In 1755, Colonel George Washington gave orders to build a stockade and fort on the East Side of Pattersons Creek. On Christmas Day, 1755, Captain Charles Lewis of Fredericksburg took command of the fort and a garrison of twenty-one men. He had orders from Colonel Washington to remain quiet as long as he could and to hold the fort as long as possible, but if necessary rather than surrender, he should burn it and try to escape to Fort Sellers on the east side of mouth of Patterson’s Creek. The only major battle at Fort Ashby occurred in 1756 when Lieutenant Robert Rutherford and his rangers were defeated by a band of French and Indians. During the siege, Colonel John Ashby, who was out of the fort, was attacked by Indians and made a remarkable escape to the fort. It is from this incident that the name was applied.