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not conceive that the wily Frerich would allow a superior force to approach and attack them in order, when there existed so good an opportunity for crippling or destroying it as was presented by this line of advance. Hence he urged-almost implored-Braddock in some manner to protect his flanks; to at least throw out scouts and to guard against surprise. All was, however, in vain. Braddock could not bend his pride to accept so much as a suggestion, in the face of a battle, from a young provincial officer; hence the line moved gaily forward, as confident of success, as fearless of danger, as any body of men that ever advanced to battle. The crossing of the army consumed the entire morning. About 1 o'clock in the afternoon it was completed, and the advance toward Duquesne began. The British force was divided into three sections, first, the working party and advance guard, protected by four small flanking parties; then, some distance behind, the main body of regulars, commanded by Braddock in person; last, the Virginians and other provincials. The march was but just begun, when the advance guard, while passing along a portion of the road bordered on one side by the river, on the other skirted by a heavily wooded hill, was startled, first by a succession of yells, then by a most deadly fire, coming from unseen enemies, among the woods on the right. Washington's fears of an ambuscade had been justified. The English at first held their ground well; a file of French and Indians advancing in order gave them encouragement; they were ready enough to fight an enemy whom they could see and measure. They fired upon the advancing line, and the young officer commanding it fell at the first volley. Meantime the fire from the hidden Indians in the woods, and the terrible uproar that accompanied it, grew worse and worse. Gage, commanding the advance, formed his men on the road and ordered a charge to dislodge the Indians, if such were possible; the soldiers, brave as they were at warfare of their own kind, would not advance a step to meet what seemed to them the certainty of death. The order of battle gave the Indian sharpshooters every advantage, and it seemed that scarcely a shot failed of effect. A body of men was sent on to reinforce the advance guard, of which nearly every officer and the majority of the men were killed or wounded.
killed or wounded. While this effort to form the reinforcements was making, the advance guard broke and Aed in the wildest confusion, falling back upon the other force and throwing them out of all order and beyond the possibility of control.
At this point Braddock came up, and, under his orders, a renewed effort was made to rally and form the men, and make an advance upon the enemy, but it failed in turn. The soldiers were hopelessly panic-stricken, and huddled together to be shot down by the score.
The Virginia troops, nearly all experienced in Indian warfare, dispersed behind trees and rocks, to meet the enemy after their own fashion, thus serving as the only protection to the miserable regulars. Within a short time after the battle began,
only Washington of all Braddock's aides remained alive and unwounded. He was everywhere, carrying orders, encouraging, directing. He strove to induce Braddock to order the men to imitate the Virginians and fight from cover, but even in the midst of the awful scene about him, the commander's ideas of discipline revolted at the thought, and he refused to accede, driving back with his own sword those about him who attempted such expedient independently. Washington showed the greatest coolness. Moving, as he did, on horseback, he was a marked man for the sharpshooters; two horses were killed under him, his hat and coat were pierced by bullets, and not another mounted officer escaped death or wounding, yet he was untouched. Dr. Craik says of him, in his diary of the campaign: “I expected at every moment to see him fall. His duty and situation exposed him to every danger. Nothing but the superintending care of Providence could have saved him from the fate of all about him."
Braddock made the last and only atonement in his power, for the obstinacy and folly that had brought the disgrace and disaster of the day upon the English arms. He fought like a hero; from his place, at the central point of danger, he put forward every effort within his power to rally the men and save the day. All was in vain, and he must have seen the hopelessness of his efforts before-having previously lost three horses in the fight-he fell, mortally shot through the lungs. Let Irving tell what followed: “The rout now became complete; baggage, stores, artillery, every
thing was abandoned. The wagoners took each a horse out of his team and · fled. The officers were swept off with the men in this headlong flight. It
was rendered more precipitate by the shouts and yells of the savages, num. bers of whom rushed forth from their coverts, and pursued the fugitives to the river side, killing several, as they dashed across in tumultous confusion. Fortunately for the latter, the victors gave up the pursuit in their eagerness to collect the spoil."
Beyond the river a little body of men, more reasonable than their fellows, were halted about the dying general and his wounded aides-de-camp. An attempt was made to form a camp at that point, throw up entrench. ments and await reinforcement by the rear guard, which, with the heavier baggage and artillery, had not yet come up. No sooner, however, were the men posted and an attempt at restoring discipline made, than one by one they deserted, until the few faithful ones were obliged to join the retreat, bearing the wounded with them.
The force engaged in the battle on the side of the British was eighty-six officers and about twelve hundred men. Of these, twenty-six officers were killed and thirty-six wounded, and of the rank and file about seven hundred were killed or wounded. Washington being among the few unwounded officers, and knowing very thoroughly the country over which the army had recently passed, was directed to hasten to Captain Dunbar's camp,
forty miles distant, obtain men, wagons, and supplies, and return with all haste. He found the camp in confusion, the news of the disaster having been conveyed by the flying wagoners. Order being restored, his directions were carried into effect, and he set out at early morning of the following day, and met the escort at a point but thirteen miles from the campTurning about, the sad cavalcade moved to Great Meadows where, on the 13th, Braddock died.
