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Er. 26.] THE RIFLE DRESS WASHINGTON ELECTED TO THE HOUSE OF BURGESSES. 93 their faith, and the marriage was to take place | party should be accompanied by an officer and as soon as the campaign against Fort Duquesne was at an end.
Before returning to Winchester, Washington was obliged to hold conferences with Sir John St. Clair and Colonel Bouquet, at an intermediate rendezvous, to give them information respecting the frontiers, and arrange about the marching of his troops. His constant word to them was forward! forward! For the precious time for action was slipping away, and he feared their Indian allies, so important to their security while on the march, might, with their usual fickleness, lose patience, and return home. On arriving at Winchester, he found his troops restless and discontented from prolonged inaction. The inhabitants impatient of the burdens imposed on them, and of the disturbances of an idle camp; while the Indians, as he apprehended, had deserted outright. It was a great relief, therefore, when he received orders from the commander-in-chief to repair to Fort Cumberland. He arrived there on the 2d of July, and proceeded to open a road between that post and head-quarters, at Raystown, thirty miles distant, where Colonel Bouquet was stationed.
His troops were scantily supplied with regimental clothing. The weather was oppressively warm. He now conceived the idea of equipping them in the light Indian hunting garb, and even of adopting it himself. Two companies were accordingly equipped in this style, and sent under the command of Major Lewis to head-quarters. "It is an unbecoming dress, I own, for an officer," writes Washington; "but convenience, rather than show, I think, should be consulted. The reduction of bat-horses alone would be sufficient to recommend it; for nothing is more certain than that less baggage would be required."
a number of white men. Washington complied with the order, though he considered them an encumbrance rather than an advantage. "Small parties of Indians," said he, “will more effectually harass the enemy, by keeping them under continual alarms, than any parties of white men can do. For small parties of the latter are not equal to the task, not being so dexterous at skulking as Indians; and large parties will be discovered by their spies early enough to have a superior force opposed to them." With all these efforts, however, he was never able fully to make the officers of the regular army appreciate the importance of Indian allies in these campaigns in the wilderness.
On the other hand, he earnestly discountenanced a proposition of Colonel Bouquet, to make an irruption into the enemy's country with a strong party of regulars. Such a detachment, he observed, could not be sent without a cumbersome train of supplies, which would discover it to the enemy, who must at that time be collecting his whole force at Fort Duquesne; the enterprise, therefore, would be likely to terminate in a miscarriage, if not in the destruction of the party. We shall see that his opinion was oracular.
As Washington intended to retire from military life at the close of this campaign, he had proposed himself to the electors of Frederick County as their representative in the House of Burgesses. The election was coming on at Winchester; his friends pressed him to attend it, and Colonel Bouquet gave him leave of absence; but he declined to absent himself from his post for the promotion of his political interests. There were three competitors in the field, yet so high was the public opinion of his merit, that, though Winchester had been his head-quarters for two or three years past, and he had occasionally enforced martial law with a
The experiment was successful. "The dress takes very well here," writes Colonel Bouquet; | rigorous hand, he was elected by a large maand, thank God, we see nothing but shirts and blankets. * * * Their dress should be one pattern for this expedition." Such was probably the origin of the American rifle dress, afterwards so much worn in warfare, and modelled on the Indian costume.
jority. The election was carried on somewhat in the English style. There was much eating and drinking at the expense of the candidate. Washington appeared on the hustings by proxy, and his representative was chaired about the town with enthusiastic applause and huzzaing for Colonel Washington.
The army was now annoyed by scouting parties of Indians hovering about the neighbor- On the 21st of July arrived tidings of the hood. Expresses passing between the posts brilliant success of that part of the scheme of were fired upon; a waggoner was shot down. the year's campaign conducted by General AmWashington sent out counter-parties of Chero-herst and Admiral Boscawen, who had reduced kees. Colonel Bouquet required that each the strong town of Louisburg, and gained pos
A NEW ROAD TO FORT DUQUESNE-MARCH FOR THE FORT.
nation of the Virginia Assembly, was definitively adopted, and sixteen hundred men were immediately thrown in the advance from Raystown to work upon it.
session of the Island of Cape Breton. This | the great regret of Washington and the indigintelligence increased Washington's impatience at the delays of the expedition with which he was connected. He wished to rival these successes by a brilliant blow in the south. Perhaps a desire for personal distinction in the eyes of the lady of his choice, may have been at the bottom of this impatience; for we are told that he kept up a constant correspondence with her throughout the campaign.
