Battle of Bushy Run – 5 August 1763

The Battle of Bushy Run was fought on August 5–6, 1763, in western Pennsylvania. It was between a British relief column, commanded by Colonel Henry Bouquet, a Swiss mercenary, marching from Carlisle to Fort Pitt, then under siege, and a combined force of Delaware, Shawnee, Mingo, and Huron warriors, who were ravaging the frontier in Pontiac’s Rebellion. The relief column of 500 British soldiers included the 42nd Highlanders, 60th Royal Americans, and 77th Highlanders. They had left Carlisle in mid July. Indian scouts observed Bouquet’s force marching west along Forbes Road and reported this to the Indians surrounding Fort Pitt. On August 5, at about 1:00 pm, a part of the force besieging Fort Pitt ambushed the British column one mile east of Bushy Run Station, at Edge Hill. The British managed to hold their ground until after sunset, when the natives withdrew. Bouquet ordered a redoubt constructed on Edge Hill, and the British placed their wounded and livestock in the center of the perimeter. Bouquet was a canny soldier. When the Indians attacked the next day, August 6th, he realized the combat was nearing a crisis Hard pressed and taking casualties, he initiated a false retreat to lure the Indian warriors into a rush, which he countered with a smashing volley at close range, followed by a brutal bayonet attack, which routed the foe.

Having dispersed its attackers, Bouquet’s column headed to Bushy Run, where there was badly needed water. The battle has since been attributed to the Bushy Run location, despite the main fighting taking place in Edge Hill. Bouquet then marched to the relief of Fort Pitt. The battle not only prevented the fall of Fort Pitt, it pretty much broke the uprising among the Allegheny tribes.

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