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&c., to follow by slow and easy marches. The general, with 1,200 chosen men, and Sir Peter Halkett, as brigadier, Lieut. Col. Gage, (afterwards Gen. Gage,) Lieut. Col. Burton, and Major Sparks, went forward, leaving Col. Dunbar to follow with the remainder of the troops and baggage. Col. Washington, who had been very ill with a fever, was left in charge of Col. Dunbar, but with a promise from Gen. Braddock that he should be brought up with the advanced corps before they reached Fort Duquesne. He joined it, at the mouth of the Yough’ogheny, on the 8th July. On the 9th, the day of the battle, he says, “I attended the general on horseback, though very low and weak. The army crossed to the left bank of the Monongahela, a little below the mouth of Youghiogheny, being prevented by rugged hills from continuing along the right bank to the fort.”
"Washington was often heard to say during his lifetime, that the most beautiful spectacle he had ever beheld was the display of the British troops on this eventful morning. Every man was neatly dressed in full uniform; the soldiers were arranged in columns and marched in exact order; the sun gleamed from their burnished arms; the river flowed tranquilly on their right, and the deep forest overshadowed them with solemn grandeur on their left. Officers and men were equally inspirited with cheering hopes and confident anticipations."*
At noon they recrossed to the right bank of the river, at a ripple about half a mile below the mouth of Turtle creek, and ten miles above Fort Duquesne. The annexed sketch exhibits a
Braddock's Field. view of the battle-ground. The trees in the foreground mark the landing place; the ford is now destroyed by the pool of the Monongahela Navigation Works. The cattle on the hill in the centre of the view, mark the place of the first attack; the ravines in which the enemy were concealed are seen on either side. These ravines are from eight to ten feet deep, and sufficient to contain at least a thousand men. The whole ground was then covered with the forest, and the ravines were completely hidden from view. Capt. Orme, an aid of Braddock, who was wounded in the battle, in a letter dated at Fort Cumberland, 18th July, gives the following par. ticulars: “The 9th inst. we passed and repassed the Monongahela by advancing first a party of 300 men, which was immediately followed by another of 200. The general, with the column of artillery, baggage, and main body of the army, passed the river the last time about one o'clock. As soon as the whole had got on the fort side of the Monongahela, we heard a very heavy and quick fire in our front. We immediately advanced in order to sustain them, but the detachments of the 200 and 300 men gave way and fell back upon us, which caused such confusion and struck so great a panic among our men, that afterwards no military expedient could be made use of that had any effect upon them. The men were so extremely deaf to the exhortation of the general and the officers, that they fired away in the most irregular manner all their ammunition, and then ran off, leaving to the enemy the artillery, ammunition, provisions and baggage; nor could they be persuaded to stop till they got as far as Gest's plantation, nor there only in part: many of them proceeded as far as Col. Dunbar's party, who lay six miles on this side. The officers were absolutely sacrificed by their unparalleled good behavior, advancing sometimes in bodies and sometimes separately-hoping by such example to engage the soldiers to follow them; but to no purpose. The general had five horses killed under him, and at last received a wound through the right arm into the lungs, of which he died the 13th inst. Poor Shirley was shot through the
head: Capt. Morris wounded. Mr. Washington had two horses shot under him, and his clothes shot through in several places ; behaving the whole time with the greatest courage and resolution. Sir Peter Halkett was killed upon the spot. Col. Burton and Sir John St. Clair wounded; and enclosed I have sent you a list of killed and wounded, according to as exact an account as we are yet able to get. Upon our proceeding with the whole convoy to the little meadows, it was found impracticable to advance in that manner. The general therefore advanced with 1,200 men, with the necessary artillery, ammunition, and provisions, leaving the main body of the convoy under the command of Col. Dunbar, with orders to join him as soon as possible. In this manner we proceeded with safety and expedition, till the fatal day I have just related ; and happy it was that the disposition was made, otherwise the whole must either have starved or fallen into the hands of the enemy, as numbers would have been of no service to us, and our provisions were all lost. As our horses were so much reduced, and those extremely weak, and many carriages were wanted for the wounded men, it occasioned our destroying the ammunition and the superfluous part of the provisions lest in Col. Dunbar's convoy, to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy; as the whole of the artillery is lost, and the troops are so exceedingly weakened by deaths, wounds, and sicknesses, it was judged impossible to make any further attempts. Therefore Col. Dunbar is returning to Fort Cumberland, with every thing he is able to bring up with him. I propose remaining here till my wound will suffer me to remove to Philadelphia ; from thence shall proceed to England. Whatever commands you may have for me, you will do me the honor to direct to me here. By the particular disposition of the French and Indians, it was impossible to judge the number they had that day in the field. Killed—Gen. Braddock, William Shirley, Sec'y. Col. Halkett. Wounded-Roger Morris and Robert Orme, aid-de-camps, Sir John St. Clair, Dep. Quarter-master Gen., Matthew Lesly, Asst., Lieut. Col. Gage. Between 6 and 700 officers and soldiers killed and wounded.”
