We are pleased to present a research project on our website, the History of Fort Harmar. Millie (Covey) Fry, a member of our sister organization, the Marietta Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, has completed an extensive study of this United States military fortification on the west bank of the Muskingum River, opposite Marietta. Using diaries, correspondence, historical works and numerous other sources which she details elsewhere on this site, Millie has compiled a list of those soldiers and civilians who resided at this remote outpost on the frontier. Some of these soldiers also served in the Revolution. Built in 1785, the fort served to evict squatters before the settlement of the early Marietta pioneers less than 3 years later, was a place where treaties were negotiated and signed with native tribes and was a home for soldiers who took part in other important events regarding the settlement of the Northwest Territory.
Statistics on the Army
Monthly Rate of Pay - 1785
From: William L. Otten. Frontier Major: (1783 - 1791). Colonel J. F. Hamtramck: his life and times, vol. 2. Port Aransas, Texas: Otten, 2003.
ADJUTANT- In the U.S. Army of the Early Republic (1784 - 1815) the position of adjutant within a battalion or regiment was held by a commissioned officer who basically was the chief of staff for that organization. Lieutenant Colonel - Commandant and later Brigadier General Harmar had Ensign / Lieutenant Ebenezer Denny fill that position. Major General Arthur St. Clair had his Northwest Territorial Secretary / Lieutenant Colonel Winthrop Sargent fill that position in 1791 and Major General Wayne had Captain John Mills in that position in 1794 as well as commanding a battalion in his regiment during the campaign that year. These officers were paid an additional ten dollars per month and authorized additional rations (or the monetary value of those rations per month) which was added to their monthly base pay. After the 1796 revision of U.S. Army organizations, there wasn’t an Adjutant General or Inspector General position until 1813 when Colonel Thomas Cushing was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned as the next Adjutant General. An Adjutant General is commander of an army's administrative services.
AIDES-DE-CAMP- Aides-de-camp could be anyone the commander wanted to appoint to the position and that person was paid extra money. General St. Clair had Lieutenant Ebenezer Denny as his aide-de-camp as well as two civilians who were not military in any sense of the term.
BREVET PROMOTIONS- In the 19th century United States Arm, brevet promotions were extremely common. New officers received brevet rank until authorized positions were made available.
COMMISSIONED OFFICERS- Very few commissioned officers in the U. S. Army of the Early Republic had military training other than what they received during the revolutionary war, if they were in that war. Fully trained junior leaders could not be had from the U.S. population unless they were foreign-born and had training in Europe. The training of future leaders was done prior to 1807 by something similar to an apprentice program with two cadets authorized per regiment at any one time. Frequently, those cadet positions went to worthy enlisted men. However, most new officers came from civilian life, had a better education than most, and had influencial friends or family who could recommend them to the War Department for a specific, congress approved commission. Their commissioning warrent was a specific, signed document. In that sense, they were different from warrent officers who served by federal administrative authority without receiving the blessings of specific congressional action. New junior officers began receiving military training after the Military Academy was established in 1807.
FORAGE- Food for domestic animals.
NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICER- A non-commissioned officer is an enlisted member of an armed force who has been given authority by a commissioned officer.
LEVY- The enlistment or conscription of men for military service.
QUARTERMASTER- In land armies, the quartermaster is an individual who specializes in supplying, provisioning and transporting troops. A quartermaster did not necessarily have to be a soldier. Certainly no military unit commander of that time would tolerate a non-military quartermaster. However, the positions of Quartermaster General and Commissary General were civilian postions within the War Department and they managed military logistics operations which supplied each military garrison and operating field force. General St. Clair had ten male War Department civilians in his camp on November 4, 1791, who were horse wranglers for the Quartermaster and Commissary pack trains which tried to keep his army supplied with food and other items of equipment.
SUBALTERN- A subaltern is a military term for a junior officer and the literal meaning is “subordinate.” Prior to about 1807, the junior officer ranks consisted of ensigns and lieutenants just like the U.S. Navy uses today. Then that was changed to 3rd, 2nd and 1st Lieutenants. The dividing line between 3rd and 2nd lieutenant depended on time and distance from the date they were appointed as 3rd lieutenant to when they actually reported to their command for duty and their unit commander recommended their elevation to 2nd lieutenant status. Promotion to 1st lieutenant depended upon a vacancy in the authorization tables maintained for each regiment and promotion within a regiment or from one regiment to another was determined by the War Department. Time and distance can mean the time it took for travel over the distance from their appointment location to their duty station and can include whatever length of time the individual claimed was needed to complete their personal affairs before they could depart home.
From: Richard Lytle, the author of The Soldiers of America's First Army, 1791. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2004 and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Some of the Men Serving at Fort Harmar or in the Indian Wars
As of 2009, no one has compiled a complete list of the officers and soldiers serving at Fort Harmar from the fall 1785 to late 1789. Men were moved in and out of Fort Harmar on a fairly regular basis – ordered to other forts on the frontier. Here are some of the men who served at Fort Harmar or in the Indian Wars.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES WITH NAMES OF SOLDIERS:
Muster and pay rolls of the U.S. Army, 1791. (Muster and pay rolls for Col. William Darke's and Col. George Gibson's regiments of levies, engaged in the Miami Indian wars in Ohio. Many soldiers are listed as killed in St. Clair's defeat, November 1791). [located at Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.] U.S. Army Legion of the United States orderly book, 1792-1793. Papers and Collection of Peter Force (Series 8D: entry 132). (General orders, 1792 October 20 - 1793 March 19, for the Legion of the United States, Anthony Wayne, commander at Pittsburgh and Legionville (Byersdale), Pennsylvania). [located at Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.]
U.S. Army 2nd Infantry Regiment orderly book, 1792. (General orders, May - December 1792, issued at Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Legionville (Byersdale), Pa., relating to Indian wars). [located at Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.]
Francis Bernard Heitman. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army During the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1783. Washington: Press of Nichols, Killam & Maffitt, 1893. F. B. Heitman. Historical Register of the United States Army, From Its Organization, September 29, 1789 to September 29, 1889. Washington, DC: National Tribune, 1890.
READ GOOGLE BOOK
Richard M. Lytle. The Soldiers of America’s First Army: 1791. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2004.
James Ripley Jacobs. The Beginning of the United States Army 1783-1812. Cranbury, New Jersey: Scholar’s Bookshelf. 1947, 2006.
Genevieve Potts. Abstracts of wills and administrations: 1788-1855 – Washington County, Ohio; 1788-1806 - Gallia County, Ohio. Columbus, Ohio: n.p., 1939. [includes Nuncupative wills of soldiers at Fort Harmar, Washington County]
Military Journal of Major Ebenezer Denny, an Officer in the Revolutionary and Indian Wars. with an Introductory Memoir. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co, 1859. [On pages 209 – 273 are many letters written by Josiah Harmar from 1784 – 1799].
Below are the names of persons listed in Ebenezer Denny’s journal. He often did not give a rank for a person so I use Mr.:
Lt. George Bluer, Col. Richard Butler, Lt. Col. Comt. William Butler, Gen. Charles Cornwallis, Gen. Hand, Lt. Herbert, Marquis de Lafayette, Capt. Samuel Montgomery, Gen. O’Hara, Col. Schamel, Gen. Arthur St. Clair, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus von Steuben, Col. Walter Stewart, Gen. George Washington, Gen. Anthony Wayne.
Gen. Gates, Gen. Green.
Ebenezer Denny (March 11, 1761 – July 21, 1822)
Mr. Bond, Gen. Green, Col. Hamilton, Lt. Col. Commt. Josiah Harmar, Gen. Howe, Mr. Irwin, Capt. Montgomery, Capt. Alexander Parker (Denny’s uncle), Col. Steward.
In late 1783 the American army was disbanded. A few men remained under the command of a captain at Fort Pitt. A resolution passed to raise a regiment for the purpose of garrisoning the western posts. Officers and men were from the following states:
Pennsylvania – 4 companies and a Lieutenant Colonel Commander
New Jersey – 1 company
New York – 3 companies and a major
Connecticut – 2 companies and a major
Ensign Ebenezer Denny, Col. Josiah Harmar.
