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Title: Historic Highways of America (Vol. 4) - Braddock's Road and Three Relative Papers
Author: Hulbert, Arthur Butler
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.

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  [Illustration: BRADDOCK'S GRAVE

  [_The depression on the right is the ancient track of Braddock's
  Road; near the single cluster of gnarled apple trees in the meadow
  beyond, Braddock died and was first buried_]]


  Braddock's Road


  _With Maps and Illustrations_






  PREFACE                                             11
    II. THE VIRGINIA CAMPAIGN                         30
    IV. A SEAMAN'S JOURNAL                            79
     V. THE BATTLE OF THE MONONGAHELA                108
    VI. A DESCRIPTION OF THE BACKWOODS               136
  VIII. BRADDOCK'S ROAD IN HISTORY                   191


     I. BRADDOCK'S GRAVE                                  _Frontispiece_
    II. ENGLISH AND FRENCH ROUTES TO THE OHIO; 1756                   21
   III. PLAN OF FORT CUMBERLAND; FEBRUARY 1755                        27
    IV. VIEW OF FORT CUMBERLAND; 1755                                 45
     V. MAP OF BRADDOCK'S ROAD; ABOUT 1759                            69
    VI. BRADDOCK'S ROAD NEAR FROSTBURG, MARYLAND                     148
   VII. MIDDLETON'S MAP OF BRADDOCK'S ROAD; 1847                     174


The French were invariably defeated by the British on this continent
because the latter overcame natural obstacles which the former blindly
trusted as insurmountable. The French made a league with the
Alleghenies--and Washington and Braddock and Forbes conquered the
Alleghenies; the French, later, blindly trusted the crags at Louisbourg
and Quebec--and the dauntless Wolfe, in both instances, accomplished the
seemingly impossible.

The building of Braddock's Road in 1755 across the Alleghenies was the
first significant token in the West of the British grit which finally
overcame. Few roads ever cost so much, ever amounted to so little at
first, and then finally played so important a part in the development of
any continent.

                                                              A. B. H.

MARIETTA, O., December 8, 1902.

Braddock's Road


Three Relative Papers



If Providence had reversed the decree which allowed Frenchmen to settle
the St. Lawrence and Englishmen the middle Atlantic seaboard, and,
instead, had brought Englishmen to Quebec and Frenchmen to Jamestown, it
is sure that the English conquest of the American continent would not
have cost the time and blood it did.

The Appalachian mountain system proved a tremendous handicap to Saxon
conquest. True, there were waterways inland, the Connecticut, Hudson,
Delaware, James, and Potomac rivers, but these led straight into the
mountains where for generations the feeble settlements could not spread
and where explorers became disheartened ere the rich empire beyond was
ever reached.

The St. Lawrence, on the other hand, offered a rough but sure course
tempting ambitious men onward to the great lake system from which it
flowed, and the Ottawa River offered yet another course to the same
splendid goal. So, while the stolid English were planting sure feet
along the seaboard, New France was spreading by leaps and bounds across
the longitudes. But, wide-spread as these discoveries were, they were
discoveries only--the feet of those who should occupy and defend the
land discovered were heavy where the light paddle of the voyageur had
glistened brightly beneath the noon-day sun. It was one thing to seek
out such an empire and quite another thing to occupy and fortify it. The
French reached the Mississippi at the beginning of the last quarter of
the seventeenth century; ten years after the middle of the eighteenth
they lost all the territory between the Atlantic and Mississippi--though
during the last ten years of their possession they had attempted
heroically to take the nine stitches where a generation before the
proverbial one stitch would have been of twenty-fold more advantage. The
transportation of arms and stores upstream into the interior, around
the foaming rapids and thundering falls that impeded the way, was
painfully arduous labor, and the inspiration of the swift explorers,
flushed with fevered dreams, was lacking to the heavy trains which
toiled so far in the rear.

There were three points at which the two nations, France and England,
met and struck fire in the interior of North America, and in each
instance it was the French who were the aggressors--because of the easy
means of access which they had into the disputed frontier region. They
came up the Chaudière and down the Kennebec or up the Richelieu and Lake
Champlain, striking at the heart of New England; they ascended the St.
Lawrence and entered Lake Ontario, coveted and claimed by the Province
of New York; they pushed through Lake Ontario and down the Allegheny to
the Ohio River, which Virginia loved and sought to guard. The French
tried to guard these three avenues of approach by erecting fortresses on
the Richelieu River, on Lakes Champlain, Ontario, and Erie, and on the
Allegheny and Ohio Rivers. These forts were the weights on the net
which the French were stretching from the mouth of the St. Lawrence to
the mouth of the Mississippi. And when that net was drawn taut New
England and New York and Virginia would be swept into the sea!

It was a splendid scheme--but the weights were not heavy enough. After
interminable blunders and delays the English broke into the net and then
by desperate floundering tore it to fragments. They reached the line of
forts by three routes, each difficult and hazardous, for in any case
vast stretches of forests were to be passed; and until the very last,
the French had strong Indian allies who guarded these forests with valor
worthy of a happier cause. New England defended herself by ascending the
Hudson and crossing the portage to Lake George and Lake Champlain. New
York ascended the Mohawk and, crossing the famous Oneida portage to
Odeida Lake, descended the Onondaga River to Oswego on Lake Ontario.
Virginia spreading out, according to her unchallenged claims, across the
entire continent, could only reach the French on the Ohio by ascending
the Potomac to a point near the mouth of Wills Creek, whence an Indian
path led northwestward over a hundred miles to the Monongahela, which
was descended to its junction with the Ohio. The two former routes, to
Lake Champlain and to Lake Ontario, were, with short portages,
practically all-water routes, over which provisions and army stores
could be transported northward to the zone into which the French had
likewise come by water-routes. The critical points of both routes of
both hostile nations were the strategic portages where land travel was
rendered imperative by the difficulties of navigation. On these portages
many forts instantly sprang into existence--in some instances mere posts
and entrepôts, in some cases strongly fortified citadels.

The route from Virginia to the Ohio Valley, finally made historic by the
English General Braddock, was by far the most difficult of all the ways
by which the English could meet the French. The Potomac was navigable
for small boats at favorable seasons for varying distances; but beyond
the mountains the first water reached, the Youghiogheny, was useless for
military purposes, as Washington discovered during the march of the
Virginia Regiment, 1754. The route had, however, been marked out under
the direction of Captain Thomas Cresap, for the Ohio Company, and was,
at the time of Washington's expedition, the most accessible passageway
from Virginia to the "Forks of the Ohio." The only other Virginian
thoroughfare westward brought the traveller around into the valley of
the Great Kanawha which empties into the Ohio two hundred odd miles
below the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers. It was over
this slight trail by Wills Creek, Great Meadows, and the Forks of the
Ohio that Washington had gone in 1753 to the French forts on French
Creek; and it was this path that the same undaunted youth widened, the
year after, in order to haul his swivels westward with the vanguard of
Colonel Fry's army which was to drive the French from the Ohio.
Washington's Road--as Nemacolin's Path should, in all conscience, be
known--was widened to the summit of Mount Braddock. From Mount
Braddock Washington's little force retraced their steps over the road
they had built in the face of the larger French army sent against them
until they were driven to bay in their little fortified camp, Fort
Necessity, in Great Meadows, where the capitulation took place after an
all-day's battle. Marching out with the honors of war, the remnant of
this first English army crawled painfully back to Wills Creek. All this
took place in the summer of 1754.

[_From the original in the British Museum_]]

The inglorious campaign ending thus in dismay was of considerably more
moment than its dejected survivors could possibly have imagined. Small
as were the numbers of contestants on both sides, and distant though the
scene of conflict might have been, the peace between England and France
was at this moment poised too delicately not to be disturbed by even the
faintest roll of musketry in the distant unknown Alleghenies.

Washington had been able neither to fight successfully nor to avoid a
battle by conducting a decent retreat because the reinforcements
expected from Virginia were not sent him. These "reinforcements" were
Rutherford's and Clarke's Independent Companies of Foot which Governor
Dinwiddie had ordered from New York to Virginia but which did not arrive
in Hampton Roads until the eighth of June. On the first of September
these troops were marched to Wills Creek, where, being joined by Captain
Demerie's Independent Company from South Carolina, they began, on the
twelfth of September, the erection of a fort. The building of this fort
by Virginia nearly a hundred miles west of Winchester (then a frontier
post) is only paralleled by the energy of Massachusetts in building two
forts in the same year on the Kennebec River--Fort Western and Fort
Halifax. New York had almost forgotten her frontier forts at Saratoga
and Oswego, and the important portage between the Hudson and Lake George
was undefended while the French were building both Fort Ticonderoga and
Fort Frederick (Crown Point) on Lake Champlain. New York and New England
could have seized and fortified Lake Champlain prior to French
encroachment as easily as Virginia could fortify Wills Creek. Virginia,
however, had been assisted from the royal chest, while the assemblies of
the other colonies were in the customary state of turmoil, governor
against legislature. The intermediate province of Pennsylvania, home of
the peaceful Quakers, looked askance upon the darkening war-clouds and
had done little or nothing for the protection of her populous frontiers.
As a result, therefore, the Virginian route to the French, though
longest and most difficult, was made, by the erection of Fort Cumberland
at Wills Creek, at once the most conspicuous.

Fort Cumberland, named in honor of the Duke of Cumberland,
Captain-general of the English Army, was located on an eminence between
Wills Creek and the Potomac, two hundred yards from the former and about
four hundred yards from the latter. Its length was approximately two
hundred yards and its breadth nearly fifty yards; and "is built," writes
an eye-witness in 1755, "by logs driven into the ground, and about 12
feet above it, with embrasures for 12 guns, and 10 mounted 4 pounders,
besides stocks for swivels, and loop holes for small arms." As the
accompanying map indicates, the fort was built with a view to the
protection of the store-houses erected at the mouth of Wills Creek by
the Ohio Company. This is another suggestion of the close connection
between the commercial and military expansion of Virginia into the Ohio
basin. Wherever a storehouse of the Ohio Company was erected a fort soon
followed--with the exception of the strategic position at the junction
of the Allegheny and Monongahela where English fort building was brought
to a sudden end by the arrival of the French, who, on English
beginnings, erected Fort Duquesne in 1754. A little fort at the mouth of
Redstone Creek on the Monongahela had been erected in 1753 but that,
together with the blasted remains of Fort Necessity, fell into the hands
of the French in the campaign of 1754. Consequently, at the dawning of
the memorable year 1755, Fort Cumberland was the most advanced English
position in the West. The French Indian allies saw to it that it was
safe for no Englishman to step even one pace nearer the Ohio; they
skulked continually in the neighboring forests and committed many
depredations almost within range of the guns of Fort Cumberland.

1755 [_Showing buildings of the Ohio Company across the Potomac River_]
(_From the original in British Museum_)]



Governor Dinwiddie's zeal had increased in inverse ratio to the success
of Virginian arms. After Washington's repulse at Fort Necessity he
redoubled his energies, incited by a letter received from one of
Washington's hostages at Fort Duquesne. Colonel Innes was appointed to
command the Virginia troops and superintend the erection of Fort
Cumberland, while Washington was ordered to fill up his depleted
companies by enlistments and to move out again to Fort Cumberland.
Indeed it was only by objections urged in the very strongest manner that
the inconsiderate Governor was deterred from launching another destitute
and ill-equipped expedition into the snow-drifted Alleghenies.

But there was activity elsewhere than in Virginia during the winter of
1754-5. Contrecoeur, commanding at Fort Duquesne, sent clear reports of
the campaign of 1754. The French cause was strengthening. The success of
the French had had a wonderful effect on the indifferent Indians;
hundreds before only half-hearted came readily under French domination.
All this was of utmost moment to New France, possibly of more importance
than keeping her chain of forts to Quebec unbroken. As Joncaire, the
drunken commander on the Allegheny, had told Washington in 1753, the
English could raise two men in America to their one--but not including
their Indians.

It is, probably, impossible for us to realize with what feelings the
French anticipated war with England on the American continent. The long
campaigns in Europe had cost both nations much and had brought no return
to either. Even Marshal Saxe's brilliant victories were purchased at a
fabulous price, and, at the end, Louis had given up all that was gained
in order to pose "as a Prince and not as a merchant." But in America
there was a prize which both of these nations desired and which was
worth fighting for--the grandest prize ever won in war! Between the
French and English colonies lay this black forest stretching from Maine
through New York and Pennsylvania and Virginia to the Gulf of Mexico. It
seemed, to the French, the silliest dream imaginable for the English to
plan to pierce this forest and conquer New France. To reach any of the
French forts a long passage by half-known courses through an
inhospitable wilderness was necessary; and the French knew by a century
of experience what a Herculean task it was to carry troops and stores
over the inland water and land ways of primeval America. But for the
task they had had much assistance from the Indians and were favored in
many instances by the currents of these rivers; the English had almost
no Indian allies and in every case were compelled to ascend their rivers
to reach the French. However, the formation of the Ohio Company and the
lively days of the summer of 1754 in the Alleghenies aroused France as
nothing else could; here was one young Virginian officer who had found
his way through the forests, and there was no telling how many more
there might be like him. And France, tenfold more disturbed by
Washington's campaign than there was need for, performed wonders during
the winter of 1754-5. The story of the action at Fort Necessity was
transmitted to London and was represented by the British ambassadors at
Paris as an open violation of the peace, "which did not meet with the
same degree of respect," writes a caustic historian, "as on former
occasions of complaint: the time now nearly approaching for the French
to pull off the mask of moderation and peace."[1] As if to confirm this
suspicion, the French marine became suddenly active, the Ministry
ordered a powerful armament to be fitted at Brest; "in all these
armaments," wrote the Earl of Holderness's secret agent, "there appeared
a plain design to make settlements and to build forts; besides, that it
was given out, they resolved to augment the fortifications at Louisburg,
and to build more forts on the Ohio."[2]

But there was activity now in England, too. Governor Sharpe of
Maryland, but lately appointed Commander-in-chief in America, had only a
hint of what was being planned and was to have even less share in its
accomplishment; in vain his friends extolled him as honest--"a little
less honesty," declared George II, characteristically, "and a little
more ability were more to be desired at the moment." And the rule worked
on both sides of the Atlantic. American affairs had long been in the
hands of the Secretary of the Board of Trade, the Duke of Newcastle, as
perfect an ass as ever held high office. He had opposed every policy
that did not accord with his own "time serving selfishness" with a
persistency only matched by his unparalleled ignorance. Once thrown into
a panic, it is said, at a rumor that a large French army had been thrown
into Cape Breton, he was asked where the necessary transports had been

"Transports," he shrieked, "I tell you they marched by land!"

"By land, to the island of Cape Breton?" was the astonished reply.

"What, is Cape Breton an island? Are you sure of that?" and he ran away
with an "Egad, I will go directly and tell the King that Cape Breton is
an island!" It is not surprising that a government which could ever have
tolerated such a man in high office should have neglected, then abused,
and then lost its American colonies.

But Newcastle gave way to an abler man. The new campaign in North
America was the conception of the Captain-general of the British Army,
the Duke of Cumberland, hero of Culloden.

On November 14, 1754, King George opened Parliament with the statement
that "His principal view should be to strengthen the foundation, and
secure the duration of a general peace; to improve the present
advantages of it for promoting the trade of his good subjects, and
protecting those possessions which constitute one great source of their
wealth and commerce." Only in this vague way did His Majesty refer to
the situation in America, lest he precipitate a debate; but Parliament
took the cue and voted over four million pounds--one million of which
was to be devoted to augmenting England's forces "by land and sea."
Cumberland's plan for the operations against the French in America had,
sometime before, been forwarded to the point of selecting a
Generalissimo to be sent to that continent. Major-General Edward
Braddock was appointed to the service, upon the Duke of Cumberland's
recommendation, on September 24.

Edward Braddock was a lieutenant-colonel of the line and a major of the
Foot Guards, the choicest corps of the British army--a position which
cost the holder no less than eighteen thousand dollars. He was born in
Ireland but was not Irish, for neither Scot, Irish, nor Papist could
aspire to the meanest rank of the Foot Guards. He was as old as his
century. His promotion in the army had been jointly due to the good name
of his father, Edward Braddock I, who was retired as Major-general in
1715, to his passion for strict discipline, and to the favor of His
Grace the Duke of Cumberland. Braddock's personal bravery was
proverbial; it was said that his troops never faced a danger when their
commander was not "greedy to lead." In private life he was dissolute; in
disposition, "a very Iroquois," according to Walpole. Yet certain of
his friends denied the brutality which many attributed to him. "As we
were walking in the Park," one of Braddock's admirers has recorded, "we
heard a poor fellow was to be chastized; when I requested the General to
beg off the offender. Upon his application to the general officer, whose
name was Dury, he asked Braddock, How long since he had divested himself
of brutality and the insolence of his manner? To which the other
replied, 'You never knew me insolent to my inferiors. It is only to such
rude men as yourself that I behave with the spirit which I think they
deserve.'"[3] And yet, when his sister Fanny hanged herself with a
silver girdle to her chamber door, after losing her fortune at the
gaming tables, the brute of a brother observed, "I always thought she
would play till she would be forced to tuck herself up." On the other
hand it need not be forgotten that Braddock was for forty-three years in
the service of the famed Coldstream Guards; that he probably conducted
himself with courage in the Vigo expedition and in the Low Countries,
and was a survivor of bloody Dettingen, Culloden, Fontenoy, and
Bergen-op-Zoom. In 1753 he was stationed at Gibraltar where, "with all
his brutality," writes Walpole, "he made himself adored, and where
scarce any governor was endured before."[4]

Two months and one day after Braddock's commission was signed he
received two letters of instructions, one from the King and one from the
Duke of Cumberland. "For your better direction in discharge of y^e Trust
thereby reposed in You," reads the King's letter, "We have judged it
proper to give You the following Instructions." The document is divided
into thirteen heads:

1. Two regiments of Foot commanded by Sir Peter Halket and Colonel
Dunbar, with a train of artillery and necessary ships were ordered to
"repair to North America."

2. Braddock ordered to proceed to America and take under his command
these troops, cultivating meanwhile "a good understanding &
correspondence with Aug. Keppel Esq^r." who was appointed commander of
the American squadron.

3. Orders him also to take command of and properly distribute 3000 men
which the Governors of the provinces had been ordered to raise to serve
under Governor Shirley and Sir William Pepperell; informs him that Sir
John St. Clair, deputy Quarter Master General, and Jas. Pitcher Esq^r.,
"our commissary of y^e musters, in North America," had been sent to
prepare for the arrival of the troops from Ireland and for raising the
troops in America. Upon Braddock's arrival he should inform himself of
the progress of these preparations.

4. Provisions for the troops from Ireland had been prepared lest, upon
arrival in America, they should be in want.

5. "Whereas, We have given Orders to our said Gov^{rs} to provide
carefully a sufficient Quantity of fresh victuals for y^e use of our
Troops at their arrival, & y^t they should also furnish all our officers
who may have occasion to go from Place to Place, with all necessaries
for travelling by Land, in case there are no means of going by Sea; &
likewise, to observe and obey all such orders as shall be given by You
or Persons appointed by you from time to time for quartering Troops,
impressing Carriages, & providing all necessaries for such Forces as
shall arrive or be raised in America, and y^t the s^d several Services
shall be performed at the charge of y^e respective Governments, wherein
the same shall happen. It is our Will & Pleasure y^t you should,
pursuant thereto, apply to our s^d Governors, or any of them, upon all
such Exigencies."

6. The Governors had been directed "to endeavor to prevail upon y^e
Assemblies of their respective Provinces to raise forthwith as large a
sum as can be afforded as their contribution to a common Fund, to be
employed provisionally for y^e general Service in North America."
Braddock was urged to assist in this and have great care as to its

7. Concerns Braddock's relations with the colonial governors; especially
directing that a Council of War which shall include them be formed to
determine, by majority vote, matters upon which no course has been

8. "You will not only cultivate y^e best Harmony & Friendship possible
with y^e several Governors of our Colonies & Provinces, but likewise
with y^e Chiefs of y^e Indian Tribes ... to endeavor to engage them to
take part & act with our Forces, in such operations as you shall think
most expedient."

9. Concerns securing the alliance and interest of the Indians and giving
them presents.

10. Orders Braddock to prevent any commerce between the French and the
English provinces.

11. Concerning the relative precedency of royal and colonial

12. Describes the copies of documents enclosed to Braddock concerning
previous relations with the colonies for defense against French
encroachment; "... And as Extracts of Lieut Gov^r Dinwiddie's Letters of
May 10^{th}, June 18^{th}, & July 24^{th}, relating to the Summons of
the Fort which was erecting on y^e Forks of y^e Monongahela, and y^e
Skirmish y^t followed soon after, & likewise of y^e action in the Great
Meadows, near the River Ohio, are herewith delivered to you, you will be
fully acquainted with what has hitherto happened of a hostile Nature
upon the Banks of that River."

