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´╗┐Title: Conestoga Wagons in Braddock's Campaign, 1755
Author: Berkebile, Donald H.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Conestoga Wagons in Braddock's Campaign, 1755" ***

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_Don H. Berkebile_

_By Don H. Berkebile_


_More than 200 years have passed since the Pennsylvania farm wagon, the
ancestral form of the Conestoga wagon, first won attention through
military service in the French and Indian War. These early wagons, while
not generally so well known, were the forerunners of the more popular
Conestoga freighter of the post-Revolutionary period and also of the
swaying, jolting prairie schooners that more recently carried hopeful
immigrants to the western territories._

THE AUTHOR: _Don H. Berkebile is on the exhibits staff of the
Smithsonian Institution's United States National Museum._

In a speech to the Pennsylvania Assembly on December 19, 1754, Governor
Morris suggested a law that would "settle and establish the wages" to be
paid for the use of the wagons and horses which soon were to be pressed
into military service for the expedition against Fort DuQuesne.[1] His
subsequent remarks on the subject were all too indicative of the
difficulties which were later to arise. The Assembly however, neglected
to pass such an act, and the Maryland and Virginia Assemblies were
equally lax in making provision for General Braddock's transportation.

Sir John St. Clair had told Braddock, shortly after his arrival in the
colonies in late February 1755, "of a great number of Dutch settlers, at
the foot of a mountain called the Blue Ridge, who would undertake to
carry by the hundred the provisions and stores...."[2] St. Clair was
confident he could have 200 wagons and 1,500 pack horses at Fort
Cumberland by early May. On April 21 Braddock reached Frederick, in
Maryland. There he found that only 25 wagons had come in and several of
these were unserviceable. Furiously the General swore that the
expedition was at an end. At this point, Benjamin Franklin, who was in
Frederick to placate the wrath of Braddock and St. Clair against the
Pennsylvanians, commented on the advantages the expedition might have
gained had it landed in Philadelphia instead Alexandria,[3] and pointed
out that in eastern Pennsylvania every farmer had a wagon. Braddock then
suggested that Franklin try to raise the needed 150 wagons and the 1,500
pack horses. Asking that the terms to be offered be first drawn up,
Franklin agreed to the undertaking and was accordingly commissioned. On
his return to Pennsylvania, Franklin published an advertisement at
Lancaster on April 26, setting forth the terms offered (the full text of
this advertisement is found in Franklin's autobiography).

Although eventually successful, Franklin was beset by many difficulties
in collecting the wagons. Farmers argued that they could not spare teams
from the work of their farms. Others were not satisfied with the terms
offered. Furthermore, the Quaker-controlled Assembly had little interest
in the war and did nothing to regulate the hire of wagons, in spite of
the repeated pleas of the governor. Franklin published new
advertisements more strongly worded than the first, threatening an
impress of wagons and drivers if better cooperation could not be had.[4]
Finally the governor found it necessary to issue threatening warrants to
the magistrates of four of the more reluctant counties. This action
brought in the wagons but caused new difficulties to arise, for in order
to prevent trouble the townships had contributed, in addition to the
fifteen shillings per day offered in Franklin's terms, from five to
fifteen pounds to each owner who would hire out his wagon.

[Illustration: Figure 1.--BRADDOCK'S ROUTE in the campaign of 1755. The
solid line approximates the present U.S. route 40. From Winthrop
Sargent, _The history of an expedition against Fort DuQuesne_,
Philadelphia, 1755.]

