Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Was There A Fort McNair Near St. Mary's, Ohio?

I first encountered Fort McNair information on a RootsWeb message board:
McNair was assigned to the 4th Regiment of Kentucky infantry, one of several militia groups who moved into this area (Northwest Ohio) in the Fall of 1812. I too have seen the references Micah Taul made about McNair being ordered 12 miles from St. Marys. I ran across one of his letters to the commander at Fort Amanda about 8 miles downstream from McNairs "fort."

Captain David D. McNair and Taul's companies were assigned to Colonel Joshua Barbee's Kentucky regiment.  McNair's company was comprised of Cumberland County, Kentucky, residents.

Perhaps McNair's "fort" was built as the result of the following directive (found in the Indiana Historical Collection..):
"Capt. McNair is sent to the last, with directions to build storehouses &. The roads are so extremely bad and the water have been so high as to render it impossible for waggons or horses to travel, not a waggon has arrived at this place for two weeks and but few pack horses & those returning from the advanced posts." 


David Johnson said...

Boats loaded with supplies going to Ft. Wayne Dev. 4, 1812 were frozen in midway. McNair and a company:The men escorting the boats worked in icy water up to their waists and at times risked their lives to free the most of the boats. They were able to advance another twenty miles to Shane’s Crossing where they were forced to stop again because of the ice. Finally, the decision was made to set up a temporary camp, unload the materials and store them until the river opened. The officer in charge was Capt. David D. McNair. McNair and a group of men from Ft. Barbee marched to the site and immediately began building sheds and storage buildings. When they’d finished, McNair named the temporary encampment Camp Ellen.

I located McNairs grave last year and this bio:
Captain McNair was a thirty nine year old company commander in Col. Barbee’s Kentucky Regiment stationed at St. Marys, Oh. He was born of Scottish descent in 1774 to James and Martha Price McNair. Before the war, David married Delilah Vann, a Cherokee woman from a prominent Indian family. In mid-December 1812, the St. Marys River had frozen shut and supplies being sent to Ft. Wayne were iced in northwest of St. Marys, Oh. McNair was sent to build a temporary facility for storing the materials until the river opened. Once completed, he named it Camp Ellen. McNair was present at the Battle of the River Raisin near Detroit , on Jan. 22, 1813. After the war, he settled on the Conasauga River in Southeast Tennessee and ran a very profitable trading post and portage business. Many travelers to the area mentioned the hospitality of the McNair’s in their journals as early as 1816. The foundation of their house still exists and lies within feet of the enclosed gravesite of McNair and his wife Delilah. It is located approximately 200 feet into a field on the west side of Rt. 33, 1.9 miles south of the intersection of Rts. 33 and 313 in Old Fort, Tennessee.

PalmsRV said...

David, Thank you so much for adding this valuable information. If we head north (FL to MI) in the spring anywhere near Rts. 33 and 313, the McNair graves will make an interesting stop.


David Johnson said...

Cathy, I envy you. I'm in Ohio and rarely make it that direction. If intrested check out my blog at where I talk about McNair and a short bio of his life.