Part of our in-depth series exploring Southern Early American Forts
Arbuckle's Fort was a militia fort built on Muddy Creek in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia) during the Indian-Virginia War of 1774, commonly called Lord Dunmore's War. The fort was built and initially occupied by Captain Matthew Arbuckle and his militia company to guard the Muddy Creek settlers.
The exact appearance of the fort is not known, but given its function to garrison militia and temporarily house endangered settlers, it was probably stockaded. The militia probably occupied the fort for much of the spring and summer of 1774. In the fall of 1774, Capt. Arbuckle and his men guided Colonel Andrew Lewis and his troops to Point Pleasant, where the climactic battle of Lord Dunmore's War took place in October. The battle resulted in a Virginia Militia victory, and peaceful conditions existed on the frontier for the next two years. During these two years, militia forts like Arbuckle's were probably left vacant much of the time.
The American Revolution ended these peaceful conditions. By the summer of 1776, many of the Ohio Valley Indians had joined the British and by August 1776 an alarm had been sounded over the Allegheny frontier. Soon after this, the militiamen were again sent to Arbuckle's Fort, this time under Capt. Andrew Hamilton. After the fall of 1776, the occupational history of the fort is unclear. Militia and settlers probably occupied the fort intermittently during the remainder of the Revolutionary War, particularly in the warmer months when Indians preferred to raid. Mention of the for was made in September 1777 when Capt. John Stuart, who was stationed at the Camp Union for (now Lewisburg, West Virginia), noted that occupants of Arbuckle's Fort had heard gun shots. The summer and fall of 1777 and the spring of 1778 were periods of intensive raiding on the frontier, and Arbuckle's Fort was likely occupied at these times.
Indian-Settler warfare ended in the Greenbrier Valley by the end of the Revolutionary War. Arbuckle's Fort probably saw little use after this time. No written documentation has been located for the abandonment or dismantling of the fort, but this probably occurred in the 1780s or 1790s.
Union Pacific Workers Killed at Fort Arbuckle
In August, 1867, Indians killed seven Union Pacific Railroad workers. Company F, while trailing them, was attacked by about two hundred warriors. After two hours of fighting, two hundred more warriors joined the conflict. The fight lasted six hours more with many hostiles killed. Two Buffalo Soldiers were killed, they were Sergeant Christe and Captain Armes. Six horses were also wounded.
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