Franklin Ellis.

History of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men online

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of Pennsylvania, and Gov. Sharpe, of Maryland ; at
which conference the plan of the campaign' was de-
cided on, and arrangements made to facilitate the for-
warding of the provincial troops destined for the ex-
pedition.

Sir John Sinclair was dispatched from Alexandria
soon after his arrival with orders to proceed to Win-
chester, Va., and thence to Fort Cumberland, to com-
plete all arrangements for the army's transportation.
By his advice Braddock adopted the plan of moving
his force from Alexandria in two divisions, viz.: one
regiment and a portion of the stores to proceed to
Winchester, whence a new road was nearly completed
to Fort Cumberland, and the other regiment, with the
remainder of the stores and the artillery, to move to
the fort (which had been designated as the general
rendezvous) by way of Frederick, Md. Accordingly,
on the 9th of April, Sir Peter Halket left Alexandria
for the fort, by way of Winchester, with six com-
panies of the Forty-fourth Regiment, leaving the
other four companies behind under command of
Lieut. -Col. Gage^ to escort the artillery. On the 18th
Col. Dunbar, with the Forty-eighth, marched for
Frederick, Md., and the commander-in-chief left
Alexandria for the same place on the 20th, leaving
Gage to follow with the artillery. When Dunbar
arrived at Frederick he found that there was no road
to Cumberland through Maryland,'' and accordingly,
on the 1st of May, he recrossed the Potomac, struck
the Winchester route, and nine days later was in the
neighborhood of the fort. " At high noon on the
10th of May, while Halket's command was already
encamped at the common destination, the Forty-
eighth was startled by the passage of Braddock and
his staff through their ranks, with a body of light-
horse galloping on each side of his traveling chariot,
in haste 'to reach Fort Cumberland. The troops
saluted, the drums rolled out the Grenadiers' March,
and the cortege passed by. An hour later they heard



I The council, liowcvei , liad renlly nothing to do willi the adoiition of
he plan of operations, whicli was made entirely according to the niar-
inet ideas and opiniMnsof the conunaniler-iu-cliief.

= The same Gagu « lu lui major-general commanded the British forces
n Boston in 1775.

■■' Ca|it. Ornie, in his journal of the expedition, s.iys, " The general
rdered a bridge to be built over the Antietuni, which being furnished
nd provision laid upon the road Col. Duubar marched with his regiment
rum Frederick on the 2Sth of April, and about ttiis time the bridge over
heOpeccon was tiuished for the pass;i^ I II, ■ n ■ ill. i \ . atid floats were
milt ou all the rivers and creeks." I, \ i, , im e mentioned

5 the same historic stream whose lu.ii-r niK-ssed the ter-

ific battle between the Union and L.tiii 1 i ,i, l,..-:. ler McClellan

till Lee, on the 17tb of SeptemLer, ISUJ.



the booming of the artillery which welcomed the gen-
eral's arrival, and a little later themselves encamped
on the hillsides about that post." The artillery es-
corted by Gage arrived at the fort on the 20th.

Arriving at the fort on the 10th, the general re-
mained there about one month, during which time
his expeditionary force was completed and organized.
Two companies, Rutherford's and Clarke's, had been
stationed at the fort during the winter, and were still
there. The Forty-fourth and Forty-eighth regulars
had been augmented to a total of fourteen hundred-
men by the addition of Virginia and Maryland levies
at Alexandria. A company of Virginia light-horse,
under command of Capt. Stewart, acted as the gen-
eral's body-guard. A body of seventy provincials
was formed into two companies of pioneers, each
having a captain, two subalterns, and two sergeants,
and with these was also a very small company of guides.
A lieutenant, Mr. Spendelow, and two midshipmen
from Admiral Keppel's fleet were present with about
thirty sailors to have charge of the cordage and
tackles, necessary for the building of bridges and the
hoisting of artillery pieces and other heavy material
over precipices. The other provincial troops brought
the total number up to about two thousand one hun-
dred and fifty, including officers, but exclusive of wag-
oners and the usual complement of non-combatant
camp-followers, among whoin were a number of
women. There were eight friendly Indians who ac-
companied the expedition.

The forces of Gen. Braddock were brigaded by his
orders as follows :

First Brigade, commanded by Sir Peter Halket,
composed of

The Forty-fourth Regiment of Regulars.

Capt. John Rutherford's ] Independent Companies

Capt. Horatio Gates' ' J of New York.

Capt. William Poison's Company of Pioneers and
Carpenters.

Capt. William Peyronie's Virginia Rangers.

Capt. Thomas Waggoner's Virginia Rangers.

Capt. Eli Dagworthy's Maryland Rangers.

