Southern Pennsylvania I

Barnett's Fort | Bethel Church Fort | Breitenbach's Blockhouse | Camp Brisbin | J. Brown's Fort
Busse's Fort | Camp Cameron | Capitol Park Camp | Fort Case | Camp Couch (1) | Camp Couch (2)
Fort Couch | Camp Cox | Cresap's Fort | Camp Curtin | Camp Dodge | Gibber's Blockhouse
Gloninger's Fort | Camp Greble | Harper's Blockhouse | Harris' Blockhouse | Camp at Harris' Ferry
Harrisburg State Arsenal | Harrisburg Defenses | Camp Hastings | P. Hedrick's Fort
Heidelberg Church Fort | T. Hendrick's Fort | Fort Henry | Hess' Blockhouse | Hessian Camp
Heydrich's Fort | Camp Hinks | Fort Hunter | Hunter's Mill Fort | Fort at Indiantown Gap (1)
Fort Indiantown Gap (2) | Indiantown Gap Res. | P. Johnson's Fort | Camp Keystone
Lancaster Encampment | Lancaster Stockade | Fort Lebanon | Light's Fort | Camp McClellan
McClure's Fort (1) | McFarland's Fort (1) | T. McKee's Fort (2) | McKee's Store
Camp at McKee's Store | Fort Manada | Camp Meade | Fort at North Kill | Patton's Fort
Fort Pleasant | Post of Reading | A. Reed's Blockhouse | Camp Return | P. Robeson's Fort
P. Robinson's Fort | S. Robinson's Fort | P. Robison's Fort | Camp Russell (a) | Camp Russell (b)
Camp Sands | Sasquesahanough | Schmitt's Fort | Schuylkill Fort | Camp Scott | Camp Security
Camp Simmons | Six's Fort | Smith's Fort | D. Snyder's Fort | Spicker's Stockade
Spycker's Stockade | Fort Swatara (1) | Fort Swatara (2) | Ulrich's Fort | Camp Union (2)
Fort Washington (3) | Weidman's Fort | Fort William (1) | Fort Yahoo | York Encampment
York Stockade | Zeller's Fort

Southeast Pennsylvania - page 1 | Northeast Pennsylvania - page 2
Central Pennsylvania - page 3 | Southern Pennsylvania II - page 5
Southwest Pennsylvania - page 6 | Northwest Pennsylvania - page 7
Greater Pittsburgh - page 8

EXPLORE PA HISTORY

Last Update: 25/APRIL/2010
Compiled by Pete Payette - 2010 American Forts Network

York Stockade
(1755), York
Plans were made to stockade the town, but nothing was ever built.

York Encampment
(1757 - 1758), York
Part of the 2nd Battalion of the British 60th (Royal American) Regiment used the town for winter quarters.

Camp Security
(1781 - 1783), East York
A British POW camp established after being moved from sites in Virginia and Maryland. The German POWs were relocated to Reading (See below). It was 20 acres of log huts and barracks for about 1000 men, surrounded by a 15-foot high stockade. Site located about one mile east of town in Springettsbury Township, partially excavated in 1979 and 2000. A portion of the original site is currently private farmland, but under threat of development. The remainder of the site is now the Hunters Crossing residential community.

Camp Scott
(1861), York
A Civil War training camp, located at the York Fair Grounds.

Thomas Cresap's Fort
(1742 - unknown), Lower Windsor Township, York County
A settlers' fort.

Lancaster Stockade
(1755), Lancaster
A plan was submitted for a town log stockade of 100 square feet, with bastions, to be located on the north side of town between Queen Street and Duke Street. It was never built.

Lancaster Encampment
(1757 - 1758), Lancaster
The 1st Battalion of the British 60th (Royal American) Regiment used the town for winter quarters.

Sasquesahanough
(Washington Boro Archaeological Site)
(c. 1600), Washington Boro
A triple-palisaded major Susquehannock Indian town, noted on John Smith's map of 1608, but never actually visited by him. The Susquehannocks settled here from the north only after 1575.