This practice caused others to demand more for their services. Governor
Morris wrote to Richard Peters that he was "preparing to send sixty
waggon loads of oats and corn from hence (Philadelphia), for which I am
sorry to say, that I shall be obliged to give more for the transporting
of it, than the thing is worth, such advantages are taken by the people
of the Public wants...."[5] Two weeks later Edward Shippen, explaining
the teamsters side of the argument, told how they had to pay ferriage at
the Susquehannah and make the return trip with empty wagons.[6] It would
be well to mention here that not all of the wagons were to accompany the
expedition; many were to transport supplies only to Conococheague[7] or
to Wills Creek, and it was the owners of these wagons who, since they
did not feel bound by the same terms offered the 150 accompanying the
expedition, most often took advantage of the situation. In addition,
wagons were needed to supply Colonel James Burd and his party, who were
building the Pennsylvania road from Shippensburg to the forks of the
Youghiogheny,[8] where it was to meet with Braddock's road. When word
came back to the settlements that Indians had killed several of Burd's
wagoners, recruiting became still more difficult. The alarm became so
great that the road builders threatened to leave if protection was not
sent them. Accordingly, Captain Hogg was sent with his company from
Braddock's army to cover them.[9]

Strakes are sections of wagon tire, equal in number to the felloes of
the wheel.]

[Illustration: Figure 3.--SIX STRAKES ARRANGED IN A CIRCLE, as they
would encompass a 12-spoke wheel. In the center are two extra strakes,
two hub bands, and a hub boxing (the smaller ring).]

The farm wagons used in these operations were often referred to as
Conestoga wagons.[10] This term was apparently in general use at least
as early as 1750, when the term "Dutch Wagon" was also used in referring
to this particular type of vehicle.[11] The Conestoga, deriving its
name from the Conestoga valley near Lancaster, was apparently a
Pennsylvania adaptation of the English wagon.[12] Unfortunately there
are no existing specimens of early wagons of whose age we can be
certain, and the few wagon fragments that have been unearthed are
insufficient to justify any conclusions. A number of strakes[13] were
found in Edmund's Swamp (figs. 2-5), on the route of the Forbes
expedition in 1758. These indicate a wheel diameter of 64 inches and a
tire 2 inches wide.[14] The 2-inch tires are undoubtedly relics of a
farmer's wagon, since the various military vehicles had tires no less
than 3 inches and often on the heavier types 4 inches wide. The use of
strakes also indicates that these early wagons had no brakes such as
the large Conestogas of a later era had.[15] From all indications it
would appear that these early farm wagons differed from the larger
freighters of the 1790's and were probably similar to the lighter,
farm-type Conestogas of the 19th century. Farm wagons are somewhat
smaller than road wagons, generally bear less ornamentation and lack the
more graceful lines of the latter.

[Illustration: Figure 4.--A STRAKE, SHOWING SPIKES. On early vehicles
the tires were put on in sections and spiked in place. Later one endless
tire was "sweated" on by being heated to expand it, fitted on the wheel,
and cooled in place.]

Contemporary letters and newspaper advertisements attest to the fact
that farm wagons were the type used by Braddock. For example, Franklin's
advertisement in the _Pennsylvania Gazette_ on May 22, 1755, noted that
"several Neighbors may conveniently join in fitting out a Waggon, as was
lately done in the Back Counties." Had these wagon owners been other
than farmers of poor means, such a notation would have been unnecessary.
In another communication to the inhabitants of Lancaster, York, and
Cumberland Counties Franklin said, "three or four of such as cannot
separately spare from the business of their Plantations a Wagon and four
Horses and a Driver, may do it together, one furnishing the Waggon,
another one or two Horses, and another the Driver, and divide the pay
proportionably between you."[16] Many letters describe the owners of the
wagons with such phrases as "the Poorer sort," and "narrow circumstances
of the Country People, who are to supply the waggons...."[17] These
remarks indicate that farm wagons were used and suggest that the larger
Conestogas, such as were driven by professional teamsters, probably had
not yet been developed.

[Illustration: Figure 5.--BANDS AND HUB BOXING shown in figure 3. These
and the strakes shown in figures 2-4, parts of an old Pennsylvania farm
wagon, were found in Edmunds Swamp, Pennsylvania, along the route of the
Forbes Expedition of 1758.]

