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Archiver > PABLAIR > 2001-06 > 0992361687

From: "C. A. Feathers" <>
Subject: Re: [PABLAIR-L] Fort Fetter
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 09:01:27 -0700
References: <>

Being a descendant of Michael Fetter, builder of Fort Fetter I find that
this will be a very interesting site and look forward to seeing it. I do
have some pictures of the monument that PA has erected on the site of the
fort that I would be more than happy to send to you for the webpage.

Chet Feathers
----- Original Message -----
From: <>
To: <>
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 5:26 AM
Subject: [PABLAIR-L] Fort Fetter

> Good morning,
> Steve will be adding a new section to the Blair page, 'Blair County
> Fort Fetter will be the first fort listed and I thought you all may like
> preview the entry:
> Fort Fetter: This fort, erected within what are now the boundary lines of
> Blair county, Pennsylvania, came into the list of frontier defences in the
> year 1777. It was built not far from where the town of Hollidaysburg now
> stands, being somewhat to the southwest of that borough, and its location
> seems to have been on the banks or near to the banks of a creek flowing
> northward, which creek discharges its waters into what is called the
> Frankstown branch of the Juniata river. It is near McCahan's mill and was
> used for local purposes. Its location was not far distant from where
> on the Historical Map of Pennsylvania, the Indian path starting at the
> of Bedford, running north, past Hollidaysburg, Fort Lowry, crossing the
> Juniata at or near Anderson's Fort and thence on northward into Centre
> to where Milesburg now stands.
> This fort was a blockhouse used for local purposes. It appears nowhere
> any of the Provincial records that it was authorized to have been built;
> nevertheless, it served its purpose and like all the others of like
> importance, it is entitled to its appropriate place, along with the rest
> the unauthorized forts. Mr. Jones relates, in his Juniata Valley, that in
> fall of 1777 Fetter's Fort was occupied with some twenty-five men capable
> bearing arms, belonging to the Frankstown district. Among those were both
> Coleman's, their own and a number of other settler's families. The Indians
> who had murdered the Dunkards, it appears, met about a mile east of
> Kittanning Point, where they encamped, in order to await the arrival of
> scattered forces. Thomas and Michael Coleman and Michael Wallack had left
> Fetter's Fort in the morning for the purpose of hunting deer. During the
> snow fell to the depth of some three or four inches and in coming down the
> Gap, Coleman and his party crossed the Indian trail and discovered fresh
> tracks. It was soon determined to follow them, ascertain their force and
> repair to the fort and give the alarm. They had followed the trail
> half a mile before they saw the blaze of the fire and the dusky outlines
> the savages seated around the it. Their number, of course, could not be
> out, but they conjectured that there must be in the neighborhood of
> but in order to get a crack at them,
> Thomas Coleman made his companions promise not to reveal their actual
> strength to the men in the fort. The available force, amounting to sixteen
> men, loaded their rifles and started in pursuit of the savages. By the
> they reached the encampment it had grown quite cold and the night was
> considerable advanced, still some ten or twelve Indians were seated around
> the fire. They cautiously approached the men and with silence, the command
> was given. When within sixty yards a halt was called.
> The Indians appeared to be engaged in mixing paint and the others were
> talking.
> Their rifles were all leaning against a large tree and Thos. Coleman
> conceived the bold design of approaching the tree and securing their arms
> before attacking them. The achievement would have been a brilliant one,
> the undertaking was deemed so hazardous that not a man would agree to
> him in so reckless and daring an enterprise.
> When the word was given it was agreed that they should all fire and that
> man should single out a particular savage to fire at. Aim was taken, the
> was given, some three or four of the savages fell and those who were
> around the fire, as well as those who were lying upon the ground instantly
> sprang to their feet and ran to the tree where their rifles stood. The
> did not even have time to reload their guns before they ran away. It
> that Wallack and Holliday were the only ones left to obey Coleman's
> The number of the savages being large, they became frightened and ran to
> fort. From this time on Coleman assumed command at the fort and was one of
> the principal men in this locality in resisting the Indians. This
> with the Indians created alarm through the sparsely settled country.
> from the neighborhood gathered their families into the fort under the firm
> impression that they were to be harassed by savage warfare, not only
> the winter, but as long as the Revolutionary struggle was to continue.
> This cloud of war soon passed by and the people betook themselves again to
> their houses, before the holidays of 1777, where they remained without
> molestation. During these alarms and troubles which followed in the course
> the war, Adam Holliday took a conspicuous part in defending the frontiers.
> aided in erecting Fetter's Fort and afterwards expended his means into
> turning Titus' stable into a fort. This war fort was located on a flat
> opposite the second lot below Hollidaysburg, and the two served as a place
> refuge for all the settlers of what was then merely called the upper end
> Frankstown district. He also, with his own money, purchased provisions and
> through his exertions arms and ammunitions were brought from the eastern
> counties. His courage and energy inspired the settlers to make a stand at
> time when they were on the very point of flying to Cumberland county. In
> December, 1777, he visited Philadelphia, for the purpose of securing a
> of the funds appropriated to the defence of the frontier. The following
> letter to President Wharton was given to him by Col. John Piper, of
> county:
> Bedford County, December 19th, 1777.
> "Sir: Permit me, Sir, to recommend to you for counsel and directions, the
> bearer Mr. Holliday an inhabitant of Frankstown, one of the frontier
> settlements of our county, who has at his own risk been extremely active
> assembling the people of that settlement together and in purchasing
> provisions to serve the militia who came to their assistance. As there was
> person appointed, either to purchase provisions or to serve them out,
> necessity obliged the bearer, with the assistance of some neighbors, to
> purchase a considerable quantity of provisions for that purpose, by which
> inhabitants have been enabled to make a stand. His request is that he may
> supplied with cash, not only to discharge the debts already contracted,
> likewise to enable him to lay up a store for future demand. I beg leave,
> to refer to the bearer, for further information, in hopes you will provide
> for their further support. Their situation requires immediate assistance."
> The mission of Mr. Holliday was successful. He returned with sufficient
> to recruit the fort with provisions and ammunition, and continued to be an
> active, energetic frontiersman during all the Indian troubles.
> Source: Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania
> Annie Whiteman
> SC PAGenExchange
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