Daniel Brodhead and the Coshocton Expedition
Daniel Brodhead was a leader of the Western Department during the American Revolution.
Brodhead achieved the rank of Brigadier General and, later, served as Surveyor General for Pennsylvania.
Daniel Brodhead was a simple gristmill owner when he became vocal regarding the Great Britain’s aggressive taxation.
By 1774, Brodhead had become a leader in his community. He was sent to Philadelphia to represent his hometown of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
At this meeting, delegates were chosen to represent the colony in the First Continental Congress (though Daniel was not one of those selected).
When the Revolutionary War broke out the following year, Daniel Brodhead was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army.
Brodhead was sent to meet up with George Washington’s men and soon thereafter participated in the Battle of Long Island. He remained with the main body of the Army through the winter stay at Valley Forge.
Daniel was then sent to the Western Department.
The Western Department of the Continental Army is often overlooked in histories of the Revolutionary War. Brodhead went to the Ohio Valley, which during the war covered Western Pennsylvania and Ohio, with parts of modern West Virginia, Kentucky, and New York.
In addition to fighting with the British and their allied Native American tribes, the Americans in the Ohio Valley were tasked with making peace with neutral tribes and even gaining assistance from them.
Daniel first joined General Lachlan McIntosh in his failed invasion of Detroit. After this, Brodhead was promoted and took over McIntosh’s position.
Suddenly in charge of a large contingent of soldiers, Daniel established himself as a respected leader on the frontier, participating in and winning several battles.
Brodhead’s most important contribution to the American Revolution was the Coshocton Expedition.
In this Expedition, Daniel led his men to discuss peace with the Turtle tribe of Ohio. Although there was the intention of negotiating an alliance, a battle broke out during negotiations. After retreating, Brodhead regathered his men and instead led a full-on aggressive campaign against the tribe.
Within a month, the Americans had taken the village of Coshocton and effectively secured the area.
After three years, Daniel Brodhead was recalled to the main body of the Continental Army. He had been accused of mishandling his budget and was Court Martialed.
Daniel was enthusiastic about the Court Martial as it gave him the opportunity to clear his name. He was tried on several counts, accused of spending money which was meant for recruiting new soldiers on food and other necessary supplies. After approval of his actions by none other than Washington, Daniel was absolved of any wrongdoing as it was determined feeding and clothing the troops he had was more important than adding more men to the ranks.
As the Revolutionary War came to a close, Brodhead was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. Following the closing of hostilities, he was elected to the State Assembly.
Daniel Brodhead received appointment as Surveyor General of Pennsylvania and mapped out the State for over a decade before he retired to his farm.
To learn more about Brodhead, pick up a copy of ‘The Brodhead Family’ which is a rare study done in the 1980’s. Volume I can be found through the affiliate link below.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our email list for a new Founder every day.