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Buildings & Defenses

The formidable fortifications at Fort Ligonier are full-scale reconstructions on the original site where it was first built in 1758. Imagine the daily activities of the British army community – that at one point numbered over 5,000 people. Learn how the fort was designed and constructed to defend the crucial supply line that sustained that community. Marvel at the recreated artillery train and discover why it was so important in defending Fort Ligonier and going after Fort Duquesne.

Artillery Train

Based on original documents, Fort Ligonier has the finest recreated, 18th-century artillery collection in North America. It faithfully replicates the artillery train at Fort Ligonier during the Forbes Campaign of 1758. The artillery was very important in defending the fort when it was attacked on October 12, 1758, and would have been used to put Fort Duquesne under siege if it had remained occupied by the French and their Native American allies.

Powder Magazine

The only original feature that remains from the 18th century, the remains of the powder magazine were discovered by archaeologists and reconstructed. Built in 1759, the original floor can still be seen by descending a steep entrance to the magazine.

Pennsylvania Hospital Ward

A limited number of women, usually soldiers’ wives, were permitted to follow the army during the French and Indian War, as long as they worked for the army. The hospital often had women assigned to nursing duty to care for sick and wounded soldiers. Find out more about women’s roles and medical care in the British army. See why this hospital ward was located outside of the protective walls of Fort Ligonier.

Forbes’s Hut

General John Forbes was in charge of the 1758 Forbes Campaign to take the French stronghold at Fort Duquesne. Take a seat at his desk and imagine the immense responsibility of coordinating and supplying an army of thousands as it moved westward across the wild frontier and mountainous terrain of colonial Pennsylvania.