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port one another."

Thus they toiled along, sickened with
hard work, exposure, and bad fare ; and



thus they passed sadly and slowly through
that forest of pines, aptly termed " The
Shades of Death," and ominous of a ter
rible future, until they finally came to a
halt and pitched their tents at Little
Meadows.



CHAPTER IX.

Braddock disposed to change his Tactics. Consults Young Washington, his Aid-de-Camp. The Army divided. Sir
John St. Clair in advance. A Foretaste of the Future. An Indian Ambuscade. Braddock advances with the
Choicest of the Troops. Dunbar left behind, to proceed leisurely with the Rest. Braddock still indulging in his Old-
fashioned Notions. Great Crossings in a Week. Indians skulking about. Sickness among the Troops. Washing
ton ill. Obliged to halt. Tracks of Indians and French. Braddock becomes cautious. Encampment at Tliickety
Run. News and Scalps from Fort Du Qtiesne. Gist s Report. Smoke in the Valley. Washington rejoins Brad-
dock. Monakatuca Camp. The Unfortunate Death of the Young Monakatuca. The Reverence paid by Braddock
to the Dead. The Monongahela Route. Crossing the Monongahela. The Brilliant Display of the Troops. The
Virginians in the Rear. The Conflict. The Brave Struggle. The Courage of Braddock. Four Jlorses shot under
Him. The General falls. The Retreat. Its Horrors. Washington unhurt, though exposed to the Hottest Fire.
Havoc of Officers.



AT Little Meadows, the various bri
gades came in in slow succession, at in
tervals of two or three days of each oth
er ; and the men, fatigued and dispirited
by the tedious, laborious, and melancholy
march, were glad to tent themselves with
in the camp, which had been fortified
by Sir John St. Clair and his advance-
party. Braddock now became conscious
of the necessity of waiving some of his
old-fashioned, European notions of mili
tary progress. His line he found was
dangerously weakened by the great ex
tent of baggage ; his men were worn out
by the fatigue of remaining so many
hours under arms ; and the horses grew
fainter every day, and many died.

The proud British general now de
scended from his high state of dignified
self-sufficiency, and deigned to consult
his young provincial aid-de-camp. Wash



ington s advice was solicited, and given
straightforwardly, but with a discreet
modesty. The garrison at Du Quesne,
he reminded the general, was weak at
this time ; and there was little prospect,
while the rivers were low, of any addi
tion to its strength from the coming in

O o

of more men and supplies. Now was the
time, urged the young Virginian, to make
a rapid march and strike an irresistible
blow. He would advise, therefore, that
the general should push on at once with
a light division, and leave the heavy
troops and baggage to follow after.
Braddock approved of this view, and de
termined to lay it before his council-of-
war, where Washington himself, of course,
from his position, had no voice. The
plan of the young Virginian aid-de-camp
was adopted, and preparations made at
once to carry it into effect.



COLONIAL.]



BRADDOCK ON THE ADVANCE.



71



Juiie 18.



Sir John Sinclair, the deputy
quartermaster-general,whose du
ty it was to act as pioneer, now set out
with four hundred men, under Gage, to
cut and make the road to the "Little
Crossings," situated on a small stream emp
tying into Casselman s river. They took
with them the pack-horses, laden with
tools and provisions, and two six-pound
ers for defence. The Indians also ac
companied them, to act as scouts. Sir
John St. Glair s detachment had not pro
ceeded far, when the peculiar hazards
of the march were strikingly exhibited.
The Indian chief Monokatuca, or Scaro-
vyadi, as he was sometimes called, had
strayed, in company with his son, in ad
vance of the party, when he fell into an
ambuscade of French and savages. The
former were for killing him at once ; the
Indians, however, refused, and declared
that they would join the English if they
did so. They then agreed to tie him to
a tree, and leave him there. The son
escaped, and, bringing word to his Indian
brethren of the whereabouts of his father,
the old chief was released at once.

Braddock himself set out the
next day after the departure of
St. Glair, taking with him the two veter
an grenadier companies and five hundred
rank and file of the best of the remain
ing troops, under the various commands
of Sir Peter Halket, Lieutenani>Colonel
Burton, and Major Sparks, which, with
the eighteen Virginia light-horse and the
small party of seamen, made up a divis
ion of eight hundred, all told. Dunbar
and others left behind were sorely vexed
at the preference given by the general



June 19.



to the troops with which he marched
as it was well understood that his pur
pose had been to select those he believed
to be the best.

