Fort Pleasant (Waggener's Lower Fort)

Today, September 1, 1784, is the first day of George Washington's trip to the West again.

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He made a major trip in 1770.

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That was a trip, quite a trip. See that story here.

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But back to this 1784 trip.:

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...on the first day of this month (September) set out on my journey.

Having dispatched my equipage about 9 Oclock A.M., consisting of 3 Servants & 6 horses, three of which carried my Baggage, I set out myself in company with Docter James Craik; and after dining at Mr. Sampson Trammells (abt. 2 Miles above the Falls Church) we proceeded to Difficult Bridge, and lodged at one Shepherds Tavern 25 Miles.

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Dates to set the mood:

. September 3, 1783

Treaty of Paris, end of the Rev War

November 2, 1783

eloquent farewell address to his soldiers

November 25, 1783

British evacuated New York City

December 4, 1783

Washington bade farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern

December 23, 1783

resigned commission after leading the Continental Army for 8½ years.

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The Presidency? Not until 1789

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Fort Pleasant . So forward to later into September 1784

and George Washington is

looking at a fort

he ordered built in 1756,

when he was a

Colonel of the Virginia Regiment.

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. Sept 28, 1784

We are looking at George Washington's Diary for this day.

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A rainy September, just like our rainy September of 2018.

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(this part was originally posted on Facebook October 6, 2018, but worth a 2nd look) . A retired Cincinnatus is looking backwards. Backwards to land promised him in the French and Indian War.

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After a non-stop gut wrenching 8 and a half years

over 1000s of miles of

hard and heart breaking decisions,

brutality received,

brutality given,

for the

creation of a republic if they can keep it as Benjamin Franklin was recorded as saying,

a 52 year old man

is looking back

to the "promised land"

of the past

way, way, way before. . And that Promised Land was narrow. Only for the men of 1754. Not to the men in Braddock's Expedition in 1755. Not to the men who came in the years after that.

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RED BREECHES . And we believe GW posed

in red breeches for

Charles Willson Peale in the first known portrait of GW painted in 1772 because

red breeches were the color

of only those men in 1754.

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Blue breeches came after that year, in this letter 17 Sept 1755. . But come back to Sept 28, 1784.

GW is rain soaked.

He just crossed a swollen South Branch of the Potomac River.

This is the place in 1756 he assigned Captain Waggener to build forts.

And George Washington surveyed this area in 1748 when he was 16. . George Washington is with Dr Craik and some servants.

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This old site is Fort Pleasant, on Van Meters land, also known as Waggener's Lower Fort, located at the south end of the trough in what is now West Virginia, just north of Mooresfield.

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FORTS ON SOUTH BRANCH . Back then a Colonel GW had sent Ensign Charles Smith to help Waggener build several forts on this river. Charles Smith then became the main foreman to build Fort Loudoun Winchester VA 1756 to 1758. The same Charles Smith was his campaign treasurer who bought all the alcohol for the voters in GW's first win to the House of Burgesses in 1758. This same Charles Smith killed a postal rider with one punch in a barroom fight in 1757 and was exonerated.

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See all Correspondence between Charles Smith and Col GW.

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See all Correspondence between Capt Waggener and Col GW.

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About this day and the whole month of September 1784 in GW's diary.

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FORT PLEASANT (WAGGENER'S LOWER FORT) . But back again to Sept 28, 1784. GW stands at the old fort's site. He looks back to the swollen South Branch he had just crossed. .

A drawing of Fort Pleasant signed by James Witt and dated May 1770 is on file at the Hardy County Library. The drawing shows blockhouses at the corners of the fort, suggesting that the fort was either remodeled or totally rebuilt sometime after the French and Indian War. During a visit to Abraham Hite at Old Fields on September 28, 1784, George Washington indicated in his diary that the old fort was still standing.  --- source is ---- https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2050

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BATTLE OF THE TROUGH

. There on the other side was the Battle. April 1?- March 30, 1756 was the Battle of Trough . He wasn't in the battle.

But Waggener reported to him about it.

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Waggener was accused of not helping those men because the river was too swollen to cross. The accusers didn't cause a Court Martial like the court martials following the Battle of the Great Cacapon (18 April 1756).

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No court martials because the story goes that Waggener hunted his accusers down and whipped them. .

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See all correspondence between Col George Washington and Capt Waggener.

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KILLBUCK

. The Osama Bin Laden of the area was Bemino, aka Killbuck Sr, the native American who was involved in just about every battle in old Frederick County VA, but no one knew that.

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And yes to call Bemino that name is to ignore a great reckoning a pioneer back then felt.

James Parsons of Hampshire County

(created out of old large Frederick Co VA),

who later distinguished himself

as a captain in Andrew Lewis’s

division during Dunmore’s War,

told his tale to Felix Renick,

who published it in 1843

(“Battle of the Trough”;

American Pioneer, Vol. II,

No. V (May 1843), pp. 37–42.). :

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Quote: . I was well acquainted with the battle ground [Parsons is describing the Battle area of the Trough ] , having lived from my birth to the age of thirty years within three miles of it; have often viewed it and admired the sagacity of the Indians in its selection, and wondered at the imprudence of the whites in going into battle on such unequal terms.... This instance ... has sometimes almost led me to the conclusion that the whites have often been impelled by an influence that they were not aware of, to rush into conflict at such great odds, that they might be punished or scourged for the great injustice done the red people. In my youth I was ready to sanction almost everything done to them by the whites; but a mature age, with much reflection on the subject, has convinced me of my former error; and now, taking an impartial view of the past, I fear we have a great debt on this score that must at some time and in some fearful way be cancelled, unless we make them proper amends. . http://www.wvculture.org/history/settlement/renick.html . .

