Franklin Ellis.

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

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the previous year. These two chiefs, with nearly one
hundred and fifty Seneca and Delaware warriors, had
joined the English on their march to the Youghio-
gheny, and projioscd to accompany them as scouts •
and guides. They could without doubt liave ren-
dered great service in that capacity, and if the warn-
ings of their forest experience had been listened to,
might perhaps have saved Braddock's army from the
disaster which overtook it. But the general despised
and rejected their services, and treated them with so

= .Kn entry in Oimc-s Jnnrnal for this day is to tliis 'fTert : "The 24th
of Juno we marched at five in the mnriiing, and passed the second
branch of the Yoxhio Ceiii, which is about one hundred yards wide,
about three feet Jee|i, with a very strong current. "

3 The Half-King, Tunacharieon, liad died in the preceding OctoLcr, at
Harris' Ferry (now Ilarrislurg), on the Su^<iuchanDa.


much ol'sliglit and contempt that they finally retired
in disgust and left him to his fate.

On the 25th of June, " at daybreak, three men who
went without the sentinels were shot and scalped."
Gen. Braddock was greatly incensed at these mur-
ders, and issued an order directing that " every sol-
dier or Indian shall receive five pounds for each
Indian scalp." On this day the column moved from
its first camp west of the Youghiogheny to another
about seven miles fiirther on, sometimes spoken of as
the Old Orchard Camp, "near and northwest of
Braddock's grave," mentioned in Orrae's Journal as
" two miles on the other side" of the Great Meadows,'
the general riding in anticipated triumph over the
very spot which in twenty days was to be his last
resting-place. On the following day the troops
marched only four miles (the route being exceedingly
rough and toilsome), and encamped for the night at
the Great Bock, near Washington's Spring, the same
])lace which liad been the camp-ground of the Half-
King when he and Washington marched to attack
tlie camp of Jumonville. At this halting-place they
found the marks of another French and Indian camp,
so lately vacated that the fires were yet burning. The
Indians who had occupied it, said Orme, "liad marked
in triumph upon trees the scalps they had taken two
days before, and many of the French had written on
them their names and sundry insolent expressions.
We picked up a commission on the nmrch, which
mentioned the party being under the command of the
Sieur Normanville. This Indian camp was in a strong
situation, being upon a high rock, with a very nar-
row and steep ascent to the top. It had a spring in
the middle, and stood at the termination of the In-
dian path to the Monongahela, at the confluence of
Bedstone Creek. By this pass the party came which
attacked Mr. Washington last year, and also this
which attended us. By their tracks they seemed to
have divided here, the one party going straight for-
ward to Fort du Quesne, and the other returning by
Bedstone Creek to the Monongahela. A captain,
four Kulialtern,-;, and ninety volunteers marched from
the eaiii]! with |.r<)]>er uuiiles to fall in the night upon
that party which we imagined had returned by the
Monongahela. They found a small quantity of pro-
visions and a very large bateau, which they de-
stroyed," but they saw nothing of the foe they were
sent to capture.

The march of the 27th of June was from the camp

' A1tlioti{;h Wasliington

cuiitributed its share <
Brnddocli was Imlting a
resistance and attncli i

at the Great Rock (called by Orme " Rock Fort") to
Gist's plantation, about six miles, over an extremely
rough and mountainous road. At Gist's they found
Lieut. -Col. Burton and Sir John Sinclair, with a de-
tachment of about four hundred men, who had been
sent forward to cut out the road in advance of the
main body.