Disencumbered as the general compar
atively was, his march was still slow r .
He had rid himself of much of his artil
lery and baggage, taking with him only
four ho witzers,each drawn by nine horses;
four twelve-pounders, with seven horses
each ; and thirty wagons, with four horses
each. Braddock was still too set in his
old military notions, to adapt himself to
the requirements of the country ; for, as
Washington says, " instead of pushing on
with vigor, without regarding a little
rough road, they were halting to level
every molehill and to erect bridges over
every brook, by which means we were
four days in getting twelve miles." With
this deliberate kind of procedure, there
was little chance of reaching Fort Du
Quesne by the 28th of June, the time
proposed, in order to anticipate the arri
val of the half-thousand regulars who
were reported to be on their march to
the aid of the French garrison. They
did not, in fact, reach the " Great Cross
ings" on the Youghioney river until the
24th of June, although it was but seven
teen miles, which had taken a week to
march.

Braddock found himself always on the
heels of the advance-party under Sir John
St. Glair, with whom he was constantly
coming up. The general was thus obliged
to halt until the sides of a mountain were
cut through, or the swamps were made
passable. He was not without disturb
ance, too, from daily rumors of the ap-



72



BATTLES OF AMERICA.



[PART i.



proach of the enemy, and occasional har
assment by hostile Indians. At one time
the guides came running in, extremely
frightened, and reporting that a great
body of the enemy were marching to at
tack the advanced guard. This alarm
over, intelligence was brought that some
men, who had roamed beyond the out
posts, had been shot and scalped ; while
Indians were constantly observed skulk
ing about, to waylay a straggler, or to
watch the progress of the march. Horse-
thieves abounded, too ; and it was with
the greatest difficulty that the fatigued
nags, after a hard day s work, could get
a nibble of pasture, before they were
driven off by some of the freebooters of
the forest.

Sickness also prevailed among the offi
cers and soldiers, in consequence of the
fatigue and bad provisions. One of the
commanders of the naval brigade was
prostrated by fever, and sent back to Lit
tle Meadows. Washington fell ill, and,
being unable to sit any longer on his
horse, was obliged to allow himself to be
conveyed in a covered wagon. He was
finally forced by his disease to give in,
and was induced at the earnest solicita
tion of Braddock to whom he had be
come greatly endeared from his virtues,
and was now almost indispensable from
the excellence of his judgment and the
value of his opinions to stay behind.
Washington s ardor to go on was only
appeased by the solemn promise of Brad-
dock that he should have a chance of
joining him before he engaged with the
enemy.

As Braddock moved on slowly from



Juue 25.



the " Great Crossings," he had more and
more proof that he was in the Indian
country, and greater reason to be on his
guard against the ambuscades of the wily
savages. During one day s march, an
Indian camp was discovered, that had
been just abandoned, and which, from the
number of huts, proved that some hun
dred and seventy of these savages had
lately occupied them. They had stripped
the barks from the trees, and inscribed
upon them with paint all kinds of threats
and bravadoes, in the Indian and French
languages.

They now passed the Great Meadows,
and encamped about two miles
on the other side. Some Indians
making their appearance in the neigh
boring woods, the general sent the light-
horse, a few Indian scouts, and some vol
unteers, to surround them ; but they re
turned without success. On taking up
their march again, next day, they had
made but a quarter of a mile from their
late encampment, when they reached the
summit of so steep a hill, that it was ne
cessary to call in the aid of the sailors,
and let down the wagons with tackle.

On this day, in consequence
of the badness of the road, the
army could only make four miles. At the
halting-place, which was situated where
the Indian path to the Monongahela ter
minates, was found an Indian camp which
had been so recently abandoned, that the
fires were still burning. Triumphant bra
vadoes were seen written upon the trees,
with the number of scalps that had been
taken two days before. There had evi
dently been some French with them, for



June 26.



COLONIAL.]



RETURN OF WASHINGTON.