Second Brigade, commanded by Col. Thomas Dun-
bar, composed of

The Forty-eighth Regiment of Regulars.

Capt. Paul Demerie's South Carolina detachment.

Capt. Dobbs' North Carolina Rangers.

Capt. Mercer's Company of Carpenters and Pio-
neers.

Capt. Adam Stephen's ^

Capt. Peter Hogg's ;• Virginia Rangers.

Capt. Thoma.s Cocke's )

Capt. Andrew Lewis had been sent with his com-
pany of Virginians to the Greenbrier River for the
protection of settlers there ; but he afterwards rejoined
Braddock's column on its way to Fort du Quesne.



vards Major-General Gates, to whom Burgoj-ne surrendered r



BRADDOCK'S EXPEDITION IN 1755.



39



The fielil-ofTicers under Brnddock were Lieutenant-
Colonels Burton and Gage ; Majors Chapman and
Sparks; Brigade-Major Francis Halket; Major Sir
John Sinclair, deputy quartermaistcr-general ; Mat-
thew Leslie, assistant quartermaster-general. The
secretary to the commanding general was William
Shirley, and his aides-de-camp were Capt. Robert
Orme, George Washington,' and Roger Morris.
Christopher Gist and Nathaniel Gist, his son, ac-
companied the expedition as principal guides. George
Croghan and .-\ndrew Montour were with the general
as Indian interpreters.

" The soldiers were ordered to be furnished with
one new spare shirt, one new pair of stockings, and
one new pair of shoes ; and Osnabrig waistcoats and
breeches were provided for them, as the excessive
heat would have made the others insupportable; and
the commanding officers of companies were desired
to provide leather or bladders for the men's hats."'^

The transportation which was collected at Fort
Cumberland for the use of Braddock's force consisted
of one hundred and ninety wagons and more than
fifteen hundred horses. When he landed in Virginia
he expected that " two hundred wagons and one hun-
dred and fifty carrying-horses" would be furnished by
the provincial authorities, but when he arrived at
Frederick, Md., lie found that not more than a tenth
part that number had been raised, and that some of
these even were in an unserviceable condition. Upon
learning this he burst out in fierce invective against
the inefficiency, poverty, and lack of integrity among
the provincials, and declared that the expedition was
at an end, for that it was impracticable to proceed
without one hundred and fifty wagons, and a corre-
sponding number of horses at the very least. But Dr.
Benjamin Franklin, who was present at Frederick,
told the general that the Pennsylvania farmers were
able to furnish the necessary transportation, and that
he (Franklin) would contract for a specified sum to



1 After liis return from the Fort Kocessity cnmpuign, Cid. Wnsliing-
toii's rank, ns well as tliat of other coIuiuhI onicers, wivs reduced Ijy
royal onier, wliiult caused liiiti to resign his coQiniift<ion,and iit tlie time
of Gen. Braddock's arrival in .\nicricii lie was not in the militiry ser-
vice. But Uraddcick, well aware of the importance of securing Ids
sen-ices, urged WiLshington to take the position of volunteer aide-de-
camp on his staff, and the offer, so earnestly pressed, was accepted.

Sparks, in his " Life of Washington" (page 58), in speaking of Wash-
ington's acceptance of Bnidilock's pniposilion to accompjiny him on the
expedition as a niemher of hJ9 military family, says, " His views on the
suluect were explained, with a becoming rmiikness and elevation of
minil, in a letter to a friend: 'I may he allowed,' said he, 'to claim
some merit if it is considered that tho sjle motive which invites me to
the field is the laudahle desire of serving my country, lu.t the gnitiflca-
tion of Any ambitious or lucmtive plans. This, I flatter myself, will
manifestly appear by my going as a volunteer, without expectation of
reward or pronpcut of obtitiiiinfj (I cowmmul, as I am confidently assured
U it not in Gencnit Eradflocfi's jioicer to gh-e me a commiMiou tliut I icould
accept. ... It is true I have been importuned to make this camimign
I'y Gen. Bradduck as a member of his family, he conceiving, I snp[)ose,
that the small knowledge I had an op|)urtunity of acquiring of the
country and the Indians is worthy of his notice, and may be useful to
him in the progre-s of the expedition.' "

-Capt. Dime's Journol.



deliver one hundred and fifty wagons and the neces-
sary horses at Fort Cumberland within a given time,
whereupon Braddock proceeded on his march ; and in
about two weeks Franklin had assembled the specified
number of wagons and animals at the fort. Gen.
Braddock was very grateful for this service, and he
warmly complimented Franklin in a letter which he
wrote to the Secretary of State, dated at Wills' Creek,
June 5th, as follows:

"Before I left Williamsburg the quartermaster-gen-
eral told me that I might depend on twenty-five hun-
dred horses and two hundred wagons from Virginia
and Maryland ; but I liad great reason to doubt it,
having experienced the false dealings of all in this
country with whom I had been concerned. Hence,
before my departure from Frederick, I agreed with
Mr. Benjamin.Franklin, postmaster in Pennsylvania,
who has great credit in that province, to hire one
hundred and fifty wagons and the necessary number
of horses. This he accomplished with promptitude
and fidelity; and it is almost the only instance of
address and integrity which I have seen in all these
provinces."

