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mount his horse, he set off with the escort in | ventured to suggest, that on the following day a covered waggon; and after a most fatiguing the Virginia rangers, being accustomed to the journey, over mountain and through forest, country and to Indian warfare, might be thrown reached Braddock's camp on the 8th of July. in the advance. The proposition drew an It was on the east side of the Monongahela, angry reply from the general, indignant, very about two miles from the river, in the neighbor- probably, that a young provincial officer should hood of the town of Queen Aliquippa, and presume to school a veteran like himself. about fifteen miles from Fort Duquesne.

Early next morning (July 9th), before daylight, Colonel Gage crossed with the advance. He was followed, at some distance, by Sir John St. Clair, quartermaster-general, with a work

make roads for the artillery and baggage. They had with them their waggons of tools, and two six-pounders. A party of about thirty savages rushed out of the woods as Colonel Gage advanced, but were put to flight before they had done any harm.

In consequence of adhering to technical rules and military forms, General Braddock had consumed a month in marching little more than a hundred miles. The tardiness of his progressing party of two hundred and fifty men, to was regarded with surprise and impatience even in Europe; where his patron, the Duke of Brunswick, was watching the events of the campaign he had planned. "The Duke," writes Horace Walpole, "is much dissatisfied at the slowness of General Braddock, who does not march as if he was at all impatient to be scalped." The insinuation of the satirical wit was unmerited. Braddock was a stranger to fear; but in his movements he was fettered by system.

Washington was warmly received on his arrival, especially by his fellow aides-de-camp, Morris and Orme. He was just in time, for the attack upon Fort Duquesne was to be made on the following day. The neighboring country had been reconnoitred, to determine upon a plan of attack. The fort stood on the same side of the Monongahela with the camp; but there was a narrow pass between them of about two miles, with the river on the left and a very high mountain on the right, and in its present state quite impassable for carriages. The route determined on was to cross the Monongahela by a ford immediately opposite to the camp; proceed along the west bank of the river, for about five miles, then recross by another ford to the eastern side, and push on to the fort. The river at these fords was shallow, and the banks were not steep.

According to the plan of arrangement, Lieutenant-Colonel Gage, with the advance, was to cross the river before daybreak, march to the second ford, and recrossing there, take post to secure the passage of the main force. The advance was to be composed of two companies of grenadiers, one hundred and sixty infantry, the independent company of Captain Horatio Gates, and two six-pounders.

Washington, who had already seen enough of regular troops to doubt their infallibility in wild bush-fighting, and who knew the dangerous nature of the ground they were to traverse,

By sunrise the main body turned out in full uniform. At the beating of the general, their arms, which had been cleaned the night before, were charged with fresh cartridges. The officers were perfectly equipped. All looked as if arrayed for a fête, rather than a battle. Washington, who was still weak and unwell, mounted his horse, and joined the staff of the general, who was scutinizing every thing with the eye of a martinet. As it was supposed the enemy would be on the watch for the crossing of the troops, it had been agreed that they should do it in the greatest order, with bayonets fixed, colors flying, and drums and fifes beating and playing.* They accordingly made a gallant appearance as they forded the Monongahela, and wound along its banks, and through the open forests, gleaming and glittering in morning sunshine, and stepping buoyantly to the Grenadier's March.

Washington, with his keen and youthful relish for military affairs, was delighted with their perfect order and equipment, so different from the rough bush-fighters, to which he had been accustomed. Roused to new life, he forgot his recent ailments, and broke forth in expressions of enjoyment and admiration, as he rode in company with his fellow aides-de-camp, Orme and Morris. Often, in after life, he used to speak of the effect upon him of the first sight of a well-disciplined European army, marching in high confidence and bright array, on the eve of a battle.

About noon they reached the second ford. Gage, with the advance, was on the opposite

* Orme's Journal




side of the Monongahela, posted according to | hundred strong. The residue, four hundred, orders; but the river bank had not been suffi- were halted, and posted to protect the artillery ciently sloped. The artillery and baggage drew and baggage. up along the beach and halted until one, when the second crossing took place, drums beating, fifes playing, and colors flying, as before. When all had passed, there was again a halt close by a small stream called Frazier's Run, until the general arranged the order of march.

First went the advance, under Gage, preceded by the engineers and guides, and six light horse


Then, Sir John St. Clair and the working party, with their waggons and the two sixpounders. On each side were thrown out four flanking parties.

Then, at some distance, the general was to follow with the main body, the artillery and baggage preceded and flanked by light horse and squads of infantry; while the Virginian, and other provincial troops, were to form the rear guard.