13. Concerns future correspondence between Braddock and the Secretaries
of State to whom his reports were to be sent.

The communication from the Duke of Cumberland written by his Aide,
Colonel Napier, throws much light upon the verbal directions which
Braddock received before he sailed:

"His Royal Highness the Duke, in the several audiences he has given you,
entered into a particular explanation of every part of the service you
are about to be employed in; and as a better rule for the execution of
His Majesty's instructions, he last Saturday communicated to you his own
sentiments of this affair, and since you were desirous of forgetting no
part thereof, he has ordered me to deliver them to you in writing. His
Royal Highness has this service very much at heart, as it is of the
highest importance to his majesty's American dominions, and to the
honour of his troops employed in those parts. His Royal Highness
likewise takes a particular interest in it, as it concerns you, whom he
recommended to his majesty to be nominated to the chief command.

"His Royal Highness's opinion is, that immediately after your landing,
you consider what artillery and other implements of war it will be
necessary to transport to Will's Creek for your first operation on the
Ohio, that it may not fail you in the service; and that you form a
second field train, with good officers and soldiers, which shall be sent
to Albany and be ready to march for the second operation at Niagara. You
are to take under your command as many as you think necessary of the two
companies of artillery that are in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland as soon
as the season will allow, taking care to leave enough to defend the
Island. Captain Ord, a very experienced officer, of whom his Royal
Highness has a great opinion, will join you as soon as possible.

"As soon as Shirley's and Pepperel's regiments are near complete, his
Royal Highness is of opinion you should cause them to encamp, not only
that they may sooner be disciplined, but also to draw the attention of
the French and keep them in suspense about the place you really design
to attack. His Royal Highness does not doubt that the officers and
captains of the several companies will answer his expectation in forming
and disciplining their respective troops. The most strict discipline is
always necessary, but more particularly so in the service you are
engaged in. Wherefore his Royal Highness recommends to you that it be
constantly observed among the troops under your command, and to be
particularly careful that they be not thrown into a panic by the
Indians, with whom they are yet unacquainted, whom the French will
certainly employ to frighten them. His Royal Highness recommends to you
the visiting your posts night and day; that your Colonels and other
officers be careful to do it; and that you yourself frequently set them
the example; and give all your troops plainly to understand that no
excuse will be admitted for any surprise whatsoever.

[Illustration: VIEW OF FORT CUMBERLAND IN 1755]

"Should the Ohio expedition continue any considerable time, and
Pepperell's and Shirley's regiments be found sufficient to undertake in
the mean while the reduction of Niagara, his Royal Highness would have
you consider whether you could go there in person, leaving the command
of the troops on the Ohio to some officer on whom you might depend,
unless you shall think it better for the service to send to those troops
some person whom you had designed to command on the Ohio; but this is a
nice affair, and claims your particular attention. Colonel Shirley is
the next commander after you, wherefore if you should send such an
officer he must conduct himself so as to appear only in quality of a
friend or counsellor in the presence of Colonel Shirley: and his Royal
Highness is of opinion that the officer must not produce or make mention
of the commission you give him to command except in a case of absolute

"The ordering of these matters may be depended on, if the expedition at
Crown Point can take place at the same time that Niagara is besieged.

"If after the Ohio expedition is ended it should be necessary for you to
go with your whole force to Niagara it is the opinion of his Royal
Highness that you should carefully endeavour to find a shorter way from
the Ohio thither than that of the Lake; which however you are not to
attempt under any pretense whatever without a moral certainty of being
supplied with provisions, &c. As to your design of making yourself
master of Niagara, which is of the greatest consequence, his Royal
Highness recommends to you to leave nothing to chance in the prosecution
of that enterprize.

"With regard to the reducing of Crown Point, the provincial troops being
best acquainted with the country, will be of the most service.

"After the taking of this fort his Royal Highness advises you to consult
with the Governors of the neighboring provinces, where it will be most
proper to build a fort to cover the frontiers of those provinces.

"As to the forts which you think ought to be built (and of which they
are perhaps too fond in that country), his Royal Highness recommends the
building of them in such a manner, that they may not require a strong
garrison. He is of opinion that you ought not to build considerable
forts, cased with stone, till the plans and estimates thereof have been
sent to England and approved of by the Government here. His Royal
Highness thinks that stockaded forts, with pallisadoes and a good ditch,
capable of containing 200 men or 400 upon an emergency, will be
sufficient for the present.

"As Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence, who commands at Nova Scotia, hath long
protracted the taking of Beau-Sejour, his Royal Highness advises you to
consult with him, both with regard to the time and the manner of
executing that design. In this enterprise his Royal Highness foresees
that his majesty's ships may be of great service, as well by
transporting the troops and warlike implements, as intercepting the
stores and succors that might be sent to the French either by the Baye
Françoise, or from Cape Breton by the Baye Verte on the other side of
the Isthmus.

"With regard to your winter quarters after the operations of the
campaign are finished, his Royal Highness recommends it to you to
examine whether the French will not endeavor to make some attempts next
season and in what parts they will most probably make them. In this case
it will be most proper to canton your troops on that side, at such
distances, that they may easily be assembled for the common defence. But
you will be determined in this matter by appearances, and the
intelligence, which it hath been recommended to you to procure by every
method immediately after your landing. It is unnecessary to put you in
mind how careful you must be to prevent being surprised. His Royal
Highness imagines that your greatest difficulty will be the subsisting
of your troops. He therefore recommends it to you to give your chief
attention to this matter, and to take proper measures relative thereto
with the Governors and with your quartermasters and commissaries.

"I hope that the extraordinary supply put on board the fleet, and the
1000 barrels of beef destined for your use, will facilitate and secure
the supplying of your troops with provisions.

"I think I have omitted nothing of all the points wherein you desired
to be informed: if there should be any intricate point unthought of, I
desire you would represent it to me now, or at any other time; and I
shall readily take it upon me to acquaint his Royal Highness thereof,
and shall let you know his opinion on the subject.

"I wish you much success with all my heart; and as this success will
infinitely rejoice all your friends, I desire you would be fully
persuaded that no body will take greater pleasure in acquainting them
thereof, than him, who is, &c."

If excuse is needed for offering in such detail these orders, it is that
few men have ever suffered more heavily in reputation and in person
because of the failures, misconceptions, and shortcomings of others than
the man who received these orders and attempted to act upon them.

These instructions and the letter from the Duke of Cumberland make two
things very clear: it is clear from the King's instructions (item 12)
that the campaign to the Ohio Valley from Virginia was to be the
important _coup_ of the summer; the documents mentioned were to acquaint
Braddock "with what has hitherto happened of a hostile Nature upon the
Banks of that River." This is made more certain by one of the first
sentences in the Duke of Cumberland's letter, "that immediately after
your landing, you consider what artillery and other implements of war it
will be necessary to transport to Will's Creek for your first operation
on the Ohio." It is also clear that Braddock was helplessly dependent
upon the success with which the American governors carried out the royal
orders previously sent to them. They had been ordered to raise money and
troops, provide provisions, open the necessary roads, supply carriages
and horses, and conciliate and arm the Indian nations on the frontier.
How far they were successful it will be proper to study later; for the
moment, let us consider the destination of the little army that set
sail, after innumerable delays, from the Downs December 21, 1754, led by
the famed "Centurian" whose figure-head adorns Greenwich Hospital

Sending Braddock and his army to Virginia against the French on the Ohio
was a natural blunder of immeasurable proportions. It was natural,
because all eyes had been turned to Virginia by the activity of the Ohio
Company, Washington's campaign of the preceding year, and the erection
of Fort Cumberland on the farthest frontier. These operations gave a
seeming importance to the Virginia route westward which was all out of
harmony with its length and the facilities offered. "Before we parted,"
a friend of Braddock wrote concerning the General's last night in
London, "the General told me that he should never see me more; for he
was going with a handful of men to conquer whole nations; and to do this
they must cut their way through unknown woods. He produced a map of the
country, saying, at the same time, 'Dear Pop, we are sent like
sacrifices to the altar.'" This gloomy prophecy was fulfilled with a
fatal accuracy for which the choice of the Virginia route was largely
responsible. Braddock's campaign had been fully considered in all its
bearings in the royal councils, and the campaign through Virginia to
Fort Duquesne seems to have been definitely decided upon. Even before
Braddock had crossed half of the Atlantic his Quartermaster-General, St.
Clair, had passed all the way through Virginia and Maryland to Fort
Cumberland in carrying out orders issued to him before Braddock had
reached England from Gibraltar. "Having procured from the Governors of
Pennsylvania and Virginia and from other sources," writes Mr. Sargent,
"all the maps and information that were obtainable respecting the
country through which the expedition was to pass, he [St. Clair]
proceeded in company with Governor Sharpe of Maryland upon a tour of
inspection to Will's Creek." He inspected the Great Falls of the Potomac
and laid plans for their being made passable for boats in which the army
stores were to be shipped to Fort Cumberland, and had made contracts for
the construction of the boats. He laid out a camp at Watkin's Ferry. It
is doubtful whether Braddock had ever had one word to say in connection
with all these plans which irrevocably doomed him to the almost
impossible feat of making Fort Cumberland a successful base of supplies
and center of operations against the French. Moreover the Virginia
route, being not only one of the longest on which Braddock could have
approached the French, was the least supplied with any manner of wagons.
"For such is the attention," wrote Entick, "of the Virginians towards
their staple trade of tobacco, that they scarce raise as much corn, as
is necessary for their own subsistence; and their country being well
provided with water-carriage in great rivers an army which requires a
large supply of wheel-carriages and beasts of burden, could not expect
to be furnished with them in a place where they are not in general
use."[5] "Their Produce is Tobacco," wrote one of Braddock's army, of
the Virginians, "they are so attached to that, and their Avarice to
raise it, makes them neglect every Comfort of Life." As has often been
said, Carlisle in Pennsylvania would have made a far better center of
operations than Fort Cumberland, and eventually it proved to be
Pennsylvania wagons in which the stores of the army were
transported--without which the army could not have moved westward from
Fort Cumberland one single mile. "Mr. Braddock had neither provisions
nor carriage for a march of so considerable a length, which was greatly
increased and embarrassed by his orders to take the rout of Will's
Creek; which road, as it was the worst provided with provisions, more
troublesome and hazardous, and much more about, than by way of

Not to use superlatives, it would seem that the American colonial
governors and St. Clair might have presented to Braddock the
difficulties of the Virginia route as compared with the Pennsylvania
route early enough to have induced the latter to make Carlisle his base
for the Ohio campaign; but there is no telling now where the blunder was
first made; a writer in _Gentleman's Magazine_ affirmed that the
expedition was "sent to _Virginia_ instead of _Pennsylvania_, to their
insuperable disadvantage, merely to answer the lucerative views of a
friend of the ministry, to whose share the remittances would then fall
at the rate of 2-1/2 _per cent_ profit."[7]

Even the suspicion of such treachery as sending Braddock to Virginia to
indulge the purse of a favorite is the more revolting because of the
suggestion in the letter from the Duke of Cumberland that Braddock,
personally, favored an attack on Fort Niagara--which, it has been
universally agreed, was the thing he should have done. "As to _your
design_ of making yourself master of Niagara"--the italics are
mine--wrote Cumberland; and, though he refers at the beginning to their
numerous interviews, this is the sole mention throughout the letter of
any opinion or plan of Braddock's. "Had General _Braddock_ made it his
first business to secure the command of lake Ontario, which he might
easily have done soon enough to have stopt the _force_ that was sent
from _Canada_ to _Du Quesne_, that fort must have been surrendered to
him upon demand; and had he gone this way to it, greater part of that
vast sum might have been saved to the nation, which was expended in
making a waggon road, through the woods and mountains, the way he
went."[8] Yet Cumberland's orders were distinct to go to Niagara by way
of Virginia and Fort Duquesne.

Horace Walpole's characterization of Braddock is particularly graphic
and undoubtedly just--"desperate in his fortune, brutal in his behavior,
obstinate in his sentiments, intrepid and capable."[9] The troops given
him for the American expedition were well suited to bring out every
defect in his character; these were the fragments of the 44th and 48th
regiments, then stationed in Ireland. Being deficient (even in time of
peace), both had to be recruited up to five hundred men each. The
campaign was unpopular and the recruits secured were of the worst
type--"who, had they not been in the army, would probably have been in
Bridewell [prison]." Walpole wrote, "the troops allotted to him most
ill-chosen, being draughts of the most worthless in some Irish
regiments, and anew disgusted by this species of banishment."[10] "The
mutinous Spirit of the Men encreases," wrote an officer of Braddock's
army during the march to Fort Duquesne, "but we will get the better of
that, we will see which will be tired first, they of deserving
Punishments, or we of inflicting them ... they are mutinous, and this
came from a higher Spring than the Hardships here, for they were
tainted in _Ireland_ by the factious Cry against the L-- L-- Ld G--,
and the Primate; the wicked Spirit instilled there by Pamphlets and
Conversation, got amongst the common Soldiers, who, tho' they are
_Englishmen_, yet are not the less stubborn and mutinous for that."

Thus the half-mutinous army, and its "brutal," "obstinate," "intrepid,"
and "capable" commander fared on across the sea to Virginia during the
first three months of the memorable year of 1755. By the middle of March
the entire fleet had weighed anchor in the port of Alexandria, Virginia.

The situation could not be described better than Entick has done in the
following words: "Put all these together, what was extraordinary in his
[Braddock's] conduct, and what was extraordinary in the way of the
Service, there could be formed no good idea of the issue of such an
untoward expedition."



What it was that proved to be "extraordinary in the way of the Service"
General Braddock soon discovered, and it is a fair question whether,
despite all that has been written concerning his unfitness for his
position, another man with one iota less "spirit" than Braddock could
have done half that Braddock did.

The Colonies were still quite asleep to their danger; the year before,
Governor Dinwiddie had been at his wits' end to raise in Virginia a few
score men for Fry and Washington, and had at last succeeded by dint of
drafts and offers of bounty in western lands. Pennsylvania was
hopelessly embroiled in the then unconstitutional question of equal
taxation of proprietary estates. The New York assembly was, and not
without reason, clannish in giving men and money for use only within
her own borders. It is interesting to notice the early flashes of
lurking revolutionary fire in the Colonies when the mother-country
attempted to wield them to serve her own politic schemes. Braddock was
perhaps one of the first Englishmen to suggest the taxation of America
and, within a year, Walpole wrote concerning instructions sent to a New
York Governor, that they "seemed better calculated for the latitude of
Mexico and for a Spanish tribunal than for a free rich British
Settlement, and in such opulence and of such haughtiness, that suspicion
had long been conceived of their meditating to throw off their
dependence on their mother country."[11] It would have been well for the
provinces if they had postponed for a moment their struggle against
English methods, and planned as earnestly for the success of English
arms as they did when defeat opened the floodgates of murder and pillage
all along their wide frontiers. But it is not possible to more than
mention here the struggles between the short-sighted assemblies and the
short-sighted royal governors. The practical result, so far as Braddock
was concerned, was the ignoring, for the greater part, of all the
instructions sent from London. This meant that Braddock was abandoned to
the fate of carrying out orders wretchedly planned under the most trying
circumstances conceivable. Instead of having everything prepared for
him, he found almost nothing prepared, and on what had been done he
found he could place no dependence. Little wonder the doomed man has
been remembered as a "brute" in America! To have shouldered the blame
for the lethargy of the Colonies, for the jealousy of their governors,
and for the wretchedness of the orders given Braddock, would have made
any man brutish in word and action. Pennsylvanians have often accused
Washington of speaking like a "brute" when, no doubt in anger, he
exclaimed that the officials of that Province should have been flogged
for their indifference; they were, God knows,--but by the Indians after
Braddock's defeat.

The desperateness of Braddock's situation became very plain by the
middle of April, when the Governors of the Colonies met at his request
at the camp at Alexandria to determine upon the season's campaigns. But
it was not until later that he knew the full depths of his unfortunate
situation. As early as March 18 Braddock wrote Sir Thomas Robinson a
most discouraging letter, but on April 19, after the Governors' Council,
another letter to Robinson shows the exact situation. As to the fund
which the Colonies had been ordered to raise, the Governors "gave it as
their unanimous opinion that such a Fund can never be establish'd in the
Colonies without the Aid of Parliament."[12] They were therefore
"unanimously of the Opinion that the Kings Service in the Colonies, and
the carrying on of the present Expedition must be at a stand, unless the
General shall think proper to make use of his Credit upon the Government
at home to defray the Expense of all the Operations under his
Direction."[12] In Braddock's letter of April 19 he affirms "The
£20,000 voted in Virginia has been expended tho not yet collected;
Pennsylvania and Maryland still refuse to contribute anything; New York
has raised £5,000 Currency for the use of the Troops whilst in that
province, which I have directed to be applied for the particular Service
of the Garrison at Oswego.... I shall march from this place for
Frederick tomorrow Morning in my Way to Will's Creek, where I should
have been before this time, had I not been prevented by waiting for the
artillery, from which I still fear further delays, I hope to be upon the
mountains early in May and some time in June to have it in my power to
dispatch an Express with some Account of the Event of our operations
upon the Ohio."[13] The disappointed man was not very sanguine of
success, but adds, "I hope, Sir, there is good prospect of success in
every part of the plan I have laid before you, but it is certain every
single attempt is more likely to succeed from the Extensiveness of
it."[13] By this he meant that the French, attacked at several points
at once, would not be able to send reinforcements from one point to

But more serious disappointments awaited Braddock--a great part of the
definite promises made by Governor Dinwiddie were never to be realized.
The governor and Sir John St. Clair had promised Braddock that
twenty-five hundred horses and two hundred wagons would be in readiness
at Fort Cumberland to transport the army stores across the mountains,
and that a large quantity of beeves and other provisions would be
awaiting the army through July and August. Braddock was also promised
the support of a large force of Indians and, conformably to his orders,
had been careful to send the usual presents to the tribes in question.
He soon learned, however, that the short-sighted Assemblies of both
Virginia and Pennsylvania had already alienated the Indians whom they
should have attached to their cause, and but a handful were faithful now
when the crisis had come; for the faithfulness of these few Braddock was
perhaps largely in debt to Washington, whom they followed during the
campaign of the preceding year. As to the details of his miserable
situation, nothing is of more interest than the frank letter written by
Braddock to Sir John Robinson from Fort Cumberland, June 5:

"I had the Honor of writing to you from Frederick the latter end of

"On the 10th of May I arrived at this place, and on the 17th the train
join'd me from Alexandria after a March of twenty seven days, having met
with many more Delays and Difficulties than I had even apprehended, from
the Badness of the Roads, Scarcity of Forage, and a general Want of
Spirit in the people to forward the Expedition.

"I have at last collected the whole Force with which I propose to march
to the Attack of Fort Duquesne, amounting to about two thousand
effective Men, eleven hundred of which Number are Americans of the
southern provinces, whose slothful and languid Disposition renders them
very unfit for Military Service. I have employ'd the properest officers
to form and discipline them and great pains has and shall be taken to
make them as useful as possible.

"When I first came to this place I design'd to have refresh'd the Troops
by a few days Rest, but the Disappointments I have met with in procuring
the Number of Wagons and Horses necessary for my March over the
Mountains have detained me near a Month.

"Before I left Williamsburg I was informed by the Deputy Quarter Master
general, who was then at this Fort, that 2500 Horses and 200 Wagons
might be depended upon from Virginia and Maryland, but as I had the
utmost reason to fear a Disappointment from my daily Experience of the
Falsehood of every person with whom I was concern'd, I therefore before
I left Frederick, desired Mr. Franklin, postmaster of Pennsylvania, and
a Man of great Influence in that Province, to contract for 150 Waggons
and a Number of Horses, which he has executed with great punctuality and
Integrity, and is almost the only Instance of Ability and Honesty I have
known in these provinces; His Waggons and Horses have all joined me, and
are indeed my whole Dependence, the great promises of Virginia and
Maryland having produc'd only about twenty Waggons and two hundred
Horses: With the Number I now have I shall be enabled with the utmost
difficulty to move from this place, marching with one half of the
provision I entended and having been oblig'd to advance a large
Detachment in order to make a Deposite of provisions upon the Alliganey
Mountains about five days March from me.

[Illustration: MAP OF BRADDOCK'S ROAD (ABOUT 1759)
[_From original in British Museum_]]

"It would be endless, Sir, to particularize the numberless Instances of
the Want of public and private Faith, and of the most absolute Disregard
of all Truth, which I have met with in carrying on of His Majesty's
Service on this continent. I cannot avoid adding one or two Instances to
what I have already given.

"A Contract made by the Governor of Virginia for 1100 Beeves was laid
before me to be delivered in July and August for the subsistence of the
Troops, which Contract he had entered into upon the Credit of twenty
thousand pounds Currency voted by the Assembly for the Service of the
Expedition. Depending upon this I regulated my Convoys accordingly, and
a few days since the Contractors inform'd me that the Assembly had
refus'd to fulfill the Governors Engagements, and the Contract was
consequently void: as it was an Affair of the greatest Importance, I
immediately offer'd to advance the Money requir'd by the Terms of the
Contract, but this the Contractor rejected, unless I would pay him one
third more; and postpone the Delivery of the Beeves two Months, at which
time they would have been of no use to me.

"Another Instance is the Agent employ'd in the Province of Maryland for
furnishing their Troops with provision, who delivered it in such
Condition that it is all condemn'd upon a Survey, and I have been
obliged to replace it by sending to the Distance of an hundred Miles.

