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the general; how completely were both to be undeceived as t their estimate of these troops!
The general held a levee in his tent every morning, from ten to eleven. He was strict as to the morals of the camp. Drunkenness was severely punished. A soldier convicted of theft was sentenced to receive one thousand lashes, and to be drummed out of his regiment. Part of the first part of the sentence was remitted. Divine service was performed every Sunday, at the head of the colors of each regiment, by the chaplain. There was the funeral of a captain who died at this encampment. A captain's guard marched before the corpse, the captain of it in the rear, the firelocks reversed, the drums beating the dead march. When near the grave the guard formed two lines, facing each other; rested on their arms, muzzles downward, and leaned their faces on the butts. The corpse was carried between them, the sword and sash on the coffin, and the officers following two and two. After the chaplain of the regiment had read the service, the guard fired three volleys over the grave, and returned.1
Braddock's camp, in a word, was a complete study for Washington, during the halt at Fort Cumberland, where he had an opportunity of seeing military routine in its strictest forms. He had a specimen, too, of convivial life in the camp, which the general endeavored to maintain, even in the wilderness, keeping a hospitable table; for he is said to have been somewhat of a bon vivant, and to have had with him "two good cooks, who could make an excellent ragout out of a pair of boots, had they but materials to toss them up with." 2
There was great detention at the fort, caused by the want of forage and supplies, the road not having been finished from Philadelphia. Mr. Richard Peters, the secretary of Governor Morris, was in camp, to attend to the matter. He had to bear the brunt of Braddock's complaints. The general declared he would not stir from Wills' Creek until he had the governor's assurance that the road would be opened in time. Mr. Peters requested guards to protect the men while at work, from attacks by the Indians. Braddock swore he would not furnish guards for the woodcutters, "let Pennsylvania do it!" He scoffed at the talk about danger from Indians. Peters endeavored to make him sensible of the peril which threatened him in this respect. Should an army of them, led by French officers, beset him in his march, he would not be able, with all his strength
1 Orme's Journal. Journal of the Seamen's detachment.
and military skill, to reach Fort Duquesne without a body of rangers, as well on foot as horseback. The general, however, "despised his observations."1 Still, guards had ultimately to be provided, or the work on the road would have been abandoned.
Braddock, in fact, was completely chagrined and disappointed about the Indians. The Cherokees and Catawbas, whom Dinwiddie had given him reason to expect in such numbers, never arrived.
George Croghan reached the camp with about fifty warriors, whom he had brought from Aughquick. At the general's request he sent a messenger to invite the Delawares and Shawnees from the Ohio, who returned with two chiefs of the former tribe. Among the sachems thus assembled were some of Washington's former allies; Scarooyadi, alias Monacatoocha, successor to the half-king; White Thunder, the keeper of the speech-belts, and Silver Heels, so called, probably, from being swift of foot.
Notwithstanding his secret contempt for the Indians, Braddock, agreeably to his instructions, treated them with great ceremony. A grand council was held in his tent, where all his officers attended. The chiefs, and all the warriors, came painted and decorated for war. They were received with military honors, the guards resting on their fire-arms. The general made them a speech through his interpreter, expressing the grief of their father, the great king of England, at the death of the half-king, and made them presents to console them. They in return promised their aid as guides and scouts, and declared eternal enmity to the French, following the declaration with the war song, "making a terrible noise."
The general, to regale and astonish them, ordered all the artillery to be fired, "the drums and fifes playing and beating the point of war;" the fête ended by their feasting, in their own camp, on a bullock which the general had given them, following up their repast by dancing the war-dance round a fire, to the sound of their uncouth drums and rattles, "making night hideous," by howls and yellings.
"I have engaged between forty and fifty Indians from the frontiers of your province to go over the mountains with me," writes Braddock to Governor Morris, " and shall take Croghan and Montour into service." Croghan was, in effect, put in command of the Indians, and a warrant given to him of captain.
1 Colonial Records, vi., 396
For a time all went well. The Indians had their separate camp, where they passed half the night singing, dancing, and howling. The British were amused by their strange ceremonies, their savage antics, and savage decorations. The Indians, on the other hand, loitered by day about the English camp, fiercely painted and arrayed, gazing with silent admiration at the parade of the troops, their marchings and evolutions; and delighted with the horse-races, with which the young officers recreated themselves.
Unluckily the warriors had brought their families with them to Wills' Creek, and the women were even fonder than the men of loitering about the British camp. They were not destitute of attractions; for the young squaws resemble the gypsies, having seductive forms, small hands and feet, and soft voices. Among those who visited the camp was one who no doubt passed for an Indian princess. She was the daughter of the sachem, White Thunder, and bore the dazzling name of Bright Lightning. The charms of these wild-wood beauties were soon acknowledged. "The squaws," writes Secretary Peters, "bring in money plenty; the officers are scandalously fond of them."
