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Downtown Pittsburgh Walking Tour
Item 8 of 20
"Despite orders to avoid an engagement with the French, Major James Grant and his force of Scottish Highlanders attempted a brazen frontal attack on Fort Duquesne on September 14, 1758. To Grant’s surprise, French troops and Indian warriors poured out of the fort and surrounded the British on a nearby hill. More than half of Grant’s 850 troops were killed or captured." The historic marker is located on the corner of the Allegheny County Courthouse, at the corner of Grant Street and Fifth Avenue.

  • Historic Marker commemorating the battle of September 14, 1758, located on the Allegheny County Courthouse, corner of Grant Street and Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
  • Scale model of Ft. Duquesne.
  • Native Americans overlook Ft. Duquesne from the present day Mt. Washington

During the French and Indian War, in 1758, Major James Grant's force, which was part of a larger British force led by General John Forbes was ordered to scout the area around the French Fort Duquesne. On September 14 of that year, Grant made the fateful decision to attack the fort with his force of 850 British and Colonial soldiers. The combined force of French and Indian soldiers, led by Francios-Marie Le Marchand de Lignery, quckly surrounded and overwhelmed the outnumbered forces of Major Grant.

Grant himself was captured (and later released) and his forces suffered over 340 casualties.  Grant's remaining force then retreated back to Fort Ligonier. As for the French, Lignery soon realized the size and strength of Forbes' army and decided discretion was the better part of valor. He had his force burn Fort Duquesne to the ground and left the upper Ohio Valley for the safety of French controlled Canada in November of 1758. The British quickly occupied the land, rebuilt the fort, renamed it Fort Pitt (after the British Prime Minister) and established the town of Pittsburgh.

Muscato, Christopher. "The Battle of Fort Duquesne." Accessed October 7, 2016. "The Capture of Fort Duquesne." Exploring Off the Beaten Path. Accessed October 7, 2016.