Fort Roberdeau

Military Heritage

Fort Roberdeau's legacy is not about battles fought upon it's walls. It's story is about those who served our nation outside of the walls.  Some of the men who served at the fort, died in service to our nation.  We seek to honor all of our veterans, and share there stories here, no matter where , when or how long the veteran spent in service to our nation, their lives were at constant risk. Fort Roberdeau is a story of people, not a story of walls and canons.


Several different groups of service members spent time at Fort Roberdeau. Some were local militia, some were Continental service members who later earned pensions. What we refer to as Rangers could be either. Those who served under Major Robert Clugage were in a unit listed on the National Archives as Clugage's Rangers. They were all considered in the Continental Army serving as all other Continental soldiers did under a contract. Clugage's Rangers were obligated to serve 9 months. Clugage's Rangers was comprised of three units. The commanders of these units were Captain Henry Black, Captain Thomas Cluggage, and Captain John McDonald. Although all of their men spent time at Fort Roberdeau, they ranged the entire region, from Bellefont to Bedford. They were stationed in three separate places, to be of better service. At Fort Roberdeau proper, in Standing Stone and at Frankstown.


The names of some of the other people in those units have been found in various historical records, letters, and documents. We will continue to work diligently on uncovering information about who these people were and will share it here. Currently we are transferring research to the site. Be patient, as it will take time.

Military Members Who Served at or Spent Time at Fort Roberdeau



Daniel Roberdeau



Robert Cluggage



Thomas Clugage

Henry Black

John McDonald
John Thornton

Daniel Topham




David Lloyd



Giles Stevens

James Murphey

David Means



Jacob, Ripley (Ripals. Riple)

Michale Shelley


John Lyons



William Allen

James Aplecot

Thomas Apelgale

James Brooks

William Brown

Martain Camer

George M Carleney

James Carrell

Daniel Clark

Thomas Clark (Cliear)

Elijah Coats

Andrew Criswell

Charles Daugherty

Thomas Daugherty

John Dickey

William Dickey (Heckey)

James M Donald

Arthur Drenning Drennan

John Edington

Thomas Ferguson

William Ferguson

John Franklin

William Gardner

Abrahan Hammon

Henry Hanewalt

Samuel Harold (Heanlit)

James Henry

John Holliday

Patrick Holliday

William Inglish

James Igou

Horatio Jones

Robert Kilpatrick (Gilpatrick)

James Knight

Samuel Labimore

Daniel Lean

Daniel Lean Jr.

John Lean

Hugh Means

William Mitchel

William McCoy

Daniel McCoy

Angus McDonald

Patrick McDonald

Joseph Morgan

Daniel Murphey

James Murphey

Horis Pettey
(Hons Peddy, Hans or Thomas)

Jonathan Pridemore

Theodore Pridemore

Theodore Pridemore jr

Nathan Ricketts

Robert Rickets

Zacharias Ricketts

Peter Riley

Jon  Ripley (Riple Ruprel)

George Shortley

David Stevens

Benjamin Stevens

Joseph Swope

John Thidar (Slidas)

Meshac Tipton

John Tupey

Peter Walker

James Williams

John Dickey


John Dickey only served in the area for a single tour. The stories of his various adventures in the war that can be found in his pension papers are very detailed. There is little said of his time in the area of the fort. He would guard supplies being delivered from Waterstreet to the surrounding area.

He described an occurrence he learned of that had happened right before his arrival to Fetter's Fort, a local blockhouse in Frankstown. A boy and his father had been out hunting for cows. A Native American was in the area, and saw them, he was not friendly with the locals and shot the man. He then had to reload and tried to hide behind a tree to do so, during this time the boy shot at his exposed form. He hit the Native, who dropped his gun. The boy turned and ran as fast as he could to the fort.



