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History of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 online

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our Rear. This Obliged us to March Back to protect it. The Action then became Gen-
eral, and though we were attacked on Every Side, and the Savages Exerted Themsdves
with Uncommon Resolution. They were constantly Repulsed with Loss— We Suffered
Considerably: Capt Lieut Graham and Lieu|. James Mcintosh of the 42d are Killed
and Capt Graham Wounded.

In three brief paragraphs Bouquet mentioned several other casualties
among the officers and states his loss for the day to have exceeded sixty
men killed or wounded, including Rangers and drivers. His report con-
tinues :

The Action has lasted from One O'clock 'till Nis^t, and We expect to Begin again
at Day Break. Whatever Our Fate may be, I thought it necessary to Give Your Excel-
lency this Early Information, that You may at all Events take such Measures as You
will think proper with the Provinces for their own Safety and, the Effectual Relief of
Fort Pitt, as in Case of Another Engagement I Fear Insurmountable Difficulties in
Transporting our Provisions, being already so much Weakened by the Losses of this
Day in Men and Horses; Besides the Additional Necessity of Carrying the Wounded,
whose Situation is truly Deplorable.

Bouquet in the final paragraph of this letter expresses his admiration
for the cool and steady behavior of his troops and praises the conduct of
the officers and especially the constant assistance of Major Campbell.
Bouquet's second letter to Amherst is dated :

Camp at Bushy Run, 6th August, 1763.

Sir : I had the Honor to Inform Your Excellency in my letter of Yesterday of our
first Engagement with the Savages.

We took Post last Night on the Hill where our Convoy Halted, when the Front was
Attacked (a commodious piece of Ground and Just Spacious Enough for our Purpose.)
There we encircled the Whole, and Covered our Wounded with the Flour Bags.

In the Morning the Savages Surrounded our Camp, at the Distance of about 500
yards, and by Shouting and Yelping, quite Round that Extensive Circumference,
thought to have Terrified Us, with their Numbers. They Attacked Us Early and under
Favour of an Incessant Fire made Several Bold Efforts to Penetrate our Camp; And
tho' they Failed in the Attempt, our Situation was not the Less Perplexing, having
Experienced that Brisk Attacks had Little Effect upon an Enemy, who always gave
Way when Pressed and Appeared again Immediately: Our Troops were besides
Extremely Fatigued with the Long March, and a long Action of the Preceding Day,
and Distressed to the Last Degree by a Total Want of Water much more Intolerable
than the Enemy's Fire.

Tied to our Convoy, we could not Lose Sight of it, without Exposing it, and our
Wounded, to Fall a prey to the Savages, who pressed upon Us on Every Side; and



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HENRY BOUQUET, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE 499

to move it was Impracticable, having lost many horses, and most of the Drivers, Stupi-
fied by Fear, hid diemselves in the Bushes, or were Incapable of Hearing or Obejring
Orders.

The Savages growing Every Moment more Audacious, it was thought proper still
to increase their Confidence; by that means, if possible to entice them to Come Close
upon Us, or to stand their Ground when Attacked. With this View two Companies of
Light Infantry were Ordered within the Circle, and the Troops on their Right and
Left opened their Files, and Filled up the Space that it might seem that they were
intended to Cover the Retreat; The Third Light Infantry Company, and the Grena-
diers of the 42d, were Ordered to Support the two First Companys. This Maneuvre
Succeeded to Our Wish, for the Few Troops who Took possession of the Ground lately
Occupied by the two Light Infantry Companys being Brought in Nearer the Centre of
the Circle, the Barbarians, mistaking these Motions for a Retreat, Hurried Headlong
on, and Advancing upon us with the most Daring Intrepidity, Galled us Excessively
with their Heavy Fire; But as the very Moment that. Certain of Success, they thought
themselves masters of the Camp, Major Campbell, at the Head of the first two com-
panys. Sallied out from a part of the Hill they Could not Observe, and Fell upon their
Right Flank; They Resolutely Returned the Fire, but could not stand the Irresistible
Shock of our men, who, Rushing among them, killed many of them and put the Rest
of Them to Flight The Orders sent to the other two Companys were Delivered so
Timely by Captain Bassett, and Executed with such Celerity and Spirit, that the Routed
Savages who happened to Run that Moment before Frcmt received their Full Fir^
when Uncovered by the Trees; The Four Companys Did not give them time to Load a
Second time nor Even to look behind them, but pursued them 'till they were Totally
Dispersed. The Left of the Savages which had not been attacked were kept in awe
by the remains of Our Troops, posted on the Brow of the Hill, for that Purpose; Nor
Durst they attempt to Support, Or Assist their Rig^t, but being Witness to their
Defeat, followed their Example and Fled. Our Brave Men Disdained so much as to
touch the Dead Body of a Vanquished Enemy, that scarce a Scalp was taken. Except
by the Rangers and Pack Horse Drivers.

