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General John Forbes Campaign to Fort Duquesne

Pennsylvania’s Forbes Trail: Gateways and Getaways along the Legendary Route from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, by Burton K. Kummerow, Christine H. O’Toole, and R. Scott Stephenson, 2008, Taylor Trade Publishing

December, 1757 - The British decide on a three-pronged attack against the
French in North America at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia; New York's Hudson River
Valley; and across Pennsylvania to Fort Duquesne on the Forks of the Ohio.

March 4, 1758 - John Forbes is appointed brigadier general in command of the
Pennsylvania campaign. ·

March 15 - Teedyuscung, leader of the eastern Delawares, continues peace
negotiations with Pennsylvania Governor William Denny in Philadelphia.

April 18 - General Forbes arrives in Philadelphia to take command and decides
on a methodical, protected advance with well-supplied forts every fifty miles.

May 24 - Lieutenant Colonel Henry Bouquet arrives in Carlisle as Forbes'
deputy commander.


June 2 - Work begins on the Forbes Road west of Fort Loudoun.


Mid-June - Ships arrive in Philadelphia with siege artillery and Colonel
Montgomery's Highland Battalion of troops.


June 14 - Colonel Bouquet meets with Cherokee and Catawba warriors at
Fort Loudoun.


June 24 - Colonel Bouquet arrives at Raystown (later Fort Bedford) with
advance troops to begin work on a base camp.


July 4 - General Forbes arrives in Carlisle.


July 15 - Envoy Christian Frederick Post and Delaware leader Pisquetomen
leave Philadelphia on a peace mission to the Ohio Indians after Governor
Denny has another council with Teedyuscung.

July 23 - Pennsylvania Colonel John Armstrong sets out to mark a road across
Pennsylvania to Loyalhanna (later Fort Ligonier). Virginia Colonel George
Washington, then at Fort Cumberland, Maryland begins arguing for the route
of the old Braddock Road.

August 2 - General Forbes orders Colonel Bouquet (and Washington) to open
a road across the Allegheny Mountains to Loyalhanna.

August 14 - General Forbes arrives at Shippensburg.


September 3 - Pennsylvania Colonel James Burd and a large detachment arrive
at Loyalhanna and begin building a fort.


September 5 - Colonel Bouquet leaves Raystown for Loyalhanna.


September 6 - General Forbes arrives at Fort Loudoun.


September 14 - Highland Major James Grant and 850 men are badly defeated
while reconnoitering Fort Duquesne. Major Grant is captured.


September 15 - General Forbes arrives at Raystown.


October 5 - Colonels Bouquet and Washington meet with General Forbes
at Raystown.

October 7-26 - Christian Frederick Post and Pisquetomen return east for the
Indian council that leads to the Treaty of Easton, Pennsylvania. Negotiations
result in an Indian agreement to cut their alliance with the French in exchange
for no European settlements in Ohio Country.


October 12 - French and Indians attack Loyalhanna and are repulsed
by Colonel Burd.


October 23 - Colonel Washington and his Virginia troops arrive at Loyalhanna.


November 2 - General Forbes arrives at Loyalhanna.


November 8 - Post and Pisquetomen bring news to Loyalhanna of the Treaty of
Easton and soon take letters from General Forbes to the western Delaware villages.


November 11 - A Council of War at Loyalhanna, with all senior British and
provincial officers present, results in the decision to wait until spring to attack
Fort Duquesne.


November 12 - Virginia troops accidentally attack each other in a friendly fire
incident near Loyalhanna. A prisoner reports that Fort Duquesne is short of
troops and supplies. General Forbes immediately orders an attack on the French.

November 15 - Colonel Washington and Virginia troops are cutting a road
through Chestnut Ridge, leading a three-pronged assault on Fort Duquesne.

November 18 - General Forbes, Colonel Bouquet and the army main force
follow Washington on the new road.

November 24 - The British are only twelve miles from Fort Duquesne. French
Commander Lignery blows up the French fort and escapes on the rivers with
his garrison.

November 25 - The British army takes formal possession of Fort Duquesne.


November 26 - General Forbes names the site of the ruined French fort
Pittsburgh, in honor of William Pitt, the British Secretary of State, and
declares a day of public thanksgiving.


December 4 - General Forbes and most of the army leave Pittsburgh. Colonel
Washington leaves soon after, resigns his commission and marries Martha
Custis. Colonel Bouquet meets with western Delaware Indian leaders and
then marches east, leaving a small winter garrison under the command of
Pennsylvania Colonel Hugh Mercer.


January 17, 1759 - General Forbes arrives in Philadelphia.


March 11 - General Forbes dies and is buried, with full military honors, in the
chancel of Christ Church, Philadelphia.

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