Fort Laurens was constructed in 1778 as part of an ill-fated campaign led by American Gen. Lachlan Mcintosh to neutralize the Indian threat and establish a western supply post for an attack on British Detroit. Twelve hundred men left Fort McIntosh (present Beaver, Pennsylvania) and reached the Tuscarawas River on November 18, 1778. Here, in 1764 in the aftermath of the French & Indian War, Col. Henry Bouquet had built a blockhouse. McIntosh gave the order to build here, although the neutral Delaware Indians warned him this location was too far north to protect their villages.
When the fort, named for Henry Laurens, president of the Continental Congress, was nearly finished, McIntosh and the majority of the troops returned east. Under Col. John Gibson, 176 men and five women remained to face the winter. Due to the distance from supply lines, food and provisions were scarce. The troops resorted to eating herbs and even boiling ox-hides and moccasins for soup. After being besieged by British-led Indians for a month, they were finally relieved by reinforcements in March 1779. Gibson and his men departed, but the new troops fared no better.
Erected by Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 1.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and Castles • War, French and Indian • War, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series list.
Location. 40° 38.361′ N, 81° 27.315′ W. Marker is in Bolivar, Ohio, in Tuscarawas County. Located near the entrance to the museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 11067 Fort Laurens Rd NW, Bolivar OH 44612, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Commemoration of Our Patriot Ancestors (a few steps from this marker); Unknown Soldier (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Laurens (within shouting distance of this marker); Tomb (within shouting distance of this marker); Northwest Bastion (within shouting distance of this marker); Excavation (within shouting distance of this marker); Hospital (within shouting distance of this marker); Barracks (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bolivar.
Also see . . . Fort Laurens - Ohio History Connection. (Submitted on December 21, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 27, 2021. It was originally submitted on December 21, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 42 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 21, 2020, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 3. submitted on January 27, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio.