In 1787, St. Clair served as the president of the Confederation Congress, which appointed him as the first governor of the Northwest Territory. He negotiated the Treaty of Fort Harmar, which ordered Native Americans off their land and directed the construction of forts. St. Clair’s actions led to open hostilities with the native tribes. In October 1791, St. Clair led 1,400 men deep into the Ohio wilderness to subdue the natives. Washington advised him to “beware of a surprise.”
November 4, 1791, Arthur St. Clair’s men were attacked by a combined force of Miami, Shawnee, and Delaware warriors. The surprise attack succeeded in killing or wounding more than 900 of St. Clair’s men. Only a desperate bayonet charge led by St. Clair himself allowed him and his remaining men to escape the field. “St. Clair’s Massacre” stands as one of the worst defeats in American military history. Arthur St. Clair was condemned as “worse than a murderer” by President Washington, and the massacre caused the first investigation of the executive branch under the new United States Constitution.
Arthur St. Clair
Arthur St. Clair was born on March 23, 1736 in Thurso, Scotland. He briefly attended the University of Edinburgh and studied medicine before joining the British...
We had a wonderful time with our partners and friends in preservation at the Gettysburg Foundation Gala on Friday night at Gettysburg National Military Park. Congratulations to Kinsley Award recipient Barbara Finfrock!
The American Battlefield Trust is a proud sponsor and partner of the Gettysburg Foundation working to ensure this national treasure is preserved for future generations. For more information: https://www.battlefields.org/preserve/save-gettysburg
During the decades prior to the Revolution, both British and French entities were busy carving out alliances with Native groups to further their own regional gains over land and goods. The fur trade, in particular, was among the most profitable industries in North America during the eighteenth century. The trapping, trading, and selling of furs was a lucrative business for both natives and their European counterparts, in the colonies and abroad.
With the Seven Years’ War (French and Indian War), alliances were further entangled over which European power would better serve the lives and existence of American Indians. Powerful confederations, such as the Iroquois of up-colony New York, were among those courted by the British as a valuable ally.
Following the war, Parliament established the Proclamation of 1763 that effectively created a boundary line running through the greater Appalachian Mountains of interior North America. The boundary would prohibit English settlers from moving farther west, encroaching on Native lands recognized by the British government. Many American settlers disregarded this agreement, and some American colonial politicians voiced outrage that such a deal prevented them from expanding their territories, an early sentiment that would evolve in the coming generations as Manifest Destiny in the nineteenth century.
By the time of the American Revolution in 1775, tensions were already high among Native Americans and American colonists. That London would seek to exploit this tension, not unlike how Royal governors tried to create slave insurrections, shows us that the British were seeking a complete disruption to the prospect of American independence.
Allies and Enemies: British and American Attitudes towards Native Americans during the Revolution
The framing of the American Revolution through the eyes of Native Americans has always been plagued with bias and misinformation. For historians and students...
The oldest unit in continuous service in the Virginia National Guard, the 116th Infantry Regiment was organized November 3, 1741. Over the course of the next two centuries, the regiment played a major role in America’s armed conflicts. Known initially as the Augusta County Regiment and headquartered at Staunton, the unit’s primary responsibility was patrolling the Virginia frontier before four companies from the regiment were called into service during the French and Indian War as well as Lord Dunmore’s War.
The 116th Infantry Regiment
The oldest unit in continuous service in the Virginia National Guard, the 116th Infantry Regiment was organized on November 3, 1741. Over the course of the next...
The Oneida Indian Nation was an ally of the American cause during the Revolutionary War. Many Oneidas supported the war effort as warriors and scouts, playing critical roles in several engagements, such as the Battle of Oriskany. But the Oneida's bravery and generosity off the battlefield also proved pivotal to the fight for American independence.
In December of 1777, Washington moved the Continental Army to their winter quarters at Valley Forge. His exhausted troops struggled to survive the harsh conditions. Disease was rampant. Thousands of soldiers lacked proper clothing and food supplies. So, when Oneida Chief Oskanondonha, or Skenandoah, sent a group of warriors to join the army at Valley Forge, he also sent a gift of surplus corn with the expedition. Polly Cooper – skilled in cooking and medicine – joined roughly 50 warriors in their mission to provide much-needed relief to Washington’s men.