That Braddock's wagons were small is evidenced by the loads carried.
Governor Morris seems to indicate loads as small as thirty-five bushels
when he sent a dispatch to Braddock informing him that he had bought
"one thousand bushels of Oats and one thousand bushels of Indian Corn in
this town [Philadelphia], and have directed sixty waggons to be taken
up."[18] This is substantiated by a remark in Captain Orme's journal, in
which he states that "The loads of all waggons were to be reduced to
fourteen hundred weight...." Under the same date, June 11, he indicated
that the farmers wagons were smaller than the English wagons when he
wrote "all the King's waggons were also sent back to the fort, they
being too heavy and requiring large horses for the shafts...."[19]
Another communication from Morris states that he "dispatched fifty-two
waggons from this town, each carrying fifty bushels of grain, one half
oats the ether Indian Corn."[20] This makes a load of about 2,200
pounds,[21] quite in agreement with the statement in the _Gentlemen's
Magazine_ of August 1755, that loads were commonly around one ton. A
load of one ton is small in comparison to those hauled by later wagons
that sometimes carried as much as five or even six tons.

An approximate description of the size of the wagon, taken from the
earliest existing specimens of the same type shows a bed about 12 feet
long on the bottom and 14 feet on the top. Depth of the bed ran about
32 inches and the width was approximately 42 to 46 inches. Though there
was little standardization in most features, eight bows usually
supported the dull white homespun cover. The diameter of the front
wheels varied from 40 to 45 inches, while the rear wheels ran 10 to 20
inches larger.[22]

about 1830, in the collection of the author. The tongue is not full
length. (_Photo by the author._)]

For a 1759 expedition it was recommended that wagon accessories include
drag chains, grass cutting knives, axes, shovels, tar buckets (for
lubricating axles), jacks, hobbles, and extra sets of such items as
clouts (axle-bearing plates), nails, horseshoes, hames, linch pins, and
hamestrings.[23] It is doubtful if many teamsters in the 1755 expedition
had so complete a selection of equipment; campaign experience in the
mountains of western Pennsylvania was necessary to convince them of
this necessity. There is no evidence that the hame bells later to be
found on professional teams were used at this early date. The
advertisement[24] that was circulated for the 1759 expedition mentions a
"slip bell ... for each horse" among the items necessary on an
expedition, so it is possible that some drivers of the 1755 expedition
may have used a single bell on each horse, as was the custom with pack
horses. These bells, kept stuffed during the day, were unstuffed at
night when the horses were put out to forage in the woods so that they
might be more easily found in the morning. Orme mentions no bells,
although he writes of other methods used to avoid losing horses at

Early in May detachments of the Army began to arrive at Wills Creek.
During the advance to Wills Creek the lack of transportation had been
keenly felt. Wagons had been forced to shuttle back and forth between
camps in order to keep all stores and provisions moving forward.[25] By
the latter part of May the Pennsylvania wagons were coming in; about 90
arrived on May 20. That same night 30 wagons had to be sent on to
Winchester to bring up to Wills Creek the provisions which could not be
brought earlier for lack of wagons. Also, 300 of the pack horses had to
be sent back to Conococheague, through which the wagons had just passed,
to bring up the flour which agent Cresap of that place had through
neglect or intention failed to forward in the wagons as he had been
directed. On May 27, 100 wagons were on hand, with some still coming
in.[26] According to the accounts of the commission later appointed to
settle wagoner's claims, 146 wagons with teams, and about 510 pack
horses were provided by Pennsylvanians to accompany the army.[27]

[Illustration: Figure 7.--FARM-TYPE CONESTOGA WAGON, about 1850 in the
collection of the author. The tongue is not full length. (_Photo by the

As the army prepared to move from Fort Cumberland, William Shirley,
secretary to General Braddock, advised Governor Morris "we move from
this place with 200 Waggons."[28] In many communications such as this
there appears a certain looseness in reporting numbers in round figures,
and also in using the words "waggons" or "carriages" in an all
inclusive sense. It is obvious that such figures must often have
included any wheeled vehicle, and sometimes even the gun carriages. Thus
the figure 200 undoubtedly includes 145 Pennsylvania wagons,[29] plus a
number of British Army wagons, tumbrils, and perhaps gun carriages. By
Braddock's own count he had about 40 wagons over and above those he got
from Pennsylvania;[30] how many of these were British wagons, tumbrils,
or possibly a few of the wagons Gage had impressed on his march to Wills
Creek, is unknown.[31]