"This Behavior in the people does not only produce infinite Difficulty
in carrying on His Majesty's Service but also greatly increases the
Expense of it, the Charge thereby occasion'd in the Transportation of
provision and Stores through an unsettled Country (with which even the
Inhabitants of the lower parts are entirely unacquainted) and over a
continued succession of Mountains, is many times more than double the
original Cost of them; for this reason I am obliged to leave a Quantity
of provision at Alexandria, which would be of great Service to use at
this place. The Behaviour of the Governments appears to me to be without
excuse, but it may be some Extenuation of the Guilt of the lower Class
of people, that upon former occasions their assistance in publick has
been ill rewarded, and their payments neglected; the bad Effects of
which proceeding we daily experience.

"As I have His Majesty's Orders to establish as much as possible a good
understanding with the Indians, I have gathered some from the Frontier
of Pennsylvania chiefly of the Six Nations, with whom I have had two or
three Conferences, and have given them proper Presents; the Number
already with me is about fifty, and I have some hopes of more: Upon my
first Arrivall in America, I received strong assurances of the
assistance of a great Number of Southern Indians, which I have entirely
lost through the Misconduct of the Government of Virginia: And indeed
the whole Indian Affairs have been so imprudently and dishonestly
conducted, that it was with the greatest difficulty I could gain a
proper Confidence with those I have engag'd, and even that could not be
attain'd, nor can be preserv'd without a great Expense.

"The Nature of the Country prevents all Communication with the French
but by Indians, and their Intelligence is not much to be depended upon;
they all agree the Number of French now in Fort Duquesne is very
inconsiderable, but that they pretend to expect large Reinforcements.

"I have an Account of the arrival of the two thousand Arms for the New
England Forces, and that they are sailed for Nova Scotia. Batteaus and
Boats are preparing for the Forces destined to the Attacks of Niagara
and Crown Point, but the province of New York, which by its situation
must furnish the greater part, do not act with so much vigor as I could

"In order to secure a short and easy Communication with the province of
Pensilvania, after the Forces have pass'd the Alligany Mountains, I
have apply'd to Governor Morris to get a Road cut from Shippensburg in
that Province to the River Youghyaughani; up which he informs me he has
set a proper Number of Men at work, and that it will be compleated in a
Month: This I look upon to be an Affair of the greatest Importance, as
well for securing future Supplies of Provisions, as for obtaining more
speedy Intelligence of what passes in the Northern Colonies.[14]

"I wait now for the last Convoy and shall, if I do not meet with further
Disappointments, begin my March over the Alleghaney Mountains in about
five days. The Difficulties we have to meet with by the best Accounts
are very great; the Distance from hence to the Forts is an hundred and
ten miles, a Road to be cut and made the whole way with infinite Toil
and Labor, over rocky Mountains of an excessive Height and Steepness,
and many Stoney Creeks and Rivers to cross."

Braddock's army under Halket and Dunbar proceeded to Fort Cumberland
from Alexandria by various routes. Governor Sharpe had had a new road
built from Rock Creek to Fort Cumberland;[15] this was probably Dunbar's
route and is given as follows in Braddock's Orderly Books:[16]

  To Rock Creek[17]                       --
  To Owen's Ordinary                      15
  To Dowdens                              15
  To Frederick                            15
  From Fred^k on y^e road to Conogogee    17
  From that halting place to Conogogee    18
  From Conogogee to John Evens            16
  To the Widow Baringer                   18
  To George Polls                          9
  To Henry Enock's                        15
  To Cox's at y^e mouth of little Cacaph  12
  To Col. Cresaps                          8
  To Wills Creek                          16

Halket's regiment went from Alexandria to Winchester, Virginia by the
following route as given in Braddock's Orderly Books:

  To y^e old Court House                                            18
  To M^r Colemans on Sugar Land Run where there is Indian Corn &c.  12
  To M^r Miners                                                     15
  To M^r Thompson y^e Quaker wh is 3000 wt corn                     12
  To M^r They's y^e Ferry of Shanh                                  17
  From M^r They's to Winchester                                     23

At Winchester Halket was only five miles distant from "Widow Baringer's"
on Dunbar's road from Frederick to Fort Cumberland.

One of the few monuments of Braddock's days stands beside the Potomac,
within the limits of the city of Washington. It is a gigantic rock, the
"Key of Keys," now almost lost to sight and forgotten. It may still be
found, and efforts are on foot to have it appropriately marked. It is
known in tradition as "Braddock's Rock"--on the supposition that here
some of Braddock's men landed just below the mouth of Rock Creek en
route to Frederick and Fort Cumberland. It is unimportant whether the
legend is literally true.[18] A writer, disputing the legend, yet
affirms that the public has reason "to require that the destructive hand
of man be stayed, and that the remnants of the ancient and historic rock
should be rescued from oblivion." The rock may well bear the name of
Braddock, as the legend has it. Nothing could be more typical of the
man--grim, firm, unreasoning, unyielding.



One of the most interesting documents relative to Braddock's expedition
is a _Journal_ kept by one of the thirty seamen sent with Braddock by
Commodore Keppel. The original manuscript was presented by Colonel
Macbean to the Royal Artillery Library, Woolwich, and is first published

An expanded version of this document was published in Winthrop Sargent's
_History of Braddock's Expedition_, entitled "The Morris Journal"--so
called because it was in the possession of the Rev. Francis-Orpen
Morris, Nunburnholme Rectory, Yorkshire, who had published it in
pamphlet form.[19] Concerning its authorship Mr. Sargent says, "I do
not know who was the author of this Journal: possibly he may have been
of the family of Capt. Hewitt. He was clearly one of the naval officers
detached for this service by Com. Keppel, whom sickness detained at Fort
Cumberland during the expedition."[20]

A comparison of the expanded version with the original here printed
shows that the "Morris Journal" was written by Engineer Harry Gordon of
the 48th Artillery. The entry in the expanded version for June 2 reads:
"Col. Burton, Capt. Orme, Mr Spendlowe and self went out to reconnoitre
the road."[21] In the original, under the same date, we read: "Colonel
Burton, Capt. Orme, Mr Engineer Gordon & Lieut Spendelow were order'd to
reconnoitre the Roads." Why Mr. Gordon desired to suppress his name is
as inexplicable as the failure of the Rev. Francis-Orpen Morris, who
compared the expanded and the original manuscripts, to announce it. The
proof is made more sure by the fact that Mr. Gordon usually refers to
himself as an "Engineer," as in the entry for June 3: "This morning an
Engineer and 100 men began working on the new road...." In the original
the name is given: "Engineer Gordon with 100 Pioneers began to break
Ground on the new Road...."[22] He refers to himself again on July 9 as
"One of our Engineers": "One of our Engineers, who was in the front of
the Carpenters marking the road, saw the Enemy first."[23] It is well
known that Gordon first caught sight of the enemy and the original
journal affirms this to have been the case: "Mr Engineer Gordon was the
first Man that saw the Enemy." Mr. Sargent said the author "was clearly
one of the naval officers detached ... by Com. Keppel." Though Mr.
Gordon, as author, impersonated a seaman, there is certainly very much
more light thrown on the daily duties of an engineer than on those of a
sailor; there is far more matter treating of cutting and marking
Braddock's Road than of handling ropes and pulleys. It is also
significant that Gordon, from first to last, was near the seamen and had
all the necessary information for composing a journal of which one of
them might have been the author. He was in Dunbar's regiment on the
march from Alexandria--as were the seamen. He, with the carpenters, was
possibly brigaded in the Second Brigade, with the seamen, and in any
case he was with the van of the army on the fatal ninth as were the

As to the authorship of the original journal the document gives no hint.
From Mr. Gordon's attempt to cover his own identity by introducing the
word "self" in the latter part of the entry of June 3, it might be
supposed the original manuscript was written by the "Midshipman"
referred to under that date in the original journal. But the two
midshipmen given as naval officers in the expedition, Haynes and Talbot,
were killed in the defeat.[24]

The original journal which follows is of interest because of the
description of the march of Dunbar's brigade through Maryland and
Virginia to Fort Cumberland. The remainder was evidently composed from
descriptions given by officers after their return to Fort

Extracts from

A Journal of the Proceedings of the Detachment of Seamen, ordered by
Commodore Kepple, to Assist on the late Expedition to the _Ohio_ with an
impartial Account of the late Action on the Banks of the _Monongohela_
the 9^{th} of July 1755, as related by some of the Principal Officers
that day in the Field, from the 10^{th} April 1755 to the 18^{th}
Aug^{st}. when the Detachment of Seamen embark'd on board His Majisty's
Ship Guarland at Hampton in Virginia

April 10^{th} Orders were given to March to Morrow with 6 Companies of
S^r P. Halket's Regiment for _Winchester_ towards _Will's Creeks_; April
11^{th} Yesterdays Orders were Countermanded and others given to furnish
Eight days Provisions, to proceed to _Rock's Creek_[26] (8 Miles from
Alexandria) in the Sea Horse & Nightingale Boats; April 12^{th}: Arrived
at _Rock's Creek_ 5 Miles from the lower falls of _Potomack_ & 4 Miles
from the Eastern branch of it; where we encamped with Colonel Dunbars

April 13^{th}: Employed in loading Waggon's with Stores Provisions and
all other conviniences very dear _Rock's Creek_ a very pleasant

April 14^{th}: Detachment of Seamen were order'd to March in the Front:
arrived at M^r. Lawrence Owen's: 15 Miles from _Rock's Creek_; and
encamp'd upon good Ground 8 Miles from the Upper falls of _Potomack_

April 15^{th}: Encamp'd on the side of a Hill near M^r. Michael
Dowden's;[27] 15 Miles from M^r. Owen's, in very bad Ground and in 1-1/2
foot Snow

April 16^{th}: Halted, but found it extreamly difficult to get either
Provisions or Forrage.

April 17^{th}: March'd to _Fredericks Town_; 15 Miles from Dowden's, the
road very Mountanious, March'd 11 Miles, when we came to a River call'd
_Monskiso_, which empties itself into the _Potomack_; it runs very
rapid; and is, after hard Rain, 13 feet deep: We ferried over in a Float
for that purpose. This Town has not been settled Above 7. Years; there
are 200 Houses & 2 Churches 1 Dutch, 1 English;[28] the inhabitants
chiefly Dutch, Industrious, but imposing People; Provisions & Forrage in

April 18^{th}: Encamp'd with a New York Company under the Command of
Captain Gates, at the North End of the Town, upon very good Ground

April 19^{th}: Exercising Recruits, & airing the Tents: several Waggons
arrived with Ordnance Stores, heavy Dews at Night occasion it to be very

April 20^{th}: Nothing Material happen'd

April 21^{st}: The General attended by Captains Orme, Morris and
Secretary Shirley; with S^r John S^t Clair; arrived at Head Quarters.

April 24^{th} inactive[29].

April 25^{th}: Ordnance Stores Arrived, with 80 Recruits for the 2

April 27^{th}: Employ'd in preparing Harness for the Horses

April 29^{th}: March'd to M^r. Walker's 18 Miles from _Fredericks Town_;
pass'd the South Ridge, commonly called the Blue Ridge or _Shanandoh
Mountains_ Very easy Ascent and a fine Prospect ... no kind of

April 30^{th}: March'd to _Connecochiag_; 16 Miles from M^r. Walker's,
Close by the _Potomack_, a very fine Situation, where we found all the
Artillery Stores preparing to go by Water to Wills Creek

May 1^{st}: Employed in ferrying (over the _Potomack_) the Army Baggage
into Virginia in 2 Floats and 5 Batteaux; The Army March'd to M^r. John
Evans, 16 Miles from y^e _Potomack_ and 20 Miles from Winchester, where
we Encamp'd, and had tolerable good living with Forrage; the roads begin
to be very indifferent

May 2^{nd}: Halted and sent the Horses to Grass

May 3^d: March'd to Widdow Barringers 18 Miles from M^r. Evans; the day
was so excissive hot, that many Officers and Men could not Arrive at
their Ground until Evening, this is 5 Miles from Winchester and a fine

May 4^{th}: March'd to M^r. Pots 9 Miles from the Widdow's where we were
refresh^t with Vinison and wild Turkeys the Roads excessive bad.

May 5^{th}: March'd to M^r. Henry Enocks, a place called the _forks of
Cape Capon_, 16 Miles from M^r. Pots; over prodigious Mountains, and
between the Same we cross'd a Run of Water in 3 Miles distance, 20 times
after marching 15 Miles we came to a River called _Kahepatin_ where the
Army ferried over, We found a Company of S^r Peter Halkets Regiment
waiting to escort the Train of Artillery to _Wills Creek_

May 6^{th}: Halted, as was the Custom to do every third day, The
Officers for passing away the time, made Horse Races and agreed that no
Horse should Run over 11 Hands and to carry 14 Stone

May 7^{th}: March'd to M^r. Coxs's by the side of y^e _Potomack_ 12
Miles from M^r. Enock's, and Encamped we cross'd another run of Water 19
Times in 2 Miles Roads bad.

May 8^{th}: Ferried over the River into _Maryland_; and March'd to M^r.
Jacksons, 8 Miles from M^r. Coxs's where we found a Maryland Company
encamp'd in a fine Situation on the Banks of the _Potomack_; with
clear'd ground about it; there lives Colonel Cressop, a Rattle Snake,
Colonel, and a D--d Rascal; calls himself a Frontierman, being nearest
the _Ohio_; he had a Summons some time since from the French to retire
from his Settlement, which they claim'd as their property, but he
refused it like a man of Spirit;[30] This place is the Track of Indian
Warriours, when going to War, either to the N^{o}ward, or S^{o}ward He
hath built a little Fort round his House, and is resolved to keep his
Ground. We got plenty of Provisions &c^a. The General arrived with
Captains Orme and Morris, with Secretary Shirley and a Company of light
Horse for his Guard, under the Command of Cap^t. Stewart, the General
lay at the Colonels.

May 9^{th}: Halted and made another Race to amuse the General

D^o. 10^{th}: March'd to _Will's Creek_; and Encamp'd on a Hill to the
E^{t}ward of the Fort, when the General past the Troops; Colonel Dunbar
informed them, that there were a number of Indians at _Will's Creek_,
that were Friends to the English therefore it was the Generals positive
Orders, that they should not be Molested upon any account, upon the
Generals Arrival at the Fort, He was Saluted with 17. Guns, and we found
100 Indian Men, Women & Children with 6 Companies of S^r Peter Halkets
Regiment, 9 Virginian Companies and a Maryland Company.

May 11^{th}: _Fort Cumberland_, is Situated within 200 Yards of _Wills
Creek_ on a Hill 400 Yards from the _Potomack_, it's greatest length
from East to West is 200 Yards, and breadth 40 it is built with Loggs
drove into the Ground: and 12 feet above it Embrazures are cut for 12
Guns which are 4. Pounders, though 10 are only Mounted with loopholes
for small Arms; The Indians were greatly surprised at the regular way of
our Soldiers Marching and our Numbers.

I would willingly say something of the customs & manners of them, but
they are hardly to be described. The Men are tall, well made and Active,
but not strong; The Women not so tall yet well proportion'd & have many
Children; they paint themselves in different Manners; Red, Yellow &
Black intermixt, the Men have the outer Rim of their Ears cut; and
hanging by a little bit at Top and bottom: they have also a Tuft of Hair
left at Top of their Heads, dress'd with Feathers.... Their Match Coat
which is their chief Cloathing, is a thick Blanket thrown round them;
and instead of Shoes wear Mekosins, which laces round the foot and
Ankle ... their manner of carrying Children are by lacing them on a
Board, and tying them with a broad Bandage with a place to rest their
feet, and Boards over their Heads to keep the Sun off and this is Slung
to the Womens backs. These people have no Idea of a Superior Being or of
Religion and I take them to be the most ignorant, as to the Knowledge of
the World and things, of any Creatures living. When it becomes dark they
Return to their Camp, which is [nigh] Woods, and Dance for some Time
with making the most hidious Noise.

May 12^{th}: Orders for a Council of War at the Head Quarters when the
Indians came, and were received by the Guard with Rested Arms, an
Interpreter was directed to tell them that their Brothers, the English,
who were their friends were come to assist them, that every
misunderstanding in past times, should now be buried under that great
Mountain (which was close by) and Accordingly the Ceremony was perform'd
in giving them a string of Wampum or Beads; and the following speech was
made, to Assure them that this string or Belt of Wampum was a suriety of
our Friendship; and likewise a Declaration, that every one, who were
Enemies to them, were consequently so to us. The Interpretor likewise
assured them, the we had a Considerable Number of Men to the N^{o}Ward,
under the Commands of our great War Captains Generals, Shirley, Pepperel
& Johnson that were making preparations for War to settle them happily
in their Countries, and make the French both ashamed & hungry, however,
should any Indians absent themselves they would be deem'd our Enimies &
treated as such; The Generals moreover told them, he should have
presents for them soon, and would then make them another Speech, after
which he parted with giving a Dram round.

May 13^{th}: The Indian Camp were 1/4 Miles from the Fort which I went
to visit their Houses are composed of 2 Stakes, drove into the Ground,
with a Ridge Pole & Bark of Trees laid down the sides of it, w^{ch}. is
all they have to Shelter them from the Weather.... The Americans &
Seamen Exercising.

May 14^{th}: Inactive in our Camp. I went to the Indian to see them
Dance which they do once or twice a Year round a Fire, first the Women
dance, whilst the Men are Sitting, and then every Women takes out her
Man; dances with him; lays with him for a Week, and then Returns to her
proper Husband, & lives with him.[31]

May 15^{th}: 22 Casks of Beef were Surveyed and condemn'd[32]

D^o. 16^{th}: Arrived L^t. Col^o. Gage with 2 Companies, and the last
Division of the Train, consisting of 8 Field Pieces; 4 Howitzers and a
Number of Cohorns, with 42 Store Waggons Cap^t. Bromley of S^r P.
Halkets Regim^t. died May 17^{th}: Orders for the Funeral.

May 18^{th}: Cap^t. Bromley was interred with great
Solemnity[33]--19^{th}: the Indians came to the Generals Tent when he
made them a speech to this Effect; that they would send away immediately
their Wives & Children to Pensilvania, and take up the Hatchet against
the French, that the great King of England their Father had sent their
Wives & Children such & such presents, and he had Ordered Arms,
Ammunition &c^a. to be delivered to their Warriors, and expressd a
Concern for their 1/2 King killed last year--the presents consisted of
Shrouds; Rings, Beads, Linnen, Knives, Wire & paint, they seem'd
pleased, received their presents with 3 Belts & String of Wampum, and
promised an Answer the next day in the Evening they Danced and made a
most terrible Noise to shew were mightily pleased.

May 20^{th}: Cap^t. Gates March'd into Camp with his New York Comp^y.
The Indians met at the Generals Tent, and told him they were highly
Obliged to the Great King their Father, for sending such Numbers of Men
to fight for them, and they moreover promise to Join them, and do what
was in their power by reconnoitring the Country, & bringing
Intelligence, they were likewise oblidged to the General for expressing
his Concern for the loss of their 1/2 King his Brother, and for the
Presents he had made their Families. Their Chiefs Names were as follows

1^{st}: Monicatoha their Mentor, 2^d Belt of Wampum, or white Thunder,
who always keep the Wampum, and has a Daughter call'd bright Lightning
3^d: The great Tree and Silver Heels, Jimy Smith and Charles all
belonging to the 6 Nations, The General Assured them of his Friendship
and gave his Honour, that he never would deceive them, after which they
sung their Song of War, put themselves into odd postures, w^{th}
Shouting and making an uncommon Noise, declaring the French to be their
pepetual Enemies, which they never had done before, then the General
took the Indians to the Park of Artillery, Ordered 3 Howtz^{rs}. 3:12
pounders to be Fired, the Drums beating & Fifes playing the point of
War, which astonish^t but pleased the Indians greatly. They afterwards
Retired to their own Camp to eat a Bullock and Dance in their usual
manner, with shewing how they fight and Scalp, and expressing in their
Dance, the exploits & Warlike Actions of their Ancestors and
themselves--Arrived 80 Waggons from Pensylvania with Stores; and 11
likewise from Philidelpha with Liquors, Tea, Sugar, Coffe &c. to the
Amount of 400£ With 20 Horses, as presents to the Officers of the 2
Regiments--An Indian came in 6 days from the French Fort, and assured us
they have only 50 Men in the Fort, however they expected 900 more soon,
yet they purpose blowing it up whenever the Army Appears--as this Indian
was one of the Delawars, who never were our Friends he was suspected to
be a Rogue--100 Carpenters were Employed in making a Float, building a
Magazine & squaring Timber to make a Bridge over _Wills Creek_, The
Smiths were making Miners Tools, The Bakers were baking Biscuit, and
every thing was getting ready for a March.

