Joseph Edwards was one of the early settlers along the banks of the Cacapon River in what is now Hampshire County, WV. On May 3, 1748 James Genn surveyed a 400 acre tract of land for Joseph Edwards adjoining James Caudy’s 358 acres; both Edwards and Caudy had been in the area for some years preceding the survey. Parts of these two tracts lie within the present town of Capon Bridge.
The Edwards site appears on the Fry and Jefferson map of 1751. Its strategic location on the road from Winchester to the South Branch River and to Wills Creek and the prominence of its owner made this a natural choice for a fort. Mr. Edwards probably had strengthened his home because of the situation on the frontier, but the Virginia Regiment would further fortify it as an important supply point and a garrison for soldiers who protected the surrounding settlers and escorted convoys between Fort Loudoun and Pearsall’s on the South Branch.
On April 18, 1756 the largest battle of the Virginia frontier was fought near here. The newspapers reported:“A Party of Indians appearing in the Neighbourhood of the Fort, Capt. Mercer went out with three Subalterns, and 60 pick'd Men, and about a Mile from the Fort was attacked by a superior Number of Indians, whom they fought for some Time with good Success, but (the Enemy being reinforced by another Party) were at length obliged to give Way and retire to the Fort; Captain John Mercer, and Lieutenant Thomas Carter, two brave Virginian Youths, Voluntiers in the Defense of their Country, were, with 15 Men left in the Field; they died bravely the most honourable of Deaths…”
The fort apparently was finally abandoned for military purposes around 1762, but it continued to be used as a home and farm to the present time. The property is presently owned by The Fort Edwards Foundation which is working to preserve and interpret the site.