The British in Pittsburgh: POWs in the War of 1812

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Ross Hassig


Far from the Atlantic seaboard and the Canadian frontier,Pittsburgh was not expected to play a major role in the War of 1812. But it became involved in military affairs even before the start of the war, with Fort Fayette acting as a staging point for troops going down the Ohio River to more westerly posts, notably at Newport, Kentucky, opposite Cincinnati. After Congress declared war on Great Britain on June 18, 1812, troops marched from Pittsburgh to posts along the Canadian frontier in northern Ohio and Michigan. For much of the war, too, Pittsburgh also played a little-known role as a prisoner-of-war (POW) depot for British soldiers and sailors.

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