Lt. Ashton, Gen. Butler, Gen. Clark, Capt. Doughty, Lt. Doyle, Mr. Eliot, Capt. Finney, Col. Josiah Harmar, Mr. Hulings, Capt. Hutchens, Col. Lewis, Col. Monroe (a congressman from Virginia), Major Montgomery, Mr. O’Hara, Gen. Parsons, Mr. Ranken, Corp. Thompson, Isaac Zane.
Men had enlisted for 1 year. Orders were to re-enlist for 3 years. Of 4 companies, 70 men re-enlisted and the rest were discharged.
Fort Finney was established in October.
Dr. Allison, Capt. Armstrong, Capt. Beatty (paymaster), Lt. E. Beatty, Mr. Brison, Col. Boon, Lt. Bradford, Mr. Bradshaw, Gen. Clark, Mr. Devoire (on way to Indian country), Capt. Doughty (his company from New York), Capt. Doyle, Lt. Doyle. Abner Dunn (an old officer who had been to the Shawnee towns), Mr. Elliott, Major Finney, John Geary (deserted), Mr. Hamtramck (his company from New York, escorting surveyors), Col. Josiah Harmar, Mrs. Harmar (Col. and wife were at Fort McIntosh by June and at arrived at Fort Harmar in July), Mr. Heart, Mr. Hutchens, Mr. Kingsbury, Mr. Le Bere (on way to Indian country), Capt. M’Curdys (his company from Pennsylvania, escorting surveyors), Mr. M’Dowell, Mr. Mercer (his company from New Jersey, escorting surveyors), Major Montgomery, Major North, Capt. O’Hara (a contractor), James Parker (at Lexington), Col. Patterson, Lt. John Pratt (quartermaster), Mr. Ranken, James Sample, Mr. Sims, Mr. Smith, Mr. Strong (his company from Connecticut), Mr. Sufferins (an interpreter), Corp. Thompson (deserted), Mr. West, Sgt. Wilcox, Major Wyllys, Capt. Ziegler.
As of March 1786, the majority of men at Fort Finney were Irish according to Ebenezer Denny.
On July 17 th, Ensign Denny ordered to report to Fort Harmar. By August, Fort Harmar was still unfinished.
Lt. Armstrong, Capt. Ashton, Lt. Beatty, Daniel Britt, Capt. Burbeck (of New York, stationed at West Point in January), Gen. Clark, Mr. Doughty (at Fort Harmar), Lt. Doyle, Mr. Duncan (a contractor), Mr. Dunn (on way to Kentucky), Dr. Elliott, Mr. Finney (evacuated Fort Finney by January and built small work across from Louisville, Kentucky), Mr. Ferguson (at Fort McIntosh in January), Major Finney, Major Fish (of New York, resigned), Major Hamtramck (at Fort Steuben in January), Col. Josiah Harmar, Capt. Heart (at Fort Harmar), Lt. Kersey, Mr. Kingsbury, Mr. Lakesang, Col. Le Gras (chief magistrate among the French), Mr. M’Curdy (at Fort Steuben in January), Dr. M’Dowell (at Fort Harmar), Ensign M’Dowell, Mr. Marnie (a contractor), Mr. Mason, Jacob Melcher, Capt. Mercer (at Fort Steuben in January), Mr. O’Hara (a contractor), Alexander Parker (on way to Kentucky), Lt. Peters, Ensign Sedam, John Siddon (taken prisoner at the Wabash), Capt. Smith, Ensign Spear, Capt. Strong (from Connecticut, at Fort Harmar on May 17th), Col. Todd, Mr. Tardiveau (a Frenchman), Mr. Turnbull (a contractor), Mr. Wells, Major Wyllys, Mr. Ziegler (evacuated Fort Finney by January and built small work across from Louisville, Kentucky).
Fort Finney was evaculated by January.
Fort Steuben was ordered evaculated in June.
Major Alexander, Lt. Armstrong, Capt. Beatty, Lt. Beatty (paymaster), Jane Beatty (arrived from Fort Pitt), Col. Blaine, James Blaine (son of Col. Blaine), Ephraim Blaine, Capt. Bradford (recruiter in New York), Daniel Britt (a contractor), Mr. Brown (member of congress from Kentucky), Gen. Richard Butler, Ebenezer Denny (was at Fort Harmar on May 29 th), Major Doughty, Mr. Duncan, Lt. Ernest (recruiter in New York), Capt. Ferguson, Lt. Ford, Gen. Gibson, Capt. Heart, Capt. Hardin (from Kentucky), Gen. Josiah Harmar (was at Fort Harmar on May 29 th), Ensign Hartshorn, Lt. Kersey, Dr. Knight, Capt. M’Curdy, Ensign M’Dowell, Mr. Marten (a surveyor), Mr. Melcher (a subaltern of regiment), Mr. Mitchell, Cadet Morgan, Capt. James O’Hara (a contractor), Lt. Peters, Lt. Pratt (quartermaster), Mr. Rankin (a messenger to Indian towns), Wintrop Sargent (Secretary of Western Territory, a director of the Ohio Company), Lt. Schuyler, Mr. Spear (a subaltern of regiment), Gen. Arthur St. Clair (Governor of Western Territory), Capt. Smith, Capt. Strong, Dr. Sumner, Judge John Cleves Symmes (Judge of the Territorial Court from 1788 until Ohio became a state in 1803, purchased land at the Miami River), Polly Symmes (daughter of Judge Symmes), Ensign Thompson, Judge James Mitchell Varnum, Mr. White (a member of congress, was at Fort Harmar on May 29), C. Wilkins, Mr. Wilson (a messenger to Indian towns), Capt. Ziegler (born in Heidelberg, Germany).
Denny’s description of the Ohio Company, Marietta, and Campus Martius is on pages 119 – 120.
Dr. Allison, Capt. Beatty (paymaster), Capt. Bradford, Dr. Carmichael, Major Doughty, Capt. Ferguson, Lt. Ford, Ensign Hartshorn, Gen. Josiah Harmar, Capt. Heart, Lt. Kersey, Mr. King (a proprietor of the Ohio Company), Lt. Kingsbury, Mr. Luce, Mr. Ludlow (a surveyor), Capt. Mercer, Judge Samuel Holden Parsons (During November 1789, the Chief Justice of the Northwest Territory drowned attempting to come down Beaver Creek in a canoe while returning from a treaty with the Indians of the Western Reserve. The Presient nominated Rufus Putnam as his successor on the bench.), Lt. Peters, Lt. Pratt (quartermaster), Dr. Scott, Mr. Schuyler, Ensign Sedam, Lucy Anne Sheffield (married Capt. David Ziegler on February 22, 1789), Mr. Spear, Capt. Strong, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Tupper, Major Wyllys, Capt. David Ziegler (married Lucy Anne Sheffield on February 22, 1789).
The Treaty of Fort Harmar - an agreement between the government of the United States and a group of Indians. Signed at Fort Harmar, located across the Muskingum River from Marietta, Ohio on January 9, 1789.
John Bellie (quartermaster), Ebenezer Denny (in April he states that he has spent most of the past two years at Fort Harmar), Major Doughty, Major Ferguson, Major James Fontaine (died October 22, 1790 during the Harmar Campaign), Lt. Ebenezer Frothingham (died October 22, 1790, during the Harmar Campaign), Major Hall, Major Hall, Col. John Hardin (from Kentucky, fought in Hardin’s Defeat, Harmar’s Campaign, October 1790), Mr. Kingsbury, Major M’Millen, Col. Lewis, Mr. Nesbit, Stephen Ormsby (brigade-major to militia), Major Paul, Major Ray, Dr. Slater (surgeon to Col. Trotter’s regiment), Lt.-Col. Commandant Trotter, Lt.-Col. Truby, Major John P. Wyllys (died October 22, 1790 during the Harmar Campaign). Major Ebenezer Denny’s account of the disastrous Harmar Campaign is on pages 143 – 151.
