Fort Augusta – 1756

Fort Augusta was built in 1756 by Col William Clapham was the main stronghold of the English in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, in the upper Susquehanna Valley, at the junction of the East and West branches of the Susquehanna River at a site now within the limits of the city of Sunbury. The site had been an area the Indians called “Shamokin,” the largest Indian town and trading center in Pennsylvania. Terrified of vengeful white soldiers, the Indians had burned their homes and abandoned the site in the days leading up to the French and Indian War. The Fort was in use from the time of the French and Indian War to the close of the American Revolution. Named for Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the mother of King George III, Fort Augusta was the largest of the Provincial forts. During its use, Fort Augusta, with its strength and strategic location, was never forced to endure a siege. The closest it came to that was in 1756, when several hundred French and Indian troops traveled the Great Shamokin Path in an effort to destroy this fort. This army had been gathered from the French posts at Duquesne, Kittanning, Venango, and Le Boeuf, and assembled at the mouth of Anderson Creek, near the present location of Curwensville, Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. Here, they built crude boats, rafts, and bateaux for passage down the Susquehanna River for the proposed attack. They dragged along with them two small brass cannon, but after reconnoitering found the distance too great for the guns to shoot from the hill opposite the fort. The defense at Fort Augusta was strong enough to resist attack by storming or by siege, and the attack was abandoned. A British defeat at Fort Augusta may have altered the history of the course of the French and Indian War. During the American Revolutionary War, Fort Augusta became the headquarters of the military department of the upper Susquehanna. [3] Fort Augusta was dismantled in 1796.

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