The 8th Pennsylvania Regiment

  • Authorized on July 11, 1776 in the Continental Army as a Battalion for frontier defense in the Northern Department.
  • Designated on July 20, 1776 as Mackay's Battalion
  • Organized between July 15- September 15, 1776 at Kittanning to consist of 8 companies from Westmoreland, Bedford and Cumberland Counties.
  • Relieved on November 23, 1776 from the Northern Department and assigned to the Main Continental Army.
  • Redesignated on January 1, 1777 as the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.
  • Assigned on May 22, 1777 to the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade, an element of the Main Continental Army.
  • Relieved on May 19, 1778 from the 2nd Pennsylvania Brigade and assigned to the Western Department.
  • Reorganized on July 1, 1778 to consist of 9 companies.
  • Captain Samual Morehead's Independent Company consolidated July 1778 with the 8th Pennsylvania Regiment.
  • Consolidated on January 17, 1781 with the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment.



The original 8th Pennsylvania Regiment was formed in July 1776 of men from Westmoreland and Bedford counties in western Pennsylvania. They marched from Hannastown, Pennsylvania, to New Jersey in the winter of 1776-77, and the following campaign season took part in a number of battles, including Paoli, Brandywine, White Marsh, Boundbrook, and Germantown as part of Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne's division. During this period, 135 men and officers were detached to Col. Daniel Morgan and participated in the Saratoga campaign as part of his rifle corps.

After wintering at Valley Forge the regiment was assigned to the Western Department, headquartered at Fort Pitt. In the Western Department, the unit helped construct and garrison Fort McIntosh on the Beaver River, and Fort Laurens on the Tuscarawas. They took part in campaigns against the Indian towns in northwest Pennsylvania in concert with the Sullivan/Clinton campaign, and again against the hostile Indians in southeast Ohio. They also helped garrison Fort Pitt, Fort Henry, and a number of smaller posts.

Following the reduction of the Pennsylvania Line in the winter of 1780-81 the unit was redesignated "the detachment of the Pennsylvania Line", and consisted of two companies. It remained in the Western Department till the end of the war.

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