From the beginning of the march, the roads were a challenge, for both
Braddock's and Burd's roads presented what appeared to be unsurmountable
obstacles. An examination of the terrain over which they had to pass
causes far greater respect for these road builders and drivers than is
usually accorded them. Orme again comes forward with the picture of
their labors. Major Chapman had marched from Wills Creek at daybreak of
May 30,[32] with the advance unit of the army and, says Orme, "it was
night before the whole baggage had got over a mountain about two miles
from the camp. The ascent and descent were almost a perpendicular rock;
three waggons were entirely destroyed, which were replaced from the
camp; and many more were extremely shattered."[33] Braddock went out
from the fort and reconnoitered this section of road. Although 300 men
and the company of miners had been working on the road for several days,
the General "thought it impassable by howitzers," and was about to put
another 300 to work when Lt. Spendelowe of the detachment of seamen
informed him of an easier route he had found.[34] Thus the remainder of
the wagons were spared the trip over the "perpendicular rock."

In addition to these difficulties of baggage movement, there was the
unavoidable peril of losing horses, particularly at night. Orme gives
the following description of the situation:[35]

   Most of the horses which brought up the train were either lost, or
   carried home by their owners, the nature of the country making it
   impossible to avoid this fatal inconvenience, the whole being a
   continual forest for several hundred miles without inclosures or
   bounds by which horses can be secured: they must be turned into the
   woods for their subsistance, and feed upon leaves and young shoots of
   trees. Many projects, such as belts, hobles, &c., were tried, but
   none of these were a security against the wildness of the country and
   the knavery of the people we were obliged to employ: by these means
   we lost our horses almost as fast as we could collect them, and those
   which remained grew very weak, so we found ourselves every day less
   able to undertake the extra-ordinary march we were to perform.

Braddock soon appointed a Wagon Master General, and under him wagon
masters, horse masters, and drovers. By his order, horses were to be
mustered both morning and evening. When the men made camp, the wagons
were to be drawn up in a single line along the road, with an interval
between companies. The horses were then turned into the woods to feed,
surrounded by a line of sentinels who were not to permit any horses to
pass them.

By June 16, when the first brigade reached Little Meadows, Braddock
realized that the advance of his column was being retarded and his
troops weakened by the number of wagons in his train.[36] Washington,
who had profited from his 1754 experiences in Pennsylvania, previously
had recommended that Braddock use more pack horses and fewer wagons.[37]
It became obvious that wagons, while ordinarily superior to pack
animals, lost this advantage if the roads were not sufficiently opened
to admit their easy passage. In view of this, Braddock decided to
advance from Little Meadows with a picked detachment of 1,300 men and a
minimum of wagons, about 30 in number, and to leave the heavier baggage
with 84 wagons in charge of Colonel Dunbar and his 850 men.[38] Prior to
this re-organization at Little Meadows, four horse teams had been used
in accordance with the terms of Franklin's advertisements. Now, however,
the advance unit of the army marched with six horses to a wagon,[39] a
change necessitated equally by the rugged terrain and the hastily
constructed roads with which they were forced to contend, and by the
poor condition of the horses.[40]

While this lightened column moved forward more rapidly, the mountainous
and rocky roads continued to impede the progress of the army. On the
morning of June 25 so steep a grade was encountered that the men were
obliged to ease the carriages down with tackles. Throughout the
remainder of June and the early part of July the column was so retarded
by the road conditions that only a few miles could be covered each
day.[41] By July 4 the country had become less difficult and the army
was able to add a few more miles to the daily march. At one o'clock on
the afternoon of July 9 this small train of wagons moved over the second
ford of the Monongahela between the troops of the 44th and 48th
regiments. A short time later the unfortunate expedition met defeat for
all its efforts. As the battle drew to a close, many of the surviving
troops began to gather around the wagons. This drew heavier fire on the
wagons and at this point, said Franklin, "the waggoners took each a
horse out of his team and scamper'd."[42]

