1758. They were useful in checking prowling bands of hostile Indians. Colonel Thomas Cresap led several small volunteer expeditions against the hostile Indians in this area. Negro Mountain was named for Cresap's negro servant who was killed there by Indians. British troops garrisoned the fort at times, but Indian raids continued and local settlers retired to Fort Frederick. These settlers gradually crept back into the frontier regions, as the war drew to a close and they felt more secure. Some Indian raids continued eve after the French and Indian War ended in 1763.
Series This marker is part of the Braddock's Road and Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 7th, 2019 at 5:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 691658 N 4391402
Decimal Degrees39.65095000, -78.76613333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 39.057', W 78° 45.968'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 39' 3.4200000000001" N, 78° 45' 58.08" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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