Adjt. Anderson (Second Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Balsh (Second Regiment, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Beatty (paymaster), Ensign Beatty (Second Regiment of Levies, killed at the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Cornet Bhines (Cavalry, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Boyd (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Bradford (Artillery, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Briggs (Kentucky Militia, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Brooks (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Buchanan (First Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Buel, Adjt. Burges (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Edward Butler, Major-Gen. Richard Butler (killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Major Butler (Second Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Chase (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Cobb (Second Regiment, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Adjt. Crawford (Second Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Cribbs (Second Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Cummins (Second Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Davidson (First Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Debutts (Cavalry, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Doyle (was on guard when the First Regiment was ordered back, he had been relieved, but was without any command. He attached himself to the Artillery, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt.-Col. Dark (First Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Mr. Falconer, Major Ferguson (Artillery, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791) , Capt. Ford (Artillery, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Dr. Gano (Kentucky Militia, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt.-Col. Gibson (Second Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791, died of those wounds at Fort Jefferson), Lt. Graton (Second Regiment, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Dr. Grayson (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Major Hamtramck, Capt Hanah (his company was from Alexandria), Gen. Josiah Harmar, Major Heart (Second Regiment, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Mr. Hodgden (quartermaster), Lt. Kelso (Second Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Kersey, Capt. Kirkwood (Second Regiment, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Gen. Henry Knox (Secretary of War), Capt. Lemmon (Kentucky Militia, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Lukins (Second Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Lyle (First Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. M’Math (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign M’Michle (Second Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Maddison (Kentucky Militia, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Count Malartie (a captain in the French guard of Louis XVI, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Montgomery (Kentucky Militia, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Moorhead (Second Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Morgan (First Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Newman (Second Regiment, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lieut.-Col. William Oldham (commanding officer of Kentucky Militia, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Owens (Kentucky Militia, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Phelon (Second Regiment, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Piatt (Second Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Price (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Price (First Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Purdy (Second Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Purdy (Second Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Read (Second Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Reaves (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Rhea (First Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Col. Winthrop Sargent (Adjutant General, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Sedam, Mr. Semple (quartermaster), Capt. Slough (Second Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Smith (Second Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Spear (Artillery, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Gov. Arthur St. Clair, Lt. Stagner (Kentucky Militia, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Thomas (Kentucky Militia, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Thompson (Second Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Tibton (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Capt. Trueman (Cavalry, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Turner (First Regiment of Levies, captured at the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791, and taken to Detroit. Was returned by way of Montreal. Denny saw him in Philadelphia the next April and he was deranged.), Capt. Vanswearingen (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Walter (Kentucky Militia, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Lt. Warren (Second Regiment, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Adjt. Whistler (First Regiment of Levies, wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791), Ensign Wilson (First Regiment of Levies, killed in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791).
During September 1791, Gen. Josiah Harmar solicited a court of inquiry to examine his conduct on the last campaign during October 1790. Gen. Richard Butler served as the president of the court and several days were spent in examining testimony. The court made a report to George Washington that was highly honorable to Gen. Harmar.
In 1791, St. Clair succeeded Harmar as the senior general of the United States Army. He personally led a punitive expedition comprising of two Regular Army regiments and some militia. This force advanced to the location of Indian settlements on the Wabash River, but on November 4 they were routed in battle by a tribal confederation led by Miami Chief Little Turtle and Shawnee chief Blue Jacket. More than 600 soldiers and scores of women and children were killed in the battle, called St. Clair's Defeat, the "Columbia Massacre," or the “ Battle of the Wabash.” It was the greatest defeat of the American army by Native Americans in history with some 623 American soldiers killed in action as opposed to about 50 enemy dead. After this debacle, he resigned from the army at the request of President Washington, but continued to serve as Governor of the Northwest Territory. From Wikipedia.
On November 7, 1791, Denny wrote, “when the army advanced from Fort Jefferson, it did not exceed 2,000 men; discharges, desertions and the absence of the first regiment, reduced the effective strength of the day of action to about 1400. The second regiment had but one battallion with the army – it was well appointed, but young in service. The officers and men, however, did their duty; they, with the battalion of artillery, were nearly all cut off. The whole loss, as now ascertained by the different returns, is 37 officers and 593 privates killed or missing; 31 officers and 252 privates wounded. From page 171 of Denny’s journal.
See pages 172 – 173 of Denny’s Journal for a list of officers killed or wounded in the Battle of the Wabash, November 4, 1791.
Capt. Pratt (quartermaster), Gen. Arthur St. Clair, Gen Anthony Wayne.
February, Major Ebenezer Denny is “perfectly weary and sick of the noise and bustle of a military life, and long for a change for a domestic situation.”
March, Gen. Arthur St. Clair resigns as commander of the army.
April, Gen. Wayne Anthony is appointed commander of army.
April, the army is to be augmented to 4 regiments of infantry, besides a corps of cavalry; the whole, with artillery, to consist of 5,000 men.
April, the committee of Congress commences their inquiry into the causes of the defeat of the “ Battle of the Wabash” (November 4, 1791, led by Gen. Arthur St. Clair).
The committee of Congress reports to the House: “That, in their opinion, the failure of the late expedition can in no respect be imputed to the conduct of the commanding general, either at any time before or during the action.”
May 1, Major Ebenezer Denny resigned his commission. The next day he left for Pittsburgh.
Mr. John Adlum, Capt. Buchanan, Gen. Chapin, Israel Chapin (Indian agent), George Depue, John Depue, Mr. Dickenson, Mr. Ellicott, Mr. Elliott, Mr. Gibson, Mr. Glenn, Lt. Hazelwood, Capt Heth, Sgt. Holloday, Gen. Irvine, William Johnson (a British agent), Dr. Kennedy (a surgeon), Mr. M’Cutcheon (quartermaster), Robert M’Near, David Mead, Ensign Mehaffy, Gov. Mifflin, Lt. Miller, Mr. Mitchell (of the artillery), Sherman Morrow, Lt. Murphy (quartermaster), Mr. Nesbitt, Lt. Samuel Murphy (a subaltern to Alleghany Company), James Patterson (a subaltern to Alleghany Company), Lt. Polhemus, Gov. Simco (a British officer), Sgt. Smith, Mr. Tannehill, Ensign Vanhorn, Mr. Walker, Gen. Wilkins, Capt. Williamson, Matthew Wilson.
Ebenezer Denny is commissioned captain of a company to be raised in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania… command of Presque Isle detachment.
Capt. Buchanan, Lt. Hazelwood (resigns), Ensign M’Cutcheon, Ensign Mehaffy.
May 31, Major Ebenezer Denny recommends the Governor transfer command and the duty of escorting the commissioners in laying out the towns to Capt. Buchanan.
