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not again to expose himself to the hardships | originally a lawyer, and had risen not more and perils of these frontier campaigns. She by his talents, than by his implicit devotion doubtless felt the value of his presence at to the crown. His son William was military home, to manage and protect the complicated secretary to Braddock. interests of the domestic connection, and had watched with solicitude over his adventurous campaigning, where so much family welfare was at hazard. However much a mother's pride may have been gratified by his early advancement and renown, she had rejoiced on his return to the safer walks of peaceful life. She was thoroughly practical and prosaic in her notions; and not to be dazzled by military glory. The passion for arms which mingled with the more sober elements of Washington's character, would seem to have been inherited, from his father's side of the house; it was, in fact, the old chivalrous spirit of the De Wessyngtons.
His mother had once prevented him from entering the navy, when a gallant frigate was at hand, anchored in the waters of the Potomac; with all his deference for her, which he retained through life, he could not resist the appeal to his martial sympathies, which called him to the head-quarters of General Braddock at Alexandria.
GRAND COUNCIL OF GOVERNORS-MILITARY PREPARATIONS.
His arrival was hailed by his young associates, Captains Orme and Morris, the general's aides-de-camp, who at once received him into frank companionship, and a cordial intimacy commenced between them, that continued throughout the campaign.
He experienced a courteous reception from the general, who expressed in flattering terms the impression he had received of his merits. Washington soon appreciated the character of the general. He found him stately and somewhat haughty, exact in matters of military etiquette and discipline, positive in giving an opinion, and obstinate in maintaining it; but of an honorable and generous, though somewhat irritable nature.
There were at that time four Governors, besides Dinwiddie, assembled at Alexandria, at Braddock's request, to concert a plan of military operations; Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts; Lieutenant-governor Delancey, of New York; Lieutenant-governor Sharpe, of Maryland; Lieutenant-governor Morris, of Pennsylvania. Washington was presented to them in a manner that showed how well his merits were already appreciated. Shirley seems particularly to have struck him as the model of a gentleman and statesman. He was
A grand council was held on the 14th of April, composed of General Braddock, Commodore Keppel, and the governors, at which the general's commission was read, as were his instructions from the king, relating to a common fund, to be established by the several colonies, toward defraying the expenses of the campaign.
The governors were prepared to answer on this head, letters to the same purport having been addressed to them by Sir Thomas Robinson, one of the king's secretaries of state, in the preceding month of October. They informed Braddock that they had applied to their respective Assemblies for the establishment of such a fund, but in vain, and gave it as their unanimous opinion, that such a fund could never be established in the colonies without the aid of Parliament. They had found it impracticable, also, to obtain from their respective governments the proportions expected from them by the crown, toward military expenses in America; and suggested that ministers should find out some mode of compelling them to do it; and that, in the mean time, the general should make use of his credit upon government, for current expenses, lest the expedition should come to a stand.*
In discussing the campaign, the governors were of opinion that New York should be made the centre of operations, as it afforded easy access by water to the heart of the French possessions in Canada. Braddock, however, did not feel at liberty to depart from his instructions, which specified the recent establishments of the French on the Ohio as the objects of his expedition.
Niagara and Crown Point were to be attacked about the same time with Fort Duquesne, the former by Governor Shirley with his own and Sir William Pepperell's regiments, and some New York companies; the latter by Colonel William Johnson, sole manager and director of Indian affairs; a personage worthy of especial note.
He was a native of Ireland, and had come out to this country in 1734, to manage the landed estates owned by his uncle, Commodore Sir Peter Warren, in the Mohawk country.
Colonial Records, vol. vi., p. 366.
He had resided ever since in the vicinity of the Mohawk River, in the province of New York. By his agency and his dealings with the native tribes he had acquired great wealth, and become a kind of potentate in the Indian country. His influence over the Six Nations was said to be unbounded; and it was principally with the aid of a large force of their warriors that it was expected he would accomplish his part of the campaign. The end of June, “nearly in July," was fixed upon as the time when the several attacks upon Forts Duquesne, Niagara, and Crown Point, should be carried into execution, and Braddock anticipated an easy accomplishment of his plans.
THREATS OF SIR JOHN SINCLAIR-THEIR EFFECTS.