May 21^{st}: A Troop of light Horse & 2 Companies of S^r P. Halkets
Regim^t. under the Command of Major Chapman came in from Winchester

May 22^d: The Indians had Arms & Cloaths delivered to them

D^o. 23^d: The 2 Regiments were Exercised & went through their Formings

D^o. 24^{th}: Employed in Transporting the large Timber to the Fort, The
Army consists of 2 Regiments, Each 700 Men; 2 _New York_, 1 Independent
_Carolina_ Companies of 100 Men, 9 _Virginia_ 1 _Maryland_ Companies of
50 Men; 1 Comp^y. of Artillery of 60 & 30 Seamen

May 25^{th}: Preparations for Marching: 2 Men of S^r P. Halkets were
Drum'd out, and received 1000 lashes Each for Theft.

May 27^{th}: The Companies employed in loading 100 Waggons w^{th}.
Provisions, A Captains Guard March'd for _Winchester_ to Escort
Provisions to Camp--several _Delawar_ Indians came into Camp.

May 28^{th}: The _Delawar_ Indians Assembled at the Generals Tent and
told him they were come to Assist him, but desired to know his Intention
the General thank'd them, and said that he should March in a few days
for Fort Dec Quisne, The Indians then replyed, they would return home,
Collect their Warriors and meet them on his March.

May 29^{th}: Major Chapman with a Detachment of 600 Soldiers March'd
with 2 Field Pieces and 50 Waggons full of Provisions when S^r John S^t
Clair, 2 Engineers, Lieut. Spendelow & 6 Seamen with some Indians were
Order'd to clean the Roads for them.

May 30^{th}: March'd in, Cap^t. Dobbs with a _North Carolina_ Company

June 1^{st}: The Detachment got 15 Miles though the Roads were very bad;
Lieu^t. Spendelow returned with his 6 Seamen.

June 2^d: Colonel Burton, Cap^t. Orme, M^r. Engineer Gordon[34] &
Lieu^t. Spendelow were order'd to reconnoitre the Roads, the latter
reported that he had found a tolerable Road, which might avoid the bad
Mountain that they would otherwise be obliged to pass; and accordingly
it was determined to March the Army that way, it being only 2 Miles

June 3^d: Engineer Gordon[35] with 100 Pioneers began to break Ground on
the new Road, when Lieu^t. Spendelow, 1 Midshipman[36] & 10 Men were
sent to the Place that leads into the Old Road, cleard away and
compleated 1 Mile,

June 4^{th}: 1 Midshipman & 20 Men cleard 3/4 of a Mile

5^{th}: continued working on the Roads

6^{th}: Compleated the new Road & Return'd to Camp.

7^{th}: S^r P. Halkets Brigade March'd with 2 Field Pieces and some
Waggons with Provisions 1 Midshipman & 12 Seamen were Orderd to Assist
the Train June 9^{th}. Inactive June 10^{th}: The General March'd
w^{th}. the remaining part of the Army.

25^{th}: it was reported that a party of Indians had Surprized Kill'd,
and Scalp'd 2 families to the Number of 12 within 4 Miles of y^e Fort

June 26^{th}: Accounts of another family's Scalp'd within 3 Miles of us.
The Governor detach'd a party to bury the Dead, and to look for the
Indians, they found a Child standing in the Water scalp'd, which had 2
holes in its Skull, they brought it to the Doctor, who dressed it but
Died in a Week.[37]

June 10^{th}: the last Division of His Majesty's Forces March'd from
_Wills Creek_ with General Braddock, when the General Arrived at the
little Meadows 22 Miles from the _Creek_, and having all his Forces
w^{th}. him, found that the Carriages, Pack horses &c^a. he had with
him, retardid his Marches greatly, insomuch that in all probability, the
French would be renforced, before he could possibly get there, provided
he kept the whole Army together--he therefore selected 1200 of the
Choicest Men besides Artillery & Seamen with the most Necessary Stores
that might be wanted, which compleated 51 Carriages, and left the heavy
Baggage Provisions &c^a. with Col^o. Dunbar and the rest of the Forces
w^{th}. Orders to follow as fast as possible: then March'd & continued
untill 8^{th}. July without Interruption save 8 or 9 Scalps on the March
a Number much inferior to the Expectations, he Encamp'd within 8 Miles
of _Fort Dec Quisne_ where he held a Councill of War, when it was
unaimously agreed that they should pass the _Monongohela_ River in the
Morning twice and that the advanced Party should March at 2 o'Clock in
the Morning to secure that pass (the River being very broad and easily
defended as the Fort was very near they thought it advisable to take
that oppertunity, that the Enemy might not have a View of them,
Therefore the General order'd that the Army should March over with fixt
Bayonets to make a show.

On the 9^{th}. July the advanced party of 400 Men March'd about
7. o'Clock some Indians Rush'd out of the Bushes, but did no Execution,
the Party went on & secured both passes of the River, and at 11 the Main
Body began to cross with Colours flying, Drums beating, & Fifes playing
the Granadier's March, and soon formed, when they thought that the
French would not Attack them, as they might have done it w^{th}. such
advantages in crossing the _Monogohela_, The advanced party was 1/4 Mile
before the Main Body, the Rear of which was just over the River, when
the Front was attacked The 2. Granadier Comp^{ys}. formed the Flank The
Piquets with the rest of the Men were Sustaining the Carpenters while
they were cutting the Roads. The first Fire the Enemy gave was in Front,
& they likewise gaul'd the Piquets in Flank, so that in few Minutes the
Granadiers were nearly cut to pieces and drove into the greatest
Confusion as was Cap^t. Polsons Comp^y. of Carpent^{rs}. As soon as the
Main Body heard that the Front was Attack'd they instantly advanced to
secure them but found them retreating Upon which, the General Orderd the
Artillery to draw up, & the Battalion to form, by this time the Enemy
had Attacked the Main Body, which faced to the Right & left and engaged
them, but could not see whom they Fired at, it was in an open Road, that
the Main Body were drawn up, but the Trees were excessive thick round
them, And the Enemy had possession of a Hill to the Right, which
consequently was a great advantage to them, Many Officers declare, that
they never saw above 5 of the Enemy at one time during the whole Action
Our Soldiers were Encouraged to make many Attempts by the Officers (who
behaved Gloriously) to take the Hill, but they had been so intimidated
before by seeing their Comrades Scalp'd in their sight and such Numbers
falling, that as they advanced up towards the Hill and there Officer's
being pict off which was generally the Case; they turn'd to their R^t.
About & retired down the Hill. When the General perceived & was
convinced that the Soldiers would not fight in a regular Manner without
Officers, he devided them into small parties, and endeavour'd to
surround the Enemy, but by this time the Major part of the Officers were
either Kill'd or Wounded, and in short the Soldiers were totally deaf to
the Commands & persuasions of the few Officers that were left unhurt.
The General had 4 Horses shot under him before he was wounded, which was
towards the latter part of the Action, when he was put into a Waggon
with great dificulty as he was very Sollicitious for being left in the
Field. The Retreat now became general, and it was the opinion of many
people that had we greater Numbers, it would have been just the same
thing, as our advanc'd party never regained the Ground they were first
Attacked upon, it was extreamly lucky they pursued no farther than the
first Crossing the River but they kill'd & Scalp'd every one they met
with, The Army March'd all Night & Join'd Colonel Dunbar the next Day,
50 Miles distance from the Field of Battle, when the General order'd
Col^o. Dunbar to prepare for a Retreat in Order for which, they were
Obliged to destroy great quantities of Stores and Provisions, to
furnish the Wounded Officers & Soldiers with Waggons The Generals Pains
encreased hourly, and on the 12^{th} of July he Died greatly lamented by
the whole Army, was decently though privately buried the next Morning.

The Numbers kill'd; Wounded & left in the Field as appeared by the
Returns of the different Companies were 896 besides Officers The 2
Companies of the Grenadiers and Carpenters sufferd most Col^o. Dunbars
Grenadiers were 79 Compleat out of which 9 Returned untouch'd. S^r P.
Halkets, were 69 & only 13 came out of y^e Field Every Grenadier Officer
was either kill'd or Wounded The Seamen had 11 Kill'd & wounded out of
33 it was impossible to tell the exact Nunbers of the Enemy but it was
premised by the continual smart Fire the kept during the whole Action,
that they must have at least Man for Man M^r. Engineer Gordon[38] was
the first Man that saw the Enemy, being in the Front of the Carpenters,
making & Picketing the Roads for them, and he declared where he first
descover'd them, that they were on the Run, which plainly shews they
were just come from _Fort Dec Quesne_ and that their principal Intention
was to secure the pass of _Monnongohela River_ but the Officer who was
their leader, dressed like an Indian, w^{th}. a Gorgeton, waved his
Hatt, by way of Signal to disperse to y^e Right and left forming a half
Moon Col^o. Dunbar continued his Retreat and Arrived with the Remains of
the Army at _Fort Cumberland_ the 20^{th}. July, and the 21^{st}. the
Wounded Officers & Soldiers were brought in.... 30^{th}. July Orders
were given for the Army to March the 2^{nd}. August 1^{st}. August
Col^o. Dunbar received a Letter from Commodore Kepple to send the Seamen
to _Hampton_ and accordingly the 2^d. they March'd with the Army & on
the 3^d. August left them August 5^{th}. Arrived at _Winchester_ August
11^{th}. March'd into _Fredericksburgh_ and hired a Vessel to carry the
Seamen to _Hampton_ where they embarked on board his Majesty's Ship
Guarland the 18^{th}. August 1755.

4:6 pounders. 2. 12 pounders, 3 Howitzers, 8 Cohorns, 51 Carriages of
Provisions Ammunition Hospital Stores, The Generals private Chest which
had about 1000£ in it with 200 Horses loaded with Officers Baggage.[39]



Sir Peter Halket moved out from Fort Cumberland on June 7 with a brigade
comprising the 44th Regiment, two Independent Companies of New York, two
companies of Virginia Rangers, one of Maryland Rangers, a total of nine
hundred and eighty-four men, six hundred woodchoppers under Sir John St.
Clair having been sent forward to widen and improve Washington's road.
The next day but one Colonel Thomas Dunbar marched away with another
brigade comprising the 48th Regiment, a company of carpenters, three
companies of Virginia Rangers, and one from South and North Carolina
each, a total of nine hundred and ninety-three men. On the tenth,
Braddock and his aides and the rest of the army which was approximately
two thousand two hundred strong--a force powerful enough to have razed
Duquesne, Venango, La Boeuf, Presque Isle, and Niagara to the ground--if
it could have reached them.

This Franklin who secured Braddock horses and wagons was a prophet. And
once he predicted that this "slender line" of an army would be greatly
in danger of Indian ambuscade "and be cut, like a thread, into several
pieces, which, from their distance, cannot come up in time to support
each other." Braddock laughed at the prophecy, but his army had not been
swallowed up in the gloom of the forests two days before its line was
thinner and longer than Braddock could ever have believed. When encamped
at night, the line of wagons compactly drawn together was half a mile
long; in marching order by day the army was often spread out to a length
of four miles. And even in this fashion it could only creep along.
Halket with the first division made only five miles in three days. In
ten days Braddock had only covered the twenty-four miles to Little
Crossings. The road makers followed implicitly the Indian path where it
was possible; when on the high ground the road was so rugged that many
wagons were entirely demolished and more temporarily disabled; when off
this track in the ravines they were buried axle deep in the bogs.

To haul the wagons and cannon over this worst road ever trod Braddock
had the poorest horses available. All the weak, spavined, wind-broken,
and crippled beasts in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia were palmed
off on Braddock by unscrupulous contractors. And horses, dead or dying,
were always left with the demolished wagons. "There has been vile
management in regard to horses," wrote Washington; before the army had
covered one third of its journey there were not enough to draw all the
wagons, the strongest being sent back each day to bring up the wagons
left behind the morning before. The continuous diet of salt meat brought
an epidemic of bloody flux on the army; some died, many were sick.
Washington's strong system was in the grasp of a fever before Little
Crossings was reached.

The situation now was desperate and would have appalled a less stubborn
man than Edward Braddock. Acting on Washington's advice he here divided
his army, preparing to push on to Fort Duquesne with a flying column of
fourteen hundred men. Washington found the first western river almost
dry and reasoned that Riviere aux Boeufs would be too dry to transport
southward the reinforcements that were hurrying from Canada.

On the nineteenth, Braddock advanced with Colonel Halket and Lieutenant
Colonels Burton and Gage and Major Sparks, leaving Colonel Dunbar and
Major Chapman--to their disgust--to hobble on with the sick and dying
men and horses, the sorry line of wagons creaking under their heavy
loads. The young Virginian Colonel was left at the very first camp in a
raging fever. Though unable to push on further with the column that
would capture Duquesne, yet Braddock considerately satisfied the
ambition of Washington by promising that he should be brought up before
the attack was made. Washington wrote home that he would not miss the
capture of Duquesne "for five hundred pounds!"

With the flying column were taken the Indians that were with the army
but which numbered less than a dozen. Braddock has been severely blamed
for his neglect of the Indians, but any earnest study of this campaign
will assure the student that the commanding general was no more at fault
here than for the failure of the contractors and the indifference of the
colonies. He had been promised Indians as freely as stores and horses
and wagons. The Indian question seems to have been handled most
wretchedly since Washington's late campaign. Through the negligence of
the busy-body Dinwiddie (so eager for so many unimportant matters) even
the majority of the Indians who served Washington faithfully and had
followed his retreating army back to Virginia were allowed to drift back
to the French through sheer neglect. As none of Dinwiddie's promises
were fulfilled in this respect Braddock turned in despair to Morris for
such Ohio Indians as were living in Pennsylvania. There had been at
least three hundred Indians of the Six Nations living in that province,
but in April the Pennsylvania Assembly had resolved to "do nothing more
for them"; accordingly they went westward and most of them joined the
French. Morris, however, urged George Croghan to send word to the
Delawares, Shawanese, Wyandots, etc., bidding them come and join
Braddock's army. But Croghan brought less than fifty and Braddock was
not destined to keep all of these, for Colonel Innes, commanding at Fort
Cumberland, not desiring the Indian families on his hands during the
absence of the fathers, persuaded Braddock that there were not enough to
add to the fighting strength of the army and that a few would be as
serviceable for spies as many. Nor was this bad reasoning: Braddock
would have been no better off with thirty than with ten. The fact is, he
was in nothing deceived more by false promises and assurances than in
the matter of Indian coöperation. And was he more at fault for the lack
of frontiersmen? True, he refused the services of Captain Jack and his
company, but only because the latter refused to be governed by the
discipline to which the rest of the army was subject; Braddock could not
agree to such an arrangement and it is doubtful if Washington would have
acted differently under similar circumstances. At least the Virginian
had nothing to do with Captain Jack's renowned company the year before.
To other border fighters Braddock gave a warm reception; Gist and
Croghan, the two best known men on the frontier, held important offices
in the army. It is as easy as common to lay at the door of a defeated
and dead commander all the misfortunes of a campaign; whatever
Braddock's errors, the fact remains that the colonies failed absolutely
to make the least move to provide an Indian army for Braddock's use.
Nothing could have more surely promised defeat and disgrace.

The flying column flew like a partridge with a broken wing. "We set
out," wrote Washington who started with it but was compelled to stop,
"with less than thirty carriages, including those that transported the
ammunition for the howitzers, and six-pounders, and all of them strongly
horsed; which was a prospect that conveyed infinite delight to my mind,
though I was excessively ill at the time. But this prospect was soon
clouded, and my hopes brought very low indeed, when I found, that,
instead of pushing on with vigor, without regarding a little rough road,
they were halting to level every mole-hill, and to erect bridges over
every brook, by which means we were four days in getting twelve miles."

On the third of July the flying column had passed the Youghiogheny and
were encamped ten miles north of it, forty miles from Fort Duquesne. It
had not averaged three miles a day since leaving Little Crossings! Here
a Council of War was held to decide whether to push on alone or await
the coming of Dunbar and the wagons. Could the Grenadiers and their
officers have seen through that narrow path to their destination, how
quickly would their decision have been made, how eagerly would they have
hurried on to the Ohio! Contrecoeur at Fort Duquesne was in a miserable
plight; every returning red-skin told of the advance of the great
British army in the face of Governor Duquesne's proud boast to Vaudreuil
that it was impossible for the English to cross the Alleghenies in
sufficient force to cause uneasiness! Braddock, despite the utter lack
of proper support from the colonies, was accomplishing the eighth
wonder of the world. It was desperate work. But a Bull-dog was creeping
nearer each day.

Throughout the winter the British ministry and the Court of Versailles
had been exchanging the most ridiculous pretenses of peace while
secretly preparing for war with dispatch. For every ill-recruited
regiment King George sent to Virginia, King Louis sent two famous
regiments to Canada, and they arrived there despite Boscawen, the
English admiral, who captured two unimportant ships. Yet that was enough
to precipitate the struggle and save more fables from the respective
ambassadors; "I will not pardon the piracies of that insolent nation,"
exclaimed Louis--and open war was inevitable.

At his landing at Quebec Vaudreuil found not less than twelve thousand
soldiers in Canada to defend the claims of his King. But that was a long
frontier to man, from Quebec to New Orleans, and in April only about one
thousand men were forwarded to defend the Ohio river. Of these
Contrecoeur had not more than three hundred, probably less. The summer
before he had two thousand defenders, but Duquesne, blindly trusting to
the ephemeral league he had made with the Alleghenies, had not been
liberal again. In vain Contrecoeur sent messages northward to Venango
and Presque Isle. Riviere aux Boeufs was as dry as the Youghiogheny.
Inevitable surrender or capitulation stared the French commander in the
face. Even the crowds of Indians within hail were not to be reckoned on;
they were terrified at the proportions of Braddock's army.

Accordingly, Contrecoeur made his arrangements for a capitulation, as
Washington had done one year ago. Braddock had accomplished the
impossible; the Indians were demoralized and took to "cooking and
counciling"; Fort Duquesne was as good as captured.

On the seventh Braddock reached Brush Fork of Turtle Creek, but the
country immediately between him and the Ohio was so rough that the army
turned westward and pitched its nineteenth encampment in Long Run valley
two miles from the Monongahela. Here Washington came up with the army
in a covered wagon, still weak but ready to move with the army in the
morning and sleep in Duquesne that night. The whole army was infused
with this hope as the ninth of July dawned.

For no one questioned Braddock's success if he could once throw that
army across the mountains. No one knew the situation better than
Washington, and early in the campaign he wrote his brother: "As to any
danger from the enemy, I look upon it as trifling." In London profane
wits cited Scripture (Ezekiel xxxv: 1-10) to justify the conquest of the
Ohio valley: "Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me saying, Son of
man, set thy face against Mount Seir and prophesy against it, and say
unto it, thus saith the Lord God: Behold, O mount Seir, I am against
thee and I will stretch out mine hand against thee and I will make thee
most desolate.... Because thou hast said, These two nations and these
two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it." Already
subscription papers were being passed about in Philadelphia to provide
festal fires to illumine the Quaker City when the news of Braddock's
victory came.

"Why, the d--l," exclaimed one of the enthusiasts to that odd man
Franklin who did not sign his name at once, "you surely don't suppose
the fort will not be taken?" "I don't know it will not be taken,"
replied the Postmaster-General, "but I know that the events of war are
subject to great uncertainty." A jingling ballad in Chester County,
Pennsylvania, was spreading throughout the frontier. It ran, in part:

    To arms, to arms! my jolly grenadiers!
      Hark, how the drums do roll it along!
    To horse, to horse, with valiant good cheer;
      We'll meet our proud foe, before it is long.
          Let not your courage fail you:
            Be valiant, stout and bold;
          And it will soon avail you,
            My loyal hearts of gold.
  Huzzah, my valiant countrymen!--again I say huzzah!
  'Tis nobly done--the day's our own--huzzah, huzzah!

    March on, march on, brave Braddock leads the foremost;
      The battle is begun as you may fairly see.
    Stand firm, be bold, and it will soon be over;
      We'll soon gain the field from our proud enemy.
          A squadron now appears, my boys;
            If that they do but stand!
          Boys, never fear, be sure you mind
            The word of command!
  Huzzah, my valiant countrymen!--again I say huzzah!
  'Tis nobly done--the day's our own--huzzah, huzzah!

Before daybreak on the morning of the fatal ninth Lieutenant Colonel
Gage moved to the Monongahela to secure the two fords the army was to
use on the last day's march. At four o'clock Sir John St. Clair with two
hundred and fifty men went forward to prepare the roads. At five
Braddock advanced and made the first crossing at eight o'clock. He then
formed his army for a triumphant march to the second ford and on to Fort
Duquesne. It had been feared that, however weak, Contrecoeur would
attempt to defend this ford of the Monongahela. But this fear was
dissipated on receipt of the news that Gage held the second ford.

Contrecoeur knew it would be foolhardy to give Braddock battle. He was
in no mind to waste his men futilely. He knew an honorable capitulation
was all for which he could hope. But on the 8th a captain of the
regulars, M. de Beaujeu, asked leave to go out with a band to oppose
Braddock's passage of the Monongahela. Reluctantly, it is said,
Contrecoeur gave his permission and, the whole garrison desiring to
attend Beaujeu, the commander detailed him selected troops on the
condition that he could obtain the assistance of the Indians who were
about the fort.

The impetuous Beaujeu hurried off to the Indians and unfolded his plan
to them. But they were afraid of Braddock; some of them had even gone
into the English camp, at Cumberland, or in the mountains, on pretense
of joining the English army; they had seen the long lines of grenadiers
and wagons laden with cannon.