As evening drew on, the wounded Braddock sent Washington back to
Dunbar's Camp, nearly 45 miles behind, to order wagons forward with
provisions and hospital stores and to transport the wounded back to
Wills Creek. A number of these wagons met the retreating army on July
11, at Gist's Plantation; then, after wounds were dressed, they returned
to Dunbar's Camp. There most of the wagons were gathered with the stores
and burned in order to keep them from the hands of the enemy. The
survivors continued their retreat, accompanied by a few of the wagons
loaded with wounded comrades.

The number of Pennsylvania wagons that arrived back at Wills Creek has
not been definitely established. For the service of their wagons, 30
owners received payment for a period greater than the 51 days, but of
these, only 10 were paid for services beyond what appears to be July
20.[43] Only the wagon of William Douglas, out of 146 wagons involved,
seems to have survived the campaign intact.[44] Inasmuch as the other
owners were reimbursed for the loss of their wagons, it is likely that
those few that arrived back at Fort Cumberland were so badly damaged as
to render them unserviceable, and therefore not worth driving back to
eastern Pennsylvania.

Seven criticisms were made of Braddock's advance to the forks of the
Ohio. Of these seven, six, in varying degrees, concern transportation.[45]
In choosing Alexandria to land his troops he put himself more distant
from the needed wagons; his horses were too few and too weak to bear the
burden of all the supplies on the entire march, without depots having
first been established at the various camps along the line of march; his
troops were delayed by the progress of the wagons and by the necessity of
their having to help with the wagons; the roads were inadequate in many
places for the excessively heavy artillery and the wagons; the pack horses
were weakened by the extra service they were required to perform; and due
to his lack of horses, Dunbar had been left too far behind.[46] While
other factors contributed to the outcome of the expedition, many of the
officers learned, as had Washington in 1754, the importance of proper


_Styles in farm equipment change slowly, and it is probable that the
farm-type Conestoga wagon of about 1850 shown in figure 7 is similar in
many respects to the Pennsylvania wagons used by Braddock a century
earlier. The prairie schooner, too, bore many of the characteristics of
these early farm wagons. It was about the same length as the Conestoga
wagon, but the lines of the bed were straight rather than curved and the
bows supporting the cloth cover were upright rather than slanting fore
and aft. Also, the prairie schooner had a seat where the driver, or at
least his family, could ride during the seemingly endless days of the

_In this respect the prairie schooner differed not only from the early
farm wagons, but also from the large freighting Conestogas, like that in
figure 6, which dates from about 1830. In the years following the
Revolution and before the coming of the railroad these freighters were
used to carry all types of merchandise to Pittsburgh from Philadelphia
by way of present route U.S. 30 and from Baltimore by way of present
route U.S. 40._

_The freighting Conestoga had no inside seats, and the teamster, when
not walking by his team, either rode the left wheel horse or the "lazy
board" projecting from the left side of the wagon, just in front of the
rear wheel. It is distinguished by its distinctive, overhanging end
bows, from which swept down the characteristic homespun cover, and by
its lines, which are longer and more graceful than those of either the
later prairie schooner or the earlier Pennsylvania farm wagon._

1800-1820. (_Drawing by Donald W. Holst._)]

This drawing and those of figures 9 and 10 are from specifications,
sketches, and photographs, now in the files of the division of
transportation, U.S. National Museum, taken in 1925 by Paul E. Garber
from a wagon then the property of Amos Gingrich, Lancaster,
Pennsylvania. This wagon is illustrated in John Omwake's _Conestoga
six-horse bell teams_, 1750-1850, Cincinnati, 1930, pp. 57, 63, 87.