The expulsion of the French from the lands wrongfully held by them in Nova Scotia, was to be assigned to Colonel Lawrence, Lieutenant-governor of that province; we will briefly add, in anticipation, that it was effected by him, with the aid of troops from Massachusetts and elsewhere, led by Lieutenant-colonel Monckton.
of French that might be poured into the country.-"That instead of marching to the Ohio, he would in nine days march his army into Cumberland County to cut the roads, press horses, waggons, &c. That he would not suffer a soldier to handle an axe, but by fire and sword oblige the inhabitants to do it. * * * That he would kill all kinds of cattle, and carry away the horses, burn the houses, &c.; and that if the French defeated them, by the delays of Pennsylvania, he would, with his sword drawn, pass through the province and treat the inhabitants as a parcel of traitors to his master. That he would write to England by a man-of-war; shake Mr. Penn's proprietaryship, and represent Pennsylvania as a disaffected province. * * ** He told us to go to the general, if we pleased, who would give us ten bad words for one that he had given."
The explosive wrath of Sir John, which was not to be appeased, shook the souls of the commissioners, and they wrote to Governor Morris, urging that people might be set at work upon the road, if the Assembly had made
The business of the Congress being finished, General Braddock would have set out for Fred-provision for opening it; and that flour might ericktown, in Maryland, but few waggons or be sent without delay to the mouth of Canocoteams had yet come to remove the artillery. cheague River, "as being the only remedy left Washington had looked with wonder and dis- to prevent these threatened mischiefs.”* may at the huge paraphernalia of war, and the world of superfluities to be transported across the mountains, recollecting the difficulties he had experienced in getting over them with his nine swivels and scanty supplies. "If our march is to be regulated by the slow movements of the train," said he, “it will be tedious, very tedious, indeed.” His predictions excited a sarcastic smile in Braddock as betraying the limited notions of a young provincial officer, little acquainted with the march of armies.
In the meanwhile, Sir John St. Clair, who had returned to the frontier, was storming at the camp at Fort Cumberland. The road required of the Pennsylvania government had not been commenced. George Croghan and the other commissioners were but just arrived in camp. Sir John, according to Croghan, received them in a very disagreeable manner; would not look at their draughts, nor suffer any representations to be made to him in regard to the province, "but stormed like a lion rampant;" declaring that the want of the road and of the provisions promised by Pennsylvania had retarded the expedition, and might cost them their lives from the fresh numbers
In reply, Mr. Richard Peters, Governor Morris's secretary, wrote in his name: "Get a number of hands immediately, and further the work by all possible methods. Your expenses will be paid at the next sitting of Assembly. Do your duty, and oblige the general and quartermaster if possible. Finish the road that will be wanted first, and then proceed to any other that may be thought necessary."
An additional commission, of a different kind, was intrusted to George Croghan. Governor Morris by letter requested him to convene at Aughquick, in Pennsylania, as many warrior as possible of the mixed tribes of the Ohio, distribute among them wampum belts sent for the purpose, and engage them to meet General Braddock when on the march, and render him all the assistance in their power.
In reply, Croghan engaged to enlist a strong body of Indians, being sure of the influence of Scarooyadi, successor to the half-king, and of his adjunct, White Thunder, keeper of the speech-belts. At the instance of Governor Morris, Croghan secured the services of another kind of force. This was a band of hunt
*Colonial Records, vol. vi., p. 368. + Ibid., p. 375.
Ær. 23.] CAPTAIN JACK AND HIS BAND-WASHINGTON PROCLAIMED AIDE-DE-CAMP.
ers, resolute men, well acquainted with the menced. The Virginian contractors failed to fulfil their engagements; of all the immense means of transportation so confidently promised, but fifteen waggons and a hundred drafthorses had arrived, and there was no prospect of more. There was equal disappointment in provisions, both as to quantity and quality, and he had to send round the country to buy cattle for the subsistence of the troops.