The first of September found Washington still encamped at Fort Cumberland, his troops sickly and dispirited, and the brilliant expedition which he had anticipated, dwindling down into a tedious operation of road-making. In the mean time, his scouts brought him word that the whole force at Fort Duquesne on the 13th of August, Indians included, did not exceed eight hundred men: had an early cam
Understanding that the commander-in-chief had some thoughts of throwing a body of light troops in the advance, he wrote to Colonel Bouquet, earnestly soliciting his influence to have himself and his Virginia regiment in-paign been pressed forward, as he recommended, cluded in the detachment. "If any argument is needed to obtain this favor," said he, "I hope, without vanity, I may be allowed to say, that from long intimacy with these woods, and frequent scouting in them, my men are at least as well acquainted with all the passes and difficulties as any troops that will be employed."
the place by this time would have been captured. At length, in the month of September, he received orders from General Forbes to join him with his troops at Raystown, where he had just arrived, having been detained by severe illness. He was received by the general with the highest marks of respect. On all occasions, both in private and at councils of war, that commander treated his opinions with the greatest deference. He, moreover, adopted a plan drawn out by Washington for the march of the army; and an order of battle which still exists, furnishing a proof of his skill in frontier
He soon learnt to his surprise, however, that the road to which his men were accustomed, and which had been worked by Braddock's troops in his campaign, was not to be taken in the present expedition, but a new one, opened through the heart of Pennsylvania, from Raystown to Fort Duquesne, on the track generally | warfare. taken by the northern traders.
He instantly It was now the middle of September; yet the great body of men engaged in opening the new military road, after incredible toil, had not advanced about forty-five miles, to a place called Loyal Hannan, a little beyond Laurel Hill. Colonel Bouquet, who commanded the division of nearly two thousand men sent forward to open this road, had halted at Loyal Hannan to establish a military post and deposit.
commenced long and repeated remonstrances on the subject; representing that Braddock's road, from recent examination, only needed partial repairs, and showing by clear calculation that an army could each Fort Duquesne by that route in thirty-four days, so that the whole campaign might be effected by the middle of October; whereas the extreme labor of opening a new road across mountains, swamps, and through a densely wooded country, would detain them so late, that the season would be over before they could reach the scene of action. His representations were of no avail. The officers of the regular service had received a fearful idea of Braddock's road from his own despatches, wherein he had described it as lying "across mountains and rocks of an excessive height, vastly steep, and divided by torrents and rivers," whereas the Pennsylvania traders, who were anxious for the opening of the new road through their province, described the country through which it would pass as less difficult, and its streams less subject to inundation; above all, it was a direct line, and fifty miles nearer. This route, therefore, to
He was upwards of fifty miles from Fort Duquesne, and was tempted to adopt the measure, so strongly discountenanced by Washington, of sending a party on a foray into the enemy's country. He accordingly detached Major Grant with eight hundred picked men, some of them Highlanders, others in Indian garb, the part of Washington's Virginian regiment sent forward by him from Cumberland under command of Major Lewis.
The instructions given to Major Grant were merely to reconnoitre the country in the neighborhood of Fort Duquesne, and ascertain the strength and position of the enemy. He conducted the enterprise with the foolhardiness of a man eager for personal notoriety. His
FOOLHARDINESS OF GRANT-DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES.
whole object seems to have been by open bra- | plunder of the field of battle, were hastening vado to provoke an action. The enemy were in pursuit of the fugitives. Bullitt suffered apprised, through their scouts, of his approach, them to come near, when, on a concerted sigbut suffered him to advance unmolested. Ar- nal, a destructive fire was opened from behind riving at night in the neighborhood of the fort, the baggage waggons. They were checked for he posted his men on a hill, and sent out a a time; but were again pressing forward in party of observation, who set fire to a log house greater numbers, when Bullitt and his men near the walls, and returned to the encamp- held out the signal of capitulation, and adment. As if this were not sufficient to put the vanced as if to surrender. When within eight enemy on the alert, he ordered the reveille to yards of the enemy, they suddenly levelled be beaten in the morning in several places; their arms, poured a most effective volley, and then, posting Major Lewis with his provincial then charged with the bayonet. The Indians troops at a distance in the rear to protect the fled in dismay, and Bullitt took advantage of baggage, he marshalled his regulars in battle this check to retreat with all speed, collecting array, and sent an engineer, with a covering the wounded and the scattered fugitives as he party, to take a plan of the works in full view advanced. The routed detachment came back of the garrison. in fragments to Colonel Bouquet's camp at Loyal Hannan, with the loss of twenty-one officers and two hundred and seventy-three privates killed and taken. The Highlanders and the Virginians were those that fought the best and suffered the most in this bloody battle. Washington's regiment lost six officers and sixty-two privates.
