The Fort Proper

The Fort Proper (HMBKH)

Location: Cumberland, MD 21502 Allegany County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 39.054', W 78° 45.988'

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— Fort Cumberland Trail —

The fort proper was the bastioned work at the west end of the fort. It was to your left (primarily on the site of the Church of Christ Scientist). Besides the four bastions (b) and the joining walls, there were four buildings for provisions (6), two guardrooms (7), the commander's quarter (5), the fort parade ground (8), the sally port (SP: gate), and the main gate (MG). More facilities, four more gates (g), and barracks for 200 men were in the east end of Fort Cumberland.

Additional barracks were built to your right(out to Smallwood Street) for the extra men sometimes here. Temporary earthworks were built on the hill northwest of you for added protection. Dress parades were held to your right on the grand parade ground (courthouse and library grounds). There, in 1794, President Washington reviewed troops gathered to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. The Sabbath was observed and religious services were held by the chaplains of the regiments. Pay for some Maryland troops was 8 pence (8?) per day for privates plus clothes, arms, etc. The main gate (MG) was located near the side wall (midway down)of the present brick building to your left.

The Commissary House (10) was located across the street to the left and behind you. Soldiers serving as bakers for Mr. Lake, Commissary of Provisions for General Braddock, were relieved of other duties. The commissary kept the army fed. Each man on picket duty was allowed 1 gill (? pint) liquor spirits mixed with 3 gills of water per day.

One of the tunnels leading from the fort came out in the basement of the library building across the square behind and to your right. Historical plaques concerning the library and courthouse are near the entrance doors.

In August, 1755, Colonel George Washington was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Virginia Military Forces. He inspected all military posts under his command including Fort Cumberland and ordered a shorter and better road built from here to Winchester, Virginia. Washington maintained a headquarters here, at various times, including January-March, 1757. For a time, in 1758, Colonel Washington's men, for lack of military clothing, dressed in Indian type clothes.

In the fall of 1756, the French sent two spies to plan the capture of Fort Cumberland. They were watched closely, arrested, found guilty, and one hung outside the fort. The other was sent to Annapolis and his life spared after revealing French information to Governor Sharpe. The fort was strengthened and improved during the winter.

Fort Cumberland Trail
Series This marker is part of the Whiskey Rebellion series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 at 11:17pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 691630 N 4391395
Decimal Degrees39.65090000, -78.76646667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 39.054', W 78° 45.988'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 39' 3.24" N, 78° 45' 59.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 71 Prospect Square, Cumberland MD 21502, US
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