ington had early recommended the use of pack horses, instead of waggons, for conveying the baggage of the army. The propriety of this advice soon became apparent, and a considerable change was made in conformity to it. The army had not advanced much more than ten miles from Fort Cumberland, when Washington was seized with a violent fever, but nevertheless continued with the army, being conveyed in a covered waggon, after he had refused to stay behind, though so much exhausted as to be unable to ride on horseback. He advised the general to leave his heavy artillery and baggage behind, and to advance rapidly to Fort Duquesne, with a select body of troops, a few necessary stores, and some pieces of light artillery. Hopes were indulged that by this expeditious movement, Fort Duquesne, might be reached in its present weak state, with a force sufficient to reduce it, before expected reinforcements should arrive. General Braddock approved the scheme, and submitted it to the consideration of a council held at the Little Meadows, which recommended that the commander in chief should advance as rapidly as possible with twelve hundred select men, and that Col. Dunbar should remain behind with the remainder of the troops and the heavy baggage. This advanced corps commenced its march with only thirty carriages, but did not proceed with the rapidity that was expected. They frequently halted to level the road, and to build bridges over inconsiderable brooks. They consumed four days in passing over the first nineteen miles from the Little Meadows. At this place, the physicians declared that Col. Washington's life would be endangered by advancing with the army. He was therefore ordered by Gen. Braddock to stay behind with a small guard till Dunbar should arrive with the rear of the army. As soon as his strength would permit, he joined the advan ced detachment, and immediately entered on the duties of his office. On the next day, July 9th, a dreadful scene took place. When Braddock had crossed the Monongahela, and was only a few miles from Fort Duquesne, and was pressing forward without any apprehension of danger, he was attacked in an open road, thick set with grass. An invisible enemy, consisting of French and Indians, commenced a heavy and well directed fire on his uncovered troops. The van fell back on the main body, and the whole was

thrown into disorder. Marksmen levelled their pieces, particularly at officers, and others on horseback. In a short time Washington was the only aid-de-camp left alive and not wounded. On him, therefore, devolved the whole duty of carrying the general's orders. He was of course obliged to be constantly in motion, traversing the field of battle on horseback in all directions. He had two horses shot under him, and four bullets passed through his coat, but he escaped unhurt, though every other officer on horseback was either killed or wounded. Providence preserved him for further and greater services. Throughout the whole of the carnage and confusion of this fatal day, Washington displayed the greatest coolness and the most perfect self possession. Braddock was undismayed amidst a shower of bullets, and by his countenance and example, encouraged his men to stand their ground; but valour was useless, and discipline only offered surer marks to the destructive aim of unseen marksmen. Unacquainted with the Indian mode of fighting, Braddock neither advanced upon nor retreated from the assailants, but very injudiciously endeavoured to form his broken troops on the ground where they were first attacked, and where they were exposed uncovered to the incessant galling fire of a sheltered enemy. He had been cautioned of the danger to which he was exposed, and was advised to advance the provincials in front of his troops, to Scour the we s and detect ambuscades, but he disregarded the salutary recommendation. The action lasted near three hours, in the course of which the general had three horses shot under him, and finally received a wound, of which he died in a few days in the camp of Dunbar, to which he had been brought by Colonel Washington and others. On the fall of Braddock, his troops gave way in all directions, and could not be rallied till they had crossed the Monongahela. The Indians, allured by plunder, did not pursue with vigour. The vanquished regulars soon fell back to Dunbar's camp, from which, after destroying such of their stores as could be spared, they retired to Philadelphia The officers in the British regiments displayed the greatest bravery. Their whole number was eighty five, and sixty four of them were killed or wounded. The common soldiers were so disconcerted by the unusual mode of attack, that they soon broke, and could not be rallied. The


three Virginia companies in the engagement behaved very differently, and fought like men till there were scarcely thirty men left alive in the whole. This reverse of fortune rather added to, than took from, the reputation of Washington. His countrymen extolled his conduct, and generally said and believed, that if he had been commander, the disasters of the day would have been avoided.

Intelligence of Braddock's defeat, and that Col. Dunbar had withdrawn all the regular forces from Virginia, arrived while the assembly of that colony was in session. Impressed with the necessity of protecting their exposed frontier sentlements, they determined to raise a regiment of sixteen companies. The command of this was given to Washington. So great was the public confidence in the soundness of his judgment, that he was authorized to name the field officers. His commission also designated him as commander in chief of all the forces raised, or to be raised, in Virginia.

