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geted the number of the French, as if strongly reinforced. All represented them as diligently
work constructing a irt By their account Washington perceived the French had chosen the very place which he had noted in his journal as best fitted for the purpose.
One of the traders que normation concerning La Force, the French emissary who had beset Washington when on his mission to the frontier,
we as he bought de part of a spy. He had been at Gisc's new scement beyond Laurel Bill and was growing sout the country with Dur sudiers at his heels on a pretended hunt ster deserters. Washingon suspected him to be na noilering expedicio
I was reported murerer, that the French were lavishing presents on the Indians about the lower part of the river, a draw them to their sabed. Among all these fring reports and arms Washington was gratified to learn that the batting was on his way to meet him at the d of fity warriors
er infinite wil through swamps and forests, ree ragged mountains the detachment ar
the Toughingheny River, where they were desired some days constructing a bridge to
The gure Washington leisure to correspond Greme Divile, concerning matters with Beer and him. By an ill-judged
y & the Virginia grement at this critiSaman, is provincial officers received less
hallowed in the regular army. It is
true the regular officers were obliged to furnish their own table, but their superior pay enabled them to do it luxuriously; whereas the provincials were obliged to do hard duty on salt provisions and water. The provincial officers resented this inferiority of pay as an indignity, and declared that nothing prevented them from throwing up their commissions but unwillingness to recede before approaching danger.
Washington shared deeply this feeling. "Let him serve voluntarily, and he would with the greatest pleasure in life devote his services to the expedition but to be slaving through woods, rocks, and mountains, for the shadow of pay writes he, "I would rather toil like a day laborer for a maintenance, if reduced to the necessity, than serve on such ignoble terms." Parity of pay was indispensable to the dignity of the service.
Other instances of false economy were pointed out by him, forming so many drags upon the expedition that he quite despaired of success. "Be the consequence what it will, however," adds he, "I am determined not to leave the regiment, but to be among the last men that leave the Ohio; even if I serve as a private volunteer, which I greatly prefer to the establishment we are upon.
I have a constitution hardy enough to encounter and undergo the most severe trials, and I flatter myself resolution to face what any man dares, as shall be proved when it comes to the test."
And in a letter to his friend Colonel Fairfax For my own part," writes he, "it is a matter
scalps of the Frenchmen slain in the late skirmish, accompanied by black wampum and hatchets, to all his allies, summoning them to take up arms and join him at Redstone Creek, "for their brothers, the English, had now begun in earnest." It is said he would even have sent the scalps of the prisoners had not Washington interfered.1 He went off for his home, promising to send down the river for all the Mingoes and Shawnees, and to be back at the camp on the 30th, with thirty or forty warriors, accompanied by their wives and children. To assist him in the transportation of his people and their effects thirty men were detached, and twenty horses.
"I shall expect every hour to be attacked," writes Washington to Governor Dinwiddie, on the 29th, "and by unequal numbers, which I must withstand, if there are five to one, for I fear the consequence will be that we shall lose the Indians if we suffer ourselves to be driven back. Your honor may depend I will not be surprised, let them come at what hour they will, and this is as much as I can promise; but my best endeavors shall not be wanting to effect more. I doubt not, if you hear I am beaten, but you will hear at the same time that we have done our duty in fighting as long as there is a shadow of hope,"
The fact is, that Washington was in a high * of military excitement. He was a young
had been for the first time in action, and Aful. The letters we have already
Virginia. London Mag. 1754.
quoted show, in some degree, the fervor of his mind, and his readiness to brave the worst; but a short letter, written to one of his brothers, on the 31st, lays open the recesses of his heart.
"We expect every hour to be attacked by superior force; but if they forbear but one day longer we shall be prepared for them. . . . . We have already got intrenchments, and are about a palisade, which, I hope, will be finished to-day. The Mingoes have struck the French, and, I hope, will give a good blow before they have done. I expect forty odd of them here to-night, which, with our fort, and some reinforcements from Colonel Fry, will enable us to exert our noble courage with spirit."
Alluding in a postscript to the late affair, he adds: “I fortunately escaped without any wound; for the right wing, where I stood, was exposed to, and received all the enemy's fire; and it was the part where the man was killed and the rest wounded. I heard the bullets whistle and, believe me, there is something charming in the sound."
This rodomontade, as Henry Walpole terms it, reached the ears of George II. "He would not say so," observed the king, dryly, "if he had been used to hear many.”1
1 This anecdote has hitherto rested on the authority of Horace Walpole, who gives it in his memoirs of George II., and in his correspondence. He cites the rodomontade as contained in the express dispatched by Washington, whom he pronounces a "brave braggart." As no dispatch of Wash'ngton contains any rodomontade of the kind, as it is quite at variance with the general tenor of his character, and as Horace Walpole is well known to have been a "great gossip
batic, in mongrel Engthis officers stood lisisentangle the meaning. tint un surrendering the all their try stores, mu
session of the French. and was really modified. Washington and his offimere, that they should be
eturn to the settlements without moFrench or Indians. That they should march out of the fort with the honors of war demons beating and colors flying, and with all their effects and military stores excepting the artillery, which should be destroyed. That they should be allowed to deposit their effects in some secret place, and leave a guard to protect them until they could send horses to bring them away their horses having been nearly all killed or lost during the action. That they should give their word of honor not to attempt any buildings or improvements on the lands of His Most Christian Majesty, for the space of a year. That the prisoners taken in the skirmish of Jumonville should be restures, and until their delivery Captain Van Boam and Captain Stubo should remain with the French as hostages!
The next morning accordingly, Washington and
Homce Walpole, in a flippant notice of this capitulation, says: "The French have tied up the hands of an excellent funtiron, a Major Washington whom they took and engaged net to serve for one year." (Correspondence, vol. iii. p. 73.) Walpole, at this early date, seems to have considered Washington a perfect fire-eater