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[1754.

DINWIDDIE'S MILITARY MEASURES-WASHINGTON QUITS THE SERVICE. descend upon the French and take Fort Du- | infatuation in all the assemblies in this part of quesne at a single blow; or, failing that, might the world." In a letter to the Board of Trade build a rival fort in its vicinity. He accord- he declared that the only way effectually to ingly wrote to Washington to march forthwith check the progress of the French, would be an for Wills' Creek, with such companies as were act of parliament requiring the colonies to concomplete, leaving orders with the officers to tribute to the common cause, independently of follow as soon as they should have enlisted assemblies; and in an another, to the Secretary men sufficient to make up their companies. of State, he urged the policy of compelling the "The season of the year," added he, "calls for colonies to their duty to the king by a general despatch. I depend upon your usual diligence poll-tax of two and sixpence a head. The and spirit to encourage your people to be active worthy governor would have made a fitting on this occasion." counsellor for the Stuart dynasty. Subsequent events have shown how little his policy was suited to compete with the dawning republicanism of America.

The ignorance of Dinwiddie in military affairs, and his want of forecast, led him perpetually into blunders. Washington saw the rashness of an attempt to dispossess the French with a force so inferior that it could be harassed and driven from place to place at their pleasure. Before the troops could be collected, and munitions of war provided, the season would be too far advanced. There would be no forage for the horses; the streams would be swollen and unfordable; the mountains rendered impassable by snow, and frost, and slippery roads. The men, too, unused to campaigning on the frontier, would not be able to endure a winter in the wilderness, with no better shelter than a tent; especially in their present condition, destitute of almost every thing. Such are a few of the cogent reasons urged by Washington in a letter to his friend William Fairfax, then in the House of Burgesses, which no doubt was shown to Governor Dinwiddie, and probably had an effect in causing the rash project to be abandoned.

In the month of October the House of Burgesses made a grant of twenty thousand pounds for the public service; and ten thousand more were sent out from England, beside a supply of firearms. The governor now applied himself to military matters with renewed spirit; increased the actual force to ten companies; and, as there had been difficulties among the different kinds of troops with regard to precedence, he reduced them all to independent companies; so that there would be no officer in a Virginia regiment above the rank of captain.

This shrewd measure, upon which Dinwiddie secretly prided himself as calculated to put an end to the difficulties in question, immediately drove Washington out of the service; considering it derogatory to his character to accept a lower commission than that under which his conduct had gained him a vote of thanks from the Legislature.

Governor Sharpe, of Maryland, appointed by the king commander-in-chief of all the forces engaged against the French, sought to secure his valuable services, and authorized Colonel Fitzhugh, whom he had placed in temporary command of the army, to write to him to that effect. The reply of Washington (15th Nov.) is full of dignity and spirit, and shows how deeply he felt his military degradation.

The governor, in truth, was sorely perplexed about this time by contradictions and crosspurposes, both in military and civil affairs. A body of three hundred and fifty North Carolinian troops had been enlisted at high pay, and were to form the chief reinforcement of Colonel Innes at Wills' Creek. By the time they reached Winchester, however, the provincial military chest was exhausted, and future pay seemed uncertain; whereupon they refused to serve any longer, disbanded themselves tumultuously, and set off for their homes without tak-commission. This idea has filled me with suring leave.

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"You make mention," says he, "of my continuing in the service and retaining my colonel's

prise; for if you think me capable of holding a commission that has neither rank nor emolument annexed to it, you must maintain a very contemptible opinion of my weakness, and believe me more empty than the commission itself." After intimating a suspicion that the project of reducing the regiment into independent companies, and thereby throwing out the

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ET. 22.]

QUESTIONS OF RANK-LA FORCE-STOBO AND VAN BRAAM.