Journal of General Joseph Buell, September 20, 1785 - June 29, 1789. [at the Special Collections, Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio]
In his journal, covering a four-year period, Joseph Buell mentioned the following events:
28 men died
28 men were court-martialed
52 men were lashed, often 100 times
35 men deserted
22 drunken happenings
14 men ran the gauntlet
9 men accused of theft
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE JOURNAL OF GENERAL JOSEPH BUELL, SEPTEMBER 20, 1785 – JUNE 29, 1789:
Sept. 20, 1785 – Joseph Buell began his journal in CT
Sept. 26, 1785 – West Point
Dec. 21, 1785 – Fort Pitt
Dec. 26, 1785 – Fort McIntosh
May 8, 1786 – Arrived at Fort Harmar on the Muskingum
July 23, 1786 – Col. Josiah Harmar arrived at Fort Harmar
May 26, 1787 – Left Fort Harmar for the Falls of the Ohio
May 31, 1787 – Arrived at Fort Finney at the Falls of the Ohio (opposite the Ohio River from Louisville, KY)
July 8, 1787 – Left Fort Finney
July 10, 1787 – Arrived at Pigeon Creek about 180 miles from Fort Finney
July 19, 1787 – Arrived at Post Vincent / Vincennes
Aug. 9, 1787 – Col. Harmar set out for Kuskuseky on the Mississippi River
Sept. 3, 1787 – Col. Harmar returned from Kuskuseky /Kusekusky
Oct. 1, 1787 – Capt. Zeigler’s and Strong’s companies left for Rapids of the Ohio
Oct. 7, 1787 – Arrived at the Rapids of the Ohio
Oct. 28, 1787 – Gen. Josiah Harmar left for Fort Harmar
Oct. 29, 1787 – Capt. Zeigler’s and Strong’s companies left for Fort Harmar
Nov. 8, 1787 – Arrived at Limestone
Nov. 21, 1787 – Arrived at Fort Harmar
Dec. 25, 1787 – We had a poor Christmas – little or nothing to eat or drink
Feb. 21, 1788 – Left Fort Harmar
Feb. 22, 1788 – Spent night at log hut opposite the mouth of Little Kanawa
Feb. 25, 1788 – Arrived back at Fort Harmar
April 6, 1788 – General Harmar set out for Venango
April 7, 1788 – General Putnam arrived at this place with 50 men who came to settle on the other side of the Muskingum River
May 2-5, 1788 – Kentucky boats pass continually 10 or 12 every day
May 16, 1788 – Capt. Strong and company to reconnoiter the country about 30 miles up the Muskingum River
May 18, 1788 – Took the southeast course in order to strike the Ohio River and arrived back at the fort
June 15, 1788 – Major Doughty and men set out to demolish Fort McIntosh
June 15, 1788 – Joseph Buell should have been discharged had his health allowed it
June 20, 1788 – Joseph Buell was not feeling well and unable to set out for CT. He agreed to tarry four months for John Smith who gave him a year’s worth of clothing and eight dollars a month.
July 9, 1788 – Gov. Arthur St. Clair arrived at Fort Harmar and upon landing was saluted with the discharge of 13 rounds from the field piece. He was saluted with music and the troops paraded and presented their arms. Then it rained.
Oct. 26, 1788 – Joseph Buell left Fort Harmar for Fort Pitt
Oct. 31, 1788 – Arrived at Wheeling, VA
Nov. 13, 1788 – Arrived at Carlysle [Carlisle, PA]
Nov. 27, 1788 – Thanksgiving – arrived at Killingsworth, CT
Dec. 16, 1788 – Set out for Norwich, CT by way of Gaddener
Dec. 19, 1788 – River was frozen at Middletown
Dec. 22, 1788 – Arrived at Mr. Munsells and stayed for about a week and then went to Windham, CT
Jan. 1789 – Joseph Buell is engaged in a school
Feb. 1789 – Continued in school
March 1789 – Finished school
April 2 – 10, 1789 – Spent time in Norwich, CT
April 15, 1789 – Went to Haddam, CT to pick up his cattle
May 25, 1789 - Settled his business and set out with his brother and Mr. Elliott for New Haven, CT
June 10, 1789 – Arrived at Semerel Ferry on the Youghiogheny River in southwestern PA and boarded a boat and set out for the Muskingum
June 15, 1789 – Arrived at Muskingum [Marietta or Fort Harmar] and agreed to join my old partner Munsell
June 18, 1789 – Embarked for Miami
June 22, 1789 – Arrived at Limestone
June 25, 1789 – Arrived at Little Miami
June 26, 1789 – Arrived at North Bend [perhaps in Hamilton Co., OH]. Went to work on our lot.
End of this Journal
Below are the names of persons listed in General Joseph Buell’s journal. He often did not give a rank for a person so I use Mr.:
Mr. Barton, Corp. Bottom, Mr. Chafben, Col. Chambers, Mr. Coudrey, Mr. Crafters, Corp. Curtis, Sgt. Fitch, Mr. Goldsmith, John Greenslate, Mr. Hamblen, Mr. Hambler, Major Hamtramck, Job Hawkins, Cyril Hendee, Mr. Hinkerman, Capt. Hughs, Sgt. Jeffers, Capt. Johnson, Sgt. Kain, Lt. Million, Col. Morehouse, Lt. Munsell, Sgt. Munsell, Mr. Nogals, Mr. Nurris, Lt. Pratt, Mr. Spiker, Capt. Strong, Col. Vandeburgh, Sgt. White, Major Wyllys.
Mr. Algar, Mr. Alvord, Sgt. Anderson, Sgt. Armstrong, Mr. Bamerd (died July 19, 1786), Roswell Bead (died), William Beasly, Corp. Boman, Lt. Bradford, Mr. Brett, Gen. Butler, James Campbell (died), Sgt. Campbell, Capt. Daniel (Indian trader), Major Davis (Kentucky boat stopped and he buried his child), Mr. Darrow, Corp. Davis, Ensign Denny, John C. Dittman, Major Doughty, Mr. Dustin, Sgt. Easton, Mr. Engreham (died May 25, 1786), William Farmer, Capt. Ferguson, Major Fish, Sgt. Fitch, Sgt. Fletch, Lt. Ford, Mr. Fox, Mr. French, Gen. Gibson, William Griffin, Joel Guthrie, Major Hamtramck, Col. Harmar (arrived July 23, 1786 at Fort Harmar), Sgt. Harmon, Capt. Hartshorn, Capt. Heart, Mr. Houghmier Capt. Hughs, D. Hund, Mr. Hurling, William Johnson, Corp Johnson, Mrs. Johnson, Ensign Kingsbury, Capt. Lunice, Capt. Lunier (an Indian), Lt. McCowdrey, Mr. McCurdy, Col. Millet, Mr. Maumee, Sgt. Munsell, Major North, Capt. O’Brian, Gen Parson, Chris Patterson, Lt. Pratt, Mr. Preston, Corp. Reed, Sgt. Enos Schuyler, Sgt. Shamburgh, Sgt. Shaunaburgh, Corp. Sheet, James Smith, Lt. Smith, Sgt. Smith, Capt. Strong, Sgt. Strong, Capt. Tanner (an Indian), Mr. Walton, Major Wyllys, Capt. Ziegler.
Lt. Armstrong, Mr. Ashder, Sgt. Beatt, Capt. Beatty, Mr. Berhard, Capt. Bradford, Major Bradshaw, Mr. Brady, Mr. Brake, Major Brutt, Major Burnham, Mr. Campbell (died), Hambleton Carr, Mr. Cochran, Corp. Derr, Burke Dissumen, Major Finney, Capt. Finney, Sgt. Fitch (died), Mr. Foster (died), Amasa Fox, David Gregg (died), Major Hamtramck, Col. Harmar, Sgt. Hartshorn / Harshown, Capt. Heart, Corp. Heart, Capt Ingless, Sgt. Jadd, Lt. Kersey, Ensign Kingsbury, Lt. Kingsbury, Mr. Leach, Col. Lewis, Capt. McCurdy, Sgt. McKnight, Col. Marque, Cadet Melcher, Capt. Mercer, Sgt. Munsell, Mr. Orcatt / Orcutt / Oreatt, Mr. Owens, John Roberts (died), Sgt. Ross, Mr. Ryle, Capt. Smith, Lt. Smith, Sgt. Smith, Sgt. Souser, Sgt. Sprague, John Stockly, Capt. Strong, Sgt. Strumburgh, Sgt. Wilcox, Mr. Williams (and family), Mr. Wilson, Thomas Wilson, Major Wyllys, Mr. Young, Capt. Ziegler.
Mr. Alvert, Capt. Armstrong, Lt. Armstrong, Sgt. Armstrong, Capt. Beatty, Capt. Bradford, Gen. Butler, Mr. Cockran, Mr. Collins, Capt. Craig, Major Doughty, Richard Eliott, Mr. Elis, Jerry Ellise, Lt. Ernest, Mr. Farmer, Mr. Glodin, Mr. Griffins, Mr. Grimes, Corp. Grover, Mr. Halings, Sgt. Hammon, Gen. Harmar, Ensign Hartshorn, Mr. Harvay, Capt Heart, Mr. Hensey, Mr. Judd, Mr. Kellar, Lt. Kingsbury, Mr. McCoy, Capt. McCurdy, Ensign McDowell, Craif McFarlin, Sgt. McKnight, Capt. Mason, Col. Meigs, Sgt. Munsell, Gen Person, Mr. Phillip, Gen. Putnam, Sgt. Roquose / Roqus / Roqnos, Mr. Ruthres, Mr. Ryle, Lt. Schuyler, Mr. Sergeants, Corp. Sheets, Mr. Siddon, Capt. Smith, Sgt. Smith, Bob Smith, John Smith, Sgt. Sprague, Gov. St. Clair, Mr. Sulivan, Dr. Sumner, Judge Symmes, Mr. Taber, Casper Tarr, Ensign Thompson, Ensign Thon, Ensign Thonsom, Capt. Tinie / Tinis, Gen. Tupper, Corp White, John Wilcox / Willison, Capt. Ziegler.