Gen. Morris wrote to Gen. Shirley: “The defeat of our troops appears to me to be owing to the want of care and caution in the leaders, who have been too secure, and held in great con. tempt the Indian manner of fighting. Even by Capt. Orme's account they were not aware of the attack. And there are others that say that the French and Indians lined the way on each side, and in the front and behind intrenchments (ravines,] that we knew nothing of till they fired
Washington also says: “The dastardly behavior of the regular troops (so called) exposed those who were inclined to do their duty, to almost certain death; and at length, in spite of every effort to the contrary, they broke and ran, as sheep before hounds, leaving the artillery, ammuni. tion, provisions, baggage, and in short every thing, a prey to the enemy. And when we endeav. ored to rally them, in hopes of regaining the ground and what we had left upon it, it was with as little success as if we had attempted to stop the wild bears of the mountains. It is conjectured, (I believe with much truth,) that two thirds of our killed and wounded received their shot from our own cowardly regulars, who gathered themselves into a body, contrary to orders, ten or twelve deep—would then level, fire, and shoot down the men before them.”
Col. Burd, who had obtained his information from Col. Dunbar at Fort Cumberland, also writes: “The battle began at one o'clock of the noon, and continued three hours. The enemy kept behind trees and logs of wood, and cut down our troops as fast as they could advance. The soldiers then insisted much to be allowed to take to the trees, which the general denied, and stormed much, calling them cowards; and even went so far as to strike them with his own sword for at tempting the trees. Our flankers, and many of our soldiers that did take to the trees, were cut off from the fire of our own line, as they fired their platoons wherever they saw a smoke or fire. The one half of the army engaged never saw the enemy. Particularly Capt. Waggoner, of the Virginia forces, marched 80 men up to take possession of a hill: on the top of the hill there lay a large tree about five feet diameter, which Capt. Waggoner intended to make a bulwark of. He marched up to the log with the loss of only three men killed by the enemy, and at the time his soldiers carried their firelocks shouldered. When they came to the log they began to fire upon the enemy. As soon as their fire was discovered by our line, they fired from our line upon him. He was obliged to retreat down the hill, and brought off with him only 30 men out of 80; and in this manner were our troops chiefly destroyed.
The general had with him all his papers, which are entirely fallen into the hands of the enemy, as likewise about £25,000 in cash. All the wagons that were with the general in the action, all the ammunition, provisions, cattle, &c., two twelve-pounder cannon, six four-pounders, four cohorns and two hortts, with all the shells, &c. The loss of men, as nigh as Col. Dunbar could compute at that time, is 700 killed and wounded, (the one half killed,) and about 40 officers. Col. Dunbar retreated with 1,500 effective men. He destroyed his provisions, except what he could carry along with him for subsistence. He arrived on Tuesday, 22d inst., at Fort Cumberland, with his troops. He likewise destroyed all the powder he had with him, to the amount (he thinks) of 50,000 pounds. His mortars, shells, &c., he buried; and brought with him to our fort two sixpounders. He could carry nothing off for want of horses."
Col. Washington wrote to his mother from Fort Cumberland, 18th July, 1755, nine days after the battle : “When we came there we were attacked by a party of French and Indians, whose
number I am persuaded did not exceed 300 men, while ours consisted of about 1,300 well-armed troops, chiefly regular soldiers, who were struck with such a panic that they behaved with more cowardice than it is possible to conceive. The officers behaved gallantly in order to encourage their men, for which they suffered greatly, there being near 60 killed and woundedma large pro. portion of the number we had. The Virginia troops showed a good deal of bravery, and were nearly all killed ; for I believe out of three companies that were there, scarcely 30 men are left alive. Capt. Peyrouny and all his officers, down to a corporal, were killed. Capt. Polson had nearly as hard a fate, for only one of his was left. In short, the dastardly behavior of those they call regulars exposed all others that were inclined to do their duty, to almost certain death; and at last, in despite of all the efforts of the officers to the contrary, they ran, as sheep pursued by dogs, and it was impossible to rally them.
The general was wounded, of which he died three days after. Sir Peter Halkett was killed in the field, where died many other brave officers. I luckily escaped without a wound, though I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me. Capts. Orme and Morris, two of the aids-de-camp, were wounded early in the engagement, which rendered the duty harder upon me, as I was the only person then left to distribute the general's orders ; which I was scarcely able to do, as I was not half recovered from a violent illness, that had confined me to my bed and a wagon for above ten days. I am still in a weak and feeble condition, which in. duces me to halt here two or three days, in the hope of recovering a little strength to enable me to proceed homeward.”