"How, my Father," they replied, "are you so bent upon death that you
would also sacrifice us? With our eight hundred men do you ask us to
attack four thousand English? Truly, this is not the saying of a wise
man. But we will lay up what we have heard, and tomorrow you shall know
our thoughts."

Baffled, Beaujeu withdrew while the redskinned allies of the French
frittered away the hours in debate--and the spies brought word that
Braddock was encamped in Long Run valley. The indomitable Beaujeu,
however, went and examined the ground at the ford of the Monongahela,
which Braddock would pass on the next day. On the ninth, however, the
Indians brought word that they would not join in the unequal contest.

But even as they spoke an Indian scout came running down the narrow
trail toward the fort. He brought the news of Braddock's advance on the
Monongahela fords. Beaujeu, cunning actor, played his last card
desperately and well:

"I am determined," he cried, "to go out against the enemy; I am certain
of victory. What! will you suffer your father to depart alone?"

The reproach stung the savage breasts. In a moment hundreds of hoarse
voices were drowning the long roll of the drums. A mad scene followed;
wild with enthusiasm, casks of bullets and flints and powder were
rolled to fort gates and their heads knocked out. About these the
savages, even while painting themselves for the fray, came in crowds,
each one free to help himself as he needed. Then came the race for the
ford of the Monongahela. Down the narrow trail burst the horde of
warriors, led by the daring Beaujeu dressed in savage costume, an Indian
gorget swinging from his neck for good fortune. Behind him poured
Delawares, Ojibways, Pottawattamies, Abenakis, Caughnawagas, Iroquois,
Ottawas, led by their young King Pontiac; Shawanese, Wyandots, Hurons,
led by Athanasius from the mission of Lorette, who gloried in a name
"torn from the most famous page of Christian history." With the six
hundred savages ran two hundred Canadians and four score French

This rabble could not have left Fort Duquesne before high noon; no
wonder Beaujeu ran--fearing Braddock had passed the battle-ground he had
chosen last night. In that case he despaired of delaying the advance
even a single day; yet in one day the expected reinforcements might
arrive from the north!

Washington rode with Braddock today, though he rode on a pillow in his
saddle. In after life he often recalled the sight of Braddock's
grenadiers marching beside the Monongahela in battle array, a fine
picture with the thin red line framed in the fresh green of the forests.
With the receipt of Gage's note, the fear of ambuscade which had been
omnipresent since the army left Fort Cumberland, vanished. During that
month the Indian guides, flanking squads, and woodchoppers had rushed
into camp time and again calling the companies to arms; each alarm had
been false. As Fort Duquesne was neared Braddock grew doubly cautious.
He even attempted to leave the Indian trail which ran through the
"Narrows" and which crossed the Monongahela at the mouth of Turtle
Creek. When another course was found impossible for the wagons he turned
reluctantly back to the old thoroughfare, but had passed the "Narrows"
safely and his advance guards now held the fords. All was well.

By two o'clock Braddock was across the river, bag and baggage. Beyond,
the Indian trail wound along to the uplands, skirting the heads of
numerous ravines and clinging persistently, like all the trails of the
Indians and buffalo, to the high ground between the brook and swamp. The
ridge which the trail followed here to the second terrace was twenty
rods in width, with the path near the center. On the west a deep ravine,
completely hidden in the deep underbrush, lay almost parallel with the
trail for a distance of over five hundred feet. On the opposite side
smaller ravines also lay nearly parallel with the trail. On the high
ground between these hidden ravines, and not more than two hundred feet
from them, Braddock's engineers and woodchoppers widened their road for
Gage's advance guard which was ordered to march on until three o'clock.

As the engineers reached the extremity of the second terrace Beaujeu
came bounding into sight, the pack of eight hundred wolves at his heels.
Seeing the English, the daring but dismayed Frenchman stopped still in
his tracks. He was an hour too late. Attempting to surprise Braddock,
Beaujeu was himself surprised. But he waved his hat above his head and
the crowd of warriors scattered behind him like a partridge's brood into
the forest leaves.

The French captain knew the ground and Braddock did not, and the ground
was admirably formed for a desperate stand against the advancing army.
Burton, who was just leaving the river shore, was ordered up to support
Gage on the second upland after the first fire. This brought the whole
army, save four hundred men, to the second terrace between the unseen
ravines on the east and west. Into these ravines poured the Indian
rabble. The ravine on the east being shorter than that on the west, many
savages ran through it and posted themselves in the dense underbrush on
the hillside.

Thus, in a twinkling of an eye, the Indians running southward in the two
ravines and the British northward on the high ground between them, the
fatal position of the battle was quickly assumed.[40] No encounter has
been more incorrectly described and pictured than the Battle of the
Monongahela.[41] Braddock was not surprised; his advance guard saw the
enemy long before they opened fire; George Croghan affirmed that the
grenadiers delivered their first charge when two hundred yards distant
from the Indians, completely throwing it away. Nor did Braddock march
blindly into a deep ravine; his army was ever on the high ground, caught
almost in the vortex of the cross-fire of the savages hidden on the
brink of the ravines on either side, or posted on the high ground to the

The road was but twelve feet in width. Even as Burton came up, Gage's
grenadiers were frightened and retreating. The meeting of the advancing
and retiring troops caused a fatal confusion and delay in the narrow
road. The fire from the Indians on the high ground to the right being
severe, Braddock attempted to form his bewildered men and charge. It
was futile. The companies were in an inextricable tangle. Finally, to
reduce things to order, the various standards were advanced in different
directions and the officers strove to organize their commands in
separate detachments, with a hope of surrounding the savages. This, too,
proved futile. The Indians on either side completely hidden in the
ravines, the smoke of the rifles hardly visible through the dense
underbrush, poured a deadly fire on the swarm of red-coats huddled in
the narrow track. Not a rifle ball could miss its mark there. As the
standards were advanced here and there, the standard bearers and the
officers who followed encouraging their men to form again were shot down
both from behind and before.[43] As once and again the paralyzed
grenadiers broke into the forest to raid the ravines, in the vain hope
of dislodging the enemy, they offered only a surer mark for the thirsty
rifles toward which they ran.

The Virginians took to the trees like ducks to water, but the sight
enraged Braddock, mad to have the men form in battle line and charge in
solid phalanx. In vain Washington pleaded to be allowed to place his men
behind the trees; Braddock drove them away with the flat blade of his
sword. Yet they came back and fought bravely from the trees as was their
habit. But it availed nothing to fight behind trees with the enemy on
both flanks; the Virginians were, after all, no safer there than
elsewhere, as the death-roll plainly shows. The provincial portion of
the army suffered as heavily, if not more heavily, than any other. No
army could have stood its ground there and won that battle. The only
chance of victory was to advance or retreat out of range of those hidden
rifles. The army could not be advanced for every step brought the men
nearer the very center of that terrible cross-fire. And the Bull-dog
Braddock knew not the word "retreat." That was the secret of his

Soon there were not enough officers left to command the men, most of
whom were hopelessly bewildered at seeing half the army shot down by a
foe they themselves had never seen. Many survivors of the battle
affirmed that they never saw above five Indians during the conflict.
Braddock was mortally wounded by a ball which pierced his right arm and
lung. Sir Peter Halket lay dead, his son's dead corpse lying across his
own. Of twenty-one captains, seven were dead and seven wounded; of
thirty-eight lieutenants, fifteen were wounded and eleven were dead; of
fourteen second lieutenants or ensigns, five were wounded and three were
dead; of fifty-eight sergeants, twenty were wounded and seventeen dead;
of sixty-one corporals and bombardiers, twenty-two were wounded and
eighteen dead; of eighteen gunners, eight were wounded and six were
dead; of twelve hundred privates, three hundred and twenty-eight were
wounded and three hundred and eighty-six were dead. Each Frenchman,
Canadian, and Indian had hit his man and more than every other one had
killed his man. Their own absolutely impregnable position can be
realized when it is known that not twenty-five French, Canadians or
Indians were killed and wounded. Among the first to fall was the hero of
the day, Beaujeu; his Indian gorget could not save his own life, but it
delayed the capture of Fort Duquesne--three years.

Yet the stubborn, doomed army held its ground until the retreat was
ordered. The wounded Braddock, who pleaded, it is said, to be left upon
the ground, and even begged for Croghan's pistol with which to finish
what a French bullet had begun, was placed in a cart and afterwards in a
wagon and brought off the field.[45] No sooner was retreat ordered than
it became an utter rout. Some fifty Indians pursued the army into the
river, but none crossed it. Here and there efforts were made to stem the
tide but to no purpose. The army fled back to Dunbar, who had now
crawled along to Laurel Hill and was encamped at a great spring at the
foot of what is now Dunbar's Knob, half a mile north of Jumonville's
hiding place and grave. Dunbar's situation was already deplorable, even
Washington having prophesied that, though he had crossed the worst of
the mountain road, he could never reach Fort Duquesne.

But as Braddock's demoralized army threw itself upon him, Dunbar's
condition was indescribably wretched. A large portion of the survivors
of the battle and of Dunbar's own command, lost to all order, hurried on
toward Fort Cumberland. Dunbar himself, now senior officer in command,
ordered his cannons spiked and his ammunition destroyed and, with such
horses as could be of service, began to retreat across the mountains.
For this he was, and has often been, roundly condemned; yet, since we
have Washington's plain testimony that he could never have hauled his
wagons and cannon over the thirty comparatively easy miles to Fort
Duquesne, who can fairly blame him for not attempting to haul them over
the sixty difficult miles to Fort Cumberland? To fortify himself, so far
removed from hopes of sustenance and succor, was equally impossible.
There was nothing Dunbar could do but retreat.

The dying Braddock, tumbling about in a covered wagon on the rough road,
spoke little to the few men who remained faithfully beside him. Only
once or twice in the three days he lived did he speak of the battle; and
then he only sighed to himself softly: "Who would have thought it?"
Once, turning to the wounded Orme, he said: "We shall better know how to
deal with them another time." During his last hours Braddock seems to
have regarded his young Virginian aide, Washington, whose advice he had
followed only indifferently throughout the campaign, with utmost favor,
bequeathing him his favorite charger and his servant. On the night of
the twelfth of July, in a camp in an Indian orchard, near what is now
Braddock's Run, a mile and more east of Fort Necessity, in Great
Meadows, Edward Braddock died. In the morning he was buried in the
center of the roadway. Undoubtedly Washington read the service over the
Briton's grave. When the army marched eastward it passed over the grave,
obliterating its site from even an Indian's keen eye. In 1823, when the
Braddock's Road was being repaired, what were undoubtedly his bones
were uncovered, together with military trappings, etc. These were placed
in the dry ground above the neighboring run, the spot being now marked
by solemn pines.

Whatever Braddock's faults and foibles, he accomplished a great feat in
leading a comparatively powerful army across the Alleghenies, and had he
been decently supported by the colonies, there would have been no doubt
of his success. As it was, shamefully hampered and delayed by the
procrastinating indifference of the colonies, deceived and defrauded by
wolfish contractors, abandoned by the Indians because of the previous
neglect of the Colonial governors and assemblies, nevertheless the
campaign was a distinct success, until at the last moment, Fate
capriciously dashed the chalice from Braddock's lips.

The shattered army reached Fort Cumberland on July 20. The tale of
disaster had preceded it. The festal fires were not kindled in
Philadelphia. Now, for the first time the colonies were awakened to the
true situation, and in the months following paid dearly for their
supine indifference.

For with Beaujeu's victory the French arms became impregnable on the
Ohio. Braddock's defeat brought ten-fold more wretchedness than his
victory could ever have brought of advantage. After that terrible scene
of savagery at Fort Duquesne on the night of the victory, when the few
prisoners taken were burned at the stake, there were no wavering
Indians. And instantly the frontier was overrun with marauding bands
which drove back to the inhabited parts of the country every advanced
settlement. All the Virginian outposts were driven in; and even the
brave Moravian missionaries in Pennsylvania and New York gave up their
work before the red tide of war which now set eastward upon the long

For Shirley had likewise been beaten back from Fort Niagara, and Johnson
had not captured Fort Crown Point. Two of the campaigns of 1755 were
utter failures.



The clearest insight into the days when Braddock's Road was built, and
the most vivid pictures of the country through which it wound its
course, are given in certain letters of a British officer who
accompanied Braddock. No treatise on Braddock's expedition could be in
any measure complete without reproducing this amusing, interesting, yet
pitiful testimony to the difficulties experienced by these first English
officers to enter the backwoods of America. This is given in a volume
entitled _Extracts of Letters from an officer in one of those Regiments
to his friend in London_, published in London in the year of Braddock's

"You desire me to let you know the Particulars of our Expedition, and an
Account at large of the Nature of the Country, and how they live here;
also of the Manner of the Service, and which Corps is the most
agreeable to serve in, because it has been proposed to you to strive to
buy a Commission here, and that you awaited my Advice to determine. Dear
Sir, I love you so well that I shall at once tell you, I reckon the Day
I bought my Commission the most unhappy in my Life, excepting that in
which I landed in this Country. As for the Climate, it is excessive hot
in Summer, and as disagreeably cold in Winter, and there is no Comfort
in the Spring; none of those Months of gentle genial Warmth, which
revives all Nature, and fills every Soul with vernal Delight; far from
this, the Spring here is of very few Days, for as soon as the severe
Frosts go off, the Heat of the neighbouring Sun brings on Summer at
once, one Day shall be Frost, and the next more scorching or sultry and
faint than the hottest Dog-Day in _England_. What is excessively
disagreeable here is, that the Wealth of the Country consists in Slaves,
so that all one eats rises out of driving and whipping these poor
Wretches; this Kind of Authority so Corrupts the Mind of the Masters,
and makes them so overbearing, that they are the most troublesome
Company upon Earth, which adds much to the Uncomfortableness of the
Place. You cannot conceive how it strikes the Mind on the first Arrival,
to have all these black Faces with grim Looks round you, instead of
being served by blooming Maid Servants, or genteel white Livery Men: I
was invited to Supper by a rich Planter, and the Heat of the Climate,
the dim Light of the Myrtle Wax-Candles, and the Number of black
half-naked Servants that attended us, made me think of the infernal
Regions, and that I was at Supper with _Pluto_, only there was no
beautiful _Proserpine_, for the Lady of the House was more like one of
the Furies; she had passed through the Education of the College of
_Newgate_, as great Numbers from thence arrive here yearly; Most being
cunning Jades, some pick up foolish Planters; this Lady's Husband was
far from a Fool, but had married, not only for the Charms of her Person,
but because her Art and Skill was Quite useful to him in carrying on his
Business and Affairs, many of which were worthy of an adept in the
College she came from. Among others he made me pay for my Supper by
selling me a Horse upon Honour, which, as soon as it was cool, shewed
itself Dog-lame and Moon-blind.

"As for eating, they have the Names of almost every Thing that is
delicious, or in Fashion in _England_, but they give them to Things as
little like as _Cæsar_ or _Pompey_ were to the _Negroes_ whom they call
by those _Names_. For what they call a Hare is a Creature half Cat, half
Rabbet, with white strong Flesh, and that burrows in rotten Trees; they
call a Bird not much bigger than a Fieldfare, with hard, dry, strong
Flesh, hardly eatable, a Partridge. The best Thing they have is a wild
Turky, but this is only in Season one Month in the Year; the rest it is
hard, strong, and dry. As for Beef, the Months of _October_ and
_November_ excepted, it is Carrion; that is to say, so lean as it would
not be called Meat in _England_; their Mutton is always as strong Goats'
Flesh; their Veal is red and lean, and indeed the Heat of the Summer and
the pinching Frost of Winter, makes all like _Pharaoh's_ lean Kine. They
brag of the Fruits, that they have such plenty of Peaches as to feed
Hogs; and indeed that is true, they are fit for nothing else; I do not
remember, among the Multitudes I have tasted, above one or two that were
eatable, the rest were either mealy or choaky. Melons grow in Fields,
and are plentier than Pumpkins in _England_, as large and as tasteless;
there are such Quantities that the Houses stink of them; the Heat of the
Country makes them at once mellow, so that they hardly ever have the
fine racy Taste of an _English_ good Melon, for in _England_ you have
many bad Melons to one good; but here the Heat makes all Fruits like us
young fellows, rotten before they are ripe. With respect to Fish, they
have neither Salmon, Carp, Trout, Smelts, nor hardly any one good Kind
of Fish. They give the Name of Trout to a white Sea-fish, no more like a
Trout than a Cat to a Hare; they have one good, nay excellent Kind of
Fish, I mean a Turtle; but as Scarce as in _England_. With respect to
public Diversions, the worst _English_ Country Town exceeds all they
have in the whole Province. As to Drink, _Burgundy_ and _Champaign_ were
scarce ever heard of; _Claret_ they have but poor Stuff, tawny and
prick'd, for it cannot stand the Heat of the Summer, which also spoils
the _Port_; the _Madeira_ is the best Wine they have, but that only of
the worst Growths, for the best are sent to _Jamaica_ or _England_;
their only tolerable Drink is Rum Punch, which they swill Morning, Noon,
and Night. Their Produce is Tobacco; they are so attached to that, and
their Avarice to raise it, makes them neglect every Comfort of Life; But
the Intemperance of the Climate affects not only all the Cattle, Fruits,
and Growths of the Country, but the human Race; and it is rare to see a
native reach 50 Years of Age. I have heard from the best Judges, I mean
the kind hearted Ladies most in Vogue, that a _Virginian_ is old at 30,
as an _Englishman_ is at 60. The Ladies I speak of are well experienced,
and for most of them the Public have for peculiar Merit paid the
Passage, and honoured with an Order for Transportation on Record. I
would not deceive you so have told you the truth; I have not
exaggerated, but have omitted many disagreeable Circumstances, such as
Thunder Storms, Yellow Fevers, Musketoes, other Vermin, _&c_ with which
I shall not trouble you. The Ship is just going."

       *       *       *       *       *

"I Sent a Letter to you by Captain _Johnson_ bound for _Bristol_, with a
full Account of the Country, by which you will see the Reasons why it
will be highly improper for you to buy into the Troops here; I send this
by a Ship bound for _London_.

"They make here a Division between the Settlements and the Woods, though
the Settlements are what we should call very woody in _Europe_. The Face
of the Country is entirely different from any Thing I ever saw before;
the Fields have not the Appearance of what bears that Name in _Europe_,
instead of ploughed Grounds or Meadows, they are all laid out in
Hillocks, each of which bears Tobacco Plants, with Paths hoed between.
When the Tobacco is green it looks like a Coppice; when pulled the
Ground looks more like Hop-Yards than Fields, which makes a very
disagreeable Appearance to the Eye. The Indian Corn also, and all their
Culture runs upon hilling with the Hoe, and the _Indian_ Corn grows
like Reeds to eight or nine Feet high. Indeed in some Parts of the
Country Wheat grows, but Tobacco and _Indian_ Corn is the chief.

"From the Heart of the Settlements we are now got into the Cow-Pens, the
Keepers of these are very extraordinary Kind of Fellows, they drive up
their Herds on Horseback, and they had need do so, for their Cattle are
near as wild as Deer; a Cow-Pen generally consists of a very large
Cottage or House in the Woods, with about four-score or one hundred
Acres, inclosed with high Rails and divided; a small Inclosure they keep
for Corn, for the Family, the rest is the Pasture in which they keep
their Calves; but the Manner is far different from any Thing you ever
saw; they may perhaps have a Stock of four or five hundred to a thousand
Head of Cattle belonging to a Cow-Pen, these run as they please in the
great Woods, where there are no Inclosures to stop them. In the Month of
_March_ the Cows begin to drop their Calves, then the Cow-Pen Master,
with all his Men, rides out to see and drive up the Cows with all their
new fallen Calves; they being weak cannot run away so as to escape,
therefore are easily drove up, and the Bulls and other Cattle follow
them; then they put these Calves into the Pasture, and every Morning and
Evening suffer the Cows to come and suckle them, which done they let the
Cows out into the great Woods to shift for their Food as well as they
can; whilst the Calf is sucking one Tit of the Cow, the Woman of the
Cow-Pen is milking one of the other Tits, so that she steals some Milk
from the Cow, who thinks she is giving it to the Calf; as soon as the
Cow begins to go dry, and the Calf grows Strong, they mark them, if they
are Males they cut them, and let them go into the Wood. Every Year in
_September_ and _October_ they drive up the Market Steers, that are fat
and of a proper Age, and kill them; they say they are fat in _October_,
but I am sure they are not so in _May_, _June_ and _July_; they reckon
that out of 100 Head of Cattle they can kill about 10 or 12 Steers, and
four or five Cows a Year; so they reckon that a Cow-Pen for every 100
Head of Cattle brings about 40£ Sterling per Year. The Keepers live
chiefly upon Milk, for out of their vast Herds, they do condescend to
tame Cows enough to keep their Family in Milk, Whey, Curds, Cheese and
Butter; they also have Flesh in Abundance such as it is, for they eat
the old Cows and lean Calves that are like to die. The Cow-Pen Men are
hardy People, are almost continually on Horseback, being obliged to know
the Haunts of their Cattle.

