Thursday, May 16, 2013
John Forbes and Fort Ligonier
Shades of Death Site, some of them visited Fort Ligonier.
Then Forbes came along and demonstrated that the task was not especially difficult if you went about it methodically. First, he made sure of the support of both Pennsylvania and Virginia. (Braddock had been too high and mighty to do much more than insult colonials. The Virginians were impressed by his aristocratic Britishness, but the Pennsylvanians were furious and refused to help him. The impossible to offend Benjamin Franklin stepped and took over raising supplies in Pennsylvania, but even Franklin could only do so much.) Campaigning in the Roman style, Forbes' men built a chain of forts from their base of supply all the way to Fort Ligonier, which they deemed within attacking range of Fort Duquesne. They cleared a good road, scouted extensively around their route of march, hired a top Indian expert (Conrad Weiser) to manage their diplomacy and handed out a thousand pounds worth of presents. (Braddock had treated the Indians even worse than he treated the Pennsylvanians.) The Indians, watching Forbes' inexorable march across the mountains, decided to take the presents and abandon the French.