The ground before them was level until about half a mile from the river, where a rising ground covered with long grass, low bushes, and scattered trees, sloped gently up to a range of hills. The whole country, generally speaking, was a forest, with no clear opening but the road, which was about twelve feet wide, and flanked by two ravines, concealed by trees and thickets.

Had Braddock been schooled in the warfare of the woods, or had he adopted the suggestions of Washington, which he rejected so impatiently, he would have thrown out Indian scouts or Virginia rangers in the advance, and on the flanks, to beat up the woods and ravines; but, as has been sarcastically observed, he suffered his troops to march forward through the centre of the plain, with merely their usual guides and flanking parties, as if in a review in St. James's Park."

It was now near two o'clock. The advanced party and the working party had crossed the plain, and were ascending the rising ground. Braddock was about to follow with the main body, and had given the word to march, when he heard an excessively quick and heavy firing in front. Washington, who was with the general, surmised that the evil he had apprehended had come to pass. For want of scouting parties ahead the advance parties were suddenly and warmly attacked. Braddock ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Burton to hasten to their assistance with the vanguard of the main body, eight

The firing continued, with fearful yelling. There was a terrible uproar. By the general's orders, an aide-de-camp spurred forward to bring him an account of the nature of the attack. Without waiting for his return the general himself, finding the turmoil increase, moved forward, leaving Sir Peter Halket with the command of the baggage.*

The van of the advance had indeed been taken by surprise. It was composed of two companies of carpenters or pioneers to cut the road, and two flank companies of grenadiers to protect them. Suddenly the engineer who preceded them to mark out the road gave the alarm, "French and Indians!" A body of them was approaching rapidly, cheered on by a Frenchman in gaily fringed hunting-shirt, whose gorget showed him to be an officer. There was sharp firing on both sides at first. Several of the enemy fell; among them their leader; but a murderous fire broke out from among trees and a ravine on the right, and the woods resounded with unearthly whoops and yellings. The Indian rifle was at work, levelled by unseen hands. Most of the grenadiers and many of the pioneers were shot down. The survivors were driven in on the ad


Gage ordered his men to fix bayonets and form in order of battle. They did so in hurry and trepidation. He would have scaled a hill on the right whence there was the severest firing. Not a platoon would quit the line of march. They were more dismayed by the yells than by the rifles of the unseen savages. The latter extended themselves along the hill and in the ravines; but their whereabouts was only known by their demoniac cries and the puffs of smoke from their rifles. The soldiers fired wherever they saw the smoke. Their officers tried in vain to restrain them until they should see their foe. All orders were unheeded; in their fright they shot at random, killing some of their own flanking parties, and of the vanguard, as they came running in. The covert fire grew more intense. In a short time most of the officers and many of the men of the advance were killed or wounded. Colonel Gage himself received a wound. The advance fell back in dismay upon Sir John St. Clair's corps,

* Orme's Journal.

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which was equally dismayed. The cannon be- | rear. longing to it were deserted.

Colonel Burton had come up with the reinforcement, and was forming his men to face the rising ground on the right, when both of the advanced detachments fell back upon him, and all now was confusion.

By this time the general was upon the ground. He tried to rally the men. "They would fight," they said, "if they could see their enemy; but it was useless to fire at trees and bushes, and they could not stand to be shot down by an invisible foe."

The colors were advanced in different places to separate the men of the two regiments. The general ordered the officers to form the men, tell them off into small divisions, and advance with them; but the soldiers could not be prevailed upon either by threats or entreaties. The Virginia troops, accustomed. to the Indian mode of fighting, scattered themselves, and took post behind trees, whence they could pick off the lurking foe. In this way they, in some degree, protected the regulars. Washington advised General Braddock to adopt the same plan with the regulars; but he persisted in forming them into platoons; consequently they were cut down from behind logs and trees as fast as they could advance. Several attempted to take to the trees, without orders, but the general stormed at them, called them cowards, and even struck them with the flat of his sword. Several of the Virginians who had taken post and were doing good service in this manner, were slain by the fire of the regulars, directed wherever a smoke appeared among the trees.

The officers behaved with consummate bravery; and Washington beheld with admiration those who, in camp or on the march, had appeared to him to have an almost effeminate regard for personal ease and convenience, now exposing themselves to imminent death, with a courage that kindled with the thickening hor

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Between friend and foe, the slaughter of the officers was terrible. All this while the woods resounded with the unearthly yellings of the savages, and now and then one of them, hideously painted, and ruffling with feathered crest, would rush forth to scalp an officer who had fallen, or seize a horse galloping wildly without a rider.