_a_: Bed and running gear, right side: 1, Bows for supporting cover. 2,
Ridgepole, or stringer. 3, Top rail, with bow staples and side-board
staples. 4, Side-boards, removable. 5, Feedbox in traveling position. 6,
Rubbing plates to prevent wheels wearing wooden frame. 7, Side-board
standards, forming framework of sides (on the inside, a few of these
sometimes project a few inches above the top rail to support the
side-boards). 9, Securing rings for the ends of the spread chains, two of
which span the bed to give extra support to the sides against inside

_b_: Tongue, or pole, top and side views: 1, doubletree hasp, shown in
proper position over the doubletree in the lower drawing: the
hammer-headed doubletree pin goes through it, then through the
doubletree and the tongue. 2, Wear plate for doubletree pin. 3, Feedbox
staple; in use, the feedbox is unhooked from the rear, the long pin on
one end of the box is passed through the hole for the doubletree pin,
and the lug on the other end of the box is slipped through the staple.
4, Hitching rings, for securing horses while feeding. 5, End ring.

1800-1820, OF FIGURE 8. (_Drawing by Donald W. Holst._)]

_a_: Running gear, top view: 1, Front and rear hounds. 2, Bolsters, with
axletrees directly underneath. 3, Coupling pole. 4, Brake beam. 5,
Brake-beam shelf, or support. 6, Segments forming the fifth wheel; these
prevented the bed from toppling, or swaying excessively on turns. 7,
Rear brace for front hounds, to keep tongue from dropping.

_b_: Brake mechanism, detail: 1, Brake rocker bar, with squared end for
brake lever. 2, Rods connecting rocker bar to brake beam. 3, Rubber, or
brakeshoe, made of wood, often faced with old leather. 4, Brake beam. 5,
Brake-beam shelf, or support. 6, Brake lever, often 4 or 5 feet long.

_c_: Front axletree and bolsters, front view: 1, Axletree. 2, Bolster,
showing wear plates. 3, Upper bolster, actually part of the wagon bed.
4, Axle, showing ironing.

_d_: Rear axletree and bolster, rear view: 1, Axle tree, showing
linchpin in position in right axle. 2, Bolster. 3, Hook and staple for
holding bucket of tar used in lubricating axles. 4, Hound pins.

_e_: Toolbox, showing front, end, and top; it was secured to left side
of wagon.

_f_: Doubletree, with singletrees attached.

_g_: Brake mechanism, side view.

8. (_Drawing by Donald W. Holst._)

_a_: Feedbox: 1, Top. 2, Side, showing pin and lug for securing to
tongue. 3, End, showing bracket into which the chains hooked for

_b_: Front end panel: 1, Bottom end rail. 2, Middle end rail. 3, Top end
rail. 4, Standard, or upright, forming end framing. 5, End boards. 6,
Bow. 7, Corner plates.

_c_: Rear end gate: 1, Staples for end-gate standards. 2, End-gate hasps
and hooks. 3, Pins to secure gate to upper side rails. 4, Crossbar to
give extra support to end gate.

_d_: Rear wheel.

_e_: Cross section of wheel: 1, Boxings, of cast iron, wedged in hub to
take wear of axle.

_f_: Front wheel: 1, Felly, or felloe. 2, Spoke. 3, Hub, or nave.

_g_: Floor of wagon, from under side: 1, Crossbeams, the center and rear
ones being heavier, and projecting at the ends to hold the iron side
braces visible in figure 8,_a_. 2, Bottom side rails. 3, Floorboards. 4,
Position of rear bolster when bed is on running gear. 5, Front bolster,
showing hole for kingpin.


[Footnote 1: _Pennsylvania Archives_, ser. 8, vol. 5, Morris to the
House, Dec. 19, 1754.]

[Footnote 2: Robert Orme's Journal, _in_ Winthrop Sargent, _The history
of an expedition against Fort DuQuesne_, p. 288, Philadelphia, 1855.]