The woods being now cleared and the pursuit over, the Four Companies took pos-
session of a Hill in our Front, and as soon as Litters could be made for the Wounded,
and the Flour and everything Destroyed which for Want of Horses Could not be Car-
ried, We marched without Molestation to this Camp. After the Severe Correction We
had given the Savages a few hours before it was Natural to Suppose We Should Enjoy
Some Rest, but We had hardly fixed our CsLxap When they Fired upon Us again. This
was very Provoking I However, the Light Infantry Dispersed Them before they Could
receive Orders for that purpose— I hope we shall be no more Disturbed, for if We have
another Action We shall hardly be able to Carry our Wounded.

Bouquet again, in conclusion, speaks of the behavior of the troops,
and attempts no eulogium which would but detract from their merit, he
said, and furnishes a list of his casualties.

The Indians left sixty dead on the field, some of them noted chieftains.
Bouquet's men took but one prisoner whom they immediately shot.
Numbers of wounded Indians fled as the bushes afterward showed blood-
stained leaves. Bouquet's loss exceeded his savage enemy's— eight
officers and 115 men. Although Bouquet does not definitely say so, the
inference is plain that all or most of his pack animals were killed. It
was the Indians' custom to kill them — thus crippling their enemy.

Bouquet was three days in reaching Fort Pitt, arriving here August
10. He was not attacked but annoyed by fire on his flanks while on the
way. His arrival gave great joy to the members of the garrison who had
been closely beleaguered from July 28 to August i, when, hearing of
Bouquet's advance, the besiegers drew off to attack him.



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500 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

In letters from Fort Pitt it is mentioned that the garrison under Cap-
tain Ecuyer had resolved to defend the fort to a man if the troops under
Bouquet had not arrived, and as long as any ammunition and provisions
were left, and that then they would have fought their way through or
died in the attempt rather than have been made prisoners and put to the
torture, as would have been done had they surrendered.

When the besiegers left the fort and marched to attack Bouquet,
August I, the garrison saw nothing of them until August lo, when they
passed the fort in a body, raising the scalp halloo and displaying their
trophies.

A letter written from Fort Pitt August 12 states :

The sight of the troops was very agreeable to our poor garrison, being penned up
in the fort from May 27 to the 9th instant and the barrack room crowded with men,
women and children, tho' providentially no other disorder ensued than the smallpox.
From June 16 to July 28 we were pestered with the enemy ; sometimes with their flags
demanding conferences, at other times threatening, then soothing and offering their
cordial advice, for us to evacuate the place, for that they, the Delawares, tho' our dear
friends and brothers, could no longer protect us from the fury of the legions of the
other nations that were coming from the Lakes to destroy us. But finding that neither
had any effect on us, they mustered their whole force, in number about 400, and began
a most furious fire from all quarters on the fort which continued for four days and a
great part of the nights, viz., from July 28 to the last. Our commander was wounded
by an arrow in the leg, and no other person of any note hurt, though the balls were
whistling very thick about our ears. Nine rank and file wounded, and one, Hulings,
having his leg broke, was the whole of our loss during this hot firing, though we had
reason to think we killed several of our loving brethren, notwithstanding their alert-
ness in skulking behind the banks of the river, etc. These gentry, seeing they could not
take the fort, sheered off, and we heard no more of them till the account of the above
engagements came to hand, when we were convinced that our good brothers did us this
second act of friendship. What they intend next God knows, but am afraid they will
disperse in small parties among the inhabitants, if not well defended.^

Fort Ligonier, standing alone also, and beyond the Alleghenies was,
until Bouquet came, in the greatest danger of falling into the hands of
the savages. The stockade was poorly constructed, the garrison weak;
the Indians had attacked vigorously but by the bravery and good con-
duct of Lieutenant Blane and his garrison the fort was enabled to hold
out. Some reinforcements had come from Bedford and all the settlers'
families that the Indians had not slain or made prisoners, were huddled
in the small fort at Ligonier.