Fort Case
(1863 - 1864), Columbia
An earthwork with a masonry two-gun parapet, located near a flint-grinding mill on the southern edge of town, overlooking a dam that was once here. Outworks were to the rear, and a long line of rifle pits were to the right.

West of Wrightsville were extensive trenchworks protecting the western approach to the only bridge across the Susquehanna River south of Harrisburg. The wooden bridge was burned by the local militia to prevent Confederate troops from crossing in the days leading up to the Battle of Gettysburg. The stone piers still exist adjacent to the present bridge (PA 462). See also PA state marker

Camp George G. Meade
(1898), Meade Heights
A three-square mile training camp during the Spanish-American War. I-76 now bisects the original encampment area. Much of the remaining area is now housing for the Penn State University - Harrisburg (Capital) campus.

John Harris' Blockhouse
(1755 - 1759), Paxtang
Originally a trading post (1712) built by John Harris, Sr. It was loopholed in 1755, and stockaded in 1756, by John Harris, Jr.. Used by the PA colonial militia on occasion as a subpost of Fort Halifax and Fort Augusta.

Camp at Harris' Ferry
(1756), Harrisburg
A temporary encampment and supply depot of the PA colonial militia before the establishment of Fort Halifax and Fort Augusta.

Harrisburg Civil War Defenses
(1861 - 1865), Harrisburg and vicinity
Camp Curtin (1861 - 1865) was located on Maclay Street, between 4th and 5th Streets, at the site of the old county fairgrounds. Originally named Camp Union (2) but renamed weeks later. A small park now occupies part of the ground, on North Sixth and Woodbine Streets, with a 1922 statue of Governor Andrew Curtin. See also Camp Curtin Historical Society
Camp Simmons (1862) was located at the northwest corner of Camp Curtin.
Camp Return (1865) was located adjacent to Camp Curtin. A mustering-out camp. Possibly the same site as Camp Simmons.
Camp Hinks (1865 - 1866) was located adjacent to Camp Curtin, between Ridge Road (present day 6th Street) and the Pennsylvania Canal to the east.
Camp Russell (a) (1863) was located in a field between Camp Curtin and the Pennsylvania Canal.
Camp Sands (1862) was located along the Susquehanna River bank between the town and Camp Curtin. A temporary camp used during a smallpox outbreak at Camp Curtin.
Capitol Park Camp (1862) was located on the south side of the State Capitol Building. The State Arsenal was located on the eastern side of the park (near present-day Fourth Street).
Camp Cameron (1861 - 1865) was located about one and one-half mile east of town.
Camp Brisbin (1861), previously known as Camp Couch (1), was located east of town.
Camp Greble (1861 - 1862) was located east of downtown along Paxton Creek.
Camp Keystone (1865) was located on Forster's (City) Island in the Susquehanna River. A mustering-out camp.
Camp McClellan (1862) was located about two miles east of town on the Jonestown Road.

In June 1863 a four-mile long semicircular line of earthworks was constructed on the west bank of the Susquehanna River, consisting of eight redans connected by trenches and rifle pits. Configuration undetermined at this time.
Fort Washington (3), a 60-acre semi-circular 25-gun earthwork located within the line on Hummel Hill in Washington Heights. Originally here in 1862 was Camp Dodge.
Fort Couch, a small zig-zag work located in Lemoyne at 8th and Ohio Streets, about one-half mile southwest of Fort Washington (3). Partial remains.
Fort Yahoo was located in Harris Park, south of the Camelback Bridge.
Camp Couch (2) (1863 - 1865) was located on the Conodoquinet River at the Susquehanna River (Wormleysburg area).
Camp Cox (1863) was located next to entrenchments that guarded the road from New Cumberland to Bridgeport (Lemoyne). Probably at 16th Street between the Susquehanna River and Bridge Street. Also known as Camp Russell (b).
Other redoubts were located along the Cumberland Valley Railroad west of the city, and south along the river. Names and locations undetermined (other than Fort Case listed above).