"You see, Sir, what a wild set of Creatures our _English_ Men grow into,
when they lose Society, and it is surprising to think how many
Advantages they throw away, which our industrious Country-Men would be
glad of: Out of many hundred Cows they will not give themselves the
trouble of milking more than will maintain their Family."

       *       *       *       *       *

"Since my last, we are got out of the Settlements and into the Woods.
The Scene is changed, but not for the better. I thought we were then so
bad that we had the Consolation of being out of Danger of being worse,
but I found myself mistaken. The mutinous Spirit of the Men encreases,
but we will get the better of that; we will see which will be tired
first, they of deserving Punishments, or we of inflicting them. I cannot
but say the very Face of the Country is enough to strike a Damp in the
most resolute Mind; the Fatigues and Wants we suffer, added, are enough
to dispirit common Men; nor should I blame them for being low spirited,
but they are mutinous, and this came from a higher Spring than the
Hardships here, for they were tainted in _Ireland_ by the factious Cry
against the L-- L-- Ld G--, and the Primate; the wicked Spirit instilled
there by Pamphlets and Conversation, got amongst the common Soldiers,
who, tho' they are _Englishmen_, yet are not the less stubborn and
mutinous for that. They have the Impudence to pretend to judge of and
blame every Step, not only of the Officers, but of the Ministry. They,
every now and then, in their Defence say they are free _Englishmen_, and
Protestants, and are not obliged to obey Orders if they are not fed with
Bread, and paid with Money; now there is often only Bills to pay them
with, and no Bread but _Indian_ Corn. In fine, in _Europe_ they were
better fed than taught; now they must be better taught than fed.
Indeed the Officers are as ill off about Food as they, the General
himself, who understands good eating as well as any Man, cannot find
wherewithal to make a tolerable Dinner of, though he hath two good Cooks
who could make an excellent Ragout out of a Pair of Boots, had they but
Materials to toss them up with; the Provision in the Settlements was
bad, but here we can get nothing but _Indian_ Corn, or mouldy Bisket;
the fresh Bread we must bake in Holes in the Ground having no Ovens, so
besides the Mustiness of the Flour, it is half Sand and Dirt. We are
happy if we can get some rusty salt Pork, or Beef, which hath been
carried without Pickle; for as we cannot carry Barrels on Horses, we are
forced to take out the Meat and put it in Packs on Horses Backs;
sometimes we get a few live Cattle from the Cow-Pens, but they are so
lean that they are Carion and unwholesome. To this is added, the Heat of
the Country, which occasions such Faintness, that the Men can hardly
carry their Arms; and sometimes when these Heats are a little relaxed,
there comes such Storms of Rain, Thunder and Lightening, that all the
Elements seems on Fire; Numbers of Pine Trees struck to Shivers, and
such Effects of Lightening, that if not seen one could hardly believe;
yet we have not as yet had one Man killed by Lightening, but we have had
several died by the Bite of Snakes, which are mortal, and abound
prodigiously in the Swamps, through which we are often forced to march;
there is another Inconveniency, which, tho it seems small, has been as
teasing to me as the greater, that is a Kind of Tick, or Forest Bug,
that gets into the Legs, and occasions Inflammations and Ulcers, so that
the wound itches and makes one ready to tear off the Flesh; this hath
greatly distressed both Men and Officers, and there is no Help nor Cure
for it but Patience: Indeed they seldom occasion Lameness, tho'
sometimes they do; a Soldier of our Company was forced to have his Leg
cut off, for the Inflammation caused by the many Bites mortifying. We
have nothing round us but Trees, Swamps, and Thickets. I cannot conceive
how we must do if we are attacked, nor how we can get up to attack; but
the best is what the General said, to reassure the old Soldiers who are
all uneasy for Fear of being attack'd on the long March in Defiles, his
Excellency with great Judiciousness says, that where the Woods are too
thick so as to hinder our coming at them, they will hinder their coming
at us.


"Just as I write this we hear the best News I ever heard in my Life, the
General hath declared to the _Virginians_, that if they do not furnish
us with Waggons and Provisions in two Days, he will march back; he has
justly upbraided them for exposing the King's Troops, by their Bragging
and false Promises. They undertook to furnish us with Horses, Bread and
Beef, and really have given nothing but Carion for Meat, _Indian_ Corn
for Bread, Jades for Horses which cannot carry themselves. These
Assurances of furnishing every Thing has deceived the General hitherto,
and he, out of Zeal for the Service, hath undergone the utmost
Difficulties; but now it is impossible to go farther without they comply
with the Promises, they were weak, or wicked enough to make, for
certainly they were never able to perform them; it is surprizing how
they bragged before we left the Settlements, of what Plenty they would
furnish us with at the Cow-Pens, and in the Woods; these Assurances has
brought the General into the present Difficulties, and he has very
justly told them, that if he marched any farther without a Supply, he
should be justly charged with destroying his Majesty's Troops in the
Deserts, and thereby occasion the Destruction of _Virginia_ by
encouraging the French; that if he was not supplied in two Days, he
would march back, and lay their Breach of Faith before his Majesty.

"I now begin to hope that I shall once more have the Pleasure of seeing
you, and the rest of my Friends. Pray acquaint my dear Mr. M--, that I
desire he would not sell my Farm at --, since I hope soon to be over."
[The rest relates to private affairs].

       *       *       *       *       *

"As the Intention of marching back continues, another Courier is to be
sent, which Opportunity I take, not only to let you know I am well, but
to desire my Cousin -- would not send any Money to Mr. -- to be
remitted to me in _Virginia_. As the Pen is in my Hand, I will give you
an Account of a Diversion we had some Nights ago, it was an _Indian_
Dancing, which I cannot call a Ball, though it was a Kind of Masquerade,
the Habits being very antick; but this as every Thing in this Country
is, was in the Stile of the Horrible; the Sal de Ball was covered with
the Canopy of Heaven, and adorned with the twinkling Stars, a large
Space of Grass was mark'd out for the Dancing-Place, round which we the
Spectators stood, as at a Cricket-match in _England_, in the Centre of
it was two Fires, at a small Distance from each other, which were
designed as an Illumination to make the Dancers visible; near the Fires
was seated the Musick, which were a number of Men and Women, with a Kind
of Timbrels or small Kettle-Drums, made of real brass Kettles, covered
with Deer Skins made like Parchment by the _Indians_, and these they
beat, and keep good Time, although their Tunes are terrible and savage;
they also sing much in the same Stile, creating Terror, Fear, and all
dreadful Passions, but no pleasing ones. After this Noise had gone on
for some Time, at once we heard a most dreadful Shout, and a Band of
horrid Figures rushed into the Ring, with a Nimbleness hardly
conceivable; they struck the Ground in exact Measure, answering the
rough Musick; at once all the Descriptions of the Fawns and Satyrs of
the _Latin_ Poets came into my Mind, and indeed the _Indians_ seemed to
be the same Kind of brown dancing People, as lived under King _Faunus_,
some 3000 Years ago in _Italy_; they are most chearful and loving to
their Friends, but implacable and cruel to their Enemies. They drink and
act when drunk much like _Silenus_ and his Satyrs; their whole Life is
spent in Hunting, War, and Dancing, what they now perform'd was a War
Dance; as soon as this Surprize ceased the Dancers followed one another,
treading a large Ring, round the two Fires and Music, and ceased
Singing; the Timbrels and Voices in the Centre set up a Tune to which
they continued dancing, and follow'd one another in the Ring with a very
true Measure, antick Postures, and high Bounds, that would puzzle our
best Harlequins to imitate; soon after, to every five Dancers came out
a Boy, carrying in their Hands flaming Splinters of light Wood instead
of Torches, which cast a glim Light that made Things as distinguishable
as at Noon-Day; and indeed the Surprisingness and Newness of the
Spectacle made it not unpleasing; the Indians being dress'd, some in
Furrs, some with their Hair ornamented with Feathers, others with the
Heads of Beasts; their Bodies naked, appearing in many Places, painted
with various Colours, and their Skins so rubbed with Oyl as to glitter
against the Light; their Waists were girded round with Bear or Deer
Skins with the Hair on, and artificial Tails fixed to many of them that
hung down near unto the Ground. After they had danced some Time in a
Ring, the Music ceased, the Dancers divided into two Parties, and set up
the most horrid Song or Cry, that ever I heard, the Sound would strike
Terror into the stoutest Heart. They then formed themselves into two
Bodies, four deep, all which they did, still dancing to the Tune and
Measure; they ceased singing, and the Music began, on which the two
Bodies run in at each other, acting all the Parts the _Indians_ use in
their Manner of Fight, avoiding Shot, and striving to surround their
Enemies. Some Time past in this Manner, and then at the Signal of a
dismal Cry the Dancers all at once rushed out again, leaving one only
behind them, who was supposed to have mastered his Enemy; he struck the
Ground with his Tomohawk or Club, as if he was killing one lying there,
then acting the Motions of scalping, and then holding up a real dried
Scalp, which before hung upon him amongst his Ornaments; he then sung
out the great Achivements which some of their Nation had performed
against the _French_, told the Names of the _Indian_ Warriors, and how
many of _French_ each had scalped, and then the Dance ended, _&c_."

       *       *       *       *       *

"In my last I acquainted you with the joyful News that our General
resolved not to be any longer deceived by the _Virginians_, Orders were
given for our March back, but the Day before that was appointed there
arrived five Quakers decently dressed, they were pure plump Men, on
brave fat Horses, which, by the way, were the first plump Creatures I
had seen in this Country. Then, as I told you before, I believed
_Virginia_ was peopled by _Pharaoh's_ lean Kine, but these Quakers seem
to come from the Land of _Goshen_, they looked like Christian People;
they went directly to his Excellence, and Curiosity carried us all to
the general Quarters. They came with Thanks to the General from the
People of Pensilvania, for the great Labour he had gone through in
advancing so far into the Wilderness for the Protection of his Majesty's
dutiful Subjects. They acquainted him further, that they had been
cutting Roads to meet him with a Number of Waggons loaded with Flour,
Cheese, Bacon, and other Provision; though this was good News I did not
half like it, I fear'd it would occasion our Stay, and prevent our
marching back; besides it was ominous, your Cheese and your Bacon being
the Baits that draw Rats to Destruction, and it proved but too true;
this Bait drew us into a Trap where happy was he that came off with the
Loss of his Tail only. This Evening we saw the Road and Waggons, and
the Men eat, this was a Duty so long disused, that it was a Tour of
Fatigue to the Teeth. The Fellows who drove the Waggons, tho' they would
have made but a shabby Figure amongst our _Hampshire_ Carters, yet here
they looked like Angels, compared with the long, lank, yellow-faced
_Virginians_, who at best are a half-starved, ragged, dirty Set; if by
Accident they can clear enough by their Tobacco to buy a Coat, they
rather chuse a half-wore gaudy Rag, than a substantial coarse Cloth, or
Kersey; they are the very Opposites to the _Pensilvanians_, who buy
Coats of Cloth so strong as to last as long as the Garments of the
_Israelites_ in their March through the Desert; a Coat serves a Man for
his Life and yet looks fresh, but this comes from their never wearing
them at Home; when out of Sight they work half naked. They are a very
frugal People, and if they were not so would be as beggarly as their
Neighbours the _Virginians_. The Ground does not bear half the Crops as
in _England_; they have no Market but by Sea, and that very dull, if you
consider they are forced to put their Flour in Barrels after grinding
and sifting, all at their own Charge, and no Consideration thereof in
the Price; whilst the _English_ Farmer only threshes his Wheat, and
sends it to Market. Tho' _Pensilvania_ is a Paradise to _Virginia_, it
is a very poor Country compared to _England_, and no Man in his Senses
can live with Comfort in _England_ stays here; as soon as they get
Estates they come over to _England_. The Proprietor, a most worthy
Gentleman, and universally admired, went over, and out of Complaisance
staid a little Time with them, but soon returned back to _England_,
where he resides. If _Pennsylvania_ could be agreeable to any one, it
would be so to him, who is one of the most amiable Men living, and the
whole People used their utmost Endeavors to make the Place agreeable;
but alas, the Intemperature of the Climate, the Nearness and Frugality
in their Manner of Living, necessary to carry on the Cultivation; the
Labor that most are forced to undergo to live, prevent their giving Way
to Pleasure, and the rest, as soon as they by Labor and Frugality get
enough to come to _England_, leave that Country, so there are not People
enough at Ease to make an agreeable Society; nor to occasion those
Improvements in Gardens, Buildings, and Parks, as would make Life
agreeable, much less is their Numbers enough of Rich to afford
encouragement to support public Diversions; so that _America_ is a very
disagreeable Place, the least Shire-Town in _England_ has more Pleasures
than the best Town in _North America_.

"But to return to our Quakers, the Chief of them told the General that
he feared greatly for the Safety of the Army; that the Woods, the
farther we went, would be the more dangerous, and the _French_ were a
subtle and daring Enemy, and would not neglect any Opportunity of
surprising us; that the further we went the more difficult it would be
to supply us with Provisions, and that the Country was not worth
keeping, much less conquering. The _French_ not yet knowing our Force
were in Terror, and if he sent would perhaps come into a Treaty; that
Peace was a heavenly Thing; and as for the Country in Dispute it was
misrepresented by those Projectors, who had some private Advantage; for
it was fit for none but _Indians_, the Soil bad, far from the Sea, and
Navigation; therefore he thought if the _French_ would abandon and
destroy their Forts, and we do the same, and leave the Lands to their
rightful Owners the _Indians_, on Condition that that Nation should pay
some Furrs and Deer Skins, by Way of Tribute, to our most gracious King
_George_, a Pacification might be established till the Matter was made
up before his Majesty. That General _Oglethorp_ had in that Manner
settled all Differences with the _Spaniards_ on the Southern Frontiers,
towards _Florida_, and the Accord lasted to this Day; on the other Hand,
he said, that if the _French_ refused, then the _Indians_, who are a
free and warlike Nation, and much too powerful to be despised, would
probably take our Side; if we would pull down the _French_ Forts, and
our own also, they would be the guard of our Colonies with very small
Expense to _England_.

"The General not only heard this Proposal with Pleasure, and
communicated it to most of the Officers, but doubted if he had Power to
execute it. Some of the Braggadocio _Virginians_, who last Year ran away
so stoutly, began to clamor against the Quakers and the General; so we
marched on; the General got as far as the Meadows, where, to hasten our
March, he fortified and intrenched a Camp, and left the heavy Baggage,
sick Men, and spare Provision _&c_, and to cover our Communication, he
left Colonel _Dunbar_ with 800 Men. This place was the only one where
regular Troops could make Use of their Discipline and Arms, and it is
all open Ground, therefore the General made this Camp as a Place of
Arms, where a Fortification being erected would supply the Army as they
should want, and might receive, and lay up the Provisions in Safety, as
they arrived from _Pennsylvania_; the General also said, that as this
Place was on the West Side of the _Allegane_ Mountains, it preserved his
Majesty's Rights against the _French_, who pretended that those
Mountains bounded his Majesty's Dominions. Here we halted and refreshed
ourselves bravely, by the Help of the _Pensilvania_ Provisions, and of
Deer, wild Turkeys, and Game of several other Kinds brought in by the
_Indians_, which though we should deem it bad enough in _England_, for
there is not above one Deer in ten that is fat, yet here our former
Wants made these delicious.

"On the 4th of _July_ our _Indians_ were defeated in the Woods by the
_French_ Parties; a few only was killed, but their chief Man was taken;
the _French_ have treated them very kindly, and declare they intend no
War against the _Indians_. The General is apprehensive this will make an
ill Impression on them, therefore does not care to trust them any
further; he has publickly said he will advance himself with 1200 Men,
drive the Enemy out of the Woods, and invest _Fort Du Quesne_; he is
resolved to be prepared for all Accidents, therefore leaves Colonel
_Dunbar_ with a strong Party to make good this Camp. The Ground round
the Camp is open, and the Situation so advantageous, that this Camp is
defensible against all the Efforts the _French_ can make, if any
Accident, should happen to the General; and he has declared, he has put
it in this Condition, that his Majesty's Affairs may not suffer if he
should miscarry.

"The General seems very anxious about marching through the Woods, and
gave very particular Orders; Powder and Bullet were given out, and
every Thing fit for Action; two Lieutenant-Colonels were ordered to
command the advanced Party. The General followed with the Gross of the
two Regiments from _Europe_, the _Americans_ followed, and the Rear was
brought up by Captain _Dumary's_, and another Independent Company. We
marched on in this Manner without being disturbed, and thought we had
got over our greatest Difficulties, for we look'd upon our March through
the Woods to be such: We were sure we should be much above a Match for
the _French_, if once we got into the open Ground near the Forts, where
we could use our Arms. We had a Train, and a gallant Party of Sailors
for working our Guns, full sufficient to master better works than those
of the _French_ Forts, according to the Intelligence we had of them.
Then we march'd on, and when within about ten Miles of Fort _Du Quesne_,
we were, on a sudden, charged by Shot from the Woods. Every Man was
alert, did all we could, but the Men dropped like Leaves in _Autumn_,
all was Confusion, and in Spight of what the Officers and bravest Men
could do, Numbers run away, nay fired on us, that would have forced them
to rally. I was wounded in one Leg, and in the other Heel, so could not
go, but sat down at the Foot of a Tree, praying of every one that run
by, that they would help me off; an _American Virginian_ turned to me,
Yes, Countryman, says he, I will put you out of your Misery, these Dogs
shall not burn you; he then levelled his Piece at my Head, I cried out
and dodged him behind the Tree, the Piece went off and missed me, and he
run on; soon after Lieutenant _Grey_, with a Party of _Dumary's_ Company
came by, who brought up the Rear; the Firing was now Quite ceased, he
told me the General was wounded, and got me carried off. When we arrived
at the _Meadows_, we found Colonel _Dunbar_ did not think it expedient
to wait for the _French_ there, but retired, and carried us, the
wounded, with him to _Will's Creek_. I have writ till I am faint."



Several months ago we received from that indefatigable delver in the
early annals of our country, Jared Sparks, Esq., of Salem,
Massachusetts, a letter containing some valuable information as to the
route of General Braddock after leaving Gist's farm, not far from where
Connelsville now stands. That letter we, for reasons which it is
unnecessary to mention, have withheld from publication; but those
reasons no longer existing, we now publish it--premising only a few
introductory remarks.

Mr. Sparks, as the biographer of Washington and as the collator of his
papers, and as a most indefatigable searcher after the whole truth in
our early history, enjoyed extraordinary advantages, so that his
statements in all such matters should always command the utmost
confidence. There is in the possession of the Pennsylvania Historical
Society a draught of "the Monongahela and Youghiogany rivers" taken by
Joseph Shippen, Jr., in 1759.[47] On this draught the route of General
Braddock is distinctly laid down from Cumberland to Stewart's Crossings,
now Connelsville, and thence to a point about twelve or fourteen miles,
nearly due north, and of course some four or five miles east of the
Youghiogany. From that point the line of march is not laid down until
within about six miles of the Monongahela river, at Braddock's first
ford, about one mile and a half below McKeesport; from that point it is
distinctly traced across the Monongahela twice to the field of battle.
As Mr. Shippen was Brigade Major in General Forbes' army, and in that
capacity visited this place within four years after Braddock's defeat,
we may well suppose that he had accurate information as to the route of
that unfortunate General.

Extract of a letter from Jared Sparks, Esq., to the editor of the _Olden

                                     "Salem, Mass., Feb. 18th, 1847.

"Dear Sir:--There is a copy of the 'Memorial' which you mentioned in the
Library of Harvard College which I believe is complete. I shall obtain
it soon, and will have the missing pages copied and forward to you the
manuscript. I suppose you wish it sent by mail. I once compared this
translation with the original[48] and found it clumsily executed, but
the substance is probably retained.

"Having heretofore examined with care the details of Braddock's
expedition, I am persuaded that the following, as far as it goes, is a
correct account of his march from Gist's plantation:

"On the 30th of June the army forded the Youghiogany at Stewart's
Crossings and then passed a rough road over a mountain. A few days
onward they came to a great swamp which detained them part of a day in
clearing a road. They next advanced to Salt Lick Creek, now called
Jacob's Creek, where a council of war was held on the 3d of July to
consider a suggestion of Sir John St. Clair that Colonel Dunbar's
detachment should be ordered to join the main body. This proposal was
rejected on the ground that Dunbar could not join them in less than
thirteen days; that this would cause such a consumption of provisions as
to render it necessary to bring forward another convoy from Fort
Cumberland; and that in the meantime the French might be strengthened by
a reinforcement, which was daily expected at Fort Duquesne--and
moreover; the two divisions could not move together after their

"On the 4th the army again marched and advanced to Turtle Creek, about
twelve miles from its mouth, where they arrived on the 7th inst. I
suppose this to have been the eastern branch or what is now called Rush
Creek, and that the place at which they encamped was a short distance
northerly from the present village of Stewartsville. It was General
Braddock's intention to cross Turtle Creek, and approach Fort Duquesne
on the other side; but the banks were so precipitous, and presented
such obstacles to crossing with his artillery and heavy baggage that he
hesitated, and Sir John St. Clair went out with a party to reconnoitre.
On his return, before night, he reported that he had found the ridge
which led to Fort Duquesne but that considerable work would be necessary
to prepare a road for crossing Turtle Creek. This route was finally
abandoned, and on the 8th the army marched eight miles and encamped not
far from the Monongahela, west of the Youghiogany and near what is
called in an old map 'Sugar Run.' When Braddock reached this place it
was his design to pass through the narrows, but he was informed by the
guides who had been out to explore that the passage was very difficult,
about two miles in length, with a river on the left and a high mountain
on the right, and that much work must be done to make it passable for
carriages. At the same time he was told that there were two good fords
across the Monongahela where the water was shallow and the banks not
steep. With these views of the case he determined to cross the fords the
next morning. The order of march was given out and all the arrangements
were made for an early movement.

