Fort Ferree

- War of 1812 -

Harrison Scott Baker II

Fort Ferree was located in what is now Upper Sandusky, Wyandot County, Ohio. Its strategic position was on a bluff overlooking the flood plain of the Sandusky River. The local Elks Lodge is built where the stockade stood and the site continues to have a commanding view of the land below.

The Fort was built in late 1812 by men of the 1st Regiment, 2nd Detachment of the Pennsylvania militia lead by Lieutenant Colonel Joel Ferree, under the direction of General Richard Crooks, who in turn was under the command of General William Henry Harrison. The site had the advantage of a spring for fresh water and was astride the Harrison Trail, a military road that went from Columbus to Fort Stephenson (modern day Fremont, Ohio).

Fort Ferree occupied about two acres of land and was used as a distribution point for food and supplies. Along with the usual military items, the storerooms held several thousand barrels of flour. Four block houses were built and one stood as late as 1850, being used as a jail.

During the War of 1812, General Harrison made this his headquarters for a brief time. In August 1813, General Return Jonathan Meigs encamped about a mile north of the fort on his way to the relief of Fort Meigs. For many years the area where the Ohio militia stayed was known as 'The Grand Encampment'. After the siege of Fort Meigs was lifted and Colonel George Crogan's victory over the British at Fort Stephenson, the American troops proceeded no further and returned south.

The graveyard for the fort is believed to have been located about a quarter mile to the West. This area is now built over by the present County Courthouse. During its construction in the 1890's, human bones were unearthed together with buttons that had the letters 'US' on them and rosettes of leather with brass eagles attached.

Reprinted from the Lake Erie Ledger, March 1997 edition, pages 93 - 93. A publication of the Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Ohio.


First Regiment, 2nd Detachment

Pennsylvania Militia

October 2, 1812 - April 15, 1813

- Officers -
Joel Ferree Lieutenant Colonel
Thomas Ringland First Major
Robert Orr Second Major
James Roberts Surgeon
Garrett Wall Quartermaster
George C. Valandingham  Adjutant
Thomas Duncan Paymaster
George Huey Surgeon's Mate
Jacob Cook Sergeant Major
Elias Smurr Quarter Master Sergeant
Joseph Hicks Drum Major
James Duff Fife Major


- Companies -

                                                   First Company -

John Brown, Captain
John Hommers, Lieutenant
Sixty- three men, mainly from Greene County 

                                                  Second Company -

Jeremiah Ferree, Captain
Alexander Calhoun, Lieutenant 
Joseph Wilson. Ensign
Sixty men from Pittsburgh 

                                                  Third Company -

John Barrickman, Captain
Joshua Logan, Lieutenant
John McClelland, Ensign
Sixty-five men from Allegheny County 

                                                Fourth Company -

Benjamin Anderson, Captain
James White, Lieutenant
William Lindsey, Ensign
Sixty-five men from Washington County 

                                                Fifth Company -

John Wallace, Captain
John McCormick, Lieutenant
James Stewart, Ensign
Eighty-one men from Armstrong & Indiana Counties

                                                  Sixth Company -

William Harper, Captain
Elias Flanigan, Lieutenant
Robert McMinn, Ensign
Sixty-two men from Greene County 

                                                   Seventh Company -

William Johnson, Captain
James McCune, Lieutenant
John Gaunce, Ensign
Fifty-five men from Washington County 

                                                    Eighth Company -

Jonathan Grable, Captain
Thomas Dondaldson, Lieutenant
Asa Roberts, Ensign
Sixty men from Washington County 

Sketch of Colonel Joel Ferree's Regiment in the War of 1812, by J. Sutton Wall, Department of Internal Affairs, Harrisburg, Pa., Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Volume 11, pages 55 - 59.

Ohio Society war of 1812

Last update 25 December 2004
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