Fort Bedford (1)

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Fort Bedford (1) (1758-1770) - A French & Indian War Fort established as Fort Raystown in 1758 near present day Bedford in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Renamed Fort Bedford 1 Dec 1758 after the British Duke of Bedford. Abandoned in 1770.

History of Fort Bedford

Established in 1758 by troops under British Colonel Henry Bouquet as one of the supply Forts along the Forbes Road.

This fort was built as a strong palisaded stockade with 5 bastions and two redoubts outside the post. The post was bounded on the north side by the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River, by present day Pitt Street on the south, Richard Street on the east, and by Juliana Street on east. The south and west sides were protected by an 8 foot deep moat that was 15 foot wide at the top. The palisade was 18 feet tall.

Forbes strategy of building wider roads and support forts along the way paid off with an easy victory at Fort Duquesne. The French saw the strength of his forces and the improvement in their tactics and they decided to evacuate rather than fight.

In 1769 Fort Bedford was briefly seized by the "Black Boys" under Captain James Smith to release 18 colonials held prisoner for destroying trade goods destined for hostile Indians.

The small remaining garrison was withdrawn by 1770 and by the start of the Revolutionary War the post had deteriorated and been salvaged for its timber so that it was not a viable defense.

Current Status

The current Fort Bedford Museum is located in a blockhouse reproduction. The museum has a large scale model of the fort.


Location: Bedford, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.

Maps & Images

Lat: 40.0199 Long: -78.5038

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