From Fort Cumberland to Gist's plantation the
army marched over the road opened by Washington
in the previous year, but beyond Gist's the route was
a new one, known only to the guides.^ On the 28th
of June the column moved from Gist's to the Youghio-
gheny, near Stewart's Crossings, or, as Orme's Jour-
nal has it, " the troops marched about five miles to a
camp on the east side of the Yoxhio Geni." In men-
tioning it as the east side the captain was wholly in
error, but the reason why he made such a mistake
was doubtless that, knowing the expeditionary force
t~> be moving towards an objective point far to the
westward of the place from which it started, it seemed
natural that it should cross all streams from their
eastern to their western banks ; whereas, in making
this second crossing of the Youghiogheny, exactly the
reverse was the case, because Braddock on leaving
Gist's had deflected his column from its true course,
and was now marching in a direction nearly north-

The place where the troops encamped was a short
distance below the present borough of New Haven,
and there, for some cause which is not apparent,
they lay all day on the 29th. On the 30th they
crossed the river to its right bank at a place since
known as Braddock's Ford,'' very near the later resi-
dence of Col. W^illiam Crawford, who died by torture
at the hands of the Indians in 1782, as narrated in
succeeding pages.

As to the crossing of the Youghiogheny at " Brad-
dock's Ford," Captain Orme's journal says, " We
crossed the main body of the Joxhio Geni, which
was about two hundred yards broad, and about three
feet deep. The advanced guard passed and took post
on the other side till our artillery and baggage got
over, which was followed by four hundred men, who
remained on the east [west] side till all the baggage

2 It was on the "Nemacolin
point ill Westmoreland Connty


," which from Gist's northward t
ilongtho route of the Catawba trail

of the Six Nations.

8 " It has been commonly supposed," says Mr. Vrech, " that a division
of the ai my took place here in the march, tlio English troops, etc., here
crossing the river and bearing northward, whilo the Virginia or coto
forces went down the rivet and crossed at the Broad Ford; thence I
ing more to the west, crossing Jacob's Creek at Stouffer's Mill, the
divisions reuniting atSewickley, near Painter's Salt-Works. There may
be error in tliis idea. Orme's Journal has nonoticeof any sncli divis
The Broad Ford route nuiy be that which was traversed by the detj
nients or convoys of provisions, etc., from Dunbar's division, which v
from time to time sent np to the main army ; one of whicli, Orme s
came up at Thickety Kun, a branch of Sewickley, on the 6tli of J
Another detachment of one hundred men, with pack-horee loads of Hour
and some beeves, according to ■Washington's lettei-s, left the camp we»-1
of the Great Meadows on the 3d of July. . . This convoy took np thi
one huiidrcd beeves, which were among the los es in the defeat."



had i)nssed. We were obliged to encamp about a mile
on tlie west [meaning the east] side, where we lialted
R day to cut a passage over a mountain. This day's
march did not exceed two miles." On the 1st of
July the column moved on about five miles in a
north-northeast direction, but could advance no far-
ther by reason of a great swamp, which required much
work to make it passable." In reference to this swamp,
Veech says, " It can be no other than that fine-looking
champaign land about the head-waters of Mounts'
Creek and Jacob's Creek, north and east of the old
chain bridge, embracing lands formerly of Col. Isaac
Meason, now George E. Hogg and others."

A march of six miles on the 2d of July brought the
army to "Jacob's Cabin," where its camp was made
for the night. On the 3d, " the swamp being repaired,"
says the journal, " we marched about six miles to tlie
Salt Lick Creek.' Sir John S' Clair proposed to the
General to halt at this Camp, and to send back all
our horses to bring up Colonel Dunbar's detachment,"
which was then encamped at Squaw's Fort, about
three miles east of the Great Crossings of the Youghio- j
gheny, in the present county of Somerset. Upon \
this sugge-stion of Sir John, the general convened a '
council of war, composed of Colonel Sir Peter Hal-
ket, Lieutenant-Colonels Gage and Burton, Major
Sparks, and Sir John Sinclair, D.Q.G. After due
consideration of the proposition, " the council were
unanimously of the opinion not to halt there for Col-
onel Dunbar, but to proceed the next morning."