And to his brother John he writes at the same time: “As I have heard, since my arrival at this place, a circumstantial account of my death and dying speech, I take this early opportunity of contradicting the first, and of assuring you that I have not yet composed the latter. But, by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat,* and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was levelling my companions on every side of me!"
It appears that Washington's estimate of the numbers of the enemy was underrated. Mr. Sparks ascertained in Paris that they were about 850, of whom two thirds were Indians.
In relation to Braddock's grave, see some further particulars under the head of Fayette county. The extracts from Mr. Craig's numbers are continued :
Various estimates are given of the force of the French and Indians. The largest estimate is, two hundred and fifty French and Canadians, and six hundred and forty Indians. The lowest estimate reduces the number of white men to two hundred and thirty-five, and Indians to six hundred.
The brave and enterprising Beaujeu fell at the first fire, and the victory was achieved under the command of Capt. Dumas.
Again, on the evening of that memorable day—if the statement of Col. James Smith, who had been some time a prisoner in Fort Du Quesne, may be relied on-the Point was the scene of sarage ferocity and human suffering. On that evening, a number of the Indians returned from the battle-ground, bringing with them twelve prisoners, all of whom were burnt to death with all the cruel ingenuity which is usually displayed upon such occasions.
About the 1st of April, 1756, a Mr. Paris, with a scouting party from Fort Cumberland, fell in with a small body of Indians commanded by a Monsieur Donville ; an engagement ensued ; the commandant was killed and scalped, and the following instructions, written at Fort Du Quesne, were found about him.
“ Fort Duquesne, 23d March, 1756. “ The Sieur Donville, at the head of a detachment of fifty savages, is ordered to go and ob. serve the motions of the enemy in the neighborhood of Fort Cumberland. He will endeavor to harass their convoys, and burn their magazines at Conococheague, should this be practicable. He must use every effort to take prisoners, who may confirm what we already know of the ene. my's designs. The Sieur Donville will employ all his talents, and all his credit, to prevent the savages from committing any cruelties upon those who may fall into their hands. "Honor and humanity ought, in this respect, to serve as our guide."
" DUMAS." We infer from these instructions, that Contrecæur had then left this place, and that Dumas
When Washington went to the Ohio, in 1770, to explore wild lands near the mouth of the Kenhawa river, he met an aged Indian chief, who told him, through an interpreter, that during the battle of Braddock's field he had singled him out as a conspicuous object, fired his rifle at him many times, and directed his young warriors to do the same; but none of his balls took effect. He was then persuaded that the young hero was under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, and ceased firing at him. He had now come a long way to pay homage to the man who was the particular favorite of heaven, and who could never dic in battle.
was in command. He was, no doubt, the same person who commanded at Braddock's defeat after the death of Captain Beaujeu. The instructions to Donville show him to have been as humane as he was brave and enterprising.
On the 8th of June, 1757, Lieut. Baker returned to Fort Cumberland from an expedition, with five soldiers and fifteen Cherokee Indians, towards Fort Duquesne. They had fallen in with a party of three French officers and seven men on the head waters of Turtle creek, about twenty miles from Fort Duquesne.
They killed five of the Frenchmen, and took one officer prisoner. From this officer they learned that Capt. Lignery then commanded at Fort Duquesne, and that the force then six hundred French troops and two hundred Indians. This Capt. Lignery was, probably, the same who accompanied Beaujeu to Braddock’s field, and was second in command after the death of that enterprising soldier.
From this time we have no notice of Fort Duquesne until late in the succeeding year, 1758.
“The great man after whom our city is named, was at length called to direct the energies of Great Britain, and under his auspices the years 1758 and '59 witnessed the extinction of French power in America. In the beginning of 1758, it was determined to act with great energy in this country; three different expeditions were planned, and the first against Fort Duquesne was intrusted to Brigadier Gen. Joseph Forbes."
[The particulars of Gen. Forbes' expedition will be found under Bedford, Somerset, and Westmoreland counties.)