It was of the utmost importance that the fort should be held not only
on account of its situation, but on account of the military stores it con-
tained. Had the enemy obtained possession of these they would have
been enabled to keep up their attack upon Pitt, and they would have
reduced Bouquet's succoring army to great straits. In fact succor would
have been almost impossible. It was difficult enough as things turned
out V

One of Bouquet's strategic movements was the sending in advance of
his columns from Bedford a party of thirty men from that point who with



I'Tontiac's Conspiracy," Parkman, Champlain Edn., Vol. II, p. 205; original in
"Penna. Gazette," No. 1810.



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HENRY BOUQUET, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE 501

proper guides succeeded by forced marches in their hazardous under-
taking. The savages did not discover these reinforcements until Bou-
quet's men came in sight of the fort into which they rushed under a run-
ning fire.

Bouquet's relieving party was made up of regular soldiers. Previ-
ously Captain Wendel Ourry, commanding at Bedford, had sent twenty
frontiersmen who had successfully gotten through the cordon of savage
foes. Thus relieved, Ligonier was held until Bouquet came.

Andrew Byerly, who established his relay station for express riders at
Bushy Run about 1760, was one of the heroes of the battle. This was in
less than two years after the building of the first Fort Pitt immediately
after the coming of Forbes and the retreat of the French. When the
storm of Pontiac's war burst suddenly upon the settlements, Byerly was
absent from his home, leaving his brave wife and four children, one of
these a babe three days old. Warned by an Indian whom Byerly had
befriended, Mrs. Byerly immediately took her children and, having the
two boys walk, rode with her littlest ones on horseback. One boy was
severely crippled with a stone bruise and could but limp. The elder boy,
about twelve, made a great effort to save the cows, but the unruly beasts
plunged into the thickets and were lost. This delay came near being
fatal to the fugitives. However, they made Fort Ligonier just ahead of
savage pursuers and, overjoyed, met the husband and father there. He
had been absent helping bury some slain friends near Ligonier.

Byerly joined Bouquet's frontier scouts and was present in the battle
at Bushy Run. He was with the advance guard of eighteen who re-
ceived the first fire from the hidden foes. This was on what is now
known as Gkmgaware's Hill, Twelve of the eighteen fell. Then two
companies of Highlanders rushed to their rescue and the conflict thus
begun raged as Bouquet described in his first letter.

Byerly was a host in himself. During the night he was active in suc-
coring the wounded, making frequent trips to a little spring he knew and
bringing water in his cap to the wounded, each trip at the peril of his
life. He was a pioneer and a patriot, one of the best type of hardy
frontiersmen who made the border habitable. His descendants are
numerous; many yet in Westmoreland county who are prominent and
influential in their several spheres of life.

Doubtless if any Pittsburgher, student or publicist were asked "when
was Pittsburgh besieged?" he would likely reply, "never." He could
justly answer from May 28 to August i, 1763, relieved by Colonel Henry
Bouquet and his little army.

Bushy run is a mere rivulet, a branch of Brush creek, the latter a
branch of Turtle creek. Rupp, who wrote in 1846, says the battle ground
is in Hempfield township, Westmoreland county, and twenty-one miles
from Pittsburgh. The battle ground is close to the village of Harrison
City. It is in Penn township, part of Hempfield having been cut off to
form Penn. Harrison City, a hamlet, is on the Manor branch of the
Pennsylvania railroad, about two miles north of Manor on the main line.

The battle of Bushy Run, both for its military conduct and its politi-



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502 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

cal results, deserves a place among the memorable battles in America.
It ranks well with Point Pleasant. The Indians fought with a cour-
age and desperation rarely seen in Indian warfare, and the English
troops with a steadiness and valor which was due to their training
as regulars and the direction of their able commander. The tidings
of this victory broke the spirit of the Indian conspiracy. Bushy Run
alone entitles Bouquet to lasting fame. It was decisive and timely.
Things had been going bad at Fort Pitt, and with defeat for Bou-
quet the horrors of Indian warfare, begun on the borders, would have
extended to the Delaware. They were the aftermath of Braddock's
defeat, the harvest thereof sufficient of evil and more than enough in
loss of human life, omitting any mention of munitions of war and the
necessary impedimenta of an army, the baggage, and their supplies,
precious stores in a wilderness, and the artillery.