The camp on Jacob's Creek, where this council
of war was held, was about one and one-half miles ',
below Mount Pleasant. From this place the column
marched on through what is now Westmoreland
County to the Great Sewickley, crossing that stream
near Painter's Salt- Works; thence south and west of [
the post-office of Madison and Jacksonville to the I
Brush Fork of Turtle Creek, where Braddock halted !
in indecision, as the crossing of that stream and the
passage through the ravines appeared hazardous. He
finally decided to abandon the route orig'inally pro-
posed from this point along the ridges to Fort du
Quesne, and accordingly, turning sharply to the left,
he moved towards the Monongahela, encamping on
the night of the 8th of July about two miles east of '
the river, below the mouths of the Youghiogheny.
It was at this camp that Washington (although not
yet fully recovered from his illness) rejoined the army,
having left Colonel Dunbar's force near the Great
Meadows,' and come on "in a covered wagon," under
protection of a detachment sent on to guard a pack-
^lorse train laden with provisions for the advance

1 Now knowD as Jacoli'd Creek.

* " It Is a noticeable fnct," aays Veech, " that Was^liington, enfeehlerl
•y a confjnming fever, was so invigorated hy the sight of tlie scene of jtis
liscomfiture tlio previous year as to seize tlie opportunity of celebrating ,
ti first anniversary by hastening on to partake in an achievement
A'hich, as lie fondly hoped, ivoiild restore to his king and country nil
:hat had been lost by his failure." .

On the morning of the 9th of July the troops marcheil
to the Monongahela and crossed to the southwest
shore, moving thence on the left bank for about three
miles; then recrossed the river at Fra/.ier's, just be-
low the mouth of Turtle Creek. The crossing was
completed at about one o'clock in the afternoon, and
when the column reformed on the right bank of the
Monongahela, it was within three- fourths of a mile of
the i)lace where the French with their Indian allies
lay hidden along the slopes of the forest defile which,
ere the sun went down on that memorable day,
was to be reddened by the blood of the bravest, and
made historic for all time as " Braddock's field" of
disaster and defeat.

The bloody battle of the Monongahela has been too
often described to require repetition here. It resulted
in the utter defeat and rout of the English, and the
headlong flight of the survivors to the south side of
the river at the point where they had crossed. The
force which entered the forest defile was fourteen
hundred and sixty strong,' including oflicers and pri-
vates. Of this force four hundred and fifty-six were
killed and four hundred and twenty-one wounded,
making a total of eight hundred and seventy -seven ;
while only five hundred and eighty-three escaped
unhurt. Of eighty-nine commissioned oflicers, sixty-
three were killed or wounded, including- every officer
above the rank of captain except Colonel Washington,
(^f the captains, ten were killed and five wounded ; of
the lieutenants, fifteen killed and twenty-two wounded.
General Braddock had four horses shot under him,
and while mounting the fifth received the wound
which proved mortal. Washington had two horses
shot under him. Sir Peter Ilalket (next in command
to Braddock) was killed instantly. Secretary Shirley
was killed. Colonel Burton, Sir John Sinclair, and
Lieutenant-Colonel Gage were among the wounded,
also Brigade-Major Halket, Dr. Hugh Mercer,* Major
Sparks, and Captain Orme. Of the naval officers
present, Lieutenant Spendelow and Midshipman Tal-
bot were killed. A number of women and officers'
servants were also killed and scalped, though every
wagoner escaped. One hundred beeves were captured
by the enemy, also the general's papers (orders, in-
structions, and correspondence), and the military
chest, containing £2.5,000 in money, as well as all


■c one. lie was left on the field with the c
nagei] to conceal himself behind a fallen
iiti-ocilies committed by the savages on the <

wounded men and on the dciiil. His phire
covered by the Indians, who soon left the field. When darkness camo
on Ire crept from the woods, crossed the Jlonoiigahcla, and after wnnilor-
int; in the woods fur ninny days wilh his wound undri*6ed, and nearly
faniiihed, he at last reached F..rt Cumberland iu safvty.