Our 1971 version of that 1843 publication is this classic commercial:

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More on Bemino, aka Killbuck Sr.

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Kercheval's A History of the Valley of Virginia tells a story of Killbuck on pages 100-102

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You will read about a Vincent Williams attacked in this story.

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See Vincent Williams historical marker and map.

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Also see Fort Pleasant nearby.

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iF mobile look for arrows at bottom of the pages.

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But come back again to 28 Sept 1784.

Our retired General George Washington will have a lot to do in his short lived private life. He was looking to make his land holdings profitable and to collect rent from those who didn't pay him while he commanded the Continental Army. He also wanted to see how to connect the Potomac to the Ohio to open exploration and development.

He is standing now on this place by the swollen South Branch.

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He is at the site of an old Fort Pleasant now probably rebuilt with a different design as of 1770.

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He remembered too 1770 in October to November he had a similar western trip where on the Ohio River north of Point Pleasant (now WV) he measured the largest Sycamore recorded in the world. A land of Giants, and shadows.

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He remembered being 16 in 1748 surveying this land.

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He remembered writing a letter to Waggener containing the designs to build Fort Pleasant in 1756.

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He remembered Captain Waggener's brother died in the battle at Fort Necessity in 1754.

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He's 52 now, and he had just been through another lifetime of war.

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Five years later

George Washington becomes President of a new United States of America. .

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. Maps and Sources: . GOOGLE MAP by Jim Moyer: Click on icons for more info: Laptop: Sidebar appears on left. Scroll through to read. Mobile: Sidebar appears on bottom. Tape Sidebar to expand. Scroll to read. . Fort Pleasant Map https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1trymtX5rGYDjQ_tYJUvv63wqc1M&ll=39.134387800000034%2C-78.94852100000003&z=18 . Battle of the Trough Map https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1trymtX5rGYDjQ_tYJUvv63wqc1M&ll=39.14610420000002%2C-78.9204598&z=18 .

Vincent William Historical Market and Map

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1trymtX5rGYDjQ_tYJUvv63wqc1M&ll=39.21083179999999%2C-79.02839990000001&z=18 .

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Sources: . Diary of GW 28 Sept 1784 https://founders.archives.gov/?q=Date%3A1784-09-28&s=1111311111&r=2

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Diary of GW for whole month of September 1784

https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/01-04-02-0001-0001#GEWN-01-04-02-0001-0001-0026-fn-0003-ptr

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About Charles Willson Peale's 1772 painting of GW http://frenchandindianwarfoundation.org/event/charles-willson-peale/

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1754 Proclamation of Lt Gov Dinwiddie

http://frenchandindianwarfoundation.org/event/1754-proclamation/

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https://www.sos.ky.gov/admin/land/resources/legislation/Documents/Proclamation%20of%201754.pdf .

17 Sept 1755, blue breeches ordered https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-03-02-0232#GEWN-02-03-02-0232-fn-0003

. Picture of Fort Pleasant as drawn May 1770 by James Witt https://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/2050

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Fort Pleasant Historical Marker

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMNGQB_Fort_Pleasant

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All Correspondence between Colonel GW and Capt Waggener

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https://founders.archives.gov/search/Correspondent%3A%22Washington%2C%20George%22%20Correspondent%3A%22Waggener%2C%20Thomas%22

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Battle of the Trough https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Trough . http://www.wvculture.org/history/settlement/renick.html

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What did the original fort look like?

Fort Pleasant (Waggener's Lower Fort) . Fort Pleasant: Soldiers and Civilians in the South Branch Valley, 1756-1762 by Terry Gruber: . To gain an idea of the dimensions and design of the fort, a look at the instructions for the Patterson Creek forts is necessary. Washington simply ordered those forts to be "... Quadrangular Fort[s] of Ninety Feet, with Bastions ...". Inside the walls, barracks and a magazine were directed to be built. At the end of a 9 January 1756 letter to Waggener ordering him to the South Branch, there is a clue to the design of the bastions. As an afterthought, Washington wrote, "If you find that the plan of the Forts on Patterson's Creek, will be too tedious to erect (as the Bastions are of hewn logs) you are to make the whole a Stockade." What is meant by bastions made of "hewn logs" can be answered by looking at frontier fort construction at other locations in the British colonies.

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Source: . http://www.vanmetre.com/places/Colonial%20Notes%20-%20No_%208.htm .

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All Correspondence from Capt Waggener to GW

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https://founders.archives.gov/search/Correspondent%3A%22Washington%2C%20George%22%20Correspondent%3A%22Waggener%2C%20Thomas%22

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Orders to Build a fort on the South Branch

to mimic the forts on Patterson Creek which are Fort Ashby and Fort Cocke's.

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January 9, 1756, Colonel George Washington writes to Captain Thomas Waggener:

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With this Detachment you are to proceed to Colonel Vanmeeters on the South Branch; and when you arrive there, you are to summon all the chief men of that place to meet you, and agree with you on the most proper place to erect a Fort, to protect the inhabitants. You must build the Fort as large as those on Patterson’s Creek, and the same model; taking care not to build any thing that you think will be expensive to the Country.

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https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-02-02-0278

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To Henry Van Meter [Pearsal’s, 23 October 1755]

. Orders to Henry Vanmeeter. . You are to deliver to Captain Cocks and Ashby’s Companies, of the Cattle I contracted with you for, whatever they want; taking their Receipt for the same. . https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/02-02-02-0135

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This story was orginally posted Saturday Oct 6, 2018.

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5225 10/7/2018 311pm.

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