A Brief History Of Events
     In Bedford County During
     The American Revolutionary War

   The following events occurred in Bedford County during the American Revolutionary War period. Note that certain of the powder horn icons provide hyperlinks to additional pages on which events are discussed in greater detail.

   Summer, 1758 A fort is constructed by British General John Forbes near the Rays Town settlement in the wilderness of Pennsylvania.

   Summer, 1769 A group of residents under the command of James Smith attack the British troops garrisoning Fort Bedford. The capture of Fort Bedford makes it the first of the British owned forts to fall to American provincial rebels.

   15 July, 1774 George Woods represents Bedford County at a provincial meeting of deputies from the various counties of Pennsylvania.

  11 February, 1775 Bedford County officials send a letter to the Pennsylvania Provincial Congress expressing their agreement with the Resolves of the Provincial Convention.

   09 May, 1775 The Bedford County Resolves are published. The Resolves announce Bedford County's intentions to organize its male residents into militia companies.

   09 May, 1775 The Bedford County Committee of Correspondence is established.

   09 March, 1776 Richard Brown is chosen as the Captain of a Bedford County company of troops being raised to form a rifle battalion.

   13 March, 1776 James Piper is appointed to serve as a Lieutenant-Colonel of the militia being raised in Bedford County.

   11 July, 1776 The delegates assembled in Congress agreed that a battalion of troops were to be raised in Westmoreland and Bedford Counties for the defense of the frontier.

   14 September, 1776 Officers are appointed to command the battalion raised for the defense of the frontier.

   07 August 1777 A letter from General Hand was read before the delegates assembled in Congress. It outlined a plan to strike into the "Indian Country" to destroy their settlements and force them out of the region.

   22 August, 1777 The Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania issues a letter to the Lieutenants of Bedford, Northumberland and Westmoreland Counties to provide assistance to General Hand.

   27 November, 1777 A letter is sent to the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania explaining the increasing number of incidents of Indian incursions into the region and requesting assistance.

   November, 1777 A group of settlers residing in the Stonycreek Glades region of Bedford County are attacked by Indians as they attempt to gather their harvest. James Wells, one of the settlers, who the Indians believe killed an Indian boy, is the object of the attack, and is killed by the Indians.

   02 January, 1778 The Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania issues an order for 200 pounds of powder and 600 pounds of lead to be furnished to the Bedford County Militia to be used in its defense against the Indians.

   23 April, 1778 A group of thirty-some Tories from the eastern parts of Bedford County launch an expedition to the Indian town of Kittanning to attempt to gain the Indians' support in an attack on the Patriot residents of Bedford County. The attempt fails when the Indians misunderstand the reason for the party's appearance at their village. The ringleader of the Tories, John Weston, is killed by the Indians, who think the Tories are attacking them. Six of the party are later captured by Bedford County Militia and placed in confinement in the jail at Bedford.

   June, 1778 A stockade fort is constructed in the Sinking Spring Valley to guard workers who will smelt lead for the use of the Patriot army.

   18 February, 1779 A letter is sent to the Pennsylvania General Assembly asking that Bedford County be exempt from having to pay taxes for 1779 due to the distressed situation of the county. Because of the Indian incursions, many of the residents had fled to the eastern counties of the state.

   02 April, 1779 President Joseph Reed, of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council, orders 250 troops from York, Lancaster and Cumberland Counties to march to the aid of Bedford and Westmoreland.

   16 July, 1780 A party of twelve of the Bedford County Militia, led by Captain William Phillips, is attacked by Indians and Tories in the Woodcock Valley region of Bedford County. Seeing their situation futile, Captain Phillips surrenders to the Indians under the assumption that they would be treated fairly. The Indians take Phillips and his son, Elijah, to Fort Detroit. The other ten are tied to trees, shot with arrows and left to die.

   19 May, 1781 George Ashman, the Bedford County Lieutenant, sends a letter to the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council informing the Council of recent Indian incursions and requesting that additional Militia from the eastern counties be sent to Bedford County's aid.

   03 June, 1781 Sent out from Fort Fetter to investigate reports of recent Indian incursions, a party of the Bedford County Militia and the Cumberland County Militia, under the command of Captain John Boyd, are ambushed by Indians. The Indians are believed to have been incited to make their strike into Frankstown Township, Bedford County by the British under the command of Captain Nelles. The intent is to disrupt the passage of Patriots between the Susquehanna and Ohio Rivers. Captain Nelles' son, Lieutenant Robert Nelles, leads a platoon of British troops and about one hundred Seneca Indian warriors from the Genesee River valley of New York into the Bedford County region of Pennsylvania. In the ensuing "Engagement of Frankstown", eleven of the Patriot Militia are killed, five are wounded, and ten are taken prisoner, including Captain John Boyd. None of the British/Indian party is injured.

   23 February, 1782 Lieutenant Robert Johnston's Company of York County Militia are directed to march to Bedford County for the defense of the frontier.

   29 September, 1782 General George Washington orders that the expedition against the Indians of the Ohio Valley be curtailed.

   06 June, 1783 The Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania issues an order that the Ranging Companies of Bedford, Westmoreland and Washington Counties be discharged.