Fortunately, while the general was venting his spleen in anathemas against army contractors, Benjamin Franklin arrived at Fredericktown. That eminent man, then about fortynine years of age, had been for many years member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, and was now postmaster-general for America. The Assembly understood that Braddock was incensed against them, supposing them adverse to the service of the war. They had procured Franklin to wait upon him, not as if sent by them, but as if he came in his capacity of postmaster-general, to arrange for the sure and speedy transmission of despatches between the commander-in-chief and the governors of the provinces.
hunting. He felt happy, for then he had not a care. But on an evening, when he returned from a day of sport, he found his cabin burnt, his wife and children murdered. From that moment he forsakes civilized man; hunts out caves, in which he lives; protects the frontier inhabitants from the Indians; and seizes every opportunity of revenge that offers. He lives the terror of the Indians and the consolation of the whites. On one occasion, near Juniata, in the middle of a dark night, a family were suddenly awaked from sleep by the report of a gun; they jump from their huts, and by the glimmering light from the chimney saw an Indian fall to rise no more. The open door exposed to view the wild hunter. I have saved your lives,' he cried, then turned and was buried in the gloom of night.”—Ilazard's Register of Penn., vol. iv. $59.
He was well received, and became a daily guest at the general's table. In his autobiography, he gives us an instance of the blind confidence and fatal prejudices by which Braddock was deluded throughout this expedition. "In conversation with him one day," writes Franklin, "he was giving me some account of his intended progress. After taking Fort Duquesne,' said he, 'I am to proceed to Niagara; and having taken that, to Frontenac, if the season will allow time; and I suppose it will, for Duquesne can hardly detain me above three or four days: and then I can see nothing that can obstruct my march to Niagara.'
country, and inured to hardships. They were
The following extract of a letter, dated August, 1750, gives one of the stories relative to this indi
'The Black Hunter,' the 'Black Rifle,' the Wild Hunter of Juniata,' is a white man; his history is this: He entered the woods with a few enterprising companions; built his cabin; cleared a little land,
and amused himself with the pleasures of fishing and
GENERAL BRADDOCK Set out from Alexandria on the 20th of April. Washington remained behind a few days to arrange his affairs, and then rejoined him at Fredericktown, in Maryland, where, on the 10th of May, he was proclaimed one of the general's aides-de-camp. The troubles of Braddock had already com
* Hazard's Register of Penn., vol. iv., p. 416.
Having before revolved in my mind," continues Franklin, "the long line his army must make in their march by a very narrow road, to be cut for them through the woods and bushes, and also what I had heard of a former defeat of fifteen hundred French, who invaded the Illinois country, I had conceived some doubts and some fears for the event of the campaign; but I ventured only to say, 'To be sure, sir, if you arrive well before Duquesne with these fine troops, so well provided with artillery, the with a very strong garrison, can probably make fort, though completely fortified and assisted but a short resistance. The only danger I apprehend of obstruction to your march, is from the ambuscades of the Indians, who, by constant
BRADDOCK AND FRANKLIN-HUGH MERCER-DR. CRAIK.
practice, are dexterous in laying and executing them; and the slender line, nearly four miles long, which your army must make, may expose it to be attacked by surprise on its flanks, and to be cut like thread into several pieces, which, from their distance, cannot come up in time to support one another.'
"He smiled at my ignorance, and replied: These savages may indeed be a formidable enemy to raw American militia, but upon the king's regular and disciplined troops, sir, it is impossible they should make an impression.' I was conscious of an impropriety in my disputing with a military man in matters of his profession, and said no more."*
As the whole delay of the army was caused by the want of conveyances, Franklin observed one day to the general that it was a pity the troops had not been landed in Pennsylvania, where almost every farmer had his waggon. "Then, sir," replied Braddock, "yon, who are a man of interest there, can probably procure them for me, and I beg you will." Franklin consented. An instrument in writing was drawn up, empowering him to contract for one hundred and fifty waggons with four horses to each waggon, and fifteen hundred saddle or packhorses for the service of his majesty's forces, to be at Wills' Creek on or before the 20th of May, and he promptly departed for Lancaster to execute the commission.
After his departure, Braddock, attended by his staff, and his guard of light horse, set off for Wills' Creek by the way of Winchester, the road along the north side of the Potomac not being yet made. "This gave him," writes Washington, "a good opportunity to see the absurdity of the route, and of damning it very heartily."+
Three of Washington's horses were knocked up before they reached Winchester, and he had to purchase others. This was a severe drain of his campaigning purse; fortunately he was in the neighborhood of Greenway Court, and was enabled to replenish it by a loan from his old friend Lord Fairfax.