Cooper’s party began its journey from New York in April 1778, traveling hundreds of miles by foot to Pennsylvania. They arrived in Valley Forge with hundreds of baskets of white corn. Since white corn takes careful preparation before it can be eaten, Cooper taught soldiers and their families how to properly cook it. She also cared for sick soldiers, refusing to accept any pay for her services.
Polly Cooper of the Oneida Indian Nation helped save Continental soldiers’ lives after they suffered through the harsh winter of 1777-78 at Valley Forge. Yet...
Restoration Victory! Our mission is to “Preserve. Educate. Inspire.” So, it’s not enough to just save battlefield land, we want to use it to teach and inspire future generations. To do that, we sometimes have to restore the landscape. We can’t just acquire lands that have been compromised and corrupted by decades of neglect and development and leave them as they are. We have to restore hallowed ground. With the help of our members, donors and partner organizations we have done that at these locations in Gettysburg, at Lookout Mountain and at Eutaw Springs.
It's not enough to just save battlefield land, we also want to use it to teach and inspire future generations. In order to do that, we sometimes have to restore...
Will your child or grandkid be leading the charge this coming Sunday, November 5th? Help to instill a lifelong passion for history by attending American Battlefield Trust’s Generations Event at George Washington's Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore. This FREE event lets kids ages 6-17 explore history in an exciting way!
Register today: https://bit.ly/3rFbAYr
Generations Event @ George Washington's Ferry Farm
American Battlefield Trust Generation Event to take place at George Washington's Ferry Farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Tribes exercised autonomy as they sided with those whom they believed would provide the greatest chance of protecting their native lands during the Revolutionary War. For instance, the Revolution divided the Iroquois Confederacy. Mohawks and many Cayugas, Onondagas, and Senecas stood beside the British while the Oneidas and Tuscaroras sided with the Americans. In New England, there was much tribal support for the colonists, including those from the mission town of Stockbridge, Mass., who stepped up to serve as Minutemen before the war’s official outbreak — who joined the fledgling American army at the siege of Boston — and who saw battle in New York, New Jersey, and Canada.
Despite service on both sides, American Indians and their native lands were not considered in the Treaty of Paris, in which Britain ceded to the newly established United States its territory east of the Mississippi, south of the Great Lakes, and north of Florida. As the new nation expanded, these native lands were often lost — whether by treaty or by force.
Native Americans and the Call to Serve
There is no doubt that American Indians have been dealt a complex and difficult past in this nation, but that has not deterred many from military service. In...
November 1, 1765, the Stamp Act was scheduled to take effect in the Thirteen Colonies. Following the expensive Seven Years’ War (French & Indian War), the British Crown was heavily in debt. Parliament decided to enact new taxes on the colonies in order to bring in the needed revenue. But the sudden expectation that the colonists owed taxes to a distant governing body was miscalculated by British officials, and the seeds of discontent were planted, and a road to revolution had suddenly emerged.
What Was the Stamp Act Congress and Why Did It Matter
Ten years before the North American colonies were in full rebellion against Great Britain, several decisions made by the British Parliament unknowingly chipped...
Exciting things happening at Camp Nelson National Monument!
Monumental Moments 🪚🔨🏚
The Visitor Center Envelop Project is proceeding at a steady pace! Work crews continue to install new wooden siding on the exterior of the building and will replace the windows soon!
We kindly ask that all visitors keep a safe distance from the staff performing the work, and watch for debris and vehicles on the parking lot. The park grounds and trails, and visitor center remain open to normal operating hours.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Wooden siding being installed on a building.
Courtesy: National Park Service (EP)
The stories of Native Americans — from the colonial period through the divisive days of the Civil War — are a vital component of the history of our nation’s complicated growth. In efforts to secure the survival of their people, cultures, and homes, America’s native peoples made indelible contributions to the wars that shaped the nation we know today. Several would pick up arms and raise their voices to advance their cause, showing their unwavering strength. In fact, Native Americans have served with distinction in every major American conflict for over 200 years. There were also instances that caught unsuspecting or peace-seeking natives in the crossfire of formative conflicts, causing several to become targets of heinous war crimes.
