Turns out the last major subject I needed to research while writing the first draft of The Quiet in the Land (unless I get thrown another surprise in the last few chapters) is frontier forts, specifically Fort Stanwix, which was built along the old portage trail in Oneida territory (the Oneida Carrying Place), which formed the connecting link between the Mohawk River and Wood Creek, an important trade route linking the Atlantic with the Great Lakes.

Fort Stanwix saw its demise at the end of the Revolutionary War, not through siege, which it had withstood, but due to fire and flood. It was abandoned by the American military in 1781, but the ruined fort was used as the site for two important peace councils between the newly independent United States and the Six Nations of the Iroquois, which were divided tragically during the war, some fighting for the British, some for the Colonists. One of those peace councils comes into play in The Quiet in the Land.

I hadn’t realized I’d need to research this fort until I reached a chapter a week ago and found my POV character standing outside it. Thankfully I had some months ago ordered a book called Fortress America, The Forts That Defended America, 1600 to the Present, just on the off chance I might need it, and because it looked like a very interesting book. It’s written by J. E. Kaufmann and H. W. Kaufmann, and has many illustrations of fort layouts, construction, and maps by Tomasz Idzikowski. A great resource for anyone dealing with the subject during any US time period.

Question for you: if you’ve researched this subject, do you have another good resource? If so, please share it in the comments. You’ll be enabling a research addict, but don’t let that trouble you.

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