The discomforts of the rough road were increased with the general, by his travelling with some degree of state in a chariot which he had purchased of Governor Sharpe. In this he dashed by Dunbar's division of the troops, which he overtook near Wills' Creek; his body
* Autobiography of Franklin. Sparks' Edition, p. 190. Draft of a letter, among Washington's papers, addressed to Major John Carlyle.
guard of light horse galloping on each side of his chariot, and his staff accompanying him; the drums beating the Grenadier's march as he passed. In this style, too, he arrived at Fort Cumberland, amid a thundering salute of seventeen guns.*
By this time the general discovered that he was not in a region fitted for such display, and his travelling chariot was abandoned at Fort Cumberland; otherwise it would soon have become a wreck among the mountains beyond. By the 19th of May, the forces were assembled at Fort Cumberland. The two royal regiments, originally one thousand strong, now increased to fourteen hundred, by men chosen from the Maryland and Virginia levies. Two provincial companies of carpenters, or pioneers, thirty men each, with subalterns and captains. A company of guides, composed of a captain, two aids, and ten men. The troop of Virginia light horse, commanded by Captain Stewart; the detachment of thirty sailors with their officers, and the remnants of two independent companies from New York, one of which was commanded by Captain Horatio Gates, of whom we shall have to speak much hereafter, in the course of this biography.
Another person in camp, of subsequent notoriety, and who became a warm friend of Washington, was Dr. Hugh Mercer, a Scotchman, about thirty-three years of age. About ten years previously he had served as assistant surgeon in the forces of Charles Edward, and followed his standard to the disastrous field of Culloden. After the defeat of the “chevalier,” Mercer had escaped by the way of Inverness to America, and taken up his residence in Virginia. He was now with the Virginia troops, rallying under the standard of the House of Hanover, in an expedition led by a general who had aided to drive the chevalier from Scotland.†
Another young Scotchman in the camp was Dr. James Craik, who had become strongly attached to Washington, being about the same age, and having been with him in the affair of the Great Meadows, serving as surgeon in the Virginia regiment, to which he still belonged. At Fort Cumberland, Washington had an opportunity of seeing a force encamped according to the plan approved of by the council of war; and military tactics, enforced with all the precision of a martinet.
Journal of the Seamen's detachment.
↑ Braddock had been an officer under the Duke of Cumberland, in his campaign against Charles Edward.
The roll of each company was called over morning, noon, and night. There was strict examination of arms and accoutrements; the commanding officer of each company being answerable for their being kept in good order.
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 govern
The general was very particular in regard to the appearance and drill of the Virginia recruits and companies, whom he had put under the rigorous discipline of Ensign Allen. "Theyor's assurance that the road would be opened performed their evolutions and firings, as well in time. Mr. Peters requested guards to proas could be expected," writes Captain Orme, | tect the men while at work, from attacks by “but their languid, spiritless, and unsoldier-like the Indians. Braddock swore he would not appearance, considered with the lowness and furnish guards for the woodcutters,-"let Pennignorance of most of their officers, gave little sylvania do it!" He scoffed at the talk about hopes of their future good behavior."* He danger from Indians. Peters endeavored to doubtless echoed the opinion of the general; make him sensible of the peril which threathow completely were both to be undeceived as ened him in this respect. Should an army of to their estimate of these troops! them, led by French officers, beset him in his march, he would not be able, with all his strength and military skill, to reach Fort Duquesne without a body of rangers, as well on foot as horseback. The general, however, "despised his observations."* Still, guards had ultimately to be provided, or the work on the road would have been abandoned.
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, th› guard formed two lines, facing each other; rested on their arms, muzzles downwards, 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.+
Notwithstanding his secret contempt for the Indians, Braddock, agreeably to his instructions, treated them with great ceremony. A
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 main-grand council was held in his tent, where all tain, even in the wilderness, keeping a hospit- his officers attended. The chiefs, and all the able table; for he is said to have been some- warriors, came painted and decorated for war. what of a bon vivant, and to have had with They were received with military honors, the him "two good cooks, who could make an ex-guards resting on their fire-arms. The general cellent ragout out of a pair of boots, had they but materials to toss them up with."
MILITARY TACTICS-CAMP RULES-INDIANS IN CAMP.
* Orme's Journal.
† Orme's Journal. Journal of the Seamen's detachment. + Preface to Winthrop Sargent's Introductory Memoir.
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 but 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.
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,
* Colonial Records, vi. 396.