1755, and were commanded by general Braddock. That officer, being informed of the talents of George Washington, invited him to serve in the campaign as a volunteer aid-decamp. The invitation was cheerfully accepted, and Washington joined general Braddock near Alexandria, and proceeded with him to Will's Creek, afterwards called Fort Cumberland, near the source of the Potomac, at that time the most western post held by the English in Virginia or Maryland.-Here, the army was detained till the 12th of June, waiting for wagons, horses, and provisions. Washington had early recommended the use of pack-horses, instead of wagons, for conveying the baggage of the army. The propriety of this advice soon became apparent, and, in conformity with it, a considerable change was made.

The army had not advanced more than ten miles from Fort Cumberland, when Washington was seized with a violent fever ; but he nevertheless continued with the army, being conveyed in a covered wagon, 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 colonel Dunbar should remain behind with the rest 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. It frequently halted to level the road, and to build bridges over inconsiderable brooks. It consumed four days in passing over the first nineteen miles from the Little Mead

At this place, the physicians declared that Colonel Washington's life would be endangered by advancing with the army. He was therefore ordered by general Braddock to stay behind, with a small guard, till colonel Dunbar should arrive with the rear of the army. As soon as his strength


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would permit, he joined the advanced detachment, and immediately entered on the duties of his office.

The provincial troops, composing a part of Braddock's army, consisted entirely of independent and ranging companies. The general was warned, by Washington, of the danger, to which the character of his enemy, and the face of the country, exposed him; and was advised to advance the provincial companies in his front, for the purpose of scouring the woods, and discovering any ambuscade which might be formed to surprise him. But he held both his enemy and the provincials. in too much contempt, to follow this salutary counsel. Three hundred British regulars, amongst whom were his grenadiers and light infantry, commanded by lieutenant-colonel Gage, composed his van ; and he himself followed, at some distance, with the artillery and the main body of the army divided into small columns.

On the 9th of July, the day after Washington had joined the army, a dreadful scene was presented. 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 upon the main body, and the whole was thrown into disorder. But the general having ordered up the main body, which was formed three deep, and the commanding officer of the enemy having fallen, the attack was suspended for a short time, and the assailants were supposed to be dispersed. This momentary delusion, however, was soon dispelled. The attack was renewed with increased fury; the van fell back upon the main body, and the whole army was thrown into utter confusion. 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

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services.— Throughout the whole of the carnage and confusion of this fatal day, Washington displayed the utmost 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.

The action lasted nearly three hours ; in the course of which, the general had three horses shot under him, and he finally received a wound, of which he died, in a few days afterwards, 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 they could not be rallied till they had crossed the Monongahela. The Indians, allured by plunder, did not pursue with vigour. The vanquished regulars fled precipitately 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 utmost bravery. Their whole number was eighty-five; and sixtyfour 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 most gallantly until there were scarcely thirty of their number left alive.

This reverse of fortune rather increased, than diminished the reputation of Washington. His countrymen extolled his conduct, and generally believed, that if he had been commander, the disasters of the day would have been avoided.

Intelligence of Braddock's defeat, and of colonel Dunbar's having withdrawn all the regular forces from Virginia, arrived while the assembly of that colony was in session. Impressed with the necessity of protecting the exposed frontier settlements, that body determined to raise a regiment of sixteen companies. The command of this was given to

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