The jealousy of the warriors was aroused; some of them became furious. To prevent discord, the squaws were forbidden to come into the British camp. This did not prevent their being sought elsewhere. It was ultimately found necessary, for the sake of quiet, to send Bright Lightning, with all the other women and children, back to Aughquick. White Thunder, and several of the warriors, accompanied them for their protection.
As to the three Delaware chiefs, they returned to the Ohio, promising the general they would collect their warriors together, and meet him on his march. They never kept their word. "These people are villains, and always side with the strongest," says a shrewd journalist of the expedition.
During the halt of the troops at Wills' Creek, Washington had been sent to Williamsburg to bring on four thousand pounds for the military chest. He returned, after a fortnight's absence, escorted from Winchester by eight men, "which eight men,' writes he, "were two days assembling, but I believe would not have been more than as many seconds dispersing if I had been attacked."
He found the general out of all patience and temper at the delays and disappointments in regard to horses, wagons, and forage, making no allowances for the difficulties incident to a
1 Seamen's Journal.
2 Letter of Peters to Governor Morria.
new country, and to the novel and great demands upon its scanty and scattered resources. He accused the army contractors of want of faith, honor, and honesty; and in his moments of passion, which were many, extended the stigma to the whole country. This stung the patriotic sensibility of Washington, and overcame his usual self-command, and the proud and passionate commander was occasionally surprised by a well-merited rebuke from his aide-de-camp. We have frequent disputes on this head," writes Washington, "which are maintained with warmth on both sides, especially on his, as he is incapable of arguing without it, or of giving up any point he asserts, be it ever so incompatible with reason or common sense."
The same pertinacity was maintained with respect to the Indians. George Croghan informed Washington that the sachems considered themselves treated with slight, in never being consulted in war matters. That he himself had repeatedly offered the services of the warriors under his command as scouts and outguards, but his offers had been rejected. Washington ventured to interfere, and to urge their importance for such purposes, especially now when they were approaching the stronghold of the enemy. As usual, the general remained bigoted in his belief of the all-sufficiency of well-disciplined troops.
Either from disgust thus caused, or from being actually dismissed, the warriors began to disappear from the camp. It is said that Colonel Innes, who was to remain in command at Fort Cumberland, advised the dismissal of all but a few to serve as guides; certain it is, before Braddock recommenced his march, none remained to accompany him but Scarooyadi, and eight of his warriors.1
Seeing the general's impatience at the non-arrival of conveyances, Washington again represented to him the difficulties he would encounter in attempting to traverse the mountains with such a train of wheel-carriages, assuring him it would be the most arduous part of the campaign; and recommended, from his own experience, the substitution, as much as possible, of pack-horses. Braddock, however, had not been sufficiently harassed by frontier campaigning to depart from his European modes, or to be swayed in his military operations by so green a counsellor.
1 Braddock's own secretary, William Shirley, was disaffected to him. Writing about him to Governor Morris he satirically observes: "We have a general most judiciously chosen for being disqualified for the service he is employed in, in almost every respect.' And of the secondary officers: "As to them, I don't think we have much to boast. Some are insolent and ignorant; others capable, but rather aiming at showing their own Abilities than making a proper use of them."— Colonial Records, vi., 405.
At length the general was relieved from present perplexities by the arrival of the horses and wagons which Franklin had undertaken to procure. That eminent man, with his characteristic promptness and unwearied exertions, and by his great personal popularity, had obtained them from the reluctant Pennsylvania farmers, being obliged to pledge his own responsibility for their being fully remunerated. He performed this laborious task out of pure zeal for the public service, neither expecting noi receiving emolument; and, in fact, experiencing subsequently great delay and embarrassment before he was relieved from the pecuniary responsibilities thus patriotically incurred.
The arrival of the conveyances put Braddock in good humor with Pennsylvania. In a letter to Governor Morris, he alludes to the threat of Sir John St. Clair to go through that province with a drawn sword in his hand. "He is ashamed of his having talked to you in the manner he did.” Still the general made Franklin's contract for wagons the sole instance in which he had not experienced deceit and villany.
"I hope, however, in spite of all this," adds he, shall pass a merry Christmas together."
MARCH FROM FORT CUMBERLAND -THE GREAT SAVAGE MOUNTAIN CAMP AT THE LITTLE MEADOWS DIVISION OF THE FORCES -CAPTAIN JACK AND HIS BAND SCAROOYADI IN DANGER ILLNESS OF WASHINGTON HIS HALT AT THE YOUGHIOGENY
LURKING THICKETY RUN
-MARCH OF BRADDOCK -THE GREAT MEADOWS
ON the 10th of June, Braddock set off from Fort Cumberland with his aides-de-camp, and others of his staff, and his body guard of light horse. Sir Peter Halket, with his brigade, had marched three days previously; and a detachment of six hundred men, under the command of Colonel Chapman, and the supervision of Sir John St. Clair, had been employed up