1/ &^^



Washington's papers, including his notes referring to
the Fort Necessity campaign of the previous year.
Tlie journal of Captain Orme alone of all the military
papers was saved. All the artillery, ammunition,
baggage, and stores fell into the hands of the French
and Indians, and the dead and badly wounded were
left on the field to be scalped and tortured by the
savages, who, however, strangely enough, made little
show of pursuit.

Braddock, when he received his fatal wound, ex-
pressed a wish to be left to die on the field, and this
wish came near being gratified. Nearly all his panic-
stricken followers deserted him, but his aide-de-camp,
Orme, and Capt. Stewart, of the Virginia light-
horse, stood faithfully by him, and at the imminent
risk of their own lives succeeded in bearing him from
the woods and across the river. On reaching the
south side of the Monongahela the general, though I
suffering intense pain from his wound, gave orders
that the troops should be rallied and a stand made
at that place, but this was found impossible. A few
subordinate officers and less than one hundred sol-
diers were all who remained around him. Of this I
Capt. Orme's journal says, " We intended to have !
kept possession of that ground till we could have i
been reinforced. The general and some wounded i
officers remained there about an hour, till most of 1
the men ran off. From that place the general sent
Mr. Washington to Colonel Dunbar with orders to ,
send wagoners for the wounded, some provisions and
hospital stores, to be escorted by the two youngest i
grenadier companies, to meet him at Gist's planta-
tion, or nearer if possible. It was found imprac-
ticable to remain here, as the general and officers
were left almost alone; we therefore retreated in the |
best manner we were able. After we had passed the j
Monongahela the second time, we were joined by
Lieutenant-Colonel Gage, who had rallied near eighty ]
men. We marched all night and the next day, and
about ten o'clock that night we got to Gist's planta-

During the time when Gen. Braddock was ad-
vancing to the Monongahela, Col. Dunbar was toil-
ing slowly along with the rear division, the artillery,
and heavy stores. Leaving the Little Crossings soon
alter Braddock's departure, he came on by the same
route, passing the ruins of Fort Necessity on the 2d
of July, and a few days later reached the place which
has borne his name until the present time, and where
he then encamped his troops and trains. This his-
toric spot, known to this day as " Dunbar's Camp,"
is described by Veech as " situated southeast of the
summit of Wolf Hill, one of the highest points of
Laurel Hill Jlountain, and about three thousand feet
above the ocean-level. It is in full view of Union-
town, to the eastward, about six miles distant, and is
visible from nearly all the high points in Fayette and
the adjacent parts of Greene and Washington Coun-

ties. The camp was about three hundred feet below
the sunnnit, and at about half a mile distance, on the
southern slope. It was then cleared of its timber,
but is since much overgrown with bushes and small
trees. It is, however, easily found by the numerous
diggings in search of relics and treasure by the early
settlers, and others even in later times. Near it are
two fine sand springs, below which a dam of stones
and earth two or three feet high was made to aft'ord
an abundant supply of water." This camp' was the
end of Dunbar's outward march, for he there received
from the Monongahela battle-field the fearful tidings
which forbade all thoughts of a farther advance.

It was to this camp that " Mr. Washington" (as he
was designated by Orme, his title of colonel being
then only honorary, he holding no military rank
under Braddock) was ordered from the Lower Crossing
of the Monongahela to proceed with all possible speed,
and with peremptory orders'- to Col. Dunbar to send
wagons with supplies and hospital stores without
delay, as has already been noticed.'' He set out with
two private soldiers as an escort, and traveling with-
out halt through the long hours of the dark and rainy
night which succeeded the day of the battle (how or
where he crossed the Youghiogheny is not recorded),
came early in the morning of the 10th to the camp
of Col. Dunbar, who, as it appears, was greatly de-
moralized by the startling intellinence which he
brought. At about the middle of the forenoon sev-
eral of Braddock's Pennsylvania Dutch wagoners
(from the eastern counties) arrived at the camp, bring-
ing the dread news from the battle-field, and an-
nouncing themselves as the only survivors of the
bloody fight on the Monongahela. Nearly at the
same time arrived Sir John Siuclar and another
wounded officer, brought iu by their men in blankets.