Prior to Washington's arrival at Raystown, Major Grant had been detached towards Fort Du. quesne, with eight hundred men. He, however, as it is said, exceeded his orders, and arrived and encamped on the hill now called by his name; on the 13th September, and on the next day, a most sanguinary action took place within the limits of our city. The following account, which is the fullest that we have seen, is from the 2d vol. of Marshall's Life of Washington :
“In the night he reached a hill near the fort, where he posted his men in different columns, and sent forward a party for the purpose of discovery. They burnt a log house near the walls and returned. Next morning, Major Grant detached Major Lewis, of Col. Washington's regi. ment, with a baggage guard, two miles into his rear, and sent an engineer, with a covering party, within full view of the fort, to take a plan of the works. In the mean time he ordered the reveille to be beaten in different places. This parade drew out the enemy in great force, and an obstinate engagement ensued. As soon as the action commenced, Major Lewis left Capt. Bullett, of Col. Washington's regiment, with about 50 Virginians, to guard the baggage, and advanced with the utmost speed to support Major Grant. The English were defeated with considerable loss, and both Major Grant and Major Lewis taken prisoners. In this action the Virginians behaved most gallantly, and evinced the spirit with which they had been trained. Out of eight officers, five were killed, a sixth wounded, and a seventh taken prisoner. Captain Bullett, who defended the baggage with great resolution, and contributed to save the remnant of the detachment, was the only officer who escaped unhurt. Out of one hundred and sixty-six men, sixty-two were dilled on the spot, and two wounded. This conduct on the part of his regiment, reflected high honor on their commander as well as on themselves, and he received on the occasion the com. pliments of the general. The total loss in this action was, 273 killed, and 42 wounded.”
This was really a sanguinary affair ; more than one third of Grant's force being killed. Major Grant and Major Lewis were taken prisoners, and sent to Montreal. Major Grant afterwards returned to this place, and erected the redoubt which stood on the bank of the Monongahela, opposite the mouth of Redoubt alley. We recollect distinctly seeing the stone tablet stating that Col. Wm. Grant built the redoubt. A similar tablet still remains the wall of the other redoubt near the Point, and states that Col. Bouquet built it.
About the 5th Nov. the main body of the army arrived at Ligonier, by roads indescribably bad. Washington was advanced in front to superintend the opening of the road, and the army moved after him by slow and laborious steps until it arrived close to the fort. On the 24th of Nov. 1758, the French set fire to the fort, embarked in their boats to descend the Ohio, and thus forever abandoned their rule over this country.
The works were repaired, and distinguished by the name of Fort Pitt, after that great minister under whose auspices the British banner was floating in triumph in all quarters of the world.
Two hundred men of Washington's regiment were left to garrison the place; the want of pro. visions for more forbade the leaving a larger force. Gen. Forbes returned to Philadelphia, and died a few weeks afterwards in that city.
“ Provisions being scarce, a larger force could not be maintained there during the winter. The first Fort Pitt, a slight work, composed of pickets with a shallow and narrow ditch, was hastily thrown up for the reception of 220 men, and the rest of the army returned to the settlements.” That work was intended merely for a temporary purpose; and in the summer of 1759, Gen. Stanwix arrived, and commenced the erection of Fort Pitt. The draught of that work was made by R. Rutzer, who probably superintended the work as engineer. A letter written from the place, Sept. 24, 1759, says :
" It is now near a month since the army has been employed in erecting a most formidable forti.
fication, such a one as will to latest posterity secure the British empire on the Ohio. There is no need to enumerate the abilities of the chief engineer, nor the spirit shown by the troops, in executing this important task; the fort will soon be a lasting monument of both. Upon the general's arrival, about 400 Indians, of different nations, came to confirm the peace with the English, particularly the Tawas and Wyandotts, who inhabit about Fort D'Etroit; these con. fessed the errors they had been led into by the perfidy of the French : showed the deepest con. trition for their past conduct, and promised not only to remain fast friends to the English, but to assist us in distressing the common enemy, whenever we should call on them to do it. And all the nations which have been at variance with the English, said they would deliver up what prisoners they had in their hands to the general, at the grand meeting that is to be held in about three weeks."
On republishing this letter in 1831, the Pittsburg Gazette remarked :
“ How short-sighted is man! Scarcely sixteen years elapsed from the writing of this letter, before this formidable fortification,' and the country around it, passed from the British empire, and became a constituent part of a great and independent republic. Scarcely seventy-two years have yet elapsed, and now this lasting monument of the skill of the engineer, and the spirit of the troops, has already become one of those things that have been. The spirit of improvement and the enterprise of our citizens, have almost entirely defaced every trace of this · formidable fortification. One redoubt alone, of all the results of the labors and genius of Britons, now re. mains; and it is a circumstance, perhaps, not unworthy of notice, that this only remnant of a British engineer's works of defence against French hostility, is now the peaceful domicil of an industrious and meritorious Frenchman—an indefatigable and accurate surveyor and civil engineer.”
Washington, who visited this place in Oct. 1770, mentions that the sides next the country are of brick, the others stockade.
Plan of Fort Pitt. References.—a, Barracks already built—b, Commandant's House, not built-c, Store House d, d, Powder Magazine-e, Casemate completed—f, Store House for flour, &c.-g, Wells, in two of which are pumps-h, Fort Duquesne—i, i, Horn-work, stockaded to cover French barracks, k, First Fort Pitt destroyed-n, Sally Port.