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higher officers, was "generated and hatched at | considered himself justifiable in detaining those Wills' Creek,"-in other words, was an expedi- Frenchmen which he had in his custody. He ent of Governor Dinwiddie, instead of being a sent a flag of truce, however, offering to return peremptory order from England, he adds, "In- the officer Drouillon, and the two cadets, in genuous treatment and plain dealing I at least exchange for Captains Stobo and Van Braam, expected. It is to be hoped the project will whom the French held as hostages; but his answer; it shall meet my acquiescence in every offer was treated with merited disregard. thing except personal services. I herewith in- Washington felt deeply mortified by this obclose Governor Sharpe's letter, which I beg you tuseness of the governor on a point of military will return to him with my acknowledgments punctilio and honorable faith, but his remonfor the favor he intended me. Assure him, sir, strances were unavailing. as you truly may, of my reluctance to quit the service, and the pleasure I should have received in attending his fortunes. Inform him, also, that it was to obey the call of honor and the advice of my friends that I declined it, and not to gratify any desire I had to leave the military line. My feelings are strongly bent to

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Even had Washington hesitated to take this step, it would have been forced upon him by a further regulation of government, in the course of the ensuing winter, settling the rank of officers of his majesty's forces when joined or serving with the provincial forces in North America, "which directed that all such as were commissioned by the king, or by his general commander-in-chief in North America, should take rank of all officers commissioned by the governors of the respective provinces. And further, that the general and field officers of the provincial troops should have no rank when serving with the general and field officers commissioned by the crown; but that all captains and other inferior officers of the royal troops should take rank over provincial officers of the same grade, having older commissions."

The French prisoners were clothed and maintained at the public expense, and Drouillon and the cadets were allowed to go at large; the private soldiers were kept in confinement. La Force, also, not having acted in a military capacity, and having offended against the peace and security of the frontier, by his intrigues among the Indians, was kept in close durance. Washington, who knew nothing of this, was shocked on visiting Williamsburg, to learn that La Force was in prison. He expostulated with the governor on the subject, but without effect; Dinwiddie was at all times pertinacious, but particularly so when he felt himself to be a little in the wrong.

As we shall have no further occasion to mention La Force, in connection with the subject of this work, we will anticipate a page of his fortunes. After remaining two years in confinement he succeeded in breaking out of prison, and escaping into the country. An alarm was given, and circulated far and wide, for such was the opinion of his personal strength, desperate courage, wily cunning, and great influence over the Indians, that the most mischievous results were apprehended should he regain the frontier. In the mean time he was wandering about the country, ignorant of the roads, and fearing to make inquiries, lest his foreign tongue should betray him. He reached King and Queen Court House, about thirty miles from Williamsburg, when a countryman was struck with his foreign air and aspect. La Force ventured to put a question as to the distance and direction of Fort Duquesne, and his broken English convinced the countryman of his being the French prisoner, whose escape Another cause of vexation to Washington had been noised about the country. Watching was the refusal of Governor Dinwiddie to give an opportunity he seized him, and regardless up the French prisoners, taken in the affair of of offers of great bribes, conducted him back De Jumonville, in fulfilment of the articles of to the prison of Williamsburg, where he was capitulation. His plea was, that since the ca-secured with double irons, and chained to the pitulation, the French had taken several British floor of his dungeon. subjects, and sent them prisoners to Canada, he

These regulations, originating in that supercilious assumption of superiority which sometimes overruns and degrades true British pride, would have been spurned by Washington, as insulting to the character and conduct of his high-minded brethren of the colonies. How much did this open disparagement of colonial honor and understanding, contribute to wean from England the affection of her American subjects, and prepare the way for their ultimate assertion of independence.