Yet Bouquet at Bushy Run had no easy victory. It was a victory
that not only saved Fort Pitt and maintained Pittsburgh, but it humili-
ated and disheartened the red foemen so that in 1764 Bouquet brought
them to his terms.

It was fortunate for the country that there was an officer stationed as
near as Philadelphia who fully understood the meaning of the alarming
reports which were coming in from the Western posts. Colonel Bouquet
had been trained in war from his youth. His personal accomplishments
gave an additional charm to his bravery and heroic energy. He had
served seven years in fighting American Indians, and was equally cun-
ning in the practice of their artifices. Greneral Amherst was slow to
appreciate the importance and extent of the Western conspiracy; yet he
did good service in directing Bouquet to organize the expedition for the
relief of Fort Pitt. The promptness and energy with which this duty
was performed, under the most embarrassing conditions, make the ex-
pedition one of the most satisfactory episodes in American warfare.

All historians praise Bouquet and his methods. They recite that an
attempt to relief Detroit similar to that of Fort Pitt had been made
with greater means and fewer obstacles and the result had been a deplora-
ble failure, but Bouquet, a man of science and a man of sense, proved
himself in every way equal to the emergency. The Indians defeated at
Bushy Run, and by Gladwyn before Detroit, lost heart and hope. It
was clear it was time to strike. Therefore Bradstreet's and Bouquet's
expeditions were ordered. Bouquet was to chastise the Delawares and
other tribes, extort from them treaties of peace, and recover the English
captives in their possession. On account of his losses of men, horses,
and supplies at Bushy Run, he was unable to carry out this design until
he was reinforced, and it was now too late in the season to expect that
his wants could be supplied from the East. His Ohio expedition was
therefore postponed until the next year. In the spring of 1764 scattered
war parties of Indians were again ravaging the borders. Colonel Bouquet
was recruiting in Pennsylvania, and preparing an outfit for his march
into the valley of the Ohio.

Bouquet met with every obstacle in raising troops and collecting sup-



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HENRY BOUQUET, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE 503

plies for his Ohio expedition, from the stubborn Quakers in the Assembly
of Pennsylvania. It was not until September 17th that his convoy arrived
at Fort Pitt. Early in October he marched with fifteen hundred men
and a long train of pack horses into the valley of the Muskingum.

Howe, in his account of the several military expeditions into the Ohio
region, states that the first in importance and in order of time was that
made by Colonel Bouquet in October, 1764. Howe gives some extracts
from a lecture by Colonel Charles Whittlesey, delivered in Cleveland in
December, 1846, from which some excerpts are presented, in which
Colonel Whittlesey reviews the Pontiac conspiracy and praises Bouquet,
and of his march to and relief of Fort Pitt says '?

General Thomas Gage, who had in the meantime succeeded Amherst as comman-
der-in-chief, organized a corps, and too entered the country of the Shawanese in Ohio
at the same time that Bradstreet was engaged in chastising the Wyandots and Ottawas
at Lake Erie, who were still investing Detroit As a part of Colonel Bouquet's force
was composed of militia from Pennsylvania and Virginia, it was slow to assemble. On
the 5th of August the Pennsylvania quota rendezvoused at Carlisle, where 300 of them
deserted. The Virginia troops arrived at Fort Pitt on the 17th of September, and
uniting with the provincial militia, a part of the 42nd and 6oth regiments, the army
moved from Fort Pitt on the 3rd of October. General Bradstreet having dispersed the
Indian forces besieging Detroit, passed into the Wyandot country by way of Sandusky.
He ascended the bay and river, as far as it was navigable for boats, and there made a
camp. A treaty of peace and friendship was signed by the chiefs and head men, who
delivered but very few of their prisoners. Bradstreet's share of the combined expedi-
tion was ill-managed and but partially successful ; yet, while failing to do his own part
thoroughly, he took it upon himself to accomplish that assigned to his brother com-
mander. Bouquet rejected his interference, disregarded the unauthorized treaties he
had made, and pursued his march with results which the narrative itself will show. «

Howe continues:

When Col. Bouquet was at Fort Loudon in Pennsylvania between Carlisle and
Fort Pitt, urging forward the militia levies, he received a dispatch from Col. Bradstreet
notifying him of the peace effected at Sandusky. But the Ohio Indians, particularly
the Shawnees of the Scioto River and the Delawares of the Muskingum, still con-
tinued their robberies and murders along the frontier of Pennsylvania. Col. Bouquet
determined to proceed with his division notwithstanding the peace of Bradstreet, which
did not include the Shawnees and Delawares.