It has been said that, in procuring the wagons and
horses from the Teutonic farmers in the Southern
Pennsylvania counties, he was materially aided by the
presence pf Braddock's quartermaster-general. "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 Hu.ssar, who
would administer to them the tvrannical treatment



3 This same Sir John Sinclair was a. man of very rough speech nnd
imperious and domineerng rhnractor, as is made api>arent by the fol-
lowing extract from a 1' tf'-r ^vr'tt' n I'V '^Tessrs. George Croghan, James
Burd, John Arnistr.jiiu, N^ 1 . i m, and Adam Hoops to Gover-

nor Morris, of Peun-i I :! ' 'iiinberland, April 10, 1735, at

which time some of tl mi; i: ;. -, :i- w ill as Sir John himself, had

already reached the renclezviu*. The writers of the letter had been
appointed to view and lay out a road over the mountains, i^nd had re-
turned from their mission to the fort. In the letter they say, "Last
evening we came to the camp, and were kindly received liy tho ofTicera,
but particularly Capt. Rutherford. We waited for Sir John coming to
camp from the road towards Winchester, who came this day at three
o'clock, but treated us in a very disagreeable manner. He is extremely
warm and angry at our province ; he would not look at our draughts,
nor suffer any representations to be made to him in regard to the prov-
ince, but stormed like a lion rampant. He said our commission to lay
out tho road should have issued in January last, upon his first letter;
that doing it now is dcdng nothing; that tho troops must march on the
first of May; that the want of this road and the provisions promised by
Pennsylvania has retarded the expedition, which may cost them their
lives, because of the fresh number nf the FreiRli that are suddenly like
to be poured into the < iiirti\ n it in-ti ili) mi:' Ling to the Ohio he
would in nine da>s n,:r : ' i ' i.unty, to cut tho

roadH, press wagons, ft' li i ' , ; , i i ililier to handle an

axe, but by fire and swm i ' i I .i ili- mliil it mt t i ili. it, and take every
man that refused to the Oiiin, tis h e hail yeetenltiy some of the Virginians;
that he would kill all kind of cjitile, and carry away the horses, burn
houses, etc. ; and that if the French defeated thei'. by tho dehi.vs of this
province, that he would with his sword drawn pass through the prov-
ince and treat the inhabitants as a parcel of traitors to his master; that
he would to-morrow write to England by a man.of.war, shake Mr.
Tenn's proprietaryship, and represent Pennsylvania as disaffected, . . .



ids for one he It



■ gene



Igivc uate



40



HISTORY OF FAYETTE COUNTY, PENXSYLVANIA.



they had experienced in their owu country if tliey
did not comply with his wislies."

At a council of war held at Fort Cumberland the
order of march was determined on, viz. : the advance
was to be led by " a party of six hundred men,
workers and coverers, with a field-officer and the
([uartermaster-general ; that they should take with
them two six-pounders, with a full proportion of am-
munition ; that they should also take with them eight
days' provisions for three thousand two hundred men ;
that they should make the road as good as possible,
and march five days towards the first crossing of the
Yoxhio Geni,' which was about thirty miles from the
camp, at which place they were to make a deposit of
jjrovisions, building proper sheds for its security, and
also a place of arms for the security of the men. If
they could not in five days advance sa far, they were
at the exj)iration of that time to choose an advan-
tageous spot, and to secure the provisions and men as
before. When the wagons were unloaded the field-
officer with three hundred men was to return to camp,
and Sir John S' Clair with the first engineer was to
remain and carry on the works with the other three
hundred." '^

This advance detachment was to be followed by the
remainder of the forces in three divisions, in the fol-
lowing order: First, Sir Beter Halket's pommand,
with " about one hundred wagons of provisions, stores,
and powder ;" second, Lieutenant-Colonel Burton,
" with the independent companies, Virginia, Mary-
land, and Carolina Rangers," taking the artillery, am-
munition, and some stores and provisions; third.
Colonel Dunbar's brig.ide, " with the provision-
wagons from Winchester, the returned wagons from
the advanced party, and all the carrying-horses."