Even as many native peoples sought “peace and friendship” — the common phrase employed within hundreds of U.S.-Indigenous treaties — they were met with broken promises that took the form of constant loss of tribal lands and an ever-growing hostility with white settlers.
The Trust is committed to elevating stories that relay the Native American experience within America’s formative conflicts through digital interpretation and continued preservation at hallowed ground where Native Americans lived, struggled and fought.
Join us this November as we highlight and celebrate Native American stories during Native American Heritage Month!
Here from the Start: Native Americans’ Complex Contributions to Military History
Through enriching digital resources and preservation of hallowed ground where Native Americans lived, struggled and fought, the American Battlefield Trust is...
Did you know that scientists estimate that bats save U.S. farmers almost $3.7 billion per year by eating crop-destroying insects? Bats are also bot blind, contrary to popular myth, and they are generally gentle, social creatures, not the scary image we see at Halloween.
Many bats live in battlefield parks and three parks in particular have been studying local bat populations. Richmond National Battlefield Park studied its bat population in 2016-2017 through acoustic detectors. The study found that bat activity across the park was relatively high, particularly on the Cold Harbor and Gaines Mill battlefields. The little brown bat, a Virginia endangered species, was relatively common in the park. Additionally, the tri-colored bat, the Indiana bat, and the northern long-eared bat were also found in the park. The latter two are protected by the Endangered Species Act and were rarely recorded by the acoustic detectors.
Bats on the Battlefield
Welcome to Bat Week! With Halloween on the horizon, we’re seeing lots of scary images of ghosts, goblins, witches and bats! Bats, however, are not scary, nor...
Happy Halloween! While the study of the American Revolution quite often emphasizes the lasting legacies of unalienable rights and our visionary founders, many believe that the bloody battles fought for American independence also left behind specters of a spookier nature. Some even believe that the Commander of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States, George Washington, is one of them.
His ghost has been spotted numerous times in the room where he died at his beloved Mount Vernon. A particular tale, which surfaced during the late 19th century’s interest in spiritualism spike, comes from Josiah Quincy III’s 1806 visit to the renowned residence, which had fallen into the hands of George Washington’s nephew, Bushrod Washington. Narrating the incident, Quincy’s son stated that while staying the night in the Washington bedchamber, his father did indeed see Washington. He postulates that the founding father’s time in the afterlife may have been disturbed by what his father later saw when allowed to enter Washington’s tomb: the “velvet cover of the coffin was hanging in tatters, it having been brought to this condition by the assaults of relic-hunters.” It turns out the revered founder was given little peace after his passing, with the nation’s ongoing craving for remaining fragments of the legendary leader’s life. Perhaps his spirit now rests easier thanks to the preservation work still ongoing at his former home.
Haunting Encounters With Revolutionary Ghouls
While study of the American Revolution quite often emphasizes the lasting legacies of unalienable rights and our visionary founders, many believe that the...
Robert Garnett graduated 27th in his class of 52 in 1841 and was assigned to the 4th U. S. Artillery. He served under General Zachary Taylor during the Mexican War and received two brevet promotions for distinguished service, one at the Battle of Monterrey and the other for "gallant and meritorious conduct" at the Battle of Buena Vista. In 1848, Garnett transferred to the infantry and fought in several campaigns against Indians, first in the Seminole Wars in Florida and later in the Pacific Northwest. He took leave from the army in 1858 to bury his wife and young son, who had died from disease. When the Civil War broke out, Garnett resigned from the U. S. Army and served as Adjutant General of Virginia troops under Robert E. Lee. Lee assigned Garnett to western Virginia to guard the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike, a vital Confederate supply route through the mountains. His two brigades were defeated by Union general George B. McClellan at the Battle of Rich Mountain on July 11, 1861. Garnett was killed during a rear-guard action at Corrick’s Ford on the Cheat River two days later. Garnett was buried first in Baltimore and was later re-interred next to his wife’s grave in Brooklyn, New York.
