Saturday, February 22, 2003

Ohio Moments

Fort Laurens site of Revolutionary siege

On Feb. 22, 1779, British Capt. Henry Bird laid siege to Fort Laurens - the only fort built in the Ohio Country during the Revolutionary War. In the fall of 1778, an American army under the command of Lachlan McIntosh was sent to Ohio to defeat the Wyandot Indians to protect the neutral Delaware Indians and to launch an attack on the British garrison at Detroit. McIntosh decided to wait until spring and ordered that a fort be built on the Tuscarawas River near Bolivar, Ohio, to house his men through the winter. It was named Fort Laurens, after Henry Laurens, president of the Continental Congress. During the siege, the men inside were so desperate they boiled their moccasins to make stew. Conditions outside were almost as bad, leading Bird to lift the siege March 20. Gen. George Washington ordered Fort Laurens abandoned and the last soldiers left Aug. 2.

Rebecca Goodman

Ohio Moments will appear here daily during 2003. Have a suggestion? Contact Rebecca Goodman at or 768-8361.

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