In accordance with this order. Major Chapman with
a body of six hundred men, and accompanied by Sir
John Sinclair, marched at daybreak on the 30th of
May, but " it was night before the whole baggage had
got over a mountain about two miles from camp. . . .
The general reconnoitred this mountain, and deter-
mined to set the engineers and three hundred more
men at work on it, as he thought it impassable by
howitzers. He did not imagine any other road could
be made, as a reconnoitring-party had already been
to explore the country; nevertheless, Mr. Spendelow,
lieutenant of the seamen, a young man of great
discernment and abilities, acquainted the general that
in passing that mountain he had discovered a valley
which led quite round the foot of it. A party of a
hundred men with an engineer was ordered to cut a
road there, and an extreme good one was made in
two days, which fell into the other road about a mile
on the other side of the mountain."

"Everything being now .settled, Sir Peter Halket,
with the Forty-fourth Regiment, marched on the 7th
of June; Lieutenant-Colonel Burton, with the inde-

l YuUgl,iogliei].v. : Oin.i^'s Jouiuul.



pendent companies and Rangers, on the 8th, and Col-
onel Dunbar, with the Forty-eighth Regiment, on the
10th, with the proportions of baggage as was settled
by the council of war. The same day the general
left Fort Cumberland, and joined the whole at Sjjen-
delow Camp, about five miles from the fort." ^ The
name of this camp was given in honor of Lieutenant
Spendelow, the discoverer of the new route around
the foot of the mountain.

At Spendelow Camp a reduction of baggage was
made, and the surplus sent back to the fort, together
with two six-pounders, four cohorns, and some powder
and stores, which cleared about twenty wagons of
their loads, "and near a hundred able horses were
given to the public service. . . . All the king's
wagons were also sent back to the fort, they beingj
too heavy, and requiring large horses for the shafts,
which could not be procured, and country wagonsi
were fitted for powder in their stead."

On the 13th the column moved to Martin's plan- \
tation ; on the 15th it " passed the Aligany Moun-
tain, which is a rocky ascent of more than two miles,
in many places exceedingly steep ; its descent is very
rugged and almost perpendicular; in passing which
we entirely demolished three wagons and shattered,
several." That night the First Brigade camped about
three miles west of Savage River. On the 16th the
head of the column reached the Little Meadows, ten
miles from Martin's plantation ; but the rear did not
arrive there until the 18th. At this place they found
Sir John Sinclair encamped with three hundred men,
this being the farthest point he could reach in the
five days specified in the orders.

At the Little Meadows the general adopted a new
plan of campaign, — to move forward with a division
composed of some of his best troops, with a few guns
and but little baggage, leaving the remainder of his
force behind to bring up the heavy stores and artillery.

This decision was taken largely through the advice
of Washington, who, although not of rank to sit in the
councils of war, possessed no small share of the gen-
eral's confidence, by reason of the experience he had
gained in the campaign of the preceding year. He
gave it as his opinion that the movement of the army
was too slow, on account of the cumbrous wagon-
train, which on the march stretched out for a distance
of more than three miles, thus not only retarding the
progress of the forces, but aftbrding an excellent op-
portunity for lurking parties of the enemy to attack
and destroy some lightly-defended part of it before
help could arrive from the main body. He had from
the first urged the use of pack-horses instead of wagons
for the greater part of the transportation, and although
his advice was ignored by the general, its wisdom now
became apparent. Ornie's Journal says that by the
experience of the four days' march from Spendelow
Camp to the Little Meadows, " it was found impos-



BRADDOCK'S EXPEDITION IN 1755.



41



I sible to proceed with such a number of carriages.
The horses grew every day fainter, and many died;
the men would not have been able to have undergone
the constant and necessary fatigue by remaining so
many hours under arms, and by the great extent of
the baggage the line was extremely weakened. The
general was therefore determined to move forward
with a detachment of the best men, and as little en-
cumbrance as possible."

The selected force destined to move in the advance
consisted of between twelve and thirteen hundred
men. " A detachment of one field-officer with four
hundred men and the deputy quartermaster-general
marched on the 18th to cut and make the road to the
Little Crossing of the Yoxhio Geni, taking with them
two six-pounders with their ammunition, three wagons
of tools, and thirty-five days' provisions, all on carry-
ing-liorses, and on the IDth the general marched with
a detachment of one colonel, one lieutenant-colonel,
one m.ijor, the two eldest grenadier companies, and
iive liundred rank and file, the party of seamen, and
eighteen light-horse, and four howitzers with fifty
rounds each, and four twelve-pounders with eighty
rounds each, and one hundred rounds of ammunition
ftr each man, and one wagon of Indian presents; the
whole number of carriages being about thirty. The
howitzers had each nine horses, tlie twelve-pounders
seven, and the wagons six. There was also thirty-
five days' provisions carried on liorses." Tlie troops
left behind with Col. Dunbar numbered about nine
hundred, including four artillery officers. Eighty-
four wagons and all the ordnance stores and provis-
ions not immediately needed by the advance column
"(vere also left in his charge.