William Ferguson

Canon Carriage Builder, Artillery Man

William Ferguson helped build and decorate many of the canons that found themselves in places like Fort Pitt. In his pension papers he describes in some detail the ways in which they detailed canons and carriages for the military. He had enlisted in the service for three years in 1778. After this time in service he reenlisted for a brief time. His pension does not state for how long. During this enlistment one of his duties was to go to Fort Roberdeau. His unit was assigned to recover what they could from the fort. He said they brought back canons, shovels, picks and other items from Fort Roberdeau. They took boats down the Juniata. He recalls that it was in the spring, and the journey took about a month.



David Lloyd


David Lloyd began as a volunteer, a private, in Captain Paxton's Ranger's unit. In the summer of 1776 he spent a month as a volunteer in what is now Blair and Huntingdon Counties as a Ranger, and enlisted to be called when he was needed to march east.  In December of that year he was called to serve under Captain Daniel Carpenter. He was First Sergeant for the unit when they marched to Philadelphia. From there they marched up the Delaware River and into New Jersey. This was the winter of the famous crossing of the Delaware by Washington. His unit was ordered to Princeton under the command of General Putnam. From there the Riflemen he was attached to, and the other militia with them, were sent to New Brunswick, where there was a battle where many of his companions died. He returned to Princeton until the end of winter, when he was discharged, and returned home to Huntingdon.


David Lloyd was respected by his piers. When the position of Lieutenant became vacant under Thomas Cluggage he was offered the position. He served a term as a member of Cluggage's Rangers at Fort Roberdeau. He was charged with guarding the frontier against the incursions of the Native Americans who had sided with the British. In his pension application, when discussing his time serving under Captain Thomas Cluggage, he makes it very clear that they had to be ever watchful because raiding was very common in the region.


David Lloyd was born in 1755 in Frederick, Virginia, the son of Judith and Henry. He lived in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, in 1776 and moved to Ohio by 1833. He died on May 20, 1833, having lived a long life of 78 years, and was buried in Miami, Ohio.


John Lane mentions serving under him in Standing Stone and then after harvest at Fort Roberdeau.


In his later years he received a pension for his service.




Jonathan Pridemore

Pack Horse Driver

Jonathan Pridmore was living in Virginia during the war. In 1778 his brother Theodore, who served as a recruitment sergeant for Fort Roberdeau, came to visit him in Virginia. During this visit Jonathan enlisted to serve at Fort Roberdeau. According to Mr. Pridemore the regiment was raised for the purpose of building forts, protecting the inhabitants of the region and guarding the frontiers against the raiding Native Americans in the area. He enlisted for service at the lead mines for 9 months. When he enlisted they had already begun to build Fort Roberdeau. he helped in this endeavor and was stationed at the fort for his entire 9 months enlistment.


He reenlisted for 3 months longer to guard the Fort. He remained at the Fort for about one month at which time he was chosen as a driver for the pack horses. Every week, he would transport 800 lbs of Flour and enough whiskey for rations to Fort  Roberdeau from the Standing Stone. It was a dangerous job, with the enemy always lurking nearby and needed an alert man for the job. The former driver had been discharged for intemperance (a polite way of saying the former fellow drank so much that it was effecting his duties). Michael Crider, the commissary at Standing Stone, would provide him with the rations. He returned to Virginia for a few months after his time in service, but decided that he would continue to help the war effort.


In August 1779 he enlisted with Captain Nathaniel Lynder to drive pack horses to Fort Pitt. The journey began at the mouth of Congocheague, where they picked up a large delivery of salt for Fort Pitt. The supplies had been shipped there by boat. About 200 horses were loaded and were driven by several drivers from the landing thru Chrisaps Old Town to Fort Pitt. General Ellicott commanded the pack horse company. He saw to the purchasing, collection, and loading of the horses. General Hand commanded at Fort Pitt at the time.  After delivering the salt to the fort, Jonathan Pridemore returned into Bartley County where the horses were sold and he was discharged by Capt. Lynder.


He decided to return to Bedford County and enlist under Samuel Thomson for six months to guard the frontiers against the Native Americans in the region. He was stationed a part of this term of service at Fort Wig, which was under the command of Col. Piper. He was a member of the force that went to rescue Captain Phillip from a local block house which was 11 miles from where he was stationed. When they arrived the house had been burnt and the people either killed or taken off as prisoners by the Tories, Shawnee and Delaware Indians. They pursued them for about 35 miles. He acted as the pilot, guiding them in this pursuit and return. When they returned to the settlement, they found several persons who had been killed in the raid, some were tied fast to trees and pierced with Indian arrows.