In execution of the duties of his new office, Washington, after giving the necessary orders for the recruiting service, visited the frontiers. He found many posts, but few soldiers. Of these the best disposition was made. While on his way to Williamsburg to arrange a plan of operations with the lieutenant governor, he was overtaken by an express below Fredericksburg, with information that the back settlements were broken up by parties of French and Indians, who were murdering and capturing men, women, and children, burning their houses, and destroying their crops, and that the few troops stationed on the frontiers, unable to protect the country, had retreated to small stockade forts. Washington altered his course from Williamsburg to Winchester, and endeavoured to collect a force for the defence of the country. But this was impossible. The inhabitants, instead of assembling in arms, and facing the invaders, fled before them, and extended the general panic. While the attention of individuals was engrossed by their families and private concerns, the general safety was neglected. The alarm became universal, and the ut most confusion prevailed. Before any adequate force was collected to repel the assailants, they had safely crossed the Alleghany mountains, after having done an immensity of mischief. Irruptions of this kind were repeatedly made

into the frontier settlements of Virginia, in the years 1756, 1757, and 1758. These generally consisted of a considerable number of French and Indians, who were detached from Fort Duquesne. It was their usual practice on their approaching the settlements, to divide into small parties, and avoiding the forts, to attack solitary families in the night, as well as the day. The savages, accustomed to live in the woods, found little difficulty in concealing themselves till their fatal blow was struck. Sundry unimportant skirmishes took place, with various results, but the number killed on both sides was inconsiderable, when compared with the mischief done, and the many who were put to death, otherwise than in battle. The invaders could seldom be brought to a regular engagement. Honourable war was not in their contemplation. Plunder, devastation, and murder, were their objects. The assemblage of a respectable force to oppose them, was their signal for retreating. Irruptions of this kind were so frequent for three years following Braddock's defeat, that in Pennsylvania, the frontier settlers were driven back as far as Carlisle, and in Maryland, to Fredericktown, and in Virginia, to the Blue Ridge.

The distresses of the inhabitants exceeded all description. If they went into stockade forts, they suffered from the want of provisions; were often surrounded, and sometimes cut off. By fleeing, they abandoned the conveniences of home, and the means of support. If they continued on their farms, they lay down every night under apprehensions of being murdered before morning. But this was not the worst. Captivity and torture were frequently their portion. To all these evils, women, aged persons, and children, were equally liable with men in arms; for savages make no distinction. Extermination is their object. To Washington the inhabitants looked for that protection he had not the means of giving. In a letter to the governor, he observed, "the supplicating tears of the women, and moving petitions of the men, melt me with such deadly sorrow, that I solemnly declare, if I know my own mind, I could offer myself a willing sacrifice to the butchering enemy, provided that would contribute to the people's ease." Virginia presented a frontier of three hundred and sixty miles, exposed to these incursions. Hard was the lot of Washington, to whom was entrusted the defence of those extensive set



tlements without means adequate to the purpose. regiment voted by the assembly was never filled. Its actual number was oftener below than above seven hundred The militia afforded a very feeble aid, on which little reliance could be placed. They were slow in collecting, and when collected soon began to hanker after home; and while in camp, could not submit to that discipline, without which an army is a mob. The militia laws were very defective. Cowardice in time of action, and sleeping while on duty, though crimes of the most destructive nature, were very inadequately punished by the civil code under which they took the field. Desertion and mutiny, for some considerable time, subjected the offenders to nothing more than slight penalties. Washington was incessant in his representations to the governor and to the assembly, that no reliance could be placed on the militia, under existing regulations, and that the inconsiderable number, inlisted for regular service, together with the plans proposed for the security of the frontiers, were altogether inadequate. He not only pointed out the defect of the systems which had been adopted, but submitted to the consideration of those in power, such measures as he thought best, and particularly recommended, in case offensive operations were not adopted, that twenty two forts, extending in a line of three hundred and sixty miles, should be immediately erected and garrisoned by two thousand men, in constant pay and ser vice; but on all occasions gave a decided preference to the reduction of Fort Duquesne, as the only radical remedy for the evils to which the frontier settlements were exposed. Propositions to this effect were made and urged by him in 1756 and 1757, both to the government of Virginia, and the commanders in chief of the British forces in America; but a short-sighted policy in the first, and a preference given by the last to a vigorous prosecution of the war in the northern colonies, prevented their acceptance. To his inexpressible joy, the project obtained, in the year 1758, the complete approbation of Gen. Forbes, who was charged with the defence of the middle and southern colonies. This being resolved upon, the movements of the army were directed to that point. Part of the forces destined for this expedition was at Philadelphia; part at Ray's Town; and part dispersed on the frontiers of Virginia. To bring

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