Col. Bouquet had shown himself to be a man of decision, courage and military
genius. In the engagement at Bushy Run he displayed that caution in preparing for
emergencies, that high personal influence over his troops and a facility in changing his
plans as circumstances changed during the battle, which mark the good commander
and the coolheaded officer.

He had been with Forbes and Washington when Fort Duquesne was taken from
the French. The Indians who were assembled at Fort Pitt left the siege of that place
and advanced to meet the force of Bouquet, intending to execute a surprise and destroy
the whole command. These savages remembered how easily they had entrapped Gen.
Braddock a few years before by the same movement and had no doubt of success
against Bouquet. But he moved always in a hollow square with his provisions and
cattle in the center, impressing his men with the idea that a fire might open upon them
at any moment When the important hour arrived, and they were saluted with the dis-
charge of a thousand rifles accompanied by the terrific yells of so many savage war-
riors, arrayed in the livery of demons, the English and provincial troops behaved like
veterans whom nothing could shake. They achieved a great victory and drove the
allied Indian force beyond the Ohio.



^''Historical Collections of Ohio;" Henry Howe^ Edition 1848, p. 112.



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504 HISTORY OF PITTSBURGH

Advancing westward from Fort Pitt, crossing the Allegheny at the
Point and following the north bank of the Ohio, Bouquet proceeded
slowly and with great caution. The Indians were unable to draw him
into an ambuscade. He crossed the Big Beaver river at its mouth by
fording; October 6 reached the Little Beaver, passed its east branch,
crossed the highlands of Yellow creek, marching through an open and
bushy country. Reaching Sandy creek, the expedition followed its
banks, crossing by fording, then reached a beautiful plain about where
the town of Bolivar, Ohio, now stands, and here they encamped. October
i6 Colonel Bouquet erected a stockade, about two miles below the ford
at a ravine, and completed his arrangements against a surprise. The
Indians, convinced that they could not succeed in any attempt against
him, made a treaty of peace and engaged to restore all the prisoners taken
from the whites. Bouquet broke camp on October 22 and marched down
the west bank of the Muskingum towards the Indian town, Wakatomika,
a deputation of Indians accompanying as guides. Their next camp was
one mile from the mouth of the Walhonding river, or White Woman's
creek, distant from the Big Beaver by the route Bouquet took about 102
miles. A stockade with four redoubts was built at this camp, with some
cabins and storehouses, and here Bouquet awaited the arrival of the
prisoners. By November 9 two hundred and six prisoners, including
women and children, had been delivered, of whom thirty-two men and
fifty-eight women and children were from Virginia and forty-nine males
and sixty-seven females from Pennsylvania.

Bouquet was firm with the Indians. He insisted on them bringing
in all the captives and spoke plainly to them ; would not allow them to
palliate their guilt by throwing the blame on the Western tribes ; backed
by his army he would remain until he got the captives or had punished
the Indians for their perfidy and outrages.

The French, in America, he told them, were now subjects of the King
of Great Britain and the Indians could no longer form offensive alliances
with the French against the English colonies.

Bouquet, though stern, was magnanimous and tactful. The recov-
ery of these captives was a notable performance. At the first con-
ference the Delawares were represented by Custaloga and The Bea-
ver; the Shawanese, by Kissinachta and six warriors; the Senecas,
by Guyasutha and fifteen warriors. All these were noted chiefs —
all fierce warriors and all well known at Fort Pitt, where they had
taken part in various conferences. Bouquet would not shake hands
with the chiefs at the first meeting. They were much dissatisfied at
this, but he told them the English never shook their enemies by the hand
until peace was finally concluded. At the final conferences, beginning
November 9, Guyasutha, Custaloga, The Beaver and Red Hawk were
the principsil speakers, the latter for the Shawnees. Bouquet got all his
demands, even tc hostages given for the remaining prisoners, to be
brought in by the Shawanese in the spring.

The Shawanese kept their pledges and brought in one hundred more
at that time. Bouquet broke camp again on November 18 and marched



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HENRY BOUQUET, SOLDIER OF FORTUNE 505

back to Fort Pitt, which he reached November 28. This expedition was
conducted with so much skill and prudence that none of those frightful



Online LibraryAmerican Historical Society George Thornton FlemingHistory of Pittsburgh and environs: from prehistoric days to the ..., Volume 1 → online text (page 71 of 81)