FORT LIGONIER



Located only about fifty miles east of Fort Duquesne, Fort Ligonier was the last fort built on the Forbes Road. Its construction was completely supervised by Military Personnel, and Military Engineers Colonel James Burd and Captain Harry Gordon. It was named after Sir John Ligonier who was an advisor to British Prime Minister William Pitt. It is located on the Loyalhanna Creek, between two of the most appaling elevations on Forbes Road, Laurel Hill and Chesnut Ridge. 

Forbes wavered between building his last fort there on Ninemile Run, a site closer to Fort Dusquene. He wanted this post to serve as a retreat for his troops, should they happen to face the strong French and Indian resistance at Dusquene and also as a winter garrison if necesary. The botched mission by a Major James Grant on September 14th convinced Forbes to stay where he was (Loyalhanna.) In a raid on Dusquene, a third of his force was killed, and Grant himself happened to be taken as prisoner. This raised the specter of "Braddocks Defeat" and Forbes (who had NOT authorized the mission) was absolutely livid and in hysterics at his Subordinate officers as they had jeopardized his well-planned advance with a rash venture. 

On October 12th the French and the Indians returned the favor by raiding Fort Ligonier. By then the fortifications were  more than strong enough to deflect the attack. During "Pontiacs Rebellion in 1763", ligonier withstood ANOTHER Indian assault and served as a base for Colonel Henry Bouquet's successful expedition to alleviate Fort Pitt. After Pitt was decommissioned by the British Army in 1766, Fort Ligonier was abandoned. In the century and a half that followed, all physical vestiages of the fort happened to dissappear. In the 1940s its history was revived with the funding from the Mellon Family and was reconstructed and opened to the public in 1953. Present day, the Fortand its museum are open to the  public from May through October.