Throughout this disastrous day, Washington distinguished himself by his courage and presence of mind. His brother aids, Orme and Morris, were wounded and disabled early in the action, and the whole duty of carrying the orders of the general devolved on him. His danger was imminent and incessant. He was in every part of the field, a conspicuous mark for the murderous rifle. Two horses were shot under him. Four bullets passed through his coat. His escape without a wound was almost miraculous. Dr. Craik, who was on the field attending to the wounded, watched him with anxiety as he rode about in the most exposed manner, and used to say that he expected every moment to see him fall. At one time he was sent to the main body to bring the artillery into action. All there was likewise in confusion; for the Indians had extended themselves along the ravine so as to flank the reserve and carry slaughter into the ranks. Sir Peter Halket had been shot down at the head of his regiment. The men who should have served the guns were paralyzed. Had they raked the ravines with grapeshot the day might have been saved. In his ardor Washington sprang from his horse; wheeled and pointed a brass field-piece with his own hand, and directed an effective discharge into the woods; but neither his efforts nor example were of avail. The men could not be kept to the guns.

Braddock still remained in the centre of the field, in the desperate hope of retrieving the fortunes of the day. The Virginia rangers, who had been most efficient in covering his position, were nearly all killed or wounded, His secretary, Shirley, had fallen by his side. Many of his officers had been slain within his sight, and many of his guard of Virginia light horse. Five horses had been killed under him; still he kept his ground, vainly endeavoring to check the flight of his men, or at least to effect their retreat in good order. At length a bullet passed through his right arm, and lodged itself in his lungs. He fell from his horse, but was caught by Captain Stewart of the Virginia guards, who, with the assistance of another American




and a servant, placed him in a tumbril. It was | waggons for the wounded, under the escort of with much difficulty they got him out of the two grenadier companies. It was a hard and field-in his despair he desired to be left there.* a melancholy ride throughout the night and the The rout now became complete. Baggage, following day. The tidings of the defeat prestores, artillery, every thing was abandoned. ceded him, borne by the waggoners, who had The waggoners took each a horse out of his mounted their horses, on Braddock's fall, and team, and fled. The officers were swept off fled from the field of battle. They had arrived, with the men in this headlong flight. It was haggard, at Dunbar's camp at mid-day; the Inrendered more precipitate by the shouts and dian yell still ringing in their ears. "All was yells of the savages, numbers of whom rushed lost!" they cried. "Braddock was killed! forth from their coverts, and pursued the fugi- They had seen wounded officers borne off from tives to the river side, killing several as they the field in bloody sheets! The troops were dashed across in tumultuous confusion. For- all cut to pieces! A panic fell upon the tunately for the latter, the victors gave up the camp. The drums beat to arms. Many of the pursuit in their eagerness to collect the spoil. soldiers, waggoners, and attendants, took to flight; but most of them were forced back by the sentinels.

The shattered army continued its flight after it had crossed the Monongahela, a wretched wreck of the brilliant little force that had recently gleamed along its banks, confident of victory. Out of eighty-six officers, twenty-six had been killed, and thirty-six wounded. The number of rank and file killed and wounded was upwards of seven hundred. The Virginia corps had suffered the most; one company had been almost annihilated, another, besides those killed and wounded in the ranks, had lost all its officers, even to the corporal.

About a hundred men were brought to a halt about a quarter of a mile from the ford of the river. Here was Braddock, with his wounded aides-de-camp and some of his officers; Dr. Craik dressing his wounds, and Washington attending him with faithful assiduity. Braddock was still able to give orders, and had a faint hope of being able to keep possession of the ground until reinforced. Most of the men were stationed in a very advantageous spot about two hundred yards from the road; and Lieutenant-Colonel Burton posted out small parties and sentinels. Before an hour had elapsed, most of the men had stolen off. Being thus deserted, Braddock and his officers continued their retreat; he would have mounted his horse but was unable, and had to be carried by soldiers. Orme and Morris were placed on litters borne by horses. They were subsequently joined by Colonel Gage with eighty men whom he had rallied.

Washington, in the mean time, notwithstanding his weak state, being found most efficient in frontier service, was sent to Colonel Dunbar's camp, forty miles distant, with orders for him to hurry forward provisions, hospital stores, and

Journal of the Seamen's detachment,

Washington arrived at the camp in the evening, and found the agitation still prevailing. The orders which he brought were executed during the night, and he was in the saddle early in the morning accompanying the convoy of supplies. At Gist's plantation, about thirteen miles off, he met Gage and his scanty force escorting Braddock and his wounded officers. Captain Stewart and a sad remnant of the Virginia light horse still accompanied the general as his guard. The captain had been unremitting in his attentions to him during the retreat. There was a halt of one day at Dunbar's camp for the repose and relief of the wounded. On the 13th they resumed their melancholy march, and that night reached the Great Meadows.

