British General John Forbes was the leader of the expedition that took Fort Duquesne in 1758. The British forces did not have to fight to conquer the fort. Knowing they were outnumbered, the French and their Indian allies burned it and abandoned it on Nov. 24, 1758.
Fort Duquesne lay at the juncture of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, restricting British access to Ohio. The French built it to protect the land that they had claimed in the Ohio area and restrict British access to that land. During the first part of the French and Indian War, the French held the fort successfully, repulsing several attacks by British troops. However, following the desertion of many Indian troops, the fort's few French soldiers decided to cut their losses and retreat. On the site of Fort Duquesne, the British built Fort Pitt; today, the area is inside Pittsburgh, Penn.