Mr. Buell (Joseph Buell’s brother), Mrs. Buell (Joseph Buell’s wife), Mr. Elliott, Mr. Olstead, Mr. Shipman, Mr. Simpson.
General Josiah Harmar
This painting of U.S. Army General Josiah Harmar is on display in the
Diplomatic Reception Rooms at the U.S. Department of State.
Josiah Harmar was born in Philadelphia on November 10, 1753, to wealthy parents, and was educated chiefly in the Quaker School of Robert Proud (born in Yorkshire, England, May 10, 1728; died in Philadelphia, July 7, 1813). His mother was Elizabeth Harmar (died in 1780). Entering the Continental Army as a Captain in the First Battalion of the First Pennsylvania Regiment on October 27, 1775, he was promoted to Major of the Third Pennsylvania Regiment on October 1, 1776; transferred to the Second Regiment on January 1, 1777; promoted Lieut. Colonel of the Sixth Pennsylvania Regiment on June 6, 1777, and served actively until the end of the war. He was with Washington’s army in the campaign of 1778-80, being appointed Lieut. Colonel Commandant of the Seventh Pennsylvania Regiment on August 9, 1780, and was with General Greene’s Division in the South in 1781-82. He was transferred to the Third Pennsylvania Regiment on January 17, 1781, and to the First Pennsylvania Regiment on January 1, 1783. He was brevetted Colonel on September 30, 1783, and served to November 3 of the same year. On October 19, 1784, he married Sarah Jenkins (born March 14, 1761), sister of Mary Jenkins (who married Major Samuel Nicholas), and the same year bore to France the ratification of the Definitive Treaty. On January 20, 1785, he was Indian Agent for the Northwest Territory, and a party to the Fort McIntosh Treaty. On August 12, 1784, he was appointed Lieut. Colonel of the First United States Regiment of Infantry and subsequently became Commander of the Army, serving as suchfrom September 27, 1789, to March 14, 1791. In 1790, he commanded an expedition against the Miami Indians. On July 31, 1787, he was brevetted Brigadier General by solution of Congress. He resigned his commission on January 1, 1792; and on Thursday, April 11, 1793, was
appointed Adjutant General of the Pennsylvania Militia, which office he held during the Whisky Insurrection, and until Wednesday, February 27, 1799, when he resigned and was succeeded by Peter Baynton. He was an active member of the Pennsylvania Society of the Cincinnati, serving as its Secretary from 1783 to 1785 and again in 1793. He died in Philadelphia at his home near Gray’s Ferry, on August 20, 1813, when 60 years of age, and was buried in St. James’ Churchyard, Kingsessing. His son, Josiah Harmar (born 1802) died on December 31, 1848, in his 47th year.
From Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Philadelphia, PA: Historical Society of Pennsylvania, vol. XLVI, 1922, pp. 364-365.
In November 1785 a detachment of U.S. troops under the command of Major John Doughty constructed Fort Harmar, named for Colonel Josiah Harmar, on elevated bottom land on the west side of the Muskingum River at its confluence with the Ohio River.
Construction of the pentagonal fort, which enclosed about three fourths of an acre, was completed in 1786.
The main walls, 120 feet in length, were constructed of large timbers laid horizontally, to a height of 12 or 14 feet.
At each of the five corners were bastions made of logs set upright in the ground. Three of the bastions were mounted with cannon; the two facing the two rivers were not.
Barracks for the enlisted men extended along the main walls, with their roofs sloping inward. They were divided into rooms about 30 feet long and furnished with fireplaces.
Officers’ quarters, made of hewn logs and one and a half or two stories high, were part of the bastions. They had kitchens in the back and stone chimneys.
The barracks on the wall facing the Ohio River were topped with a cupola that served as a sentinel post. A flagstaff was mounted atop the cupola with a room beneath serving as a guardhouse.
A well near the center of the fort supplied water in case of a siege. Water for ordinary purposes was carried from the river.
Gardens and orchards were located west and northwest of the fort.
Between the fort and the Muskingum River stood three large log buildings that served the blacksmith, carpenter, and mechanics.
In 1788 a treaty bower, or cabin, was built outside the northeast bastion of the fort, where the treaty with the Indians was held in 1788-9.
From Samuel P. Hildreth. Pioneer History: Being an account of the first examinations of the Ohio Valley, and the early settlement of the Northwest Territory. Cincinnati, Ohio: H.W. Derby & Co., 1848.
Fort Harmar by Joseph Gilman, circa 1790.
Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, Ohio
Plan of Fort Harmar. Courtesy of Josiah Harmar Papers,
William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Fort Harmar Military Field Headquarters on the Ohio
Fort Harmar plaque at Marietta, Ohio, September 2012
Congress authorized it, Major General Richard Butler picked the site, Josiah Harmar gave the order, Major John Doughty designed it, and the men under his command and the commands of Captain Jonathan Heart, Lieutenant James Bradford, and Lieutenant Ebenezer Frothingham built the fort.
On October 25, 1785, Captain Doughty and his company, along with Heart, Bradford, and Frothingham and their commands, left Fort McIntosh for the Muskingum. The 150 men arrived on November 5 and began construction of pentagonal Fort Harmar on the west side of the mouth of the river. Although the first regular detachment moved into their new quarters on November 30, the fort was not completed until spring 1786.
The fort was one of the first built by the U.S. military and site of the first U.S. artillery brought into Ohio. Perhaps unique in U.S. frontier history, one of the original purposes of the fort was to forcibly evict
settlers already living north of the Ohio, derided as “squatters,” not to protect them from Indians. Congress mandated their eviction because they lacked government-issued land titles. Another purpose of the fort was to protect federal survey crews charged with gridding the Seven Ranges in southeastern Ohio for sale at public auction. The fort was unusual in other ways. Its log walls were laid up horizontally rather than stuck vertically into the ground; it had five sides rather than the usual four; and for three years, 1786-9, it served as U.S. Army field headquarters for the entire western frontier. Ultimate military command, however, rested with Secretary at War Henry Knox in New York City. Fort Harmar also was distinctive due to its extensive gardens and orchards west and northwest of the fort. For their own use, officers and soldiers planted beans, peas, squashes, and melons which, given the rich river bottom soil surrounding the fort, grew in abundance. They also planted a peach orchard, a variety of which came to be known as the Doughty peach.