The proud spirit of Braddock was broken by his defeat. He remained silent the first evening after the battle, only ejaculating at night, "Who would have thought it!" He was equally silent the following day; yet hope still seemed to linger in his breast, from another ejaculation: "We shall better know how to deal with them another time! "*

He was grateful for the attentions paid to him by Captain Stewart and Washington, and more than once, it is said, expressed his admiration of the gallantry displayed by the Virginians in the action. It is said, moreover, that in his last moments, he apologized to Washington for the petulance with which he had rejected his advice, and bequeathed to him his favorite

Captain Orme, who gave these particulars to Dr. Franklin, says that Braddock "died a few minutes after." This, according to his account, was on the second day; whereas the general survived upwards of four days. Orme, being conveyed on a litter at some distance from the general, could only speak of his moods from hearsay

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charger and his faithful servant, Bishop, who had helped to convey him from the field.



THE obsequies of the unfortunate Braddock being finished, the escort continued its retreat with the sick and wounded. Washington, as

over his comrades Orme and Morris. As the horses which bore their litters were nearly knocked up, he despatched messengers to the commander of Fort Cumberland, requesting that others might be sent on, and that comfortable quarters might be prepared for the reception of those officers.

Some of these facts, it is true, rest on tradition, yet we are willing to believe them, as they impart a gleam of just and generous feeling to his closing scene. He died on the night of the 13th, at the Great Meadows, the place of Wash-sisted by Dr. Craik, watched with assiduity ington's discomfiture in the previous year. His obsequies were performed before break of day. The chaplain having been wounded, Washington read the funeral service. All was done in sadness, and without parade, so as not to attract the attention of lurking savages, who might discover and outrage his grave. It is doubtful even whether a volley was fired over it, that last military honor which he had recently paid to the remains of an Indian warrior. The place of his sepulture, however, is still known, and pointed out.

Reproach spared him not, even when in his grave. The failure of the expedition was attributed both in England and America to his obstinacy, his technical pedantry, and his military conceit. He had been continually warned to be on his guard against ambush and surprise, but without avail. Had he taken the advice urged on him by Washington and others to employ scouting parties of Indians and rangers, he would never have been so signally surprised and defeated.

Still his dauntless conduct on the field of battle shows him to have been a man of fearless spirit; and he was universally allowed to be an accomplished disciplinarian. His melancholy end, too, disarms censure of its asperity. Whatever may have been his faults and errors, he, in a manner, expiated them by the hardest lot that can befall a brave soldier, ambitious of renown-an unhonored grave in a strange land; a memory clouded by misfortune, and a name forever coupled with defeat.


In narrating the expedition of Braddock, we have frequently cited the journals of Captain Orme and of the "Seamen's Detachment; " they were procured in England by the Hon. Joseph R. Ingersoll, while Minis

ter at the Court of St. James, and recently published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania: ably edited, and illustrated with an admirable Introductory Memoir by Winthrop Sargent, Esq., member of that Society.

On the 17th, the sad cavalcade reached the fort, and were relieved from the incessant apprehension of pursuit. Here, too, flying reports had preceded them, brought by fugitives from the battle; who, with the disposition usual in such cases to exaggerate, had represented the whole army as massacred. Fearing these reports might reach home, and affect his family, Washington wrote to his mother, and his brother, John Augustine, apprising them of his safety. "The Virginia troops," says he, in a letter to his mother, "showed a good deal of bravery, and were nearly all killed. The dastardly behavior of those they called regulars, exposed all others that were ordered to do their duty, to almost certain death; and, at last, in despite of all the efforts of the officers to the contrary, they ran, as sheep pursued by dogs, and it was impossible to rally them."

* * *

To his brother, he writes: "As I have heard, since my arrival at this place, a circumstantial account of my death and dying speech, I take this early opportunity of contradicting the first, and of assuring you that I have not composed the latter. But, by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability, or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, though death was levelling my companions on every side of me!

"We have been most scandalously beaten by time prevent me from giving you any of the a trifling body of men, but fatigue and want of details, until I have the happiness of seeing you at Mount Vernon, which I now most earnestly wish for, since we are driven in thus far. A feeble state of health obliges me to halt here for two or three days to recover a little strength, that I may thereby be enabled to proceed homeward with more ease."

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