Not a gun was fired by the fort; the silence which was maintained was mistaken for fear, and increased the arrogance and blind security of the British commander. At length, when he was thrown off his guard, there was a sudden sally of the garrison, and an attack on the flanks by Indians hid in ambush. A scene now occurred similar to that of the defeat of Braddock. The British officers marshalled their men according to European tactics, and the Highlanders for some time stood their ground bravely; but the destructive fire and horrid yells of the Indians soon produced panic and confusion. Major Lewis, at the first noise of the attack, left Captain Bullitt, with fifty Virginians, to guard the baggage, and hastened with the main part of his men to the scene of action. The contest was kept up for some time, but the confusion was irretrievable. The Indians sallied from their concealment, and attacked with the tomahawk and scalping-knife. Lewis fought hand to hand with an Indian brave, whom he laid dead at his feet, but was surrounded by others, and only saved his life by surrendering himself to a French officer. Major Grant surrendered himself in like manner. The whole detachment was put to the rout with dreadful carnage.
Captain Bullitt rallied several of the fugitives, and prepared to make a forlorn stand, as the only chance where the enemy was overwhelming and merciless. Despatching the most valuable baggage with the strongest horses, he made a barricade with the baggage waggons, behind which he posted his men, giving them orders how they were to act. All this was the thought and the work almost of a moment, for the savages, having finished the havoc and
If Washington could have taken any pride in seeing his presages of misfortune verified, he might have been gratified by the result of this rash "irruption into the enemy's country," which was exactly what he had predicted. In his letters to Governor Fauquier, however, he bears lightly on the error of Col. Bouquet. "From all accounts I can collect," says he, "it appears very clear that this was a very illconcerted, or a very ill-executed plan, perhaps both; but it seems to be generally acknowledged that Major Grant exceeded his orders, and that no disposition was made for engaging."
Washington, who was at Raystown when the disastrous news arrived, was publicly complimented by General Forbes, on the gallant conduct of his Virginian troops, and Bullitt's behavior was "a matter of great admiration." The latter was soon after rewarded with a major's commission.
As a further mark of the high opinion now entertained of provincial troops for frontier service, Washington was given the command of a division, partly composed of his own men, to keep in the advance of the main body, clear the roads, throw out scouting parties, and repel Indian attacks.
It was the 5th of November before the whole army assembled at Loyal Hannan. Winter was now at hand, and upwards of fifty miles of
FORT DUQUESNE ABANDONED-WASHINGTON'S MARRIAGE.
wilderness were yet to be traversed, by a road | veterans assisted; with heavy hearts and frenot yet formed, before they could reach Fort quent ejaculations of poignant feeling, who had Duquesne. Again, Washington's predictions been present in the scenes of defeat and carseemed likely to be verified, and the expedition nage. to be defeated by delay; for in a council of war, it was determined to be impracticable to advance further with the army that season. Three prisoners, however, who were brought in, gave such an account of the weak state of the garrison at Fort Duquesne, its want of provisions, and the defection of the Indians, that it was determined to push forward. The march was accordingly resumed, but without tents or baggage, and with only a light train of artillery.
Washington still kept the advance. After leaving Loyal Hannan, the road presented traces of the late defeat of Grant; being strewed with human bones, the sad relics of fugitives cut down by the Indians, or of wounded soldiers who had died on the retreat; they lay mouldering in various stages of decay, mingled with the bones of horses and of oxen. As they approached Fort Duquesne, these mementoes of former disasters became more frequent; and the bones of those massacred in the defeat of Braddock, still lay scattered about the battle field, whitening in the sun.
At length the army arrived in sight of Fort Duquesne, advancing with great precaution, and expecting a vigorous defence; but that formidable fortress, the terror and scourge of the frontier, and the object of such warlike enterprise, fell without a blow. The recent successes of the English forces in Canada, particularly the capture and destruction of Fort Frontenac, had left the garrison without hope of reinforcements and supplies. The whole force, at the time, did not exceed five hundred men, and the provisions were nearly exhausted. The commander, therefore, waited only until the English army was within one day's march, when he embarked his troops at night in bateaux, blew up his magazines, set fire to the fort, and retreated down the Ohio, by the light of the flames. On the 25th of November, Washington, with the advanced guard, marched in, and planted the British flag on the yet smoking ruins.
One of the first offices of the army was to collect and bury, in one common tomb, the bones of their fellow-soldiers who had fallen in the battles of Braddock and Grant. In this pious duty it is said every one joined, from the general down to the private soldier; and some
The ruins of the fortress were now put in a defensible state, and garrisoned by two hundred men from Washington's regiment; the name was changed to that of Fort Pitt, in honor of the illustrious British minister, whose measures had given vigor and effect to this year's campaign; it has since been modified into Pittsburg, and designates one of the most busy and populous cities of the interior.
The reduction of Fort Duquesne terminated, as Washington had foreseen, the troubles and dangers of the southern frontier. The French domination of the Ohio was at an end; the Indians, as usual, paid homage to the conquering power, and a treaty of peace was concluded with all the tribes between the Ohio and the lakes.