Robert S. Garnett
Robert Selden Garnett was born on December 16, 1819 on his family’s plantation in Essex County, Virginia. He attended the U. S. Military Academy at West Point...
We have the chance to save an incredible 261 acres of highly significant Revolutionary War battlefield land at Princeton, Hobkirk Hill, and Newtown, AND fund a project that will bring the pivotal story of the Princeton Battlefield to life!
Over the next several years, the Trust will embark upon a multi-faceted project to reinvigorate the interpretive and educational experience at the Princeton Battlefield, integrating the newly protected areas into the existing parkland along the way.
The first part of this watershed project involves developing and installing interpretive signage to help visitors make a meaningful connection with the historic landscape. These efforts will accompany measures like: restoring historic tree lines, re-planting an orchard that existed in 1777, removing non-historic structures, and more to help fully tell the story of the battle.
Learn more about how you can save 261 acres of hallowed ground today: https://bit.ly/3Sf51GI
Learn more about our work at Princeton battlefield: https://bit.ly/46OcRvx
Help Save 261 Acres of Revolutionary War History
We have the chance to save an incredible 261 acres of highly significant Revolutionary War battlefield land AND fund a project that will bring the pivotal story...
Acclaimed as a teacher, dentist, and doctor all before the age of 30, it was not surprising that John Swett Rock became the first African American to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States. Rock was born in Salem, New Jersey, on October 13, 1825; his academic talent was recognized from a very young age. Made a teacher in his teenage years, he still longed for medical school, which he was initially rejected from due to the color of his skin. Instead, he opted for dental school, which he passed with flying colors. Years later, he eventually earned his medical degree, making him one of the first African Americans to graduate medical school. By the time of the Civil War, Rock began practicing law and spent much of his time recruiting for the 54th and 55th Massachusetts. His exploits eventually landed him on the bar of the Supreme Court, though not for long. Rock suffered from tuberculosis and its complications, eventually leading to his death at the age of 41, where he had already accomplished more than most do in a lifetime.
John S. Rock
On February 1, 1865, the day after the House of Representatives passed the 13th amendment, John Swett Rock of Boston became the first African American ever...
A lawyer and surveyor prior to the American Revolution, Richard Caswell fought on the side of Royal Governor William Tryon at the Battle of Alamance. Caswell served as a delegate to the First Continental Congress. He led the Patriot forces in the pivotal Battle of Moores Creek Bridge. The victory catapulted Caswell to the governorship of North Carolina. He commanded militia in Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates's army and participated in the Patriot disaster at Camden in August 1780. Following the War for Independence, Caswell again served a term as governor.
A lawyer and surveyor prior to the American Revolution, Richard Caswell fought on the side of Royal Governor William Tryon at the Battle of Alamance. Caswell...
A sickly child, and later, a college drop-out, Stephen Decatur’s ambition and love for the sea were what aided him to gain the rank of “Commodore” within the U.S. Navy. Beginning as a midshipman during the Quasi-War with France, he served with distinction and was promptly promoted to Lieutenant by President John Adams in 1799.
When the Barbary Wars with the pirates of Tripoli broke out, the ship Decatur was stationed on ran aground and was promptly captured. Though unbeknownst to the pirates, Decatur had escaped with 80 other men and returned to US lines with a captured ship…an act that gained him direct praise from the famous British admiral, Horatio Nelson. Despite escaping the pirates once, Decatur returned with a vengeance when his younger brother was brutally killed by the crew of a Barbary gunboat. With his crew, he burned the Barbary gunboat and personally slayed the ship’s captain. A year later, Tripoli surrendered, and Decatur was promoted to Captain at 25 years old…making him the youngest man to ever hold the rank. By the War of 1812, Decatur already found himself a Commodore
One of America’s earliest naval heroes, Stephen Decatur made himself, and the fledgling American Navy, famous through his exploits around the globe. Stephen...