73



they had inscribed also their names, and
many insolent expressions, in their own
language. The position of the Indian
camp was strongly fixed upon a high
rock, with a narrow and steep ascent to
the top. In the middle flowed a spring.
It was by the Indian pass, which led to
this camp, that the French and Indian
force had come which attacked Washing
ton at Fort Necessity. Traces were dis
covered of the route taken by those who
had so recently abandoned the place, and
some ninety volunteers, provide 3 with
guides, issued out at night, toward the
Monongahela, in pursuit; but although
they found by the way some provisions
and a batteau, which they destroyed, they
saw no men.

Great precautions were now taken, at
every halting-place on the march, lest
the Indians and the French should come
upon them unawares. The pickets were
doubled ; the men kept constantly under
arms, with fixed bayonets ; and no fire,
on any account, allowed to be lighted in
front of them. In cleaning the guns, the
soldiers were strictly ordered to draw the
charges, and not fire them off, lest the
enemy should be within hearing, and thus
be made aware of the approach of the
troops. The cartridges were carefully
examined, and, when injured by the wet,
exchanged for fresh ones. Although
it was the 30th of June when the line
had crossed the Youghioney the men
wading through a depth of three feet,
and across a breadth of water of two hun
dred yards it was not before the 4th of
July, so slow was the progress, the march
frequently not exceeding two miles a day,
10



July 6.



that they came up to " Thickety Run/
where they encamped. The country now
became less mountainous and rocky ; and
the white-oak woods less dense, and not
offering so good a cover for a skulking
enemy.

A couple of Indians, who had been sent
out toward Fort Du Quesne, now
returned, bringing the scalp of a
French officer, whom they had fallen in
with-while he was out shooting, and the
intelligence that there were few men or
tracks about, and no additional works at
the fort. Gist, the general s provincial
guide, brought back a very similar re
port, with the additional and most impor
tant information, however, that he had
observed some smoke in a valley between
the English encampment and Fort Du
Quesne. Gist had had a narrow escape ;
for while attempting at night to get closer
to the fort, he had been observed by a
couple of Indians, who pursued and came
very near catching him.

While encamped at Thickety Run, the
captain with his detachment of one hun
dred men, who had been sent to Dunbar s
camp at Little Meadows for provisions,
came in with a very welcome supply.
The delay incurred in waiting for this
seemed absolutely necessary, but, as the
sequel will prove, was disastrous to Brad-
dock. With the party, however, came
Washington, who had so far recovered as
to join the troop on its way to the gen
eral s camp. He was warmly welcomed
on his arrival by Braddock and his fellow-
aids-de-camp, Morris and Orme, who had
kept him during his absence well in
formed, by frequent letters, of every de-



74



BATTLES OF AMERICA.



|_PART 1.



tail of the march. He came in the very
nick of time, for the army was only dis
tant fifteen miles from Fort Du Quesne,
and might expect hot work at the earli
est moment. The next day after Wash
ington s arrival had been, in fact, appoint
ed as the day of attack.

The place where Braddock had now
halted was styled " Monakatuca Camp,"
from an unhappy accident that occurred
in its neighborhood. A few stragglers
in the rear of the march had been at
tacked by hostile Indians, and ruthlessly
scalped. A company of grenadiers hav
ing been ordered out to look after these
savages, met with a party of Indians be
longing to the English line, and, mista
king them for the enemy, fired upon
them notwithstanding the countersign
agreed upon, raising a bough and ground
ing amis, was made and killed the son
of the chief Monakatuca. When his body
was brought to the camp by the wailing
Indians, the general did everything in his
power to console the father and the rest.
The usual presents were bestowed, a mil
itary funeral with all its solemnities was
ordered, the officers attended, and a vol
ley was fired over the forest-grave where
the young chief was laid. This marked
respect to their dead seemed to have
greatly won for Braddock the attachment
of the few Indian followers left to him.

On taking up his march, Brad-
clock strove, in order to avoid
the dangerous pass called "The Narrows,"
to cross the narrow stream known as Tur
tle creek. He had not, however, pro
ceeded far, when he reached a precipice
that it was impossible to descend. Sir



July 8,



John St. Clair was therefore ordered to
take a captain and a hundred men, some
light-horse, and Indian guides, and recon
noitre thoroughly the country round
about. The main body having in the
meantime encamped for the night, the
reconnoitring party returned with the
report that another route, by fording the
Monongahela, had been discovered, by
which both the precipice and the narrows
might be avoided.

