To view the second plaque in the series, upon leaving Old Fort Western in what is now Augusta Maine the Army headed upriver toward the next fort. That would be Fort Halifax, in Winslow, which guards the junction of the Sebasticook, and Kennebec Rivers. There you’ll find this plaque which is the 2nd of the series.
It is the oldest original fort in the U.S. and stands just short of twenty miles above Augusta. Although they had two hundred twenty boats the bulk of the army would have proceeded on foot as the bateaux would have been loaded with supplies. Once they had loaded all that food into the bateaux they needed to add the rest of the gear, powder, shot, tents, etc. no room for passengers.
Steve Clark says that the army would have needed thirty-one or thirty-two hundred pounds of food a day. Because they were using incomplete maps they were counting on only needing twenty days to complete the march. This means that they would have loaded about sixty-two or sixty-four thousand pounds of food. This seemed like a bit much to me so I got out my copy of “A Soldier Like Way” by R.R.Gale and found that the rations for an army on the march in 1775 were just what Steve said it was.
Now we will look at the line of march for the foot soldiers, the history of Fort Halifax tells about cutting a military road from Fort Western to Fort Halifax up the east side of the Kennebec. In addition, you may be assured that to protect their west flank that some of the troops marched along the Indian trail on the west side of the Kennebec rejoining the bulk of the army at the in-bayment in what is now the Hathaway parking lot. The plaque in the pictures is the second plaque on the line of march. It was placed there by the Fort Halifax Chapter of the D.A.R. in 1919.
Plaque photographs and text by Clayton McLaughlin.