A great day on the battlefield…
Reminiscent of Julius Caesar’s Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, Captain Andrew Pickens found himself vastly outnumbered on August 12, 1776, in Oconee County, South Carolina. Rather than armies of classical proportion, Captain Pickens had 25 men that were ambushed by 185 British-allied Cherokee warriors. Quickly thinking, Pickens ordered his men to form two “rings,” with one within the other as an impromptu defense. It proved highly effective in the short span that the battle took place as one ring fired and reloaded one after the other. Pickens still lost 11 men, but his contingent went on to fight another day. On the other hand, the Cherokee warriors sustained 79 casualties…an incredible blow considering there were only 2,000 warriors nationwide. Rather than developing hatred toward Pickens, future Cherokee referred to him as the Wizard Owl as he eventually became neighbors with the tribe years down the road.
In 1776, British-allied Cherokee began a campaign into southern and western colonial settlements, prompting a South Carolina backcountry militia led by Major...
Dangerfield Newby (ca. 1820–1859) was the first of John Brown’s raiders killed during the attack on Harpers Ferry on October 16, 1859.
In 1858, Henry Newby moved with Elsey and their children, including Dangerfield, to Bridgeport, Ohio, and freed them. Dangerfield Newby tried to buy his own wife, Harriet, and their children, who were enslaved in Prince William County, Virginia, but failed. He joined John Brown’s raiders, hoping that a successful attack on Harpers Ferry might somehow free them. Newby killed two residents before he was shot and killed near the U.S. Arsenal. He and seven other dead raiders were buried near the Shenandoah River and then moved in 1899 to John Brown’s Farm in North Elba, New York. Letters from Harriet Newby were found five miles northeast of Harpers Ferry at the Kennedy farm, from which the raiders launched their attack. She was sold south to Louisiana but eventually returned. Dangerfield Newby’s brother William served in the 5th U.S. Colored Troops and died at Petersburg in June 1864. Elsey Newby applied for a pension based on her son’s service.
Dangerfield Newby (ca. 1820–1859), a free mulatto for whose family this crossroads is named, was the first of John Brown’s raiders killed during the attack on...
As Confederates advanced on Gettysburg there was terror among the approximately 2,400 residents there as well as in the neighboring towns. After the battle, residents of what had only days before been a peaceful agricultural and college town were in despair. Residents of Gettysburg managed to bury the dead in a temporary cemetery. However, prominent members of the community lobbied for a permanent burial ground on the battlefield that would honor the defenders of the Union. The Soldiers’ National Cemetery was dedicated in November 1863 but was not completed until long after. The last of Gettysburg’s wounded shipped out in January 1864, along with the medical personnel. The field tents and temporary shelters came down. The battlefield remains a testament and memorial to the events of July 1–3, 1863.
Learn more about how you can preserve 15 acres of hallowed ground that saw some of the earliest and most dramatic opening moments at the Battle of Gettysburg.
Preserve 15 Acres at Gettysburg – Willoughby's Run
The Opportunity The American Battlefield Trust is launching a multi-year campaign to save this essential — and highly threatened — “First Blood at Willoughby’s...
Born in Montreal in 1711, Daniel Hyacinthe Marie Lienard de Beaujeu grew up in a military household. His father, Louis, served in the French army and commanded the post at Michilimackinac. Beaujeu began his service in the French Marines and eventually rose to the rank of captain. He gained valuable combat experience against the British fighting in Acadia. Appointed to command Fort Duquesne at the Forks of the Ohio, Beaujeu left Montreal in April 1755 with a detachment of French and native warriors. He arrived at Fort Duquesne on June 27. Just days later, Beaujeu led his forces into the field to engage Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock's British army at the Battle of the Monongahela. He was killed early in the battle.
Daniel Hyacinthe Marie Lienard de Beaujeu
A veteran officer who led the French force that engaged Maj. Gen. Edward Braddock at the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, 1755.
Outnumbered 3:1 by highly trained Hessian soldiers and under threat of no quarter if he were to fight, Col. Christopher Greene boldly proclaimed, “this fort shall be my tomb” as he began his valiant defense of Fort Mercer on October 22, 1777. Brash, confident, and committed to the Patriot cause, Greene found himself constantly recruiting for his Rhode Island Regiment, which mainly consisted of freed African Americans and Native Americans.