Tobias Hendrick's Fort
(1755 - unknown), Camp Hill
A settlers' stockaded fort located at the "Proprietors' Manor of Lowther". Also known as Fort Pleasant.

Fort Hunter (Park)
(1755 - 1758, 1763), Fort Hunter
A fortified gristmill and stockaded blockhouse built by Samuel Hunter. Also called Fort at Hunter's Mill. Used by the PA colonial militia in 1756 as a defense against Indians, and as a supply base for Fort Augusta. Also referred to as Capt. Thomas McKee's Fort (2). It was later abandoned and fell into ruin. The "Fort Hunter" Mansion (built 1787) (admission fee) is now on the site, as well as a stone monument (1916), located at 5300 North Front Street.

McKee's Store
(1755 - 1756), Dauphin
A fortified trading post operated by Capt. Thomas McKee. The PA colonial militia started to build two bastions to the stockade when encamped here on their way to Fort Halifax and Fort Augusta, but the work was soon halted and later abandoned. The troop encampment was known as Camp at McKee's Store. This site could be considered McKee's Lower Fort, although no historical reference to that name has been found.

Patton's Fort
(1756 - 1758, 1763), Linglestown
A wooden blockhouse on a stone foundation used for protection against Indian raids. Used by the PA colonial militia, especially the Paxton Rangers. No remains. A marker is at the location.
(info provided by Tom Beamer and Marshall Sitrin)

Fort Swatara (2)
(1756 - unknown), Union Deposit
Originally known as the Blue Ball Tavern, or "Ye Olde Tavern", the Union Canal House was connected to the fort by a tunnel, which still runs under Hanover Street. The fort itself no longer exists. The tavern was the home of Samuel Bloem at the time.

Swatara Creek Forts
(1756 - unknown), various locations, Dauphin and Lebanon Counties
Several other settlers' forts were built in this area in 1756 and/or 1757 (exact locations undetermined). They were: Joseph Barnett's Fort (1757) (near Green's Mill (location ?) near Manada Gap); Philip Johnson's Fort; Weidman's Fort (a fortified house at Lickdale); McClure's Fort (1); McFarland's Fort (1); and an unnamed Fort at Indiantown Gap (1), which might possibly be Harper's or Reed's Blockhouses (see below).

Samuel Robinson's Fort
(1755 - unknown), Manada Hill
A settlers' fortified gristmill.

Philip Robinson's Fort
(1755 - unknown), near Grantville
A settlers' fort located about one and one-half mile east of Brown's Fort, at the head of Bow Creek. Also spelled Robeson and Robison. Site located at or near the present-day Manada Golf Course.

James Brown's Fort
(1755 - 1757, 1763 - 1764), near Manada Gap
A settlers' stockaded log house. Brown was killed by Indians in August 1756. Garrisoned by the PA colonial militia 1756 - 1757 and renamed Fort Manada, a subpost of Fort Swatara (1). Site was used as a patrol station in 1763 and 1764. Located about one-half mile below the town, and about two and one-half miles above Samuel Robinson's Mill Fort.

