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The West Virginia. Cyclopedia


Chain of Forts

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Following General Braddock's defeat in 1755, many of the white settlers and leaders believed the Virginia frontier was extremely vulnerable to attack by the French and their Indian Allies.

In March of 1756, the Virginia General Assembly ordered the construction of a defensive "chain of forts" from the Great Cacapon River in Hampshire County to Halifax County, with the location of the forts to determined by George Washington.

Washington decided to build 9 of the 22 forts (blockhouses, stockades, and cabins) in present-day West Virginia, which included:

Fort Cocke in present-day Mineral County.
Parker's Fort and Fort Enoch in present-day Hampshire County.
Fort Pleasant in present-day Hardy County.
Fort Upper Tract in present-day Pendleton County.
Fort Maidstone in present-day Morgan County.
Fort Ogden near Gormania in Grant County.
A fort at Trout Rock on the South Branch of the Potomac River (county unidentified).

The Chain of Forts was intended as a means of defending the terriory of Virginia, however the establishment of the forts seemed to invite French and Indian aggression. Between March 1, 1756, and February 28, 1757, at least twenty skirmishes were fought between Native Americans and soldiers in this region.