The refusal of Governor Dinwiddie to fulfil

52

WASHINGTON'S RETURN TO QUIET LIFE-MILITARY PREPARATIONS.

the article of the capitulation respecting the prisoners, and the rigorous treatment of La Force, operated hardly upon the hostages, Stobo and Van Braam, who, in retaliation, were confined in prison in Quebec, though otherwise treated with kindness. They, also, by extraordinary efforts, succeeded in breaking prison, but found it more difficult to evade the sentries of a fortified place. Stobo managed to escape into the country; but the luckless Van Braam sought concealment under an arch of a causeway leading from the fortress. Here he remained until nearly exhausted by hunger. Seeing the Governor of Canada passing by, and desparing of being able to effect his escape, he came forth from his hiding place, and surrendered himself, invoking his clemency. He was remanded to prison, but experienced no additional severity. He was subsequently shipped by the governor from Quebec to England, and never returned to Virginia. It is this treatment of Van Braam, more than any thing else, which convinces us that the suspicion of his being in collusion with the French in regard to the misinterpretation of the articles of capitulation, was groundless. He was simply a blunderer.

CHAPTER XIV.

HAVING resigned his commission, and disengaged himself from public affairs, Washington's first care was to visit his mother, inquire into the state of domestic concerns, and attend to the welfare of his brothers and sisters. In these matters he was ever his mother's adjunct and counsellor, discharging faithfully the duties of an eldest son, who should consider himself a second father to the family.

He now took up his abode at Mount Vernon, and prepared to engage in those agricultural pursuits, for which, even in his youthful days, he had as keen a relish as for the profession of arms. Scarcely had he entered upon his rural occupations, however, when the service of his country once more called him to the field.

[1755.

the court of St. James, the Marquis de Mirepoix, on the faith of his instructions, gave the same assurances. In the mean time, however, French ships were fitted out, and troops embarked, to carry out the schemes of the governinent in America. So profound was the dissimulation of the court of Versailles, that even their own ambassador is said to have been kept in ignorance of their real designs, and of the hostile game they were playing, while he was exerting himself in good faith, to lull the suspicions of England, and maintain the international peace. When his eyes, however, were opened, he returned indignantly to France, and upbraided the cabinet with the duplicity of which he had been made the unconscious instrument.

The British government now prepared for military operations in America; none of them professedly aggressive, but rather to resist and counteract aggressions. A plan of campaign was devised for 1755, having four objects.

To eject the French from lands which they held unjustly, in the province of Nova Scotia. To dislodge them from a fortress which they had erected at Crown Point, on Lake Champlain, within what was claimed as British territory.

To dispossess them of the fort which they had constructed at Niagara, between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

To drive them from the frontiers of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and recover the valley of the Ohio.

The Duke of Cumberland, captain-general of the British army, had the organization of this campaign; and through his patronage, Major-general Edward Braddock was intrusted with the execution of it, being appointed generalissimo of all the forces in the colonies.

Braddock was a veteran in service, and had been upwards of forty years in the guards, that school of exact discipline and technical punctilio. Cumberland, who held a commission in the guards, and was bigoted to its routine, may have considered Braddock fitted, by his skill and preciseness as a tactician, for a command in a new country, inexperienced in military science, to bring its raw levies into order, and to settle those questions of rank and etiquette apt to arise where regular and provincial troops are to act together.

The disastrous affair at Great Meadows, and the other acts of French hostility on the Ohio, had aroused the attention of the British ministry. Their ambassador at Paris was instructed to complain of those violations of the peace. The court of Versailles amused him with general assurances of amity, and a strict The result proved the error of such an adherence to treaties. Their ambassador at | opinion. Braddock was a brave and experi

ET. 23.]

ST. CLAIR'S TOUR OF INSPECTION-INDIAN ALLIES.

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enced officer; but his experience was. that of | had no money at his command, and was
routine, and rendered him pragmatical and obliged, for expenses, to apply to his Assem-
obstinate, impatient of novel expedients "not
laid down in the books," but dictated by emer-
gencies in a new country," and his military
precision, which would have been brilliant on
parade, was a constant obstacle to alert action
in the wilderness.*

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Braddock was to lead in person the grand enterprise of the campaign, that destined for the frontiers of Virginia and Pennsylvania; it was the enterprise in which Washington became enlisted, and, therefore, claims our special attention.

