Pittsburgh: The Story of a City

By Leland D. Baldwin | Go to book overview
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V Britannia Rules the Ohio

WHEN Forbes and Bouquet left the Point less than two weeks after its capture, Colonel Hugh Mercer, a Scotch medico who had marched with Bonnie Prince Charlie and was later to lay down his life at the battle of Princeton, was left in command with two hundred green-coated Pennsylvanians, about eighty Marylanders and Virginians, and a scattering of kilted Highlanders and scarlet-clad Royal Americans. Mercer and his soldiers worked frantically to erect a stockade as a protection both against the approaching winter and against any surprise move on the part of the half-pacified savages. The new fort, which was located on the Monongahela River between the ends of the present West Street and Liberty Avenue, was a square structure of earthworks and logs with four bastions; its erection progressed so rapidly that in the early part of January, 1759, Mercer was able to write that "the Works are now capable of some Defence, tho' huddled up in a very hasty manner, the Weather being Extremely Severe." A line of log cabins and bark huts had meanwhile been built along the bank of the Monongahela to provide temporary shelters for the soldiers, but as the work progressed and the garrison was able to move into the fort, the houses were filled by traders and their families.

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