Original Document
Original Document
General Forbes Describes his Route to the Forks to William Pitt, July, 1758.

Carlisle Camp west of Susquehannah, July 10th. 1758.


I did myself the honour of writing to you from Philadelphia the 17th of June, when I acquainted you of the Situation of the Troops under my Command. So soon as I gott the Artillery and Stores landed from on board the transports from England, and putt in some Order which was not till the 30th of June, I sett out from Philadelphia with the Highland Battalion of Montgomery and the train of Artillery which marches into the Camp here this day, all well and in order, altho the March was long being 120 miles in excessive hot weather, and having two great Rivers the Skulkill and Susquehannah to pass, upon Rafts and Flatts, and the last river being 1900 yards over. I halt tomorrow and shall then proceed 100 miles further to Raestown, where I have now 1500 of the Provincialls, who are building some Storehouses and stockading a piece of Ground for our Ammunition and provisions. For in Raestown there is not one single house; The place having its name from one Rae, who designed to have made a plantation there several years ago, nor indeed is there either Inhabitants or houses from this to the Ohio (except at Forts Loudon and Lyttelton which are only two or three houses each, inclosed with a Stockade of 100 feet square) the whole being an immense Forest of 240 miles of Extent, intersected by several ranges of Mountains, impenetrable almost to any thing humane save the Indians, (if they be allowed the Appellation) who have foot paths, or tracts through those deserts, by the help of which, we make our roads.

I am in hopes of finding a better way over the Alleganey Mountains, than that from Fort Cumberland which Gen. Braddock took, if so I shall shorten both my March, and my labour of cutting the road about 40 miles, which is a great consideration. For were I to pursue Mr. Braddocks route, I should save but little labour, as that road is now a brushwood, by the sprouts from the old stumps, which must be cut down and made proper for Carriages, as well as any other Passage that we must attempt.

The Cherokee Indians being but bad judges of time, came too early in the year to our Assistance, and therefore had not patience to wait our time, so that from the fickleness of their temper the greatest part of them - went home three weeks ago. You may believe, Sir, that no method was left untryed to detain them, but they are like Sheep. Where one leaps, all the rest follow. We have still near 200 that remain, and are so much attached to us that they have given the little nothing they have into our Stores as a pledge of their Services to us during the Campaign.

Credit: John Forbes, Letters of General John Forbes: Relating to the Expedition Against Fort Duquesne in 1758,  Irene Stewart editor (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006), 24-25.
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