On April 7, 1788, a vanguard of 48 Ohio Company settlers, led by Rufus Putnam, arrived from New England to establish a town, first called Adelphia, across the Muskingum from the fort. In July Northwest Territorial Governor Arthur St. Clair and Territorial Secretary Winthrop Sargent arrived at Adelphia — the name soon changed to Marietta — to establish civil government and federal control of the territory. A pressing task of the federal officials was to conduct a treaty with discontented Indian tribes in order to satisfy their grievances, including land claims. After an initial attempt to treat with select tribes at the falls of the Muskingum (present Philo) failed in summer 1788 (due
Fort Harmar depicted in Benson J. Lossing - The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of 1812
to a surprise attack by renegade Chippewa), St. Clair rescheduled the treaty for late fall and, for protection, relocated it to the vicinity of Fort Harmar. The sessions began December 13, 1788, and ended one month later. On January 9, 1789, two separate treaties were signed near Fort Harmar. However, these treaties failed to prevent increasingly frequent raids by both whites and Indians along the Ohio frontier, especially to and from Kentucky. As immigrants flooded downriver in search of land, so did the location and intensity of violence. To protect those settlers, in early 1789 the government decided to relocate both its territorial capital and its military headquarters from Marietta to Losantiville (Cincinnati). In December 1789 St. Clair and Harmar left Fort Harmar for the new headquarters at newly constructed Fort Washington. By January 1790, and throughout the year, only a few soldiers were stationed at Fort Harmar. In their stead, local militia provided defense for Marietta and the Company’s nascent perimeter settlements at Belpre and Waterford. Although used for various purposes for short times, the neglected fort decayed, became more or less derelict, and was finally demolished in the summer 1791. A plaque near Harmar Elementary School marks its approximate location. The precise location of the fort cannot be determined. As the large influx of settlers in the early 1800s cleared more and more fields and forests in the Muskingum valley, the river became increasingly muddy, filling its bottom with silt and sediment. The increased side pressure eroded its banks and broadened the river, encroaching upon the site and carrying it away piecemeal. By 1850 more than half of the original ground enclosed by the fort, including remnants of the stone well which had stood in its center, had slipped over the bank of the Muskingum. Later dam construction on the Ohio likely further inundated the site, leaving most of it under the Muskingum at its mouth, extending out into the Ohio.
From Richard Walker, Ph.D., The Theft of Ohio: Treaty of Fort Harmar 1789. (MSS., 2009).
Events that had an Impact on Fort Harmar and the War on the Indians
1784 June 2
Congress passed a resolution disbanding the last remnants of the Continental Army.
1784 June 3
Congress passed a resolution establishing a peacetime regiment of 700 men, to be furnished by four states. These men were to occupy posts vacated by the British on the northwest boundaries of the United States and to discourage settlers or “squatters” from moving into the Ohio country.
Col. Josiah Harmar, a Revolutionary War veteran who was now 30 years old, assumed command of the First American Regiment.
The Land Ordinance of 1785 set forth the first rectangular system of land survey for the area north and west of the Ohio River. It also specified the division and sale of the land. Although Congress authorized the survey of 13 ranges, threats by Indians, the difficulty and seasonality of the work, the cost of military protection, and the lackluster sales of the first five ranges at auction in New York caused the scope of the project to be reduced from 13 to 7 ranges. That portion, beginning near present-day East Liverpool, Ohio, became known as the Seven Ranges. The newly formed army protected the surveyors from Indians and settlers.
Fort Harmar was built in the fall 1785 at the mouth of the Muskingum River and garrisoned by one battalion of the regiment under Major John Doughty.
1786 February 8
According to one officer (name unknown), Fort Harmar was“ very commodious and completely finished – the gates are all shut at night, and we rest secure. If no hostilities should commence we shall have an agreeable tour in this part of the world.”
1786 March 3
Rufus Putnam, Benjamin Tupper, Samuel Holden Parsons and Manasseh Cutler met in Boston to form the Ohio Company of Associates, the purpose of which was to purchase, settle and sell land in present-day southeastern Ohio. The Ohio Company bought 1.5 million acres from Congress.
1786 July 23
Colonel Josiah Harmar arrived and assumed command of Fort Harmar. He was now 32 years old and Harmar’s wife accompanied him and lived at the fort.
1787 July 13
Congress passed The Northwest Ordinance, creating the Northwest Territory – the region south of the Great Lakes, north of the Ohio River, west of Pennsylvania, and east of the Mississippi River – with the intention of creating future states.
1787 December 25
According to Joseph Buell, “we had a poor Christmas – little or nothing to eat or drink” at Fort Harmar.
1788 April 7
Rufus Putnam and 47 other Ohio Company stockholders landed at the mouth of the Muskingum River and established Marietta, one of the earliest settlesments in the Northwest Territory.
Colonel Josiah Harmar charged Lewis Wetzel with the murder of George Washington, a Delaware Indian, loyal to the United States. Wetzel short Washington while the Indian was hunting on the Muskingum. Wetzel was arrested and jailed at Marietta, but escaped before his trial. He eventually moved to New Orleans, where he spent several years in prison for counterfeiting.
George Washington by Gilbert Stuart, 1797
The two Treaties of Fort Harmar were signed near Fort Harmar. One treaty was with representatives of the Wyandot, Delaware, Ottawa, Chippewa, Potawatomi, and Sac (Sauk); the other with the Six Nations (except the Mohawk who did not attend). Territorial Governor St. Clair, the only U.S. commissioner at the treaty, signed both treaties. All other whites present were observers or interpreters. In September the former treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate and proclaimed by President Washington, but the Senate refused to ratify the treaty with the Six Nations and it was never proclaimed. The treaties were ineffectual in bringing peace.
1789 March 4
The 1st Constitutional Congress held its initial session in New York City.
1789 April 30
George Washington took the oath of office as the first President of the United States on the balcony of the Federal Hall, located on Wall Street in New York City.
Colonel Josiah Harmar and 300 men left Fort Harmar, relocating military headquarters to Fort Washington
(Cincinnati). He left 21 soldiers at the fort.
1790 April 14
Ebenezer Denny noted that Fort Harmar was “in a manner deserted.”
To end Indian raids into Kentucky, Secretary of War Knox authorized Harmar to chastise Shawnee and outcast Cherokee banditti headquartered at Kekionga (present-day Fort Wayne). Harmar marched from Fort Washington with 320 regular soldiers and 1,100 militia, mostly Kentuckians, to destroy the villages at Kekionga. By October 22, a confederated army of Indians, led by Miami Chief Little Turtle, routed Harmar’s forces – 183 men killed or missing and 31 wounded in what became known at Harmar’s Defeat.
Captain David Zeigler commanded sparsely manned dilapidated Fort Harmar. Virtually all of the 20 or so soldiers at the fort were wounded or ill. There was no artillery and little equipment at the fort.
1791 January 2
A party of 25 Delaware and Wyandot Indians massacred 12 Ohio Company settlers at Big Bottom, located on the Muskingum River approximately 30 miles northwest of Marietta. Five males were taken hostage and two settlers escaped. One Indian was seriously wounded, but eventually recovered.
1791 January 5
Rufus Putnam and the Ohio Company directors petitioned Captain Zeigler for protection, noting “…from the present state of Fort Harmar very little can be expected for defending our out settlements.”
READ MORE – SCROLL DOWN TO CHAPTER IX AND THEN TO PAGE 69
Zeigler built a blockhouse in the center of the decayed Fort Harmar to house the 45 soldiers stationed there. St. Clair, selected to lead the next expedition against the Indians, ordered Zeigler to leave Fort Harmar with his men in time to join him at Fort Washington by July 15. Zeigler left the fort in late June, leaving a sergeant and 12 men – those too ill to travel or fight – at the blockhouse.
1791 May 1
Major General Arthur St. Clair wrote to Henry Knox, the Secretary of War, that Fort Harmar was in a “very ruinous situation. The pickets are very much decayed and the barracks very rotten…” He suggested to Knox that perhaps parts of the old fort be torn down and other parts inhabited by locals.
1791 July 6
At Fort Washington, St. Clair wrote to Colonel Ebenezer Sproat in Marietta that the local militia used for the defense of Washington County (except Gallipolis) should be discharged unless the local population paid the cost of their own protection.
1791 July 8
The Ohio Company directors, “Resolved that the price of Rails which wer[e] taken for the fortifications from Fences, be set at $ 0.83 per hun’d. And that Rails taken when not in fence[s] be set at $ 0.50 [per hundred].” Inasmuch as the record identifies neither sellers nor buyers, whether some or all of these rails were stripped from the derelict fort is unknown.
1791 July 21
Captain Joseph Shaylor and his company arrived from Fort Pitt to perform garrison duty at Marietta. They left in early September to join St. Clair’s expedition against the western tribes headquartered at Kekionga.
1791 Sepember 14. An unidentified person in Marietta wrote to a friend in Boston, “ Fort Harmer is demolished, and nothing left but one block-house.” Although the fort ceased to exist sometime that summer, no U.S. military order authorizing or ordering a final disposition of the fort has be found. Succumbing neither to fire or flood, it simply rotted, crumbled, and was
Arthur St. Claire as depicted by Charles Willson Peale
demolished. Perhaps the scrap lumber was sold for fence rails, as noted above. From its construction in late 1785 to its demise in summer 1791, Fort Harmar was never attacked.