"About eight o'clock on the morning of the 9th the advanced division
under Colonel Gage crossed the ford and pushed forward. After the whole
army had crossed and marched about a mile, Braddock received a note from
Colonel Gage, giving notice that he had passed the second ford without
difficulty. A little before two o'clock the whole army had crossed this
ford and was arranged in the order of march on the plain near Frazer's
house. Gage with the advanced party was then ordered to march, and while
the main body was yet standing on the plain the action began near the
river. Not a single man of the enemy had before been seen.

"The distance by the line of march from Stewart's Crossing to Turtle
Creek, or Brush Creek, was about thirty miles. At this point the route
was changed almost to a right angle in marching to the Monongahela. The
encampment was probably two or three miles from the bank of the river,
for Colonel Gage marched at the break of day and did not cross the ford
till eight o'clock. During the whole march from the Great Meadows the
pickets and sentinels were frequently assailed by scouting parties of
French and Indians and several men were killed. Mr. Gist acted as the
General's guide. On the 4th of July two Indians went out to reconnoitre
the country toward Fort Duquesne; and Mr. Gist also on the same day, in
a different direction. They were gone two days, and all came in sight of
the fort, but brought back no important intelligence. The Indians
contrived to kill and scalp a French officer whom they found shooting
within half a mile of the fort.

"The army seldom marched more than six miles a day and commonly not so
much. From Stewart's Crossing to Turtle Creek there were six
encampments. During one day the army halted.

"I shall be much pleased to see Mr. Atkinson's map. His knowledge of the
ground will enable him to delineate Braddock's route much more
accurately than it can be done from any sources now available.

                              I am, Sir, respectfully yours,
                                                       Jared Sparks.
  Neville B. Craig, Esq., Pittsburgh."


[_Braddock's Road is shown as dotted line. The double line is the
present route from Cumberland to Ft. Necessity_]]

Since the foregoing letter was in type we have received from Mr. T. C.
Atkinson of Cumberland, Maryland, lately employed on the Pittsburgh and
Connelsville Rail Road, a very able and interesting article on the
subject of Braddock's route to the Monongahela, with a very beautiful
map of the country, by Mr. Middleton, one of Mr. Atkinson's assistants
on the survey for the railroad. The article of Mr. Atkinson, and the
map, furnish all the information as to the march of General Braddock's
army which can now be hoped for.

Mr. Atkinson had for years devoted much time to the examination of the
route of the army of Braddock eastward, and some distance westward of
Cumberland, and his late employ along the Youghiogany and Monongahela
afforded him an opportunity to complete his work.

As a striking evidence of the accuracy of his researches, we will
mention that in tracing the route he was much surprised and puzzled by
what seemed the strange divergence of the army from the Youghiogany
river after passing it at Stewart's Crossings. Yet the traditionary
evidence and marks on the ground seemed to establish beyond doubt the
fact that the army had passed far into the interior of our present
county of Westmoreland, and near to Mount Pleasant, crossing the line of
the Pittsburgh and Greensburg Turnpike road. This seemed so far from the
natural and direct route that even the strong traditionary and other
evidence, could not entirely remove the possibility of doubt. Mr.
Atkinson himself was entirely satisfied as to the correctness of his own
conclusions, but of course would be gratified to receive a confirmation,
in an authentic shape, of his own convictions.

Just at that crisis we received the letter from Mr. Sparks, which
precedes these remarks, thus settling most conclusively the verity of
many of the traditions current in the country as to the erratic course
of Braddock's army from Stewart's Crossings to the Monongahela river.

We are, deeply indeed, indebted to Mr. Atkinson, and also to his
assistant, Mr. Middleton, for their very valuable contribution in
illustration of the early history of this country.

The Pittsburgh and Connelsville Rail Road project cannot be regarded as
an entirely fruitless effort; it has, at least, produced this most
valuable historical essay.

All additional information in relation to those early scenes must
possess interest to every intelligent American; and we rejoice in the
opportunity of placing Mr. Atkinson's valuable communication and the
accompanying map before the readers of the _Olden Time_:

"The interest with which the routes of celebrated expeditions are
regarded, and the confusion which attends them after the lapse of years,
is well exemplified in the case of Hannibal, whose march toward Rome, in
order to divert their army from the siege of Capua, was totally lost in
the course of a few centuries. The constant blunders of Livy in copying
first from one writer, and then from another who made him take a
different path, justify a recent English historian who went to Italy to
see the ground for himself, in saying that the Punic War was almost as
hard in the writing as the fighting.

"As the time is coming when the road by which the unfortunate Braddock
marched to his disastrous field will be invested with antiquarian
interest akin to that attending Hannibal's route, or rather the _via
scelerata_, by which the Fabian family marched out of Rome, I have
thought it time not idly spent to attempt to pursue its scattered traces
as far as it is in my power, among more pressing occupations. In this
sketch I do not design to pursue it to its extent, but only to identify
it in those parts where it has been convenient for me to visit it and in
others to shadow out its general direction. Where it is obscure I hope
to have opportunities to examine it at a future day.

"Of the well conducted expedition of Colonel Bouquet and its precise
path, the publications of Mr. Hutchins, the geographer, who was one of
the engineers, leaves us very well informed. It is presumable that
similar details would be found of the march of 1755 if it had had a
successful termination. The three engineers who were in the field were
wounded; and it is probable their papers fell into the hands of the
enemy or were lost in the flight.

"General Braddock landed at Alexandria on the 20th of February, 1755.
The selection of this port for the debarcation of the troops, was
censured at the time, though it is probable it had the approval of
Washington. The two regiments he brought with him were very defective in
numbers, having but about five hundred men each, and it was expected
their ranks would be recruited in America. It is shown by the repeated
requests on this point made by the General at Cumberland that this
expectation was vain. After numerous delays, and a conference with the
Royal Governors, we find General Braddock _en route_ on the 24th of
April when he had reached Fredricktown in Maryland. Passing thence
through Winchester, Va., he reached Fort Cumberland about the 9th of
May. Sir John Sinclair, Deputy Quarter Master General, had preceded him
to this point about two weeks.[49]

"The army struck the Little Cacapehon (though pronounced Cacapon, I have
used for the occasion the spelling of Washington and various old
documents), about six miles above its mouth, and following the stream
encamped on the Virginia side of the Potomac preparatory to crossing
into Maryland. The water is supposed to have been high at the time, as
the spot is known as the Ferry-fields, from the army having been ferried
over. This was about the 4th or 5th of May.

"The army thence pursued the banks of the river, with a slight deviation
of route at the mouth of the South Branch, to the village of Old Town,
known at that time as the Shawnee Old Town, modern use having dropped
the most characteristic part of the name. This place, distant about
eight miles from the Ferry-fields, was known at that early day as the
residence of Col. Thomas Cresap, an English settler, and the father of
the hero of Logan's speech. The road proceeded thence parallel with the
river and at the foot of the hills, till it passes the narrows of Will's
Mountain, when it struck out a shorter line coincident with the present
county road, and lying between the railroad and the mountain, to Fort

"From the Little Cacapehon to this point the ground was comparatively
easy, and the road had been generally judiciously chosen. Thenceforward
the character of the ground was altered, not so much in the general
aspect of the country as that the march was about to abandon the
valleys, and now the real difficulties of the expedition may be said to

"The fort had been commenced the previous year, after the surrender at
the Great Meadows, by Col. Innes, who had with him the two independent
companies of New York and South Carolina. It mounted ten four pounders,
besides swivels, and was favorably situated to keep the hostile Indians
in check.[50]

"The army now consisted of 1000 regulars, 30 sailors, and 1200
provincials, besides a train of artillery. The provincials were from New
York and Virginia; one company from the former colony was commanded by
Captain Gates, afterwards the hero of Saratoga. On the 8th of June,
Braddock having, through the interest and exertions of Dr. Franklin,
principally, got 150 wagons and 2000 horses from Pennsylvania, was ready
to march.

"_Scaroodaya_, successor to the Half-King of the Senecas, and
_Monacatootha_, whose acquaintance Washington has made on the Ohio, on
his mission to Le Boeuf, with about 150 Indians, Senecas, and Delawares,
accompanied him....

"The first brigade under Sir Peter Halket, led the way on the 8th, and
on the 9th the main body followed. Some idea of the difficulties they
encountered, may be had when we perceive they spent the third night only
five miles from the first. The place of encampment which is about one
third of a mile from the toll-gate on the National Road, is marked by a
copious spring bearing Braddock's name.

"For reasons not easy to divine, the route across Will's Mountain first
adopted for the national road was selected instead of the more favorable
one through the narrows of Will's Creek, to which the road has been
changed within a few years for the purpose of avoiding that formidable
ascent. The traces are very distinct on the east and west slopes, the
modern road crossing it frequently. From the western foot, the route
continued up Braddock's Run to the forks of the stream, where Clary's
tavern now stands, nine miles from Cumberland, when it turned to the
left, in order to reach a point on the ridge favorable to an easy
descent into the valley of George's Creek. It is surprising that having
reached this high ground, the favorable spur by which the National Road
accomplishes the ascent of the Great Savage Mountain, did not strike the
attention of the engineers, as the labor requisite to surmount the
barrier from the deep valley of George's Creek, must have contributed
greatly to those bitter complaints which Braddock made against the
Colonial Governments for their failure to assist him more effectively in
the transportation department.

"Passing then a mile to the south of Frostburg, the road approaches the
east foot of Savage Mountain, which it crosses about one mile south of
the National Road, and thence by very favorable ground through the dense
forests of white pine peculiar to this region, it got to the north of
the National Road, near the gloomy tract called the _Shades of Death_.
This was the 15th of June, when the dense gloom of the summer woods and
the favorable shelter which those enormous pines would give an Indian
enemy, must have made a most sensible impression on all minds, of the
insecurity of their mode of advance.

"This doubtless had a share in causing the council of war held at the
Little Meadows[51] the next day. To this place, distant only about
twenty miles from Cumberland, Sir John Sinclair and Major Chapman had
been dispatched on the 27th of May, to build a fort; the army having
been seven days in reaching it, it follows as the line of march was
upwards of three miles long, the rear was just getting under way when
the advance were lighting their evening fires.

"Here it may be well enough to clear up an obscurity which enters into
many narratives of these early events, from confusing the names of the
_Little Meadows_ and _Great Meadows_, _Little Crossings_ and _Great
Crossings_, which are all distinct localities.

"The _Little Meadows_ have been described as at the foot of Meadow
Mountain; it is well to note that the _Great Meadows_ are about
thirty-one miles further west, and near the east foot of Laurel Hill.

"By the _Little Crossings_ is meant the Ford of Casselman's River, a
tributary of the Youghiogheny; and by the _Great Crossings_, the passage
of the Youghiogheny itself. The Little Crossing is two miles west of the
Little Meadows, and the Great Crossing seventeen miles further west.

"The conclusion of the council was to push on with a picked force of
1200 men and 12 pieces of cannon; and the line of march, now more
compact was resumed on the 19th. Passing over ground to the south of the
Little Crossings, and of the village of Grantsville, which it skirted,
the army spent the night of the 21st at the Bear Camp, a locality I have
not been able to identify, but suppose it to be about midway to the
Great Crossings, which it reached on the 23d. The route thence to the
Great Meadows or Fort Necessity was well chosen, though over a
mountainous tract, conforming very nearly to the ground now occupied by
the National Road, and keeping on the dividing ridge between the waters
flowing into the Youghiogheny on the one hand and the Cheat River on the
other. Having crossed the Youghiogheny, we are now on the classic ground
of Washington's early career, where the skirmish with Jumonville, and
Fort Necessity, indicate the country laid open for them in the previous
year. About one mile west of the Great Meadows and near the spot now
marked as Braddock's Grave, the road struck off more to the north-west,
in order to reach a pass through Laurel Hill that would enable them to
strike the Youghiogheny, at a point afterwards known as Stewart's
Crossing and about half a mile below the present town of Connellsville.
This part of the route is marked by the farm known as Mount Braddock.
This second crossing of the Youghiogheny was effected on the 30th of
June. The high grounds intervening between the river and its next
tributary, Jacob's Creek, though trivial in comparison with what they
had already passed, it may be supposed, presented serious obstacles to
the troops, worn out with previous exertions. On the 3d of July a
council of war was held at Jacob's Creek, to consider the propriety of
bringing forward Col. Dunbar with the reserve, and although urged by Sir
John Sinclair with, as one may suppose, his characteristic vehemence,
the measure was rejected on sufficient grounds. From the crossing of
Jacob's Creek, which was at the point where Welchhanse's Mill now
stands, about 1-1/2 miles below Mount Pleasant, the route stretched off
to the north, crossing the Mount Pleasant turnpike near the village of
the same name, and thence by a more westerly course, passing the Great
Sewickley near Painter's Salt Works, thence south and west of the Post
Office of Madison and Jacksonville, it reached the Brush Fork of Turtle
Creek. It must strike those who examine the map that the route, for some
distance, in the rear and ahead of Mount Pleasant, is out of the proper
direction for Fort Duquesne, and accordingly we find on the 7th of July,
Gen. Braddock in doubt as to his proper way of proceeding. The crossing
of Brush Creek, which he had now reached, appeared to be attended with
so much hazard that parties were sent to reconnoitre, some of whom
advanced so far as to kill a French officer within half a mile of Fort

"Their examinations induced a great divergence to the left, and availing
himself of the valley of Long Run, which he turned into, as is supposed,
at Stewartsville, passing by the place now known as Samson's Mill, the
army made one of the best marches of the campaign and halted for the
night at a favorable depression between that stream and Crooked Run and
about two miles from the Monongahela. At this spot, about four miles
from the battle ground, which is yet well known as Braddock's Spring, he
was rejoined by Washington on the morning of the 9th of July.

"The approach to the river was now down the valley of Crooked Run to its
mouth, where the point of fording is still manifest, from a deep notch
in the west bank, though rendered somewhat obscure by the improved
navigation of the river. The advance, under Col. Gage, crossed about 8
o'clock, and continued by the foot of the hill bordering the broad river
bottom to the second fording, which he had effected nearly as soon as
the rear had got through the first.

"The second and last fording at the mouth of Turtle Creek was in full
view of the enemy's position, and about one mile distant. By 1 o'clock
the whole army had gained the right bank, and was drawn up on the bottom
land, near Frazier's house (spoken of by Washington as his stopping
place on his mission to Le Boeuf), and about 3/4 of a mile distant from
the ambuscade."



The narrow swath of a road cut through the darkling Alleghenies by
General Braddock has been worth all it cost in time and treasure.
Throughout the latter half of the eighteenth century it was one of the
main thoroughfares into the Ohio valley, and when, at the dawning of the
nineteenth, the United States built our first and greatest public
highway, the general alignment of Braddock's Road between Cumberland and
the last range of the Alleghenies--Laurel Hill--was the course pursued.
In certain localities this famed national boulevard, the Cumberland
Road, was built upon the very bed of Braddock's road, as Braddock's road
had been built partly upon the early Washington's Road which followed
the path of Indian, buffalo, and mound-building aborigines. Nowhere in
America can the evolution of road-building be studied to such advantage
as between Cumberland, Maryland and Uniontown, Pennsylvania.

For some years after Braddock's defeat his route to and fro between the
Monongahela and Potomac was used only by scouting parties of whites and
marauding Indians, and many were the swift encounters that took place
upon its overgrown narrow track. In 1758 General Forbes built a new road
westward from Carlisle, Pennsylvania rather than follow Braddock's
ill-starred track, for reasons described in another volume of the
present series.[52] Forbes frightened the French forever from the "Forks
of the Ohio" and erected Fort Pitt on the ruins of the old Fort
Duquesne. In 1763 Colonel Bouquet led a second army across the
Alleghenies, on Forbes's Road, relieved Fort Pitt and put an end to
Pontiac's Rebellion. By the time of Forbes's expedition Braddock's Road
was somewhat filled with undergrowth, and was not cut at all through the
last and most important eight miles of the course to Fort Duquesne.
Forbes had some plans of using this route, "if only as a blind," but
finally his whole force proceeded over a new road. However, certain
portions of Braddock's Road had been cleared early in the campaign when
Forbes thought it would be as well to have "two Strings to one Bow." It
was not in bad condition.[53]

This new northern route, through Lancaster, Carlisle, Bedford
(Reastown), and Ligonier, Pennsylvania, became as important, if not more
so, than Braddock's course from Cumberland to Braddock, Pennsylvania. As
the years passed Braddock's Road seems to have regained something of its
early prestige, and throughout the Revolutionary period it was perhaps
of equal consequence with any route toward the Ohio, especially because
of Virginia's interest in and jealousy of the territory about Pittsburg.
When, shortly after the close of the Revolution, the great flood of
immigration swept westward, the current was divided into three streams
near the Potomac; one went southward over the Virginian route through
Cumberland Gap to Kentucky; the other two burst over Forbes's and
Braddock's Roads. Some pictures of the latter are vividly presented in
early records of pilgrims who chose its rough path to gain the El Dorado
beyond the Appalachian mountain barriers.

William Brown, an emigrant to Kentucky from Hanover, Virginia, over
Braddock's Road in 1790 has left a valuable itinerary of his journey,
together with interesting notes, entitled _Observances and Occurrences_.
The itinerary is as follows:

  To Hanover Court House,                            16
  To Edmund Taylor's,                                16
  To Parson Todd's, Louisa,                          20
  To Widow Nelson's,                                 20
  To Brock's Bridge, Orange Co.,                      9
  To Garnet's Mill,                                   5
  To Bost. Ord'y, near Hind's House,                  7
  To Raccoon Ford, on Rapidan or Porters,             6
  To Culpepper Co.-House,                            10
  To Pendleton's Ford, on Rappahannock,              10
  To Douglass's Tavern, or Wickliffe's House,        13
  To Chester's Gap, Blue Ridge,                       8
  To Lehu Town,                                       3
  To Ford of Shenandore River, Frederick,             2
  To Stevensburg,                                    10
  To Brown's Mill,                                    2
  To Winchester,                                      6
  To Gasper Rinker's,                                11
  To Widow Lewis's, Hampshire,                       11
  To Crock's Tav.,                                    9
  To Reynold's, on the So. Branch Potowmack,         13
  To Frankford Town,                                  8
  To Haldeman's Mills,                                4
  To North Branch, Potomack,                          3
  To Gwyn's Tav., at the Fork of Braddock's
     old road, Alleghany Co., Maryland,               3
  To Clark's Store,                                   6
  To Little Shades of Death,                         12
  To Tumblestone Tav., or the Little Meadows,         3
  To Big Shades of Death,                             2
  To Mountain Tav., or White Oak Springs,             2
  To Simpson's Tav., Fayette Co., Pennsylvania,       6
  To Big Crossing of Yoh,                             9
  To Carrol's Tavern,                                12
  To Laurel Hill,                                     6
  To Beason Town,                                     6
  To Redstone, Old Fort,                             12
  To Washington Town, Washington Co., Penn.,         23
  To Wheeling, Old Fort, Ohio Co., Vir.,             35

Mr. Brown's notes of the journey over the mountains are:

"Set out from Hanover Friday 6th August 1790 arrived at Redstone Old
Fort about the 25th Inst. The road is pretty good until you get to the
Widow Nelson's, then it begins to be hilly and continues generally so
till you get to the Blue Ridge--pretty well watered. Racoon ford on
Rapidan is rather bad. The little mountains are frequently in view After
you pass Widow Nelson's. Pendleton's ford on Rappahanock is pretty good.
In going over Chester gap you ride about 5 miles among the mountains
before you get clear, a good many fine springs in the Mo. between the
Blue Ridge and the Alleghany Mo. appears to be a fine country, altho the
land is pretty much broken. At Shenandore ford there is two branches of
the river to cross and it is bad fording. But there is a ferry a little
below the ford. There is a very cool stream of water about 14 miles
below Winchester. This is a well watered country but springs are rather
scarce on the road, at Winchester there are several fine springs. The
South branch of Potowmack has a good ford, also the North branch. Soon
after you pass Gwyns Tavern in Maryland you enter upon the Alleghany Mo.
and then you have a great deal of bad road, many ridges of Mo.--the
Winding Ridge--Savage, Negro, etc. and Laurel Hill which is the last,
but before you get to the Mount, there is some stony bad road between
the Widow Lewis' and the Mo. after you pass Clark's store in the Mo. you
get into a valley of very pretty oak land. In many places while you are
in the Mo. there is very good road between the ridges. Just before you
get to the Little Shades of Death there is a tract of the tallest pines
I ever saw. The Shades of Death are dreary looking valleys, growing up
with tall cypress and other trees and has a dark gloomy appearance.
Tumblestones, or the Little Meadows is a fine plantation with beautiful
meadow ground. Crossing of Yoh, is a pretty good ford. There is some
very bad road about here. It is said Gen Braddock was buried about 8
miles forward from this, near a little brook that crosses the road.
Laurel hill is the highest ridge of the Mo. When you get to the top of
it to look forward toward Redstone there is a beautiful prospect of the
country below the Mo. You see at one view a number of plantations and
Beason Town which is six miles off."[55]

With the growth of Cumberland and the improvement of navigation of the
upper Potomac, and especially the building of the canal beside it, the
importance of the Braddock route across the mountains was realized by
the state of Maryland and the legislature passed laws with reference to
straightening and improving it as early as 1795; acts of a similar
nature were also passed in 1798 and 1802.[56]

A pilgrim who passed westward with his family over Braddock's Road in
1796 leaves us some interesting details concerning the journey in a
letter written from Western Virginia after his arrival in the
"Monongahela Country" in the fall of that year. Arriving at Alexandria
by boat from Connecticut the party found that it was less expensive and
safer to begin land carriage there than to ascend the Potomac further.
They then pursued one of the routes of Braddock's army to Cumberland and
the Braddock Road from that point to Laurel Hill. The price paid for
hauling their goods from Alexandria to Morgantown (now West Virginia)
was thirty-two shillings and six-pence per hundred-weight "of women and
goods (freight)"--the men "all walked the whole of the way." Crossing
"the blue Mountain the Monongehaly & the Lorral Mountains we found the
roads to be verry bad."

