Massacre at Fort Seybert, Augusta County VA

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Augusta County, Virginia
Pendleton County, Virginia
Pendleton County, West Virginia


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About Fort Seybert

Fort Seybert was located on the South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River. It was built within one hundred yards of a mill which had been erected at the edge of the river some years before Fort Seybert was built. The first owner of the land was John Patton, Jr., who purchased from Robert Green of Orange on the 5th of November, 1747, 210 acres of land "on the southernmost fork of the South Branch of the Potomack." This land had a "corner to Roger Dyer." In the Original Petitions filed in Augusta County for 1751-52 there is a petition for a road "from Widow Cobern's Mill, on the South Branch, to John Patton's Mill on the South Fork."

Drawing of Fort Seybert, which is located on the South Branch of the Potomac River in what is now Pendleton County, West Virginia
Drawing of Fort Seybert, which is located on the South Branch of the Potomac River in what is now Pendleton County, West Virginia

On May 21, 1755, John Patton, Jr., sold his land to Jacob Seybert. It is assumed that Jacob Seybert used the mill, and that the location of the Fort on his land may have been determined by its proximity to the mill.

Overview of Massacre at Fort Seybert, Augusta County, VA

On April 27th and 28th, 1758, Bemino, the renowned medicine man of the Delaware Indians during the French & Indian War (1754-1763), led the Delaware and Shawnee Indians against the British positions at Ft. Upper Tract and Ft. Seybert in what is now Eastern West Virginia (then Augusta County, Virginia). The Indians destroyed both forts and many soldiers and settlers in the vicinity were killed and captured. A few managed to escape. One account of the Massacre is at the following site:

List of those Killed, or Abducted at Ft. Seybert

According to several sources (indicated below), the following persons were supposedly either killed or abducted by Indians in the "Ft. Seybert Massacre" on 28 April 1758 in Augusta (later Pendleton) County, Virginia (later West Virginia) :

Fort Seybert Sign
Fort Seybert Sign

Probable List of those Killed (most appear to be settlers of South Branch, Potomac River)

List of those Abducted

List of those who Escaped

  • Margaret Dyer
  • John Dyer [son of Margaret Dyer]
  • Roger Dyer [son of Margaret Dyer]
  • Hanna Hawse
  • Hanna Keister
  • James Keister [son of Hannah Keister]
  • Hannah Keister [daughter of Hannah Keister]
  • Mr. Robertson [first name not known]

Processioning List of 1755

Processioning List of 1755:

The "Processioning List" of 1755 in Augusta County, the year before the attack, mentions many of the families and unfortunate victims that were living in the vicinity of Ft. Seybert:

  • Vol. 2 - Page 148.--1755: Matt. Patton and Wm. Dyer processioned as follows, viz: For Roger Dyer (corner Jacob Sivers), for Jacob Sivers, for Mathias Dise (corner Ludwick Waginer), for Ludwick Wagoner, for John Dunkle 440 (corner Mathew Patton), for William Dyer, present Nicholas Hevanor; for Mathew Patton, for Matthew Patton, for Nicholas Hevernor; for Christian Dasher, present Anthony Bogart; for William Russell, none to show lines; for John Davis; for Peter Haus (Hans), present Postian Hover; for Wm. Russell, present Henry Pickle; for Wm. Russell, none to show, for Wm. Russell, none to show; for Ro. Green's heirs, none to show.

Sources Bemino - medicine man of the Delaware Indians French and Indian War post: post: post:
Encyclopedia of the French & Indian War in North America, 1754-1763, by Donald I. Stoetzel
West Virginia Archives and History: "New Interpretations of Fort Seybert", by Mrs. Lee Keister Talbot