With this campaign ended, for the present, the military career of Washington. His great object was attained, the restoration of quiet and security to his native province; and, having abandoned all hope of attaining rank in the regular army, and his health being much impaired, he gave up his commission at the close of the year, and retired from the service, followed by the applause of his fellow-soldiers, and the gratitude and admiration of all his countrymen.
His marriage with Mrs. Custis took place shortly after his return. It was celebrated on the 6th of January, 1759, at the White House, the residence of the bride, in the good old hospitable style of Virginia, amid a joyous assemblage of relatives and friends.
BEFORE following Washington into the retirement of domestic life, we think it proper to notice the events which closed the great struggle between England and France for empire in America. In that struggle he had first become practised in arms, and schooled in the ways of the world; and its results will be found connected with the history of his later years.
General Abercrombie had been superseded as commander-in-chief of the forces in America by Major-General Amherst, who had gained great favor by the reduction of Louisburg.
FORT NIAGARA TAKEN-AMHERST AT TICONDEROGA.
According to the plan of operations for 1759, | within the thundering sound of the one, and
A third expedition, under Brigadier-General Prideaux, aided by Sir William Johnson and his Indian warriors, was to attack Fort Niagara, which controlled the whole country of the Six Nations, and commanded the navigation of the great lakes, and the intercourse between Canada and Louisiana. Having reduced this fort, he was to traverse Lake Ontario, descend the St. Lawrence, capture Montreal, and join his forces with those of Amherst.
The last-mentioned expedition was the first executed. General Prideaux embarked at Oswego on the first of July, with a large body of troops, regulars and provincials,-the latter partly from New York. He was accompanied by Sir William Johnson, and his Indian braves of the Mohawk. Landing at an inlet of Lake Ontario, within a few miles of Fort Niagara, he advanced, without being opposed, and proceeded to invest it. The garrison, six hundred strong, made a resolute defence. The siege was carried on by regular approaches, but pressed with vigor. On the 20th of July, Prideaux, in visiting his trenches, was killed by the bursting of a cohorn. Informed by express of this misfortune, General Amherst detached from the main army Brigadier-General Gage, the officer who had led Braddock's advance, to take the command.
In the mean time, the siege had been conducted by Sir William Johnson with courage and sagacity. He was destitute of military science, but had a natural aptness for warfare, especially for the rough kind carried on in the wilderness. Being informed by his scouts that twelve hundred regular troops, drawn from Detroit, Venango, and Presque Isle, and led by D'Aubry, with a number of Indian auxiliaries, were hastening to the rescue, he detached a force of grenadiers and light infantry, with some of his Mohawk warriors, to intercept them. They came in sight of each other on the road between Niagara Falls and the fort,
the distant view of the other. Johnson's "braves" advanced to have a parley with the hostile redskins. The latter received them with a war-whoop, and Frenchman and savage made an impetuous onset. Johnson's regulars and provincials stood their ground firmly, while his red warriors fell on the flanks of the enemy. After a sharp conflict, the French were broken, routed, and pursued through the woods, with great carnage. Among the prisoners taken were seventeen officers. The next day Sir William Johnson sent a trumpet, summoning the garrison to surrender, to spare the effusion of blood, and prevent outrages by the Indians. They had no alternative; were permitted to march out with the honors of war, and were protected by Sir William from his Indian allies. Thus was secured the key to the communication between Lakes Ontario and Erie, and to the vast interior region connected with them. The blow alarmed the French for the safety of Montreal, and De Levi, the second in command of their Canadian forces, hastened up from before Quebec, and took post at the fort of Oswegatchie (now Ogdensburg), to defend the passes of the St. Lawrence.
We now proceed to notice the expedition against Ticonderoga and Crown Point. In the month of July, General Amherst embarked with nearly twelve thousand men, at the upper part of Lake George, and proceeded down it, as Abercrombie had done in the preceding year, in a vast fleet of whale-boats, bateaux, and rafts, and all the glitter and parade of war. On the 22d, the army debarked at the lower part of the lake, and advanced toward Ticonderoga. After a slight skirmish with the advanced guard, they secured the old post at the saw-mill.
Montcalm was no longer in the fort; he was absent for the protection of Quebec. The garrison did not exceed four hundred men. Bourlamarque, a brave officer, who commanded, at first seemed disposed to make defence; but, against such overwhelming force, it would have been madness. Dismantling the fortifications, therefore, he abandoned them, as he did likewise those at Crown Point, and retreated down the lake, to assemble forces, and make a stand at the Isle Aux Noix, for the protection of Montreal and the province.
Instead of following him up, and hastening to co-operate with Wolfe, General Amherst: proceeded to repair the works at Ticonderoga,