It is difficult to say when Braddock's Road, as a route, ceased to be
used since portions of it have never been deserted. There are
interesting references to it in the records of Allegheny County,
Maryland, which bear the dates 1807[57] and 1813[58]. A little later it
is plain that "Jesse Tomlinson's" is described "on _National Road_"
rather than on "_Braddock's Road_," as in 1807.[59] From this it would
seem that by 1817 the term "Braddock's Road" was ignored, at least at
points where the Cumberland Road had been built upon the old-time track.
Elsewhere Braddock's route kept its ancient name and, perhaps, will
never exchange it for another.


The rough track of this first highway westward may be followed today
almost at any point in all its course between the Potomac and the
Monongahela, and the great caverns and gullies which mark so plainly its
tortuous course speak as no words can of the sufferings and dangers of
those who travelled it during the dark half  century when it offered
one of the few passage-ways to the West. It was a clear, sweet October
day when I first came into Great Meadows to make there my home until
those historic hills and plains became thoroughly familiar to me. From
the Cumberland Road, as one looks southward from Mount Washington across
Great Meadows and the site of Fort Necessity, the hillside beyond is
well-timbered on the right and on the left; but between the forests lies
a large tract of cultivated ground across which runs, in a straight
line, the dark outline of a heavy unhealed wound. A hundred and fifty
years of rain and snow and frost have been unable to remove, even from a
sloping surface, this heavy finger mark. Many years of cultivation have
not destroyed it, and for many years yet the plow will jolt and swing
heavily when it crosses the track of Braddock's Road. I was astonished
to find that at many points in Fayette and neighboring counties the old
course of the road can be distinctly traced in fields which have for
half a century and more been under constant cultivation. If, at certain
points, cultivation and the elements have pounded the old track level
with the surrounding ground, a few steps in either direction will bring
the explorer instantly to plain evidence of its course--except where the
road-bed is, today, a travelled lane or road. On the open hillsides the
track takes often the appearance of a terrace, where, in the old days
the road tore a great hole along the slope, and formed a catchwater
which rendered it a veritable bog in many places. Now and then on level
ground the course is marked by a slight rounding hollow which remains
damp when the surrounding ground is wet, or is baked very hard when the
usual supply of water is exhausted. In some places this strange groove
may be seen extending as far as eye can reach, as though it were the
pathway of a gigantic serpent across the wold. At times the track,
passing the level, meets a slight ridge which, if it runs parallel to
its course, it mounts; if the rising ground is encountered at right
angles, the road ploughs a gulley straight through, in which the water
runs after each rain, preserving the depression once made by the road.
And as I journeyed to and fro in that valley visiting the classic spots
which appear in such tender grace in the glad sunshine of a mountain
autumn, I never passed a spot of open where this old roadway was to be
seen without a thrill; as James Lane Allen has so beautifully said of
Boone's old road through Cumberland Gap to Kentucky, so may the explorer
feelingly exclaim concerning Braddock's old track: "It is impossible to
come upon this road without pausing, or to write of it without a

This is particularly true of Braddock's Road when you find it in the
forests; everything that savage mark tells in the open country is
reëchoed in mightier tones within the shadows of the woods. There the
wide strange track is like nothing of which you ever heard or read. It
looks nothing like a roadway. It is plainly not the track of a tornado,
though its width and straight course in certain places would suggest
this. Yet it is never the same in two places; here, it is a wide
straight aisle covered with rank weeds in the center of the low, wet
course; there, the forests impinge upon it where the ground is drier;
here, it appears like the abandoned bed of a brook, the large stones
removed from its track lying on each side as though strewn there by a
river's torrent; there, it swings quickly at right angles near the open
where the whole width is covered with velvet grass radiant in the
sunshine which can reach it here. In the forests more than elsewhere the
deep furrow of the roadway has remained wet, and for this reason trees
have not come up. At many points the road ran into marshy ground and
here a large number of roundabout courses speak of the desperate
struggles the old teamsters had on this early track a century ago. And
now and then as you pass along, scattered blocks and remnants of stone
chimneys mark the sites of ancient taverns and homesteads.

In the forests it is easy to conjure up the scene when this old track
was opened--for it was cut through a "wooden country," to use an
expression common among the pioneers. Here you can see the long line of
sorry wagons standing in the road when the army is encamped; and though
many of them seem unable to carry their loads one foot further--yet
there is ever the ringing chorus of the axes of six hundred choppers
sounding through the twilight of the hot May evening. It is almost
suffocating in the forests when the wind does not blow, and the army is
unused to the scorching American summer which has come early this year.
The wagon train is very long, and though the van may have halted on
level ground, the line behind stretches down and up the shadowy ravines.
The wagons are blocked in all conceivable positions on the hillsides.
The condition of the horses is pitiful beyond description. If some are
near to the brook or spring, others are far away. Some horses will never
find water tonight. To the right and left the sentinels are lost in the
surrounding gloom.

And then with those singing axes for the perpetual refrain, consider the
mighty epic poem to be woven out of the days that have succeeded
Braddock here. Though lost in the Alleghenies, this road and all its
busy days mirror perfectly the social advance of the western empire to
which it led. Its first mission was to bind, as with a strange, rough,
straggling cincture the East and the West. The young colonies were being
confined to the Atlantic Ocean by a chain of forts the French were
forging from Quebec to New Orleans. Had they not awakened to the task of
shattering that chain it is doubtful if the expansion of the colonies
could ever have meant what it has to the western world. Could Virginia
have borne a son in the western wilderness, Kentucky by name, if France
had held the Ohio Valley? Could North Carolina have given birth to a
Tennessee if France had made good her claim to the Mississippi? Could
New England and New York and Pennsylvania have produced the fruits the
nineteenth century saw blossom in the Old Northwest if France had
maintained her hold within that mighty empire? The rough track of
Braddock's Road, almost forgotten and almost obliterated, is one of the
best memorials of the earliest struggle of the Colonies for the freedom
which was indispensable to their progress. There was not an hour
throughout the Revolutionary struggle when the knowledge of the great
West that was to be theirs was not a powerful inspiration to the
bleeding colonies; aye, there was not a moment when the gallant
commander of those ragged armies forgot that there was a West into which
he could retreat at the darkest hour over Braddock's twelve-foot road.

That is the great significance of this first track through the "wooden
country"--an awakened consciousness.

The traveller at Uniontown, Pennsylvania, is within striking distance of
Braddock's Road at its most interesting points. A six-mile climb to the
summit of Laurel Hill brings one upon the old-time route which will be
found near Washington's Spring. A delightful drive along the summit of
the mountain northward brings one near the notorious "Dunbar's Camp"
where so many relics of the campaign have been found and of which many
may be seen in the museum of the nearby Pennsylvania Soldiers' Orphans'
Home. Here Dunbar destroyed the quantities of stores and ammunition with
which he could not advance, much less retreat. The visitor here should
find "Jumonville's Grove," about a quarter of a mile up the valley, and
should not miss the view from Dunbar's Knob.

Less than one mile eastward of Chalk Hill, beside a brook which bears
Braddock's name, beneath a cluster of solemn pines, lies the dust of the
sacrificed Braddock. If there is any question as to whether his body was
interred at this spot, there is no question but that all the good he
ever did is buried here. Deserted by those who should have helped him
most, fed with promises that were never kept, defeated because he could
not find the breath to cry "retreat" until a French bullet drove it to
his throat--he is remembered by his private vices which the whole world
would quickly have forgotten had he won his last fight. He was typical
of his time--not worse.

In studying Braddock's letters, preserved in the Public Records Office,
London, it has been of interest to note that he never blamed an
inferior--as he boasted in the anecdote previously related. His most
bitter letter has been reproduced, and a study of it will make each line
of more interest. His criticism of the Colonial troops was sharp, but
his praise of them when they had been tried in fire was unbounded. He
does not directly criticise St. Clair--though his successful rival for
honors on the Ohio, Forbes, accused St. Clair in 1758 not only of
ignorance but of actual treachery. "This Behavior in the people" is
Braddock's charge, and no one will say the accusation was unjust.

With something more than ordinary good judgment Braddock singled out
good friends. What men in America, at the time, were more influential in
their spheres than Franklin, Washington, and Morris? These were almost
the only men he, finally, had any confidence in or respect for.
Washington knew Braddock as well as any man, and who but Washington, in
the happier days of 1784, searched for his grave by Braddock's Run in
vain, desirous of erecting a monument over it?

Mr. King, editor of the Pittsburg _Commercial-Gazette_, in 1872 took an
interest in Braddock's Grave, planted the pines over it and enclosed
them. A slip from a willow tree that grew beside Napoleon's grave at St.
Helena was planted here but did not grow. There is little doubt that
Braddock's dust lies here. He was buried in the roadway near this brook,
and at this point, early in the last century, workmen repairing the road
discovered the remains of an officer. The remains were reinterred here
on the high ground beside the Cumberland Road, on the opposite bank of
Braddock's Run. They were undoubtedly Braddock's.

As you look westward along the roadway toward the grave, the significant
gorge on the right will attract your attention. It is the old pathway of
Braddock's Road, the only monument or significant token in the world of
the man from whom it was named. Buried once in it--near the cluster of
gnarled apple-trees in the center of the open meadow beyond--he is now
buried, and finally no doubt, beside it. But its hundreds of great
gorges and vacant swampy isles in the forests will last long after any
monument that can be raised to his memory.

Braddock's Road broke the league the French had made with the
Alleghenies; it showed that British grit could do as much in the
interior of America as in India or Africa or Egypt; it was the first
important material structure in this New West, so soon to be filled with
the sons of those who had hewn it.


[1] Entick, _History of the Late War_, vol. i., p. 110.

[2] Entick, _History of the Late War_, vol. i., p. 124.

[3] _Apology for the Life of George Anne Bellamy_, vol. iii., p. 55.

[4] _Letters of Walpole_, (edited by Cunningham, London 1877), vol. ii.,
p. 461.

[5] Entick _History of the Late War_, vol. i., p. 142.

[6] _History of the Late War_, vol. i., p. 142.

[7] _Gentleman's Magazine_, vol. 75, p. 389 (1755); also _A Review of
the Military Operations in North America_, London, 1757, p. 35.

[8] _A letter relating to the Ohio Defeat_, p. 14.

[9] Walpole's _Memoirs of George II_, vol. ii., p. 29.

[10] Walpole's _Memoirs of George II_, vol. ii., p. 29; also London
_Evening Post_, September 9-11, 1755.

[11] Walpole's _Memoirs of George II_, vol. i., p. 397; Sargent's
_History of Braddock's Expedition_, p. 153, note.

[12] Minutes taken "At a Council at the Camp at Alexandria in Virginia,
April 14, 1755." Public Records Office, London: _America and West
Indies_, No. 82.

[13] Braddock's MS. Letters, Public Records Office, London: _America and
West Indies_, No. 82.

[14] For these early routes through Pennsylvania, partially opened in
1755, see _Historic Highways of America_, vol. v., chap. I.

[15] _Maryland Archives_; Correspondence of Governor Sharpe, vol. i.,
pp. 77 and 97.

[16] Preserved at the Congressional Library, Washington.

[17] Eight miles from Alexandria. See Note 26.

[18] Arguments pro and con have been interestingly summed up by Dr.
Marcus Benjamin of the U. S. National Museum, in a paper read before the
Society of Colonial Dames in the District of Columbia April 12, 1899,
and by Hugh T. Taggart in the _Washington Star_, May 16, 1896. For a
description of routes converging on Braddock's Road at Fort Cumberland
see Gen. Wm. P. Craighill's article in the _West Virginia Historical
Magazine_, vol. ii, no. 3 (July, 1902), p. 31. Cf. pp. 179-181.

[19] London, Groombridge & Sons, 1854. Mr. Morris, in footnotes, gave
what he considered any important variations of the original manuscript
from the expanded version he was editing; Mr. Sargent reproduced these
notes, without having seen the original.

[20] _History of Braddock's Expedition_, p. 359, note.

[21] _History of Braddock's Expedition_, p. 359, note.

[22] Mr. Gordon evidently used the word "self" in his entry of June 3 to
throw any too curious reader off the track.

[23] _History of Braddock's Expedition_, p. 387.

[24] _History of Braddock's Expedition_, p. 365.

[25] In the Gordon Journal, under the date of June 10, there are two
entries. One seems to have been Gordon's and reads: "The Director of the
Hospital came to see me in Camp, and found me so ill.... I went into the
Hospital, & the Army marched with the Train &c., and as I was in hopes
of being able to follow them in a few days, I sent all my baggage with
the Army." Without doubt this was Gordon's entry, as no sailor could
have had sufficient baggage to warrant such a reference as this, while
an engineer's "kit" was an important item. Then follow two entries (June
24 and 26) evidently recorded by one who remained at Fort Cumberland,
and a second entry under the date of June 10, which is practically the
first sentence of the entry under the same date in the original
manuscript, and which has the appearance of being the genuine record
made by the sailor detained at Fort Cumberland. The confusion of these
entries in the Gordon Journal makes it very evident that one author did
not compose them. The two entries for June 10 are typical of "Mr
Engineer Gordon" and an unknown sailor.

[26] This form of the name of the modern Rock Creek is significant and
is not given in the expanded form of this journal. "Rock's Creek"
suggests that the great bowlder known as "Braddock's Rock" was a
landmark in 1755 and had given the name to the stream which entered the
Potomac near it.

[27] The use of full names in this journal is strong evidence that it is
the original.

[28] The Gordon Journal assiduously reverses every such particular as
this; it reads here: "there are about 200 houses and 2 churches, one
English, one Dutch."

[29] Though in almost every instance the Gordon Journal gives a more
wordy account of each day's happenings, it _never gives a record for a
day that is omitted by this journal_, as April 22, 23, and 28; at times,
however, a day is omitted in that journal that is accounted for in this;
see entries for May 9 and May 25--neither of which did Mr. Morris give
in his footnotes, though the latter was of utmost significance.

[30] The words "from the French" are omitted in the Gordon Journal,
which makes the entry utterly devoid of any meaning--unless that Cresap
had been ordered to retire by the Ohio Company! Cresap in that document
is called "a vile Rascal"; cf. Pennsylvania _Colonial Records_, vol.
vi., p. 400. For eulogy of Cresap see _Ohio State Archæological and
Historical Publications_, vol. xi.

[31] This is given for the 13th in the Gordon Journal.

[32] The Gordon Journal: "Mr Spendlow and self surveyed 22 casks of
beef, and condemned it, which we reported to the General."

[33] Two chaplains accompanied the two Regiments Philip Hughes was
chaplain of the 44th and Lieut. John Hamilton of the 48th. The latter
was wounded in the defeat.

[34] The entry of Gordon Journal reads: "Col. Burton, Capt. Orme, Mr.
Spendlowe and self...."

[35] The Gordon Journal: "This morning an Engineer and 100 men...."

[36] The only hint given in the Gordon Journal as to the author of the
original document is under this date. The Gordon Journal reads, "Mr.
Spendlowe and self with 20 of our men went to the place where the new
road comes into the old one...." "Self" here seems to refer to
"Midshipman"; but Mr. Gordon often refers to himself as an engineer and
never once inserts his own name, though he was a most important
official. Gordon probably accompanied or followed Spendlowe.

[37] Entries written by one while detained at Fort Cumberland. If
written by Gordon he hastened immediately to the front, for he was with
Braddock's advance on July 9.

[38] The Gordon Journal: "One of our Engineers, who was in front of the
Carpenters marking the road, saw the Enemy first." Who but Gordon would
have omitted his name under these circumstances?

[39] This last paragraph is evidently an additional memorandum of
British loss. The contents of the chest was undoubtedly £10,000.

[40] _British Newspaper Accounts of Braddock's Defeat_, p. 10.
Pennsylvania _Colonial Records_, vol. vi., p. 482.

[41] This view of Braddock's defeat is given in the late John Fiske's
recent volume, _New France and New England_.

[42] London _Public Advertiser_, November 3, 1755.

[43] London _Public Advertiser_, November 3, 1755.

[44] Cf. _British Newspaper Accounts of Braddock's Defeat_, p. 9.
Pennsylvania _Colonial Records_, vol. vi., p. 482. London _Public
Advertiser_, November 3, 1755.

[45] Cf. _British Newspaper Accounts of Braddock's Defeat_, p. 9; London
_Public Advertiser_, November 3, 1755.

[46] This chapter is from Neville B. Craig's _The Olden Time_, vol. ii.,
pp. 465-468, 539-544.

[47] See _Historic Highways of America_, vol. v.

[48] Preserved in the library of Harvard University.

[49] "Many misstatements are prevalent in the country adjacent to the
line of march, especially east of Cumberland, the traditionary name of
Braddock's route being often applied to routes we know he did not
pursue. It is probable the ground of the application consists in their
having been used by the Quarter Master's men in bringing on those
Pennsylvania wagons and pack horses procured by Dr. Franklin, with so
much trouble and at so great expense of truth. Sir John Sinclair wore a
Hussar's cap, and Franklin made use of the circumstance to terrify the
German settlers with the belief that he was a Hussar who would
administer to them the tyrannical treatment they had experienced in
their own country if they did not comply with his wishes. It is singular
that a small brook and an obscure country road in Berkley County,
Virginia, bear the name of Sir John's Run, and Sir John's Road, supposed
to be taken from the name of this officer.

[50] "The original name of Cumberland was Cucucbetuc, and from its
favorable position on the Potomac, was most probably the site of a
Shawnee village, like Old Town; moreover, it was marked by an Indian
name, a rare occurrence in this vicinity, if any judgment may be drawn
from the few that have been preserved.

[51] "This interesting locality lies at the west foot of the Meadow
Mountain, which is one of the most important of the Alleghany Ridges, in
Pennsylvania especially, where it constitutes the dividing ridge between
the eastern and western waters. A rude entrenchment, about half a mile
north of the Inn on the National Road, kept by Mr. Huddleson, marks the
site of this fort. This is most probably the field of a skirmish spoken
of in frontier history, between a Mr. Parris, with a scouting party from
Fort Cumberland, and the Sieur Donville, commanding some French and
Indians, in which the French officer was slain. The tradition is
distinctly preserved in the vicinity, with a misapprehension of
Washington's participation in it, arising probably from the partial
resemblance between the names of Donville and Jumonville. From the
positiveness of the information, in regard to the battle ground,
conflicting with what we know of Jumonville's death, it seems probable
enough that this was the scene of this Indian skirmish; and as such, it
possesses a classic interest, valuable in proportion to the scarcity of
such places.

[52] _Historic Highways of America_, vol. v., ch. 4.

[53] _Bouquet Papers, MSS._ Preserved in British Museum: Forbes to Pitt,
July 10; Forbes to Bouquet, August 2; Bouquet au Forbes, July 26, 1758.

[54] Speed's _The Wilderness Road_, pp. 56-57.

[55] Speed's _The Wilderness Road_, p. 60.

[56] Lowdermilk's _History of Cumberland_, p. 275.

[57] _Land Records of Allegheny County, Md._ Liber E, fol. 191.

[58] _Id._, Liber G. fol. 251.

[59] _Id._, Liber I and J, fol. 105.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

1. Passages in italics are surrounded by _underscores_.

2. Obvious errors in spelling and punctuation have been corrected except
for narratives and letters included in this text.

3. Footnotes have been moved to the end of the main text body.

4. Images have been moved from the middle of a paragraph to the closest
paragraph break.

5. Certain words use an oe ligature in the original.

6. Carat character (^) followed by a single letter or a set of letters
in curly brackets is indicative of subscript in the original book.

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