It was determined, therefore, to pursue
the Monongahela route, by which the ar
my would be obliged to cross that river
twice in order to reach Fort Du Quesne.
The road through the Narrows was the
more direct one ; but, as it was but a nar
row pass of two miles in length, with a
river on the left and a very high mount
ain on the right, and in such a rough con
dition that it would require much time
and labor to make it passable for car
riages, it seemed right to abandon it

The next morning, therefore,
Braddock, who had been encamp
ed the previous night within two miles
of the Monongahela, made his arrange
ments for passing his forces across the
two fords, one of which would take them
to the opposite bank, and the other bring
them back to the side whence they start
ed, but in the immediate neighborhood
of the fort. Accordingly, at daybreak,
LieutenantrColonel Gage was ordered to
march with two companies of grenadiers,
one hundred and sixty rank and file of
the forty-fourth and forty-eight, Captain
Gates s independent company of New
Yorkers, some four hundred men in all,
two six-pounders, and proper guides. His



July 9,



COLONIAL.]



CROSSING THE MONONGAHELA.



75



instructions were, to pass the two fords
of the Monongahela, and on crossing the
second to post himself so as to secure the
passage of the river. Washington is said
to have ventured to propose that the ran
gers, of Virginia, accustomed to the wild
country and Indian warfare, should lead
the advance ; but that Braddock peremp
torily and angrily refused to listen to any
such proposition, and, to show his supe
rior confidence in the regulars and his
contempt for the provincials, ordered the
Virginians to the rear. Gage advanced
and crossed the fords, as had been or
dered, meeting with no opposition but a
show of hostility from some thirty Indi
ans, who, however, took to their heels at
once and disappeared.

The general now moved his main body,
and it marched across the two fords in
admirable order. The troops were in full
uniform, their colors were flying gayly,
the drums were beating, and the fifes
playing " The Grenadiers March." The
provincials were struck with admiration
at the gallant martial display, and the
whole line thrilled with confident hope
of a speedy and glorious termination to
their long march. Both passes having
been got over in such gallant array, with
out any disorder or interference, they
began to think that the enemy would
not even venture to make an attack, " as
they might have done with so many ad
vantages a little time before."

" Washington," says Irving, " with his
keen and youthful relish for military af
fairs, was delighted with the perfect or
der and equipment of the troops, so dif
ferent from the rough bush-fighters to



which he had been accustomed. Roused
to new life, he forgot his recent ailments,
and broke forth in expressions of enjoy
ment and admiration, as he rode in com
pany with his fellow aids-de-camp, Orme
and Morris. Often in after-life he used
to speak of the effect upon him of the
first sight of a well-disciplined European
army, marching in high confidence and
bright array, on the eve of a battle."

From early morning, the advance par
ty under Gage having moved before day
break, until the afternoon, it being near
ly two o clock when the rear-guard passed
the second ford, Braddock had been en
gaged in getting his forces again in the
line of march toward the fort. As soon
as all were over, there was a general halt,
and then the army fell into marching or
der. First went an engineer, three guides,
and six light-horsemen, to lead the way,
followed closely by the grenadiers, and
flanking-parties distributed along the edge
of the wood which bounded the march.
Next came the working-force, under Sir
John St. Clair. Then marched the main
body with Braddock himself, while the un
appreciated Virginians sullenly brought
up the rear.

The banks of the river along which
the army was now formed rose gradually
from the water in natural terraces, gen
tly sloping from one to the other, until
suddenly bounded by the steep, rocky ,
wall of the mountain-range. The ground
upon which they halted, immediately 01
the border of the Monongahela, where it
was crossed by the second ford, was for
a fourth of a mile almost level, with an
open, park-like growth of hickory-trees



74



BATTLES OF AMERICA.



[PART i.



tail of the march. He came in the very
nick of time, for the army was only dis
tant fifteen miles from Fort Du Quesne,
and might expect hot work at the earli
est moment. The next day after Wash
ington s arrival had been, in fact, appoint
ed as the day of attack.