1791 October 13
Josiah Harmar, who served as senior officer of the army from 1784 – 1791, resigned from the army effective January 1, 1792. In route home to Philadelphia, he stopped at Marietta to visit friends, but an account of his visit has not been found. He later served as Adjutant General of Pennsylvania from 1793 – 1799. He died on August 20, 1813.
As St. Clair prepared for the upcoming battle with the Indians, he found that many of his men were militia and six-month recruits who were not trained for the task at hand. Capt. John Armstrong said they were “the worst and most dissatisfied troops I ever served with.”
1791 November 4
The Indians defeat of St. Clair’s army at present-day Fort Recovery was, in proportion to the number engaged, the most severe defeat ever suffered by the United States army. St. Clair led 1,000 men into battle, of whom 630 men, including 37 officers, were killed. As a result of the defeat, Mariettans improved several of their old defenses. As well, Judge Joseph Gilman and his son, Benjamin I. Gilman, built a new blockhouse on the bank of the Muskingum near the site of old Harmar. The fate of the blockhouse built earlier by Zeigler is unknown.
At Fort Washington, St. Clair instructed Ensign John Tillinghast to “proceed to Marietta … with the detachment under your command, and there take post for the protection of the settlement… There is a block-house where Fort Harmar stood, but which will be too small for your party…”
References to Fort Harmar after summer 1791 — and there were many — were likely general references to the area, such as the site where the fort had stood or, more generally, the lower west side of the Muskingum, which later came to be called Point Harmar and is still known as Harmar.
1794 August 20
General Anthony Wayne’s success at the Battle of Fallen Timbers wrested final control of Ohio country from the Indians. It led to the signing of the Treaty of Greenville of 1795, in which the Indians ceded most of present-day Ohio, opening most of Ohio to a rapid influx of immigrants.
From: Richard Walker, Ph.D., the author of The Theft of Ohio: Treaty of Fort Harmar 1789. (MSS., 2009); Ohio History Central: An Online Encyclopedia of Ohio History; and Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.
Immigrants Passing Fort Harmar from October 1786 - May 1789
October 10, 1786 – May 12, 1787:
June 1, 1787 – December 9, 1787:
April 6, 1788 – May 16, 1788:
•314 horned cattle
June 15, 1788 – December 4, 1788:
December 4, 1788 – May 8, 1789:
Totals for the 31 month period:
From: William L. Otten. Frontier Major: (1783 - 1791). Colonel J. F. Hamtramck: his life and times, vol. 2. Port Aransas, Texas: Otten, 2003.
Contractors and Rations for the Army
CONTRACTORS (HIRED TO PROVIDE SUPPLIES FOR THE ARMY):
•James O’Hara: 1785 - June 30, 1786
•Turnbull, Marnie & Co.: July 1, 1786 – June 30, 1787
•James O’Hara: July 1, 1787 – June 30, 1788
•Elliott & Williams: July 1, 1788 – Dec. 31, 1789
•Elliott & Williams: January 1, 1790 – December 31, 1790
•William Duer: January 1, 1791 – December 31, 1791
DAILY RATIONS PER MAN, 1785:
•1 pound. of beef or ¾ lb. of pork
•1 pound of bread or flour
•1 gill of common rum
THE FOLLOWING ITEMS WERE ADDED FOR EVERY 100 RATIONS:
•1 quart of salt
•2 quarts of vinegar
•2 pounds of soap
•1 pound of candles
From: William L. Otten. Frontier Major: (1783 - 1791). Colonel J. F. Hamtramck: his life and times, vol. 2. Port Aransas, Texas: Otten, 2003.
Treaties with American Indians, 1784-1795
October 22, 1784: Treaty at Fort Stanwix with the Six Nations
Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras. The Ohio River would remain the western boundary for settlement.
January 21, 1785: Treaty at Fort McIntosh with Wyandots, Delawares, Chippewas, and Ottawas
The Indians were to relinquish their lands in southern and eastern Ohio. Indians protested that the people who signed the treaty didn’t have permission from their respective tribes to do so.
November 28, 1785: Treaty at Hopewell with Cherokees
Laid out a western boundary for white settlement.
January 3, 1786: Treaty at Hopewell with Choctaws
Laid out a western boundary for white settlement.
January 10, 1786: Treaty at Hopewell with Chickasaws
Laid out a western boundary for white settlement.
January 31, 1786: Treaty at Fort Finney with Shawnees
Shawnee leaders in attendance agreed to relinquish all claims to their land in southwestern Ohio and southern Indiana. White settlers now viewed that land as theirs and began to move into the region.
January 9, 1789: Treaty at Fort Harmar with Wyandots, Delawares, Ottawas, Chippewas, Potawatomies, and the Six Nations – Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and Tuscaroras
The document failed to address the most important grievances of the tribes, the settlement of New Englanders in the Firelands portions of the Western Reserve, an area that extended into the territory set aside for the tribes. This treaty didn’t resolve any thing.
August 7, 1790: Treaty with the Creeks, signed in City of New York
Creek leaders ceded a significant portion of their hunting grounds to the U.S. and agreed to turn runaway slaves over to federal authorities.
July 2, 1791: Treaty at Holston with the Cherokees
Boundaries established between the Cherokee Nation and the United States.
August 3, 1795: The Treaty of Greenville
Ceded much of present-day Ohio to the United States, paving the way for the creation of that state in 1803..
Forts Built or Restored by the Federal Corps
between December 1784 - October 1791
Fort McIntosh, December 1784:
The troops left Philadelphia and arrived at Fort Pitt on November 14, 1784. They moved 30 miles down the Ohio River and arrived at the abandoned Fort McIntosh on December 18 and worked to restore it. The original fort had been built in 1778 by Gen. Loachlan McIntosh’s army. During June 1788, Major John Doughty was ordered to demolish Fort McIntosh and build a blockhouse nearby.
Fort Finney, September 1785:
The square fort, built under the command of Capt. Walter Finney and located about a mile above the mouth of the Great Miami River, had a two-story blockhouse at each corner.
Fort Harmar, Fall, 1785:
Under the direction of Capt. John Doughty, a fort, in the shape of a pentagon, was constructed at the mouth of the Muskingum River.
New Fort Finney, Summer 1786:
Captains Walter Finney and David Zeigler moved all of the useful materials from the original Fort Finney to the Rapids of the Ohio (near Louisville, Kentucky) and built a new fort.
Fort Steuben, 1786:
This fort, constructed by men under Major John Francis Hamtramck for the protection of the surveyors, was located near present day Steubenville, Ohio.
Fort Franklin, Spring, 1787:
This fort, built on French Creek by men under the command of Jonathan Heart, was 150 miles north of Fort Pitt. Purpose was to check Indians on the frontier along the Allegheny River. Built near the old fort erected by the British called Venango.
Fort Knox, 1787:
Post Vincennes, located on the Wabash River, was built to curb incursions by the Wabash Indians into the Kentucky country and prevent the usurption of the federal lands.
Major Jean Francis Hamtramck and his men completed this fort by mid 1788.
Fort Washington, 1789:
Major John Doughty was in charge of constructing this fort at present day Cincinnati. From Fort Washington, Josiah Harmar and Arthur St. Clair led disastrous expeditions against the Indians in 1790 and 1791.
Fort Hamilton, September 1791:
Built 35 miles north of Cincinnati on the Miami River during St. Clair’s march to the Indian towns. Used to deposit supplies and as part of a chain of communication.
Fort Jefferson, October 1791:
Built 45 miles north of Fort Hamilton. A sizable number of militia deserted during the construction.
From: William H. Guthman. March to Massacre: A History of the First Seven Years of the United States Army 1784-1791. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co. 1970, 1975.
The First American Regiment, Legion of the United States, and the United States Army
“These troops called themselves ‘dime-a-day men,’ referring to the miserable pay they received as privates in the regular army – thirty dollars per month. “
From “That Dark and Bloody River” by Allan W. Eckert. New York: Bantam Books, 1996.