Prior to the arrival of Braddock, came out. from England Lieutenant-colonel Sir John St. Clair, deputy quartermaster-general, eager to make himself acquainted with the field of operations. He made a tour of inspection, in company with Governor Sharpe, of Maryland, and appears to have been dismayed at sight of the impracticable wilderness, the region of Washington's campaign. From Fort Cumberland, he wrote in February to Governor Morris, of Pennsylvania, to have the road cut, or repaired towards the head of the river Youghiogeny, and another opened from Philadelphia for the transportation of supplies. "No general," ," writes he, "will advance with an army without having a communication open to the provinces in his rear, both for the security of retreat, and to facilitate the transport of provisions, the supplying of which must greatly depend on your province."+

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bly, "a set of men," writes he, "quite unac-
quainted with every kind of military service,
and exceedingly unwilling to part with money
on any terms." However, by dint of exer-
tions, he procured the appointment of com-
missioners to explore the country, and survey
and lay out the roads required. At the head
of the commission was George Croghan, the
Indian trader, whose mission to the Twight-
wees we have already spoken of. Times had
gone hard with Croghan. The French had
seized great quantities of his goods. The
Indians, with whom he traded, had failed to
pay their debts, and he had become a bank-
rupt. Being an efficient agent on the frontier,
and among the Indians, he still enjoyed the
patronage of the Pennsylvania government.
When Sir John St. Clair had finished his
tour of inspection, he descended Wills' Creek
and the Potomac for two hundred miles in a
canoe to Alexandria, and repaired to Virginia
to meet General Braddock. The latter had
landed on the 20th of February at Hampton,
in Virginia, and proceeded to Williamsburg to
consult with Governor Dinwiddie. Shortly
afterwards he was joined there by Commodore
Keppel, whose squadron of two ships-of-war,
and several transports, had anchored in the
Chesapeake. On board of these ships were
two prime regiments of about five hun-
dred men each; one commanded by Sir
Peter Halket, the other by Colonel Dunbar;

Unfortunately the governor of Pennsylvania together with a train of artillery, and the

* Horace Walpole, in his letters, relates some anecdotes of Braddock, which give a familiar picture of him in the

fashionable life in which he had mingled in London, and are of value, as letting us into the private character of a man whose name has become proverbial in American

history. "Braddock," says Walpole, "is a very Iroquois in disposition. He had a sister, who, having gamed away all her little fortune at Bath, hanged herself with a truly English deliberation, leaving a note on the table with these lines: To die is landing on some silent shore,' &c. When Braddock was told of it, he only said: 'Poor Fanny! I always thought she would play till she would be forced to tuck herself up.'"

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Braddock himself had been somewhat of a spendthrift. He was touchy also, and punctilious. "He once had a duel," says Walpole, "with Colonel Glumley, Lady Bath's brother, who had been his great friend. As they were going to engage, Glumley, who had good humor and wit (Braddock had the latter) said: Braddock, you are a poor dog here, take my purse, if you kill me you will be forced to run away, and then you will not have a shilling to support you." Braddock refused the purse, insisted on the duel, was disarmed, and would not even ask for his life."

↑ Colonial Records, vi. 300.

necessary munitions of war. The regiments
were to be augmented to seven hundred men
each, by men selected by Sir John St. Clair
from Virginia companies recently raised.

Alexandria was fixed upon as the place
where the troops should disembark, and en-
camp. The ships were accordingly ordered
up to that place, and the levies directed to
repair thither.

