Rice's Fort of Donegal Twp. Wash. Co., Pa.
Rice's Fort of Donegal Twp.
This is a copy of a sketch which I drew in 1982 of Rices
Fort after reading the description which appears below. A little
later I will add a copy of a map of the area which was drawn
about or in the twenties, by another Miller~Rice researcher.
History of Washington County
This fort is situated on Buffalo Creek, about twelve miles from its junction with the Ohio River.
Rev. Dr. Dodridge gives the following description of a fort, which is worthy of being inserted as tending to throw much light upon the distinctions which should be borne in mind by the reader.
The fort consisted of cabins, block-houses and stockades. A range of cabins commonly formed one side, at least, of the fort. Divisions or partitions of logs separated the cabins from each other. The walls on the outside were ten or twelve feet high, the slope of the roof being turned wholly inward. A very few iof these cabins had puncheon floors, the greater part were earthen.
The block-houses were built at the angles of the fort. They projected about two feet beyond the outer walls of the cabin and stockade. Their upper stories were about eighteen inches every way larger in dimension than the under one, leaving an opening at the commencement of the second story to prevent the enemy from making a lodgement under their walls.
In some forts, instead of block-houses, the angles of the fort were furnished with bastions. A large folding gate, made of thick slabs, nearest the spring, closed the fort. The stockades, bastions, cabins, and block-house walls, were furnished with portholes at proper heights and distances. The whole of the outside was made completely bullet-proof. In some places less exposed, a single block-house, with a cabin or two, constituted the whole fort. These forts answered the purpose for what they were intended, as the Indians had no artillery, they seldom attacked and scarcely ever took one of them.
The Indians, being defeated at Wheeling, resolved to strike a severe blow in the country, and hence about one hundred warriors marched to Rices Fort, but the inhabitants being made aware of their approach, each ran to his cabin for his gun, and all took refuge in the block-house or fort. Although they intended to take it by assault, yet they failed, as the sequel will show, and they continued their depredations, destroying barns, fences, cattle, etc., but finally retreated. Rev. Dr. Dodridge, in his account of this fort says: -
This place was defended by a Spartan band of men, against one hundred chosen warriors, exasperated to madness by their failure at Wheeling Fort. Their names shall be inscribed in the list of our early times. They were Jacob Miller, George Leffer, Peter Fullenwider, Daniel Rice, George Feiebaum and Jacob Leffer, Jr. George Feiebaum was shot in the forehead through a porthole at the second fire of the Indians, and instantly expired, so that in reality the defense of the place was made by only five men. Four of the Indians were killed. The next morning sixty men collected and pursued the Indians, but discovered they had separated into small parties, and the pursuit was given up.
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