Our part of the Commonwealth often saw conflicts of various degrees that touched upon our lives. The struggle for the lands west of the Allegheny's was fought between the British and the French and their Indian allies. The fort at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers was Fort Pitt and then Fort Duquesne and then Fort Pitt, depending on who was dominant in the area at the moment. The French and Indian war was our little part in the Hundred Years war of Europe. The Native Americans generally fought with the French, because the British were not always faithful to their treaties and agreements.
Once the French and Indian war ended, the Native Americans under the leadership of a chieftain named Pontiac, led a rebellion against the British for the survival of their way of life. They attacked forts in the west, and sought to drive the British out of their territory. But the pioneers were already deeply embedded and the western movement increased.
When word was received in Philadelphia in 1763 that places like Fort Pitt were under siege, the British sent a relief column of five hundred men under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet over the mountains to Fort Pitt in Pittsburgh. Leaving Fort Ligonier after an overnight stay, they headed for Pittsburgh. On the way, at a place near Bushy Run in what would become Westmoreland County in 1773, Colonel Bouquet and his troops were ambushed by a large force of Delaware, Shawnee, Mingo and Huron natives. The battle was fierce, with fifty British killed and an unreported number of natives dying - but the British prevailed. They went on to Fort Pitt and provided needed security and defensiveness. The battle was a major victory for the British and enabled them to secure their control over the Ohio Valley and what was to become the Northwest Territory. Lewis and Clark began their trek to the Northwest Passage from the Pittsburgh area.
The Battle of Bushy Run took place a few miles from where I write this post on August 5 & 6, 1763 - 250 years ago today. This past weekend they celebrated at the State Park with re-enactments and festivities of all sorts. Our own township, which at that time would have included the Bushy Run area, was incorporated just nine years later, on April 6, 1772. Lots of history in our area