Tuesday 5 August 2014

Colonel Henry Bouquet's Account of the Battle: August 5, 1763

Camp at Edge Hill 26 miles from Fort Pitt
5th August 1763


The Second Instant the Troops and Convoy arrived at Ligonier where I could obtain no Intelligence of the Enemy, The Expresses sent Since the beginning of July, having either been killed, or obliged to return, all the Passes being occupied by the Enemy.  In this uncertainty I determined to leave all the Waggons with the Powder, and a quantity of Stores and Provisions at Ligonier, and on the 4th proceeded with the Troops & about 340 Horses loaded with Flour.

I intended to have halted to Day at Bushy Run / a mile beyond this Camp/ and after having refreshed the Men and Horses, to have marched in the night over Turtle Creek, a very dangerous Defile of Several Miles, commanded by high and craggy Hills;  But at one o’Clock this afternoon, after a March of 17 miles, the savages suddenly attacked our advanced guard, which was immediately supported by the two light Infantry Companies of the 42d Regiment, who drove the Enemy from their Ambuscade, & pursued them a good Way.  The savages returned to the attack and the Fire being obstinate on our Front and extending along our Flanks, we made a general Charge with the whole Line to dislodge the savages from the Heights, in which attempt we succeeded, without obtaining by it any decisive advantage, for as soon as they were driven from one Post, they appeared on another, till by continual Reinforcements, they were at last able to surround us, & attacked the Convoy lefft in our Rear:  This obliged us to march back to protect it;  The Action then became general, and though we were attacked on every Side, and the Savages exerted themselves with uncommon Resolution, they were constantly repulsed with Loss.  We also Suffered considerably, Capt Lieut. Graham, and Lieut. James McIntosh of the 42d are killed, & Capt. Graham wounded.

Of the R.A.R. Lieut. Dow who acted as A.D.Q.M.G. is shot through the body. Of the 77th Lieut. Donald Campbell, and Mr. Peebles, a Volunteer, are wounded.

Our Loss in Men including Rangers and Drivers exceeds Sixty killed or Wounded.

The action has lasted from one o’Clock till Night, and we expect to begin again at Daybreak.

Whatever our Fate may be, I thought it necessary to give your Excellency this early Information, that you may, at all Events, take such Measures as you will think proper with the Provinces for their own Safety, and the Effectual relief of Fort Pitt, as in case of another Engagement, I fear insurmontable [sic] difficulties in protecting & transporting our Provisions;  being already So much weakened by the Losses of this Day in Men and Horses, besides the additional Necessity of carrying the wounded, whose situation is truly deplorable.

I cannot sufficiently acknowledge the constant assistance I have received from Major Campbell during this long action, nor Express my admiration of the cool and steady behaviour of the Troops, who did not fire a Shot without orders, and drove the Enemy from their Posts with fixed Bayonets:  The Conduct of the officers is much above my Praises.

I have the honor to be with great Respect

                  Your most obedient &
                                          most Humble servant

Henry Bouquet

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