After 6 months passed he returned to working with pack horses under Charles Sisney, Purchaser of Provisions in Bedford County. He was sent thru the country to gather the flour and whiskey which had been purchased and deliver it to units in the county. Some was delivered to Colonel Piper in Bedford County, and some was delivered to Captain Moore, in Frankstown. He continued working in the region until the end of the war.



Peter Reilly

Commissary & Quartermaster


Peter Reilly enlisted to serve in Bedford as a ranger in 1777. In 1778 he became a member of Cluggage's rangers. Peter became the commissary at Fort Roberdeau when David Brown was removed from the position. He was the commissary at Fort Roberdeau until the fort closed it's doors in 1782. He and his wife, Abigail Edington were married at the fort by Major Robert Cluggage on 8 January 1779. Abigail, his wife, lived with him at the fort until the fort was closed.


The Commissary was in charge of all food or subsistence supplies at  the fort. He would have been in charge of rations as well as commissary property.  Commissary property are things used for processing and preserving rations. Things like scales, barrels, measures, salt, vinegar are all considered commissary properties. It was his duty to make sure that the supplies were well cared for at the fort. He was also a vital part of finding local food supplies for the fort. Rations at the fort consisted of flour and whiskey as well as preserved meat, they were issued to those who served the colonial government.


Peter Reilly also is said to have served as Quartermaster. A Quartermaster is in charge of all supplies coming in and out of the fort, and making sure they are paid for, and that the items and goods are being supplied to those who they are intended for.



Jacob Ripley



Jacob Ripley was born in Carlisle Pa. At the start of the war he lived in the Path Valley near Fort Littleton Pa. During the war he served in what is now Blair County. He spent several months as a ranger in the region, three months serving under Captain Robert Paxton in Frankstown before joining Captain Thomas Cluggage's unit. He then served at Fort Roberdeau, assisting with protecting the lead mines. He later served in Carlisle guarding the magazine there. He mentions Peter Riley, Giles Stevens and John Lane in his pension papers. He tells a story of John Lane being shot by Native Americans in the region and recovering.


Jacob Ripley spent his last years in Virginia. He is also mentioned by Giles Stevens in his Pension Application. He passed away March of 1835.




Giles Stevens



Giles Stevens was born in Baltimore, Maryland in the 1740s. He served at Fort Roberdeau from the Spring of  1778 through March of 1779. He was a Sergeant under Lieutenant Lloyd. After his discharge he enlisted with the local militia and spend two tours with them. He was married to Nancy Tipton. They had been married for almost a decade when Roberdeau was built. Her brothers also served at the fort. Giles had 11 children. In 1836 he passed away.



John Lane



John Lane was born in Baltimore, in 1756. His family moved to the Huntingdon area when he was 9 years old. In 1779 he enlisted in Cluggage's rangers and served in the Huntingdon area, protecting the region until the harvest, at which time he was stationed at Fort Roberdeau in Sinking Valley to help protect the lead mines. After his 9 months in service under Cluggage.


He then reenlisted under Captain William Phillips. He served 3 months as what was called a Scout or Wood Ranger. They would scout 4 days of every week, watching for signs of any enemy activity. The most common incursions were those of Native Americans who had taken the side of the British. They were also engaged regularly as escorts between fortified positions. He did this until the unit was disbanded because of the deaths of so many rangers in the region that continuing was not feasible.


In his account, he does not mention the time he was shot, which is mentioned in other's accounts of the time period, including by Jacob Ripley. This does not seem to be uncommon with those wounded while in service.


According to family, after the war he married the daughter of a Quaker family and owned a copper mine in Frederick Md. He is believed to be buried there.



‚ÄčRevolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls). Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C.


Fort Roberdeau
Fort Roberdeau