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It was during the sultry days of August that British and Native American forces collided in the woods of western Pennsylvania near a small stream known as Bushy Run. British forces under the command of Colonel Henry Bouquet were moving west to relieve the besieged Fort Pitt, attempting to end the conflict with Native American tribes that set the frontier of western Pennsylvania ablaze.
On June 12th, 1763, Colonel Henry Bouquet was ordered to assemble the remnants of several companies of Scottish Highlanders, a company of his Royal Americans, and wagons with drovers to relieve the besieged Fort Pitt which had been under attack since late May. He marched west on July 28th from Fort Bedford with his force of roughly 400 men along with some woodsmen he had added from Ft. Cumberland, Maryland. They reached Fort Ligonier on August 2nd and Bouquet ordered the heavy baggage be left behind, moving the supplies to pack horses for the remainder of the trip. Bouquet's intent was to make his way through Turtle Creek at night in the hopes he would avoid a Native attack, but the attack came where he least expected it.
On August 5th, 1763 at around 1:00 pm as the column of soldiers and horses made its way to the burned-out station at Bushy Run, they were attacked from a wooded hill to the west. Colonel Bouquet tried to push the Natives from their position, but the conflict soon intensified with heavy casualties on the British side delivered by their unseen enemy. Seeing no advantage to pressing his troops onward, Bouquet pulled back for the night and formed a defensive position. With no water and many casualties, his position seemed grim.
As dawn broke August 6th, the Native warriors resumed their attack on the small army. Again the British took casualties and were pinned down. In an effort to break the stalemate, Colonel Bouquet ordered two companies of soldiers to feign a retreat in order to draw the enemy out into the open.
The engagement resulted in a victory for the British. Bouquet and his army reached Fort Pitt on August 10th, 1763.
John Penn, the Governor of Pennsylvania, proclaims the end of Pontiac's War on December 5th, 1764.
Today, Bushy Run Battlefield is a thriving state historic site administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and operated by the Bushy Run Battlefield Heritage Society. The 5 miles of hiking trails that cover the whole of the original battlefield, as well as a visitor center with interactive film and exhibits, help visitors better understand the events that occurred in August of 1763. On-site educational and interpretive programs are perfect for field trips and organizational events. Programs at Bushy Run Battlefield are easy to schedule and very affordable.