The plan of the campaign included the use of Indian allies. Governor Dinwiddie had already sent Christopher Gist, the pioneer, Washington's guide in 1753, to engage the Cherokees and Catawbas, the bravest of the southern tribes, who he had no doubt would take up the hatchet for the English, peace being first concluded, through the mediation of his government, between them and the Six Nations; and he gave Braddock reason to expect at least four hundred Indians to join

54

MILITARY PLANS-A SITUATION IN THE STAFF.

him at Fort Cumberland. He laid before him also contracts that he had made for cattle, and promises that the Assembly of Pennsylvania had made of flour; these, with other supplies, and a thousand barrels of beef on board of the transports, would furnish six months' provisions for four thousand men.

General Braddock apprehended difficulty in procuring waggons and horses sufficient to attend him in his march. Sir John St. Clair, in the course of his tour of inspection, had met with two Dutch settlers, at the foot of the Blue Ridge, who engaged to furnish two hundred waggons, and fifteen hundred carrying horses, to be at Fort Cumberland early in May.

Governor Sharpe was to furnish above a hundred waggons for the transportation of stores, on the Maryland side of the Potomac.

Keppel furnished four cannons from his ships, for the attack on Fort Duquesne, and thirty picked seamen to assist in dragging them over the mountains; for "soldiers," said he, "cannot be as well acquainted with the nature of purchases, and making use of tackle, as seamen." They were to aid also in passing the troops and artillery on floats or in boats, across the rivers, and were under the command of a midshipman and lieutenant.*

"Every thing," writes Captain Robert Orme, one of the general's aides-de-camp, "seemed to promise so far the greatest success. The transports all arrived safe, and the men in health. Provisions, Indians, carriages, and horses, were already provided; at least were to be esteemed so, considering the authorities on which they were promised to the general."

Trusting to these arrangements, Braddock proceeded to Alexandria. The troops had all been disembarked before his arrival, and the Virginia levies selected by Sir John St. Clair, to join the regiments of regulars, were arrived. There were besides two companies of hatchet men, or carpenters; six of rangers; and one troop of light horse. The levies, having been clothed, were ordered to march immediately for Winchester, to be armed, and the general gave them in charge of an ensign of the 44th, "to make them as like soldiers as possible."+ The light horse were retained by the general as his escort and body guard.

Keppel's Life of Keppel, p. 205. Orme's Journal.

[1755.

The din and stir of warlike preparation disturbed the quiet of Mount Vernon. Washington looked down from his rural retreat upon the ships of war and transports, as they passed up the Potomac, with the array of arms gleaming along their decks. The booming of cannon echoed among his groves. Alexandria was but a few miles distant. Occasionally he mounted his horse, and rode to that place; it was like a garrisoned town, teeming with troops, and resounding with the drum and fife. A brilliant campaign was about to open under the auspices of an experienced general, and with all the means and appurtenances of European warfare. How different from the starveling expeditions he had hitherto been doomed to conduct! What an opportunity to efface the memory of his recent disaster! All his thoughts of rural life were put to flight. The military part of his character was again in the ascendant; his great desire was to join the expedition as a volunteer.

It was reported to General Braddock. The latter was apprised by Governor Dinwiddie and others, of Washington's personal merits, his knowledge of the country, and his experience in frontier service. The consequence was, a letter from Captain Robert Orme, one of Braddock's aides-de-camp, written by the general's order, inviting Washington to join his staff; the letter concluded with frank and cordial expressions of esteem on the part of Orme, which were warmly reciprocated, and laid the foundation of a soldierlike friendship between them.

A volunteer situation on the staff of General Braddock offered no emolument nor command, and would be attended with considerable expense, besides a sacrifice in his private interests, having no person in whom he had confidence, to take charge of his affairs in his absence, still he did not hesitate a moment to accept the invitation. In the position offered to him, all the questions of military rank which had hitherto annoyed him, would be obviated. He could indulge his passion for arms without any sacrifice of dignity, and he looked forward with high anticipation to an opportunity of acquiring military experience in a corps well organized, and thoroughly disciplined, and in the family of a commander of acknowledged skill as a tactician.

His mother heard with concern of another projected expedition into the wilderness. Hurrying to Mount Vernon, she entreated him

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