Bedford County Rangers’ massacre remembrance ceremony changes location

Local News

Captain Phillips’ Rangers Memorial serves as a remembrance to the massacre that occurred in 1780. (courtesy: The American Legion website)

BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Due to weather forecasts, the Bedford County Rangers’ ceremony, which marks the anniversary of Phillips Rangers’ massacre that occurred in 1780, changed its location.

The ceremony was originally scheduled at the Phillips Rangers’ Massacre Memorial Saturday, July 17, but the Saxton region is to experience rainfall. Instead, it will be held in the sanctuary of the Safe Harbor House of Healing located half a mile north of the memorial site.

The ceremony will start at 11 a.m., and anyone is welcome to attend for free, according to their press release. It will last until around 12:30, and people will learn about the history of the area.

Brief overview

On July 16, 1780, eleven Bedford County Rangers under the command of Captain William Phillips were ambushed by a combined detachment of British Troops and Seneca warriors in the Woodcock Valley, the release notes. The ambush resulted in a pitched battle and the outcome of that battle was the forced surrender of Captain Phillips and his Company.

While Captain Phillips and his son, Elijah, were forced to walk three hundred miles northward to Fort Niagra and a couple of years in captivity in Canada, the other ten Bedford County Rangers were tied to trees surrounding a small clearing on the east slope of Tussey Mountain and massacred by being shot with arrows and musket balls.

In 1926, a stone monument was constructed on the site of the massacre and when in 1933 the site was being leveled for a dedication ceremony, bones of nine of the Rangers were discovered. These bones were interred at the Memorial site.

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