War on the Pennsylvania Frontier: Part 3 of 5: Forts of the Southwest

Rice’s Fort was a fortified home overlooking Buffalo Creek, not far from the current Pennsylvania/West Virginia border. It was attacked in May, 1782, and the defenders held out against 100 Indians. Two hundred Natives and 50 British assaulted it again in 1782. Defended by only seven men, they remarkably held out. The stalwart defenders were George Felebaum (who was killed), Jacob Miller, George Lefler, Jacob Lefler Jr., Peter Fullenweider, Daniel Rice, and Abraham Rice (who was wounded). A Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Lake Road near Claysville, PA.

Rice’s Fort Marker

Not far from the modern Pennsylvania/West Virginia border, just off Interstate 79, is the site of Fort Garrad. It was built by Virginia militia claiming the land for their state. The Corbly family, headed by Rev. John Corbly, lived one mile north of the fort. On Sunday morning, May 10, 1782, they were on their way to church, where Corbly was to preach. He realized that his bible had been left at home, he returned to get it and then caught up with his family. They never made it.

A group of Indians observed them from an elevation and descended to attack. Two of Corbly’s daughters, Delilah and Elizabeth, survived despite being scalped. Mrs. Corbly and the three remaining children were killed. Hearing the commotion, men came rushing from the fort to help and to drive off the Indians.

Fort Garard Stone Marker

John Corbly survived, lived to be 70 (dying in 1803), fathered 17 children, and survived two wives. He is buried near the site of his church.

The John Corbly Memorial Baptist Church was built here in 1862. A family reunion of John Corbly descendants takes place every year on the last Sunday in June at the church. A historic marker stands at the intersection of Garards Fort Road (PA 21) and Greene Lakes Road, Garards Fort, PA.

Wolff’s Fort was built about 1780 by Virginia militia near the town of Washington, PA. A historic marker is on US 40 east of Buffalo Church Road. Nearby is a marker for the Augusta County courthouse, established by Virginia when they claimed this area.

This entry was posted in Battles, Militia (Patriot) Leadership, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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