The Great Trail in the American Revolution
Across the trail in the fall of 1778, passed a regiment of the Continental army, eager to win Ft. Detroit.
From Virginia many had marched. More soldiers came from the Pennsylvania militia—recruited first at Fort Pitt, and later at a hastily assembled Ft. McIntosh.
Imagine the column: a thin line of troops strung out along this narrow footpath through the wooded ridges to our north and east. An hour's drive for us, it took fourteen days to march and move the supplies west.
Gen. McIntosh' March to take Detroit
In the Ohio territory, British commanders saw the natives as natural allies. By harassing American settlers, the British knew, the natives would draw American soldiers westward, distracting them from important battles in the east.
At forts Detroit, Sandusky, and Pitt, the Redcoats supplied weapons and incited native warriors to fight.
In 1778—two years into the war—Congress ordered that the Army take Ft. Detroit. An expedition was organized and 1200 men marched from Ft. Pitt westward.
General Lachlan McIntosh, Commander of the Western Department of the Continental Army, was in command.
Some years we have good weather in fall; some years not. In Nov. 1778, McIntosh and his men were unlucky. The weather worsened. McIntosh chose to wait to attack Sandusky. He'd build a fort where the Trail crossed the Tuscarawas river. Battle could wait til spring.
The story from there is told by the Friends of Fort Laurens.
Gen. Lachlan McIntosh