Fort Indiantown Gap (2)
(1931 - present), East Hanover Township, Lebanon County
Authorized in 1929 as the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, first land bought in 1931, and first used by the PA National Guard in 1932. That summer, the 28th Division's 55th Artillery Brigade first used the reservation as a training facility. In 1934 the state began to erect new buildings through federally funded work relief programs. Soon the Guard's new home included thirty-three buildings, a fifteen-square-mile artillery range, a fifteen-acre lake for amphibious training, and a grass landing field for small aircraft. In 1940 it was leased to the Federal government as an Army cantonment. They built an airfield with a paved runway capable of accommodating the largest aircraft of the day, a 7.5-mile artillery range, and an 809-acre lake for amphibious training. They also erected 1,400 structures, including nine chapels, two service clubs, four theaters, three fire stations, a 400-bed hospital, a 4,000-seat sports arena, and the largest army laundry in the country. Seven divisions - the 3rd and 5th Armored, and the 1st, 5th, 37th, 77th, and 95th Infantry - all trained and staged at "the Gap" before shipping overseas. Later, the post also housed German POWs, who labored on area farms during the day. At the end of the war, Indiantown Gap converted from a staging center to a Separation Center for GIs from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan. Some 450,000 troops were discharged here. Little used after the return of peace, the post came back to life for the Korean War, during which it quartered the Fifth Infantry and trained replacement troops for assignment to Korea. During the Vietnam War and its aftermath, Indiantown Gap hosted summer camps for the Reserve Officer Training Corps, and twice served as a Refugee Resettlement Camp. In 1975, the year the Reservation officially became Fort Indiantown Gap, its barracks sheltered over 32,000 Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees while they were processed and waiting for sponsorship. In 1980 it housed some 19,000 Cubans until they were placed with sponsors. Since ownership of the Fort reverted back to the Commonwealth in 1998, Fort Indiantown Gap has served as headquarters for both the Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guards, and as an important regional facility for National Guard, Army Reserve, and active-unit training. Current activities include the second largest helicopter training center in the country, an educational complex for combat arms training, the Northeast Counterdrug Training Center, and an air-to-ground bomb range. The post is also home to the Pennsylvania National Guard Military Museum, which includes the recreation of a barrack from the early 1940's, and artifacts and weapons from the Civil War to the Gulf War.
See also PA state marker || Back at the Gap from PA NG Association

Fort Swatara (1)
(1756 - 1758), near Inwood
An elongated stockade built by the PA colonial militia around the house (1740's) and barn of Capt. Peter Heydrich (Hedrick, and other various spellings). Also known as Capt. Frederick Smith's (Friedrich Schmitt) Fort. In 1755 Peter Heydrich's (Hedrick) Fort was used as a local "watch house". Site marked by two granite monuments, one on Fort Swatara Drive, and the other on the actual fort site.

Martin Hess' Blockhouse
(1756 - unknown), Union Township, Lebanon County
A settlers' blockhouse, located about one mile southwest of Heydrich's Fort.

Adam Harper's Blockhouse
(1756 - unknown), Harper Tavern
A settlers' blockhouse, possibly a tavern or "public house". Used by the PA colonial militia.

Adam Reed's Blockhouse
(1755 - 1758), near East Hanover
Located on the north bank of Swatara Creek near Reeds Creek, east of town. Briefly garrisoned by the PA colonial militia in 1758 when Fort Swatara (1) was abandoned. The house still exists along the Swatara Creek Trail.

Ulrich's Fort
(1755), near Annville
A settlers' defense, built as a mural dungeon or vault into a hillside with an air hole walled out and closed by a large stone.

George Gloninger's Fort
(1756 - unknown), Pleasant Hill
A settlers' fortified house used by the Pennsylvania colonial militia.

John Light's Fort
(1756 - 1759 ?), Lebanon
A settlers' (Johannes Leicht) stone house built in 1742, located at Maple and 11th Streets on the west side of town. Light was killed in 1759. The house later became a Mennonite meetinghouse and later also as a distillery. A plaque was placed on the house in 1974, but the house is nearly derelict today (1999). The third story of the house, and portions of the second story as well, were removed many years ago.

Bethel Moravian Church Fort
(1756), near Fredericksburg
The Moravian meetinghouse, built in 1739, was stockaded in 1756. Located about three miles northwest of town.

Joseph Gibber's Blockhouse
(1756 - unknown), Fredericksburg
A settlers' blockhouse.