[Footnote 3: Benjamin Franklin, _Autobiography_, p. 166, New York,

[Footnote 4: _Pennsylvania Archives_, ser. 1, vol. 2, pp. 295-96.
Franklin suggested that St. Clair, with a body of troops, would probably
enter Pennsylvania and take what he wanted, if it could not be obtained

[Footnote 5: _Ibid._, ser. 1, vol. 2, Morris to Peters, May 30, 1755.]

[Footnote 6: _Ibid._, Shippen to Morris, June 13, 1755.]

[Footnote 7: The modern spelling is given above. A number of spellings
were common in 1755, among them Conegogee, Connecochieg, and

[Footnote 8: This is the modern spelling. Among those used in 1755 were
Yoxhio Geni and Ohiogany.]

[Footnote 9: _Pennsylvania Archives_, ser. 1, vol. 2, Shippen to Allen,
June 30, 1755. Also, Orme's Journal, in Sargent, _op. cit._ (footnote 2)
p. 329.]

[Footnote 10: Originally spelled Conestogoe. The first known reference
to a Conestoga wagon appears under date of 1717 in James Logan's
"Account Book, 1712-1719," the manuscript original of which is in the
Historical Society of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. It is likely that
the reference was only to a wagon from Conestogoe, and not to a definite
type of vehicle.]

[Footnote 11: The term seems to have been in common use by 1750 since a
tavern in Philadelphia, called "The Sign of the Conestogoe Waggon," was
mentioned in an advertisement in the _Pennsylvania Gazette_, February 5,
1750, but another advertisement, (_ibid._, February 12, 1750), in
referring to what was apparently the same establishment, uses the term
"Dutch Waggon."]

[Footnote 12: It is not certain at this time whether English or German
styles influenced the Conestoga wagon most. Judging from some early
English wagons still in existence, it would appear that some of these
lines were followed. Even today some farmers, and those who have been
close to the wagon and its use, frequently refer to the Conestoga type
as "English wagons."]

[Footnote 13: Strakes are sections of wagon tire, equal in number to the
felloes of a wheel. On early vehicles the tires were put on in sections
and spiked in place. Later, one endless tire was "sweated" on, by being
heated, fitted on the wheel, and cooled in place.]

[Footnote 14: Found in 1953 by the Field Corps for Historical Research,
these strakes are obviously from rear wheels. Though dimensions were by
no means standardized, front wheels were always smaller, so that in
turning the wagon the tires would be less likely to rub the sides of the
wagon box.]

[Footnote 15: Strakes were spiked onto the wheel with large square
headed nails, as indicated in figure 3, and a brake shoe would have been
rapidly torn to pieces by rubbing against them.]

[Footnote 16: _Pennsylvania Archives_, ser. 1, vol. 2, pp. 295-96.]

[Footnote 17: _Ibid._, ser. 1, vol. 2, Shippen to Morris, February 17,
1756; and ser. 4, vol. 2, Denny to Amherst, March 3, 1759.]

[Footnote 18: _Ibid._, ser. 1, vol. 2, Morris to Braddock, June 4,

[Footnote 19: Orme's Journal, in Sargent, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), pp.
331-32. English wagons were equipped with pairs of shafts, similar to
those of a spring wagon or buggy of recent times. Wagon shafts were,
however, much heavier than the latter.]

[Footnote 20: _Pennsylvania Archives_, ser. 4, vol. 2, Morris to
Braddock, June 12, 1755.]

[Footnote 21: R. Moore, _The universal assistant_, p. 205, New York, n.d.
The weight of corn is given at 56 pounds per bushel, and oats at 32
pounds per bushel.]

[Footnote 22: One light wagon of about 1800 had smaller wheels, the
front being 37 inches and the rear 49 inches in diameter.]

[Footnote 23: _Pennsylvania Archives_, ser. 1, vol. 3, advertisement of
General Stanwix for wagons, May 4, 1759.]

[Footnote 24: _Ibid._]

[Footnote 25: Will H. Lowdermilk, _Edward Braddock's orderly books_,
Cumberland, 1880, p. 25.]

[Footnote 26: Seaman's Journal, in Sargent, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p.