No campaign was ever so recklessly conducted; few more crushing and irreparable defeats of a disciplined force, by one much less in number, are recorded; there is no question that Braddock, had he been content to accept advice, and make the necessary departure from formal military rule. might have averted it all, and raised the British flag over Fort Duquesne. with little loss, instead of resting in an unmarked grave, hastily hollowed and filled by the flying soldiers. Yet the fault was by no means all his own. Much of the responsibility should rest upon the ignorance and obstinacy of the English cabinet ; ingnorance in the war office of what the smallest reflection should have made evident, that the methods of a campaign in the wilds of America must be adapted to the conditions of the country and the manner of warfare which the enemy might adopt. Braddock received the command because he was deemed a fine disciplinarian and a master of the theory of European warfare; he died a defeated and broken-hearted man, because he was too good a disciplinarian and too accomplished a theorist to fight with savages, who knew no discipline, and confounded his theory. Another potent agent in compassing his defeat was the contempt in which, in common with all regulars fresh in the American service, he held alike the assistance and enmity of provincials and Indians. He shared the belief which generations of ballads and after dinner speeches had made almost a part of the religion of his people—that the British sailor on the sea, and the British soldier on the land, were invincible. This belief, then so rudely assailed, was destined to meet with many a shock within the following sixty years, yet after a century it had not ceased to be in a manner a portion of the national creed, as exhibited in the campaigns in Afghanistan and Zululand.
After the death of Braddock, the command of the force devolved upon Colonel Dunbar and he, collecting the mangled and disorganized remnants of the regular regiments, marched them at midsummer to Philadel. phia where they went into “winter quarters." The Virginians, or such of them as survived the disaster, returned to Fort Cumberland, and thence to Winchester.
Washington had imbibed a sovereign contempt for the English officers, during their march across the mountains; he could not conceive how such devotion to personal appearance and comfort; such levity and vanity as they showed, could be consistent with bravery and efficiency in the field,
This opinion he entirely changed, after witnessing the heroic demeanor of these very dandies and bon vivants, upon the Monongahela. Of the rank and file he could not, however, afterwards speak with patience, and with his words concerning their behavior at the battle, this chapter and the history of the campaign may appropriately close: “They were struck with such an inconceivable panic,” he wrote Governor Dinwiddie, “that nothing but confusion and disobedience of orders prevailed among them. The officers, in general, behaved with incomparable bravery, for which they greatly suffered, there being upwards of sixty killed and wounded-a large proportion out of what we had. The Virginia companies behaved like men and died like soldiers, for, I believe, out of three companies on the ground that day, scarce thirty men were left alive. Captain Peronny and all his officers, down to a corporal, were killed. Captain Poulson had almost as hard a fate, for only one of his escaped. In short, the dastardly behavior of the regular troops (so-called) exposed those who were inclined to do their duty to almost certain death; and, at length, in spite of every effort to the contrary, they broke and ran as sheep before the hounds, leaving the artillery, ammunition, provisions, baggage, and, in short, everything, a prey to the enemy; and, when we endeavored to rally them, in hopes of regaining the ground, and what we had left upon it, it was with as little success as if we had attempted to have stopped the wild beasts of the mountains, or the rivulets, with our feet; for they would break by in spite of every effort to prevent it."
TO THE FALL OF FORT DUQUESNL.
ASHINGTON, returning to his home, was received with every
mark of confidence and honor by the House of Burgesses and the people. He had before been regarded as the foremost soldier of Virginia, and the bravery and discretion displayed by him, during the Braddock campaign, had convinced the people that, had his counsel been accepted, the result would have been far different, and thus he was confirmed in their esteem. It was evident that steps must be immediately taken to protect the frontier, exposed, as it was, by this second defeat, to the depredations of both French and Indians, and the House of Burgesses, now thoroughly aroused, made provision for the raising of a force of one thousand six hundred men. Washington was made commander in chief of all the military force of the Province of Virginia, with the unusual and especially conceded privilege of naming his own field officers. Making arrangements for an efficient recruiting service, he at once proceeded to the frontier, to mature a plan by which, with the slender force at his command, he might protect the settlers and repel the invading enemy, along the nearly four hundred miles of wild and exposed border. He was none too soon. Before he had reached the seat of government, on his return from this inspection, he was overtaken by a messenger who bore news that a band of Indians had crossed the mountains and was burning, robbing, murdering, and scalping, throughout the newly populated regions beyond the Blue Ridge. Dispatching word to his recruiting officers to send on their men with all haste to Winchester, Washington himself hastened to that place, which he found given over to panic and confusion. But few troops were in the district, and they, too weak to proceed against the enemy, were blockaded in their own forts. No effort could induce the militia to rendezvous and obtain safety by a united defense; each thought only of himself or his family, and hastened to join the terror-stricken stampede to the eastward. A most