Marker Text: Site of Fort Upper Tract, one of the forts erected under Washington's orders to guard the settlements. In 1758, Indians captured and burned it. Captain James Dunlap and 21 others were killed. No one escaped.
Location: On U.S. Route 220 on the northbound side of the road in Upper Tract, WV, about half way between Petersburg to the north and Franklin to the south.
Today's marker is related to my prior post on Fort Loudoun in present day Winchester, VA. In 1755, George Washington arrived in Winchester to supervise the construction of Fort Loudoun and other frontier forts along the western frontier in Virginia during the French and Indian War. In present day, West Virginia there are several state historic markers indicating the location of these early forts.
Photo taken looking south on U.S. Route 220, south branch of the Potomac would be on the left of the photo. Click any photo to enlarge.
According documents left by George Washington, Fort Upper Tract was built between August 21 and November 9, 1756, by a Lieutenant Lomax and 20 soldiers probably aided by local settlers. Washington directed the fort's construction from wood in a quadrangular shape with walls 60 feet long and bastions in all four corners. The fort was to have barracks, a powder magazine, and other necessary buildings all built within the walls. The actual completed form of the fort is unknown.
According to documents left by William Preston, the fort was destroyed in an Indian attack on April 27, 1758 and eighteen militiamen were killed at the fort. A letter in the Augusta County court records, written following the attack on the fort indicated some of the militiamen killed at the fort were reinforcement sent to Fort Upper Tract from Hog’s Fort in Brock Gap, about 22 miles to the east. Captain Dunlap, himself killed in the battle, had requested help upon spotting Indians in the area. The reinforcements arrived just before the fort was attacked. Local settlers Ludwick Fulk and William Elliot, their wives, and one stranger died with the militiamen.