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Fort Pitt (1761-1792) - First established in 1761 during the French & Indian War by British forces in present day Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Named after William Pitt, the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham. Also known as Fort Dunmore. Abandoned in 1792.
French & Indian War (1754–1763)
Fort Pitt was built by the British between 1759 and 1761 during the French & Indian War. The fort was strategically located at the junction of the Allegheny River and the Monongahela River where they become the Ohio River. The French had previously built Fort Duquesne (1) very close to the site of Fort Pitt but had destroyed it in 1758 to prevent capture by British forces.
The British built a small temporary fortification called Mercer's Fort in 1758-1759, while Fort Pitt was under construction. The temporary fortification was built just south of the Flag Bastion. Mercer's Fort was a square stockade with the walls formed by the backs of the interior buildings and bastions at each corner. Construction was supervised by Colonel Hugh Mercer and the fort was named for him.
Fort Pitt was built as a five pointed star fort with named bastions at each corner surrounded by a wet moat. The south most bastion was the Flag Bastion and clockwise from that was the Monongahela Bastion, the Ohio Bastion, the Music Bastion and the Grenadier Bastion. Two of the bastions faced the Monongahela River and two faced the Allegheny River while the fifth faced the land side. Inside the walls there were three enlisted barracks, two sets of officer's quarters and the magazines. Outside the fort walls were five small brick blockhouses or redoubts and various earthworks. There were ravelins at the east, west and south entrances.
During Pontiac's War the western Delaware and Shawnee Indians laid siege to Fort Pitt on 22 Jun 1763, but they could not overcome the defenders.
The fort was abandoned by the British in 1772 and turned over to Virginia colonists who claimed the area as Virginia territory. The Virginians named the fort after their governor, Lord Dunmore. Fort Dunmore played a significant role in Lord Dunmore's War of 1774.
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)
Fort Pitt was the western headquarters for the colonials during the Revolutionary War. Operations against the British and their Indian allies continued throughout the war.
Fort Pitt was abandoned in 1792. The replacement was new Fort Fayette in downtown Pittsburgh.
Now Point State Park, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. This park is under renovation but the Fort Pitt Museum in the reconstructed Monongahela Bastion is open. The only original building remaining is the blockhouse known as Bouquet's Redoubt.
Location: Point State Park, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
Maps & Images
Lat: 40.4411 Long: -80.009
Recent Blog Posts
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 690-692
Visited: 15 Aug 2012
Fort Pitt Picture Gallery
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