Ultimately, he survived the fight and his regiment never returned to full strength, though later he still took part in the Battle of Rhode Island on August 29, 1778. Despite the battle being inconclusive, Greene found himself stuck in Rhode Island until November of 1780. His relocation of himself and his regiment to New York was ultimately the precursor to his demise. On May 14, 1781, struck by a Loyalist unit in the early morning, Greene lay among the Continental dead, with his sword still in his hand, after succumbing to several bayonet wounds whilst fighting in hand-to-hand combat.
A descendent of early New England settler Roger Williams and a third cousin of Continental Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene, Christopher Greene hailed from a business...
Come check out George Washington's Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore in Stafford County, Virginia! Join the American Battlefield Trust and the George Washington Foundation for a special Generations Event. Bring the kids or grandkids and charge into the stories of the Revolutionary War with hands-on learning, games, and activities on Sunday, November 5, 2023, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Details and FREE Registration here: https://bit.ly/3rFbAYr
Generations Event @ George Washington's Ferry Farm
American Battlefield Trust Generation Event to take place at George Washington's Ferry Farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Live now! Join host Chris Mackowski as he explores Vicksburg National Military Park and the USS Cairo. He'll head into the city, visit the Old Depot Museum, the Old Court House Museum, Catfish Row, Coca-Cola's first bottling plant, enjoy lunch at Walnut Hills, and head out on the Mississippi River.
Tour Historic Vicksburg, Mississippi
Vicksburg goes by many names. It's the Key City, the Gibraltar of the West, the Key to the South, the Red Carpet City of the South. The city was the link bet...
Tickets on sale soon! Catch us at the Smithsonian or online as we celebrate this unique collaboration with Travels with Darley highlighting some of our Revolutionary War-related sites.
Revolutionary Road Trip
PBS television host Darley Newman and a panel of travel and history experts take you on a journey through American Revolution historic sites, battlefields, and great places for food and drinks as they share hidden gems and rarely told stories about the American Revolution. This road trip route that....
Having one of the most prestigious last names of the Carolinas, Benjamin Huger was once known for his career in the Civil War. A veteran of the Mexican-American War and a commanding officer at several arsenals, Huger found himself with an offer of a Confederate commission as a Brigadier General. Despite his new position, his reputation was extremely short-lived. Mostly not his fault due to bad intelligence he was provided, he was responsible for several delays in resupply efforts, a failure to destroy the Norfolk shipping yard while retreating, and a failed attack at the Battle of Seven Pines. Due to his series of mishaps, he was promptly reassigned to the Trans-Mississippi theater strictly under administrative roles.
Benjamin Huger was born in Charleston, South Carolina, on November 22, 1805. He grew up in a military family, as a direct descendant of Maj. Gen. Thomas...
Born in 1726, a London native, Richard Howe commanded the Royal Navy's North American Station during the American Revolution. At the outset of the Revolution, Howe openly sympathized with the colonists’ cause. However, Richard, and his younger brother William, headed, respectively, Great Britain’s Navy and Army. The Howe brothers, determined to quash the rebellion and restore Anglo-American relations, set sail for the colonies in 1776. Upon his arrival, failed negotiations with George Washington for peace led to the creation of his plan to conquer the major port cities of colonies. Thus, the creation of a 400-ship fleet –one of the largest in British naval history– took place and found docks throughout the Northeast. Over the course of two years, Howe’s fleet captured New York City, Long Island, Philadelphia, and New Jersey.
Born in 1726, a London native, Richard Howe commanded the Royal Navy's North American Station during the American Revolutionary War. At the outset of the...
"It is impossible to overstate the impact that Doug Bostick made on South Carolina history over the course of decades — or the impact that history had upon him."
American Battlefield Trust Mourns the Passing of Palmetto State Preservation Legend Douglas Bostick
(Washington, D.C.) — The American Battlefield Trust joins the outpouring of grief following the passing of Douglas W. Bostick, an iconic figure in the South...