Battle of Fort Ligonier – 12 October 1758

On the morning of October 12, 1758, the fort was bustling with activity. It was still under construction under the guidance of Colonel James Burd of the Pennsylvania Regiment. Around 11:00AM, soldiers known as grass guards who were patrolling the livestock grazing in the fields across the Loyalhanna Creek were attacked by a force of French and Indians. Initially thinking it was a small raiding party, Burd sent out a two parties of Maryland provincials (around 200 men) to address the attack. Firing intensified and another wave of 500 provincials from Maryland and North Carolina were sent out but were soon pushed back toward the fort. The battle went on for about 4 hours until the British artillery ultimately drove back the French and native forces. The numbers were around 1500 on the British side versus around 440 French troops and 150 native warriors under the leadership of Captain Charles Aubry. The casualties on the British side were around 62 men and 5 officers killed, wounded, or missing (12 killed, 18 wounded, 31 missing). The casualties on the French side are unknown. The British army publicly claimed victory, saying that their forces had successfully defended the fort, although privately it was viewed as humiliating by Forbes and Bouquet. The French claimed victory as they were not trying to take the fort. Their objective was to slow Forbes’s army down in order to prevent them from attacking Fort Duquesne until spring. They did so by killing or stealing around 200 horses during their raid on the Post at Loyalhanna. .

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