Print and Kindle versions of the "Fort Cumberland" book are available. By its detailed examination of the pre-1785 history of the area, the book represents a significant addition to the recorded history of Allegany County, Maryland.
Cumberland's roots can be traced to a French and Indian war fortification named Fort Cumberland that was built in 1754 and served as the assembly point for Braddock's 1755 expedition against Fort Duquesne. Because of this, Lowdermilk drew from the existing works of Sparks, Irving, Sargent, Veech, Kercheval, and others and did a good job of describing regional events leading to and including the erection of Fort Cumberland, Braddock's disastrous expedition, and Forbes' successful expedition.
Lowdermilk's book is written so well, and is so interesting to read, that it is easy to miss the fact that it says very little about settlements in the area before the founding of the town of Cumberland, and says very little about the military use of Fort Cumberland after the French and Indian War.
Lannie Dietle recognized these omissions in Lowdermilk's book when he was discussing it with someone. It became clear that they assumed that there was little settlement activity in the area before Cumberland was founded, because Lowdermilk didn't describe it. Have done some 1770s-era research pertaining to Allegany County, Mr. Dietle decided to write a white paper on the topic of early settlers. The paper was well-received, and Mr. Dietle thought that perhaps he could expand it into a 100-page book. That exercise produced a 556-page book that was published in 2016. He eventually added to the content of that book to create the 982-page, two volume book "Fort Cumberland" that is published and sold by the Allegany County Historical Society. This notable book provides detailed coverage of pre-1785 settlement in the tri-state area near Cumberland, and military use of Fort Cumberland after the French and Indian War. It also provides significantly more information on area history during the French and Indian War, compared to Lowdermilk's book, and describes the far-away events that led to that war. Because Mr. Dietle's book examines the pre-1785 period in such detail, it is the ideal companion to Lowdermilk's 1878 Allegany County history book.
Structure of the "Fort Cumberland" book
Mr. Dietle's book begins with an introduction to its structure, content, and objectives and an introduction to the geography, transportation network, and history of the region. This is followed by a detailed examination of the pre-1754 settlement of the area, and a detailed study of factors that produced the French and Indian War. Individual chapters are then provided that cover local history during each year from 1754 to 1786, including military activity at Fort Cumberland during Pontiac's Rebellion, Lord Dunmore's War, and the Revolutionary War. The remainder of the book provides miscellaneous information about the area after the founding of the town of Cumberland. See the Table of Contents for a more detailed look at the topics this remarkable Allegany County history book covers.
Lannie Dietle, author of "Fort Cumberland" — a 982-page book that adds significantly to the written history of Allegany County, Maryland.