Side A: During the American Revolution, Fort Laurens became the only Continental military fort in what would later be Ohio. Continental army troops and militia, led by General Lachlan McIntosh, built the fort between November-December 1778. Named for the president of the Continental Congress, Henry Laurens, the army intended to use the fort to launch an offensive against British-held Fort Detroit, observe enemy movements, and stage attacks on British-allied Indian villages. To fulfill terms in the “Treaty with the Delaware” (1778), McIntosh chose a site about two miles south of the “Great Crossing” on the Tuscarawas River in friendly Lenape (Delaware) territory. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) The garrison of Fort Laurens, which consisted of troops primarily from the 13th Virginia and 8th Pennsylvania Regiments, suffered during the winter of 1778-1779. Compounding trials included a constant shortage of supplies and intermittent Indian attacks. From February 22 to approximately March 20, 1779, the garrison endured a siege by a force of Shawnee, Wendat (Wyandot), Seneca-Cayuga, British-allied Lenape, Loyalist frontiersmen, and British troops of the Kings 8th Regiment from Detroit. Owing to strategic considerations on the western frontier, the enemy force did not press its attack. Later, difficulties supplying the garrison and changes in military plans for the west caused American forces to abandon Fort Laurens on August 2, 1779.