The advanced force under IJraddock reached the
Little Cro.ssings (Castleman's River) on the evening
of the 10th, and camped on the west side of the
stream. At this camp Col. Washington was taken
seriously ill with a fever, and when the troops marched
the next morning he was left behind with a guard and
proper attendance' and comforts. As soon as able he
was to come on with the rear division under Col.
Dunbar; but it has beeu stated that he asked and



• 111 some iiccoiiiita of tliis sickness of Wusliington, it li»s Icen sinted
tliot Dr. James Cniili (wlio wns willi tlie cxp.-.Iilion as ii siirginn in
the Virtrtniii iroops, nml wlio wns nlso tlf :in ; .:i^ f;!. nl ,,n.| plijsi-
danof Wasliiugton) wns left tchind nt 111 I - r . aiteiid

liiln, liut sitcli does nut nppotir tu liave I L'i'ii T'< ., i ;, il.ii .liiriics

Kiiiille), in a letter written to tlie editor i.f V ' l V. imps-

town, Pa., Mnrcli 27,1818, relates some coi.vr i - , - » I I , ; K.ilwitll
Wmliinglon in lefereiico toDniddock'sinmi .1 : ll.rUio

fallowing extract-! are made: "On one li. 1 .11 i :. .1 |iaijy,

some qnc-stioii 1., in- ;L-ki-.l ,.f iiu-, then silling n. x ili. I' -i : mi i Wash-
ington), nl.n, it I!, r.i^ M, 1,1 uaand Dnnl.iir'3 Itiiii, hj- Col. Sprigg, of
M»r)lan.l, V I I ! . IV «er, the President, to whom I referred

tlieqiiesti. 11, i , ,1 1 I _ . 1.1 (li scribed Duiibars camp, to whitli the
remains i.fUi.iaa .. ;.',,..i;...v .lined ulterthcdefeat. . . . Looking round
seriously to me, he said, ' Bi-iid<lock was liotli my geiicnil and my physician.
I was attacked with a dangerous fever on the luaicli, and he left a ser-
geant [not a «i(r^eon] to take care of nic, inid Jdiiiee^ fexer jioufUri^, kUU
iirtclit'itn hoic to 'jive tlieiit, and a wagon to hriiig me on when I w ould be
able, which was only the day before the defeat.' "



received from Gen. Braddock a promise that the fort
should not be attacked until he had recovered aiul
rejoined the assaulting column. It does not, however,
seem reasonable to suppose that he would have wished
to jeopardize the success of the expedition by asking
such an indefinite delay, nor that liraddock would,
under any circumstances, have bound himsclt by :-ucli
a promise.

In four days from his departure IVom the Little
Meadows, Gen. IJraddock's column had made nine-
teen miles, and arrived at the Great Crossings of the
Youghiogheny. The troops crossed the river without
bridging,- and on the night of the 24th of June made
their first camp within the present territory of Fay-
ette County, mar a place known as the Twelve
Springs, between Mount Augusta and Marlow's, south
of the National road. Their march of that day was
only a distance of about six miles, from the river to
their night camp. During the day they passed an
Indian' camp, recently vacated, which gave indica-
tions that it had been occupied by about one hundred
and seventy persons. " They had stripped and painted
some trees, upon which they and the French had
written many threats and bravadoes, with all kinds
of scurrilous language." The French had received
early information of Braddock's coming, and parties of
them with their Indian alliesliad advanced east beyond
the Laurel Hill to meet the English; not for the
purpose of attacking them, but to hover along their
front and flanks, to spy out their movements, murder
stragglers, and to keep the commandant at Fort du
Quesnc informed, from day to day, of the progress of
the English forcts. From the time when the troops
crossed the Youghiogheny hostile Indians were always
near them along the route, and evidences of their
presence multiplied with each succeeding day's march.

In fact, nearly all the savages west of the mountains
were now ranged on the side of the French. A few
only of the Indian allies of the English had remained
true to them after the surrender of Fort Necessity,
and among these were Scarooyada, the successor of
the friendly Htilf-king,'- and Mouacatoocha, whose
acquaintance lie had m.ide on his trip to Le Bojuf in



Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 8 of 193)