Dunbar's camp was then a scene of the wildest
panic, as the rattle of the " long roll," beaten by his
drummers, reverberated among the crags of the Laurel
Hill. Each one, from the commander to the lowest

1 Col. Baril, who visited this place in 1759, wheu on his way to erect a
It un the present site of BrownBville, suid of Dunbar's camp tlmt it .
as "the \voi*st chosen piece of ground fur an encanipnient I ever

- It was known that there was ill feeling on the part of Dunliar to-
avds the conunander-in-cliief, anil it was tlierefore thought necessary

lof liisciinimuMil. "Tlioy tnivelfj," s;ij s .In I-. \ ; i ,i,

High unfrequented paths to avoid the Indians, w -i,i: !,i;,_ n

ise dnriirs tliedarknessof thefii-stniglit of tliLii . }.r... iv-

nsltr - - :t'i-l ':- t|".vii). a ..M Cove Run, a branch ul .^....i. ^ l;tu., \uilii

\ nfr' 1 ' I' inbar, they mistook the uoiseof theniovi-nici

Pill. I 11 I ! . ': I I iiilians, and ran with theheedlossnessof alaru
\ Till,- , . , ii ■!, but ouch wended his way cautiously an
I./, w : III. iii 11, upon emorging from the buslK

I til' ; ' I' i! I' I> ahead, his long-lost Indian, wh

;iN I : '' i I - II irrative of the journey of Gist an

Irili.i'i \^ I- ' ' I I II. M\ \ ' . h from Henry Seesou, to whom



canip-ibllower, believed that tlie savages and the
ecarcely less dreaded French were near at hand and
would soon surround the camp.

True to their cowardly instincts, Dunbar's wagoners
and pack-horse drivers, like those who were with Brad-
dock on the Monongahela, and like many other3 of
the same base brood on a hundred later battle-fields,
•were the first to seek safety in iliglit, mounting the
best horses and hurrying away with all speed towards
Fort Cumberland/ leaving their places on the wagons
and with the pack-horse trains to be filled by brave
soldiers from the ranks. Their base example infected
the numerous camp-followers, who, as well as many of
those from whom better things might have been ex-
pected, tied towards the Great Crossings of the You-

' \ r V,- .by? nftrp tluir cownnlly flight from D»nl>ar'<i comi), several
i M i -Mi k.-n wagoners nppt'aml at Cailide, Iiiiiiging with
v> - uf tho disiiBler to Bradilock'd finny. ThL'iTupori
M -\ by tho Governor of IVnnsylvaniu at that plac*.
I I MiiMris taken and subscribed liefuru him iiru fuiind in the
r.iiri-yl\.iii);i Aivbivps. Two of lUeso dfpusitions (similar in tenor to
all the otlurs) aro here given, viz.:
Matihow Lainl being dniy sworn, deposed and said, —
"... That thid examinant continued witli Col. Dunbar. And on
the tentli of tliis instant Iho regiment being at about sovon miles be-
yond a place called tho Great Meadows at eleven o'clock of that day,
Iheio was » rumor in the camp that there was bad new^, and he was
K,.,ni irr.rinformed by ^^gonors and pack-lmrse drivers, who were then
1 lo Col. Dunbar's camp, but had gone out with tho advanced
1 I G<'n. Braddock, that tho general with tho advanced party
. iu>d by the French on the ninth instant about five mites
11.111 r -It DuQuesue, and about forty mih-s from wliere Col. Dunbar
then wai, at which engagement the wagoners and puck-horse drivers
said tliey were present; that the English were attacked as they were
guing up H hill hy a numerous bu-ly uf Frc-iich aii.l Indiiins, wliu k^pt
.« ' ■ ' ;niu;il fire during IhL* wli : , i^ i... ..: ^^ ■ .. ii ;,•!■; m .h

