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Forbes Road - Murrysville, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Go Boilers!
N 40° 25.321 W 079° 40.120
17T E 612940 N 4475449
Quick Description: The final segment was completed in November 1758 through 50 miles of wilderness from Ligonier to Pittsburgh. General Forbes objective was to take possession of the French Fort Duquesne.
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 12/19/2008 12:07:12 PM
Waymark Code: WM5CT5
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member cosninocanines
Views: 24

Long Description:
The road was needed to enable passage of an army of at least 2,500 British and colonial troops, their supplies and artillery. The route selected for the road was quite controversial. George Washington was a strong advocate of using the earlier Braddock's Road from Cumberland, built for the British general's failed attempt to seize Fort Duquesne in 1755. Washington was, undoubtedly, influenced by the belief that further development of Braddock's Road would be useful to his Ohio Company commercial interests, as well as Virginia's claims to land west of the Alleghenies that was also claimed by Pennsylvania.

Gen. John Forbes decided to build a new road entirely through Pennsylvania for a number of reasons. It was easier to supply the troops from Pennsylvania than it was from Virginia and the Pennsylvania route provided more abundant feed for the horses. The Pennsylvania route eliminated the need to make multiple crossings of the Youghiogheny and Monongahela rivers. Of course, there were also political considerations related to the land ownership dispute.

Ironically, after the decision was made to build the road through Pennsylvania, Washington played a key role in its construction. At Loyalhanna, on Nov. 14, 1775, Gen. Forbes divided his forces into three brigades, commanded by Cols. Bouquet, Washington and Montgomery. His orders made all three men acting brigadier generals for the remainder of the campaign.

Washington departed from Loyalhanna on the morning of Nov. 15, followed by Montgomery that afternoon and Bouquet the following morning. Each brigade carried provisions for eight days, including meat for four days, driving cattle with them to provide the remaining four-day supply.

For defense purposes, Washington's strategy was to advance a distance over which his men could build the road in a day's time. A camp was built at that point as a defensive position against possible attacks by the French and Indians. Then the road was built backward toward the main body of the army to the west.

Washington's troops camped in Murrysville on Nov 19. More British and colonial forces joined them on Monday, the 20th; Forbes' entire army was gathered here by the 21st. In addition to Washington, many other military leaders, including Forbes, Bouquet, Armstrong and Montgomery, camped here. Following a strategy meeting of the brigade commanders, Col. Bouquet's brigade moved out first, soon followed by the others.

The army crossed Turtle Creek near the Murrysville Community Center west of Duff Park. It then crossed Haymaker Run near Franklin Towne Road and the original Murrysville Catholic Church.

By the evening of Nov. 24, the three brigades of Forbes' army camped only 15 miles from Fort Duquesne. After nightfall, an Indian scout reported a large cloud of smoke in the vicinity of the fort. The general dispatched a troop of cavalry to investigate; the remainder of the army soon broke camp and followed them.

With the British fast approaching, the French burned the fort and blew up the powder magazine. Some retreated down the Ohio, while others paddled their canoes up the Allegheny River. By 6 o'clock the following evening, Gen. John Forbes arrived at Fort Duquesne. He renamed the site Pittsburgh, in honor of William Pitt, the British Secretary of State. Of course, that wasn't the end of the story. A fascinating chapter of American history had just begun.

Pinpointing the exact location of Forbes Road through this area is equally challenging. Almost as soon as the Forbes expedition ended, military convoys began improving the road, sometimes varying its course for miles to reduce the distance, or to avoid steep grades and swampy areas. Over time, the difference between the original military route and the later improvements became blurred.

Excerpted from (visit link)
Road of Trail Name: Forbes Road

State: PA

County: Westmoreland

Historical Significance:
Use to help conquer Fort Duquense.

How you discovered it:
Local history flyer.

Website Explination:

First used by troops, and later by local farmers.

Just east of Duff park, a little south of the train tracks you can see the road.

Years in use: Not listed

Book on Wagon Road or Trial: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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pigspotter visited Forbes Road - Murrysville, PA 3/28/2011 pigspotter visited it