Edward Hand Guards The Western Frontier

Edward Hand Guards The Western Frontier

Edward Hand was an American Revolutionary who commanded Fort Pitt.

This outpost on what was then the western frontier was extremely important for keeping the Native Americans (who were siding with the British) from closing in on Philadelphia and New York.

Edward Hand

Edward Hand was and Irishman who joined the British Army after college.  He had been trained as a physician and therefore enlisted as a surgeon.

Hand was sent to Pennsylvania where he journeyed to Fort Pitt.  He remained there for two years, assisting in defending the colony’s western frontier from Native Americans.

In 1774 Edward resigned his commission and settled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Fort Pitt

When the American Revolutionary War broke out, Hand enlisted, became a Colonel, and commanded a regiment.  With this outfit he crossed the Delaware with Washington en route to the Battle of Trenton.

Within two years, Hand was promoted to Brigadier General and was given command of his old stomping ground: Fort Pitt.

At Pitt, Edward was responsible for holding off the Native Americans who were now sided with the Redcoats.  Unfortunately, Hand was unaware of the differences between Native tribes and attacked the Lenape, who were neutral.  This action convinced other neutral tribes to choose to team up with the English, making resistance to the Continental Army stronger.

Adjutant General

Soon, Hand was removed from his post at Fort Pitt.

Edward spent time serving under General Lafayette before being appointed Adjutant General of the Continental Army.  This was an administrative position which oversaw the business of running an army. He was still in this office while in attendence for the Victory at Yorktown.

Due to his years of service, Edward Hand was given the honorary title of Major General in the final days of the Revolutionary War.


After the war, Edward held many positions in the young Pennsylvania Government.

First, he was sent to the Continental Congress.  This was followed by two years in the Pennsylvania Assembly and a delegate to the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention in 1790.

Hand was also a Presidential elector and had the honor of voting for Washington to be the first Commander-in-Chief.

If you are interested in learning more about Edward Hand, pick up a copy of ‘Fort Pitt’ at the library or through the link below (affiliate).

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