I i r-.; that most of tho In > ; ,

■■1 .'■ ■ !!' ly taken; that Geu<MMl r . : : '■,■-:.! ■ . — r i ■

il.iiki :, I iipt. Ormc, and most of Ml" "[ti' i- T,i -..-■■.. i;iii;j.ujt h;::', i-
saiili Uv saw a Wounded officer biunglit lliruiii;li tlio tamp on a bhect;
that about noon of the same day tliey bent to arms in Col. Dunbar's

others took to tlight iu spite of the opposition made by the centrys, who
forced some to return but many got away, amongst whom was tU'.s ex-

Futl'iwing is the deposition of Jacob Iluber:

"This fxaminant saiih that he was iu Col. Dunbar's camp the tenth
of July instant, and w;(S informed that two officers who had come from
Fort Cuinbcilanil.and hiiU proceeded early in tho morning with a party

of Imliatis Im j,,iii (.;,>it.'r;tl ltrii.ldi>i-k, returned to tho camp in about
tt 1. i I.I ir r rj|, i - • lit. K, I I t iini.iur spread that there was bad

I I ,1 I I 111 ' 1,1 I I, I I ,-. I,, thegenenil by reason of the

-IV n, 1 -j I,. ,\ , h -. vi !,,! ^^ T_, I, 1 ^ ^- )i . uerc couie Ittto Col. Dunbnv's ,
camp from Gvii. IJraddock's, and who informed this examinant that
Gen. Bniddock with his advanced party of fifteen hundred men had been
attacked on the ninth instant wiUiin five miles of Fort Du Quesne by a '
great many French and Indians who surrounded them ; that the action I
lasted three hours; that the most part of the English were killed; that
Ctu. Braddock was wounded and put into a wagon, and afterwards
killed by the Indians; that Sir Peter Halket and Capt. Orme were also ■
killeil. And this examinant further saitti that he saw some soldiers re-
turn into Col. Dunbar's camp, who he wasinformed had been of General
Bradduck's advanced parly, some of whom were wounded, some not ; also \
saw two officers carried ou sheets, one of whom wtu said to be Sir John
St Clair, whom the examinant was informed had received two wounds ; '
that about noon of the same day C^l. Dunbar's drums beat to arms; '
and both before and after that many soldiei-s and wagoners with other
attendants upon the camp took to flight, and amongst others this exam-
inant. And further saitb not.''

gliioglieny.aiul it w:is willi the greatest difficulty tliiit
Dunbar ])reveiiteil the ilesertiou aiul fliglit from bc-
coiuiiig general.

At tea o'clock in the evening of the same day
(Thursday, July lOlh), Gen. Braddock reached Gist's.
From the place where he fell he was brought away
on a tumbril. Afterwards the attempt was made to
move him on horseback, but this he could endure only
fur a short time, after which he was dismounted and
carried all the remaining distance by a few of his
men. The weary journey was continued with scarcely
a halt during all the night succeeding the battle and
all the following day. Through all the sad hours of
that long march the gallant Captain Orme (himself
suffering from a painful wound) and the no less brave
and steadfast Virginia cavalry captain, Stewart, were
constantly by the side of their helpless commander,
never leaving him a moment.

The mortally wounded general must have been suf-
fering intense agony of mind as well as of body, but
through it all, like the brave and faithful officer that
he was, he never forgot that there were other maimed
and suffering ones who sorely needed aid. " Despite
the intensity of his agonies," says Sargent, " Brad-
dock still persisted in the exercise of his authority

Online LibraryFranklin EllisHistory of Fayette County, Pennsylvania : with biographical sketches of many of its pioneers and prominent men → online text (page 9 of 193)