Camp Daniel H. Hastings
(1885 - 1932), Mt. Gretna
A state National Guard summer training area located on the left side of Eighth Street, at the old Fairgrounds. Used as a Spanish-American War (1898) muster camp. Named Camp Hastings in 1898. Site used again to muster troops for the 1916 Mexican Border Crisis. Replaced by Fort Indiantown Gap (2) as the state military reservation in 1932. A portion of the old parade ground still exists, as well as monuments to the 1898 camp (1909) on Conewago Hills Road overlooking the lake, and the 1916 camp, near the junction of Lakeview Road and Timber Road northeast of the lake.

Philip Breitenbach's Blockhouse
(1756 - unknown), near Myerstown
A settlers' blockhouse located east of town.

Benjamin Spycker's Stockade
(1755 - unknown), Jackson Township, Lebanon County
A stockaded settlers' home. Also spelled Spicker. Located on or near Tulpehocken Creek near Richland.

Heinrich (Henry) Zeller's Fort
(Fort Zeller Museum)
(1756 - unknown), Newmanstown
A settlers' two-story masonry house (1745) with 30-inch thick heavy timbers inside. Also used by the Pennsylvania colonial militia. Located one-half mile from town on Fort Zeller Road. See also Lebanon County Tourism Promotion Agency

Fort Henry
(1756 - 1759, 1763), near Bethel
Headquarters for Fort Swatara and Fort Manada. Also known as Capt. Christian Busse's Fort. Built by the Pennsylvania colonial militia to replace a local "watch house" from 1755, which was known as Dietrich Six's Fort, and which was located nearby. Six's Fort had been attacked by Indians in 1756. The palisaded stone-built half-moon fort was located on the summit of Round Head, protecting Tolihaio Gap. The site was later used as a patrol station in 1763. A stone monument is located on PA 501 two miles north of town.

Fort at North Kill
(1756 - 1757), near Strausstown
A 32-foot square palisade with four half-bastions, around a log house, built by the Pennsylvania colonial militia as a subpost of Fort Lebanon. It was reported destroyed in 1757 after it was abandoned, but the site may have been used as a patrol station in 1758. The fort was never rebuilt. A stone monument (1910's) is located two miles northeast of town on Fort Road, north of the interstate highway.

Dietrich Snyder's Fort
(1756 - 1757), Upper Tulpehocken Township, Berks County
A settlers' log cabin used as a lookout post for the Fort at North Kill, located on the summit of Blue Mountain at Schubert's Gap. A stone monument (1915), relocated in 1946, is located on the Appalachian Trail on the west-side of PA 183.

Fort Lebanon
(1755 - 1758), near Auburn
Built by the Pennsylvania colonial militia. Renamed Fort William (1) in 1757. Referred to once by Benjamin Franklin as the Schuylkill Fort. It had a 100-foot square 14-foot high stockade around a 30 by 20-foot barracks, storeroom, 12-foot square magazine, and two houses. A stone monument (1913) is located east of town on Fort Lebanon Road north of Pine Creek.

Heidelberg Moravian Church Fort
(1756), North Heidelberg Township, Berks County
The Moravian meetinghouse here was stockaded in 1756.

Post of Reading
(1756 - 1760), Reading
A garrison post for the PA colonial militia, the British 60th (Royal American) Regiment, and later the Grenadiers of the British 50th Regiment, who only spent two months here in 1756 before being ordered to New York. Part of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal American Regiment spent the winter of 1757-58 here.

Hessian Camp
(1781 - 1783), Reading
A POW encampment for German prisoners (Hessians and Brunswickers) that were previously held in Virginia and Maryland. Site located on the east side of Mount Penn about one-quarter mile north of US 422.


NEED MORE INFO: Stony Battery Road in Lancaster County.

Special thanks to Jim Geisler for providing information on some early settlement forts and blockhouses.

Southeast Pennsylvania - page 1 | Northeast Pennsylvania - page 2 | Central Pennsylvania - page 3
Southern Pennsylvania II - page 5 | Southwest Pennsylvania - page 6 | Northwest Pennsylvania - page 7
Greater Pittsburgh - page 8

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