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National Historic Landmark BRUSHY RUN BATTLEFIELD

Location: North of Jeanette, near Harrison City on Pa. 993, Westmoreland County.

Ownership and Administration (1961). Department of Forests and Waters, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg.

Significance. The Battle of Bushy Run was a major English victory in the most serious Indian threat against the 18th-century colonial frontier. Called Pontiac's "Conspiracy" or "Rebellion," because of the Ottawa chief who helped lead it, the uprising threatened for a time to throw the white frontier back toward the Atlantic. The Indians struck in the spring of 1763, and one by one the frontier forts fell. Within a few weeks, along a thousand-mile frontier, only Forts Niagara, Detroit, and Pitt held out. Marching to the relief of Fort Pitt, where Pittsburgh now stands, Col. Henry Bouquet led about 500 men, regulars, and American rangers. At Bushy Run, 25 miles east of his destination, Bouquet encountered and fought a strong force of Indians. On the second day of fighting, August 6, he lured them into the open and in a bitter battle drove them from the field—demonstrating that, properly led, British troops could match the Indians in cunning and surprise. Four days after the victory at Bushy Run, Bouquet relieved Fort Pitt and made the Pennsylvania frontier comparatively safe for the thousands of settlers who streamed into the region in the next few years. Bushy Run halted the advance of the Indians into the middle Colonies and laid the ground work for a later campaign into the Ohio country that ended the Pontiac rebellion.

Present Appearance (1961). A 162-acre State park includes the principal scenes of action on the battlefield. Of particular interest is the hill on which the British troops planted their "flourbag fort." Here bronze plates reproducing Bouquet's dispatches and a map of the battlefield are located at the base of a huge block of granite. Trees have been planted to show the first positions taken by the British. On a hill to the west of the "flourbag fort" site are the unmarked graves of 50 British soldiers who fell in the action. A museum is located near the "flourbag fort" site, and roadways and foot trails give access to the main features of interest. The park also contains four picnic areas and an arboretum. [51]

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Last Updated: 09-Jan-2005