[Footnote 27: Lewis Burd Walker, ed., _The settlement of the waggoners'
accounts_, 1899.]

[Footnote 28: _Pennsylvania Archives_, ser. 1, vol. 2, Shirley to
Morris, June 7, 1755.]

[Footnote 29: Walker, _op. cit._ (footnote 27), p. 20. Of the 146
wagons, one was apparently unserviceable by the time it reached Wills
Creek. Its owner was paid only for his services and the use of his

[Footnote 30: Orme's Journal, in Sargent, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p.

[Footnote 31: _Ibid._, p. 312.]

[Footnote 32: _Ibid._, p. 323. There is some question here whether the
incident reported occurred near Wills Creek, or on June 15 in the
Allegheny Mountains. Orme reports two such incidents with identical
figures and nearly identical language. Perhaps he was confusing the two

[Footnote 33: _Ibid._, p. 334. When wagons were damaged on the march,
and repair was impossible, the load was divided among the other wagons
and the unserviceable wagon abandoned.]

[Footnote 34: _Ibid._, p. 324 (see also Seaman's Journal, in Sargent,
_op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 381). A detachment of 30 seamen and several
officers had been detached from the fleet and assigned to the expedition
to offer assistance in rigging cordages, in the event that the erection
of bridges would be necessary.]

[Footnote 35: _Ibid._, p. 313.]

[Footnote 36: _Ibid._, p. 334 (see also Seaman's Journal, in Sargent,
_op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 383). At times it was necessary for half the
troops to ground their arms and assist in moving the wagons up or down

[Footnote 37: Douglas S. Freeman, _George Washington_, vol. 1, p. 140,
New York, 1949. Washington had written his brother John on June 14 and
given his opinion that they should "retrench the wagons and increase the
number of bat horses."]

[Footnote 38: Sargent, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p. 203. Wagons
apparently carried only artillery stores and other ammunition with the
advance detachment. All provisions were carried on pack horses.]

[Footnote 39: Orme's Journal, in Sargent, _op. cit._ (footnote 2), p.

[Footnote 40: _Ibid._, p. 332. Orme said the condition of the army was
such that they could not reject any horses, a situation that was used to
advantage by many contractors. He refers to the horses as "The offcasts
of Indian traders, and scarce able to stand under one hundred weight."
By contract they were to have carried twice that load.]

[Footnote 41: _Ibid._, pp. 342-346. On June 26, due to the "extreme
badness of the road," the army covered 4 miles; on June 27, 6 miles;
June 28, 5 miles; and on June 30 passage over a mountain reduced the
day's march to 2 miles.]

[Footnote 42: Walker, _op. cit._ (footnote 27). It is interesting to
note in the Waggoners' Accounts which of the teamsters apparently took a
horse and "scamper'd." On the accounts of a number of them is entered
the remark "to a horse returned," indicating that they were first
credited for the loss of wagon and team, but the value of one horse was
deducted in the final settlement, the one horse having arrived safely
back at Wills Creek, in company, no doubt, with its anxious driver.]

[Footnote 43: A true picture is not presented here, since the accounts,
except for a few cases, do not contain either the number of days for
which the owners were paid or the dates of service. Only the amounts
paid are given, which, if broken down at 15 shillings per day, at first
would appear to indicate the last date of service. However, since it is
not known which, if any, of these wagons went to Winchester before the
march, no accurate conclusions can be reached. There can be little doubt
that the few wagons that reached Wills Creek late in July were among the

[Footnote 44: Walker, _op. cit._ (footnote 27), p. 24. Douglas was not
reimbursed for the loss of his wagon and was paid for an additional 55
days of service at a slightly reduced rate, due to the loss of one

[Footnote 45: Freeman, _op. cit._ (footnote 37), vol. 2, p. 89.]

[Footnote 46: _Ibid._, p. 90. As wagons had been shuttled back in April,
it was also necessary for Dunbar to shuttle horses, drawing up the first
of his wagons one day and returning with his few horses on the following
day to bring up the balance of the wagons.]

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