The place where Braddock had now
halted was styled " Monakatuca Camp,"
from an unhappy accident that occurred
in its neighborhood. A few stragglers
in the rear of the march had been at
tacked by hostile Indians, and ruthlessly
scalped. A company of grenadiers hav
ing been ordered out to look after these
savages, met with a party of Indians be
longing to the English line, and, mista
king them for the enemy, fired upon
them notwithstanding the countersign
agreed upon, raising a bough and ground
ing arms, was made and killed the son
of the chief Monakatuca. When his body
was brought to the camp by the wailing
Indians, the general did everything in his
power to console the father and the rest.
The usual presents were bestowed, a mil
itary funeral with all its solemnities was
ordered, the officers attended, and a vol
ley was fired over the forestrgrave where
the young chief was laid. This marked
respect to their dead seemed to have
greatly won for Braddock the attachment
of the few Indian followers left to him.

On taking up his march, Brad-
dock strove, in order to avoid
the dangerous pass called "The Narrows,"
to cross the narrow stream known as Tur
tle creek. He had not, however, pro
ceeded far, when he reached a precipice
that it was impossible to descend. Sir



July 8,



John St. Glair was therefore ordered to
take a captain and a hundred men, some
light-horse, and Indian guides, and recon
noitre thoroughly the country round
about. The main body having in the
meantime encamped for the night, the
reconnoitring party returned with the
report that another route, by fording the
Monongahela, had been discovered, by
which both the precipice and the narrows
might be avoided.

It was determined, therefore, to pursue
the Monongahela route, by which the ar
my would be obliged to cross that river
twice in order to reach Fort Du Quesne.
The road through the Narrows was the
more direct one ; but, as it was but a nar
row pass of two miles in length, with a
river on the left and a very high mount
ain on the right, and in such a rough con
dition that it would require much time
and labor to make it passable for car
riages, it seemed right to abandon it.

The next morning, therefore,
Braddock, who had been encamp
ed the previous night within two miles
of the Monongahela, made his arrange
ments for passing his forces across the
two fords, one of which would take them
to the opposite bank, and the other bring
them back to the side whence they start
ed, but in the immediate neighborhood
of the fort. Accordingly, at daybreak,
LieutenantrColonel Gage was ordered to
march with two companies of grenadiers,
one hundred and sixty rank and file of
the forty-fourth and forty-eight, Captain
Gates s independent company of New
Yorkers, some four hundred men in all,
two six-pounders, and proper guides. His



July 9,



COLONIAL.]



CROSSING THE MONONGAHELA.



75



instructions were, to pass the two fords
of the Monongahela, and on crossing the
second to post himself so as to secure the
passage of the river. Washington is said
to have ventured to propose that the ran
gers, of Virginia, accustomed to the wild
country and Indian warfare, should lead
the advance ; but that Braddock peremp
torily and angrily refused to listen to any
such proposition, and, to show his supe
rior confidence in the regulars and his
contempt for the provincials, ordered the
Virginians to the rear. Gage advanced
and crossed the fords, as had been or
dered, meeting with no opposition but a
show of hostility from some thirty Indi
ans, who, however, took to their heels at
once and disappeared.

The general now moved his main body,
and it marched across the two fords in
admirable order. The troops were in full
uniform, their colors were flying gayly,
the drums were beating, and the fifes
playing " The Grenadiers March." The
provincials were struck with admiration
at the gallant martial display, and the
whole line thrilled with confident hope
of a speedy and glorious termination to
their long march. Both passes having
been got over in such gallant array, with
out any disorder or interference, they
began to think that the enemy would
not even venture to make an attack, " as
they might have done with so many ad
vantages a little time before."

" Washington," says Irving, " with his
keen and youthful relish for military af
fairs, was delighted with the perfect or
der and equipment of the troops, so dif
ferent from the rough bush-fighters to



which he had been accustomed. Roused
to new life, he forgot his recent ailments,
and broke forth in expressions of enjoy
ment and admiration, as he rode in com
pany with his fellow aids-de-camp, Orme
and Morris. Often in after-life he used
to speak of the effect upon him of the
first sight of a well-disciplined European
army, marching in high confidence and
bright array, on the eve of a battle."

From early morning, the advance par
ty under Gage having moved before day
break, until the afternoon, it being near
ly two o clock when the rear-guard passed
the second ford, Braddock had been en
gaged in getting his forces again in the
line of march toward the fort. As soon
as all were over, there was a general halt,
and then the army fell into marching or
der. First went an engineer, three guides,
and six light-horsemen, to lead the way,



Online LibraryRobert TomesBattles of America by sea and land. With biographies of naval and military commanders (Volume 01) → online text (page 10 of 126)