Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Turning Tides At BUSHY RUN

   The Battle of Bushy Run


wiki commons public domain Wilson 44691

   It was fought along the old Forbe's Road on August 5th to 6th, 1763, which was near Harrison City in Penn Township, a part of Westmoreland County. This is a classic true tale of a difficult victory in those 'British' times for all to learn more of. The troops  were on the tail end of a long march and many were said to be sick and, yes, tired after traveling a brisk pace the great distance of 40 miles from Ft. Ligonier. The battle itself consisted of an estimated 500 British made up of different units sent from Carlisle on the 28th of July to help the distressed Fort Pitt under Colonel Henry Bouquet and an attacking force in a confederation of Shawnees, Delawares, Mingos and even, Huron Indians and maybe, some Wyandots too.
   Though, the Iroquois Confederacy, (see Sacred Ground), didn't actually involve itself in the main conflict, which stretched back through to the Ohio territory and Great Lakes regions all the way to the Illinois country. This engagement was connected to a larger uprising known as 'Pontiac's Rebellion', and he was the main chief of the Ottawa's. Being dissatisfied with the British victories, especially the policies of General Amherst in capturing Montreal, and the eventual losses of the French forces the reactions of this somewhat loose confederacy were clear, even in the east.
   The Seneca's became disenchanted with the 'Covenant Chain' by perceived results of negotiations with the Dutch of the northern New York areas. By the way, this Chain was supposedly renewed by Queen Elizabeth 2 in 2010 in a somewhat roundabout fashion by her Majesty's influence through Canada.

   Having said all that, many other Indian tribes were a part of the more westerly conflict and not associated with this area strategically.
courtesy of

    Well, the British forces were ambushed at a place called Edge Hill near the battlefield site. This is, of course, a listed National Historic Landmark. Though they repulsed the Indians successfully a few times the Indians were relentless and kept on coming, continually surrounding them.
    Under heavy fire, by the morning of the 2nd day, in a desperate measure the fatigued British eventually opened their ranks appearing to retreat to draw the Indians into a trap and, apparently surrounding  their sentries, at last won the field using their light infantry. This disrupted the desperate and bold attack and managing a surprising, if difficult and exhausting victory, with bravery of a high caliber indeed.

                                   Henry Bouquet

Henry Bouquet, circa 1759, courtesy of Wiki Commons

   Some background of this man might be appropriate, so please bear with me.
  Bouquet was from Rolle, Switzerland originally and began his role here as a lieutenant colonel with the Royal American Regiment. He had started out with the 'Dutch Republic' that became the Low Countries of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. He was specifically involved in the heart of the old 'Swiss Confederacy' that included Zurich and Berne. This area of the Imperial Knights enjoyed a largely privileged status within the Roman Empire of Europe, which Voltaire said was 'neither Holy nor Roman...' and it fell to the French amid chaotic revolution in the year 1798.

    He then served the Kingdom of Sardinia which became Italy in 1861. Henry also helped in the making of the Forbe's Road and was the builder of Fort Ligonier in Loyalhanna Township. The Fort was commanded by Colonel James Burd that oversaw the building of Fort Burd in 1759 at Redstone on the Monongahela in Fayette County. But this and the Battle of Fort Ligonier is another thing altogether. Bouquet's whole story can be pretty interesting.
   These days the battlefield is home to ladies tea parties, 'historic' hayrides, lectures and a recent 250th Anniversary Reenactment in August. (The site could really use your support so please, consider making a donation with whatever you can afford, as it is so important to conserve and preserve our history of these counties)!

    Penn Township had the Claridge Mine from 1891-1823 and the Kew Mine functioning from 1829-1825.  Also, the Denmark Mines operating from the mid 1880's to 1923. There are lots more interesting things here as well.
    It would be a bit of a quest to, hopefully,  make an excursion there this year or next and include some photos for the blog. As always, feel free to leave a comment or send an e-mail and they will be taken note of. Thanks fro reading!

    ~ Histbuffer




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    2. Thanks a lot. The blog is fairly new and
      will be adding to it regularly, so please
      check back


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