“From the close of the close of the Revolutionary War to September, 1789, there was practically no United States Army. A regiment of infantry and a battalion of artillery, in all about 700 officers and men, were retained at the close of the war to guard public stores and property and to occupy posts vacated by the British on the northwest boundaries of the United States. By act of Congress of June 3, 1784, it was resolved, ‘As it appears absolutely necessary to have 700 non-commissioned officers and men properly officered, it is recommended to the following States as most convenient to the posts shortly to be vacated by the British to furnish from their militia: Connecticut, 165; New York 165; New Jersey, 110; Pennsylvania, 260, to serve 12 months, unless sooner discharged.’
The troops this provided for were formed into a regiment, consisting of 8 companies of infantry and 2 companies of artillery, under the command of Lieut. Col. Josiah Harmar.
By subsequent legislation, slight changes were made in the number and
Infantry, Continental Army by Ogden, Henry Alexander
organization of the troops, and the re-enlistment of the 700 men engaged under the resolution of April 12, 1785, was authorized by Congress October 3, 1787. This force, then consisting of a battalion (4 companies) of artillery and a regiment (8 companies) of infantry, was, by the act of September 29, 1789, ‘recognized to be the establishment for the troops in the service of the United States’.”
From: Historical Register of the United States Army, From Its Organization, September 29, 1789 to September 29, 1889 by F. B. Heitman.
Size of the Army During 1784-1796
1784 June 2: Congress passed a resolution disbanding the last remnants of the Continental Army.
1784 June 3: Congress passed a resolution establishing the peacetime First American Regiment of 700 men, to be furnished by four states. The first commandant of the Federal corps was Josiah Harmar and the troops consisted of eight companies of infantry and two of artillery. The length of service was one year. These men were to occupy posts vacated by the British on the northwest boundaries of the country and to discourage settlers or “squatters” from moving into the Ohio country.
1785 April 12: Since the first enlistment was due to expire, Congress passed another resolution raising the same number of men for three years. Many of the men did not re-enlist.
1786 October 20: Due to the threat of Shay’s Rebellion (mostly poor farmers in central and western Massachusetts who were angered by crushing debt and taxes), Congress authorized an additional 1,340 men (from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia) for a total of 2,040 non-commissioned officers and privates.
1787 April: Shay’s Rebellion was crushed in January 1787 so Congress cut the size of the army back to the original strength but retained two additional batteries of artillery that had been raised in Massachusetts.
1787 July 21: Militia in the district of Kentucky to be ready if the Indian situation worsened.
1787 October 3: Because the three year enlistments were about to expire, Congress passed a resolution calling again for the same number of men to continue in service for another three years. Only a small number of men remained in the military so officers were sent back to their home states to recruit new men.
1788 August 12: Militia on frontiers in Virginia and Pennsylvania to be ready if the Indian situation worsened.
1789: Congress gave President Washington the authority to call upon state militias to supplement the Federal corps without asking permission of the legislators.
1789 September 29: The Constitutional government centralized the direction of American’s first army.
1790 April 30: Congress increased the strength of the army to 1,216 noncommissioned officers and privates for a three year term.
1790: Men from southern states entered the officer coprs.
1791 March 3: Congress nearly doubled the regular army by adding a second infantry of 912 men. It also empowered President Washington to raise a Corp of Levies, 2,000 six-month volunteers. Recruitment didn’t progress quickly.
1791: There was an effort in the early 1790s to dramatically increase the size of the first U.S. Army. Jacob Kingsbury and Ebenezer Denny and other officers received orders to recruit men from certain areas. Below is Captain Patrick Phelan’s recruiting advertisement that began to appear in Massachusetts newspapers:
All faithful, old soldiers who have heretofore served their country in the field, are desirous again to engage in so honorable a service – and all young men who feel an ambition for a military life, and who wish to provide, at the expiration of their time, an estate for a family, in the western country, at an easy rate, are desired to apply to the subscriber at Worcester – where they shall receive a generous bounty, kind treatment, and the following clothing yearly.
2 April 1791
( Boston, Massachusetts)
1791 October: As Gen. St. Clair prepared for the upcoming battle with the Indians, he found that many of his men were militia and six-month recruits who were not trained for the task at hand. Capt. John Armstrong said they were “the worst and most dissatisfied troops I ever served with.”
1792: At the recommendation of Secretary of War Henry Knox, Congress agreed to recruit and train a "Legion of the United States" - a force of four self contained mini-armies. The Legion was under the command of Major General Anthony Wayne. The Legion boosted a paper strength of 5,120 rank and file divided into four 1,280 man sub-legions. By June 1794, only 3,578 men were enlisted in the Legion.
1796: After the death of General Anthony Wayne in 1796, the Legion of the United States no longer existed but a smaller force was maintained and called the United States Army.
From: William H. Guthman. March to Massacre; A History of the First Seven Years of the United States Army, 1784-1791. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970 and Gregory J. W. Urwin. The United States Infantry: An Illustrated History, 1775 – 1918. London: Blandford Press, 1988.
Some Problems on the Frontier
Problem: Following the Revolutionary War, most men did not want a military career. It was extremely difficult to recruit men to serve in the first army.
Problem: Each state recruited its own men and appointed its own officers. Advancement in the military depended on an officer’s influence with those in power in their state government at home.
Problem: Josiah Harmar used Baron von Steuben's Revolutionary War Drill Manual - aimed at fighting British forces not Indian warriors who used guerilla tactics.
Problem: Obtaining food, supplies and clothing was always a problem. The government could not pay the contractors on time; the contractors could not buy the needed food and supplies and get them to the soldiers in a timely manner; the soldiers suffered as a result.
Problem: Discipline and desertion was ongoing problems in the army.
Problem: Soldiers frequently got drunk. If alcohol was restricted, morale dropped even more.
Problem: Wives and prostitutes often came with the troops to the Ohio Country.
Problem: The army assumed they were superior fighters and that Indians were inferior when it came to battle. People in the east either thought of the Indian as “a noble red man” or as a “savage.” Following the Treaty at Fort McIntosh, one soldier called the Indians who signed that document an “ugly set of devils.”
Problem: The savy frontiersmen were excellent fighters against Indians. But trappers, hunters, and farmers on the frontier were not very effective when in battle with men who could dissappear into the forrest.
Problem: The officers and soldiers in the American Army disliked the untrained and undisciplined militia, particularly those from Kentucky. As Gen. St. Clair prepared for the upcoming battle with the Indians during the fall of 1791, he found that many of his men were militia and six-month recruits who were not trained for the task at hand. Capt. John Armstrong said they were “the worst and most dissatisfied troops I ever served with.”
Problem: If the American army officer in charge was killed in battle, soldiers did not want to report to the ranking militia officer if he was next in the line of command.
From: William H. Guthman. March to Massacre; A History of the First Seven Years of the United States Army, 1784-1791. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974.
CLOTHING ALLOWANCE FOR NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND PRIVATES – 1785
•2 pairs of woolen overalls
•4 pairs of shoes
•1 pair of shoe buckles
•2 pair linen overalls
•4 pair of socks
•1 stock clasp
Many men joined the army to get the clothing. But a soldier’s clothes often did not fit properly and due to the outdoor work demanded of soldiers, clothing wore out quickly and wasn’t replaced in a timely manner.
From: William H. Guthman. March to Massacre; A History of the First Seven Years of the United States Army, 1784-1791. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974.
SOLDIERS OFTEN TRAVELED BETWEEN THE FORTS - DISTANCES ON THE OHIO RIVER FROM PITTSBURGH, IN MILES:
Fort McIntosh (PA): 30
Fort Steuben ( Steubenville, OH): 67.9
Fort Harmar (across from Marietta, OH): 172.5
Mouth of the Scioto River: 356.5
Fort Washington ( Cincinnati, OH): 470
Fort Finney (Mouth of Great Miami River): 490
Louisville (KY): 602.9
Mississippi River: 981