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next account. I consider this payment as good luck, having 'never been able to obtain that remainder; of which more hereafter.
This general was, I think, a brave man, and might probably have made a figure as a good officer in some European war. But he had too much self-confidence, too high an opinion of the yalidity of regular troops, and too mean a one of both Americans and Indians. George Croghan, our Indian interpreter, joined him on his march with 100 of those people, who might have been of great use to his army as guides, scouts, &c. if he had treated them kindly: but he slighted and neglected them, and they gradually left him. In conversa: tion with him one day, he was giving me some account of his intended progress.
“ After taking Fort Duquesne,” said he, “ I am to proceed to Niagara; and having taken that, to Frontenac, if the season will allow time, and I suppose it will; for Duquesne can hardly detain me above three or four days; and then I see nothing that can obstruct my march to Niagara.” Having before revolved in my mind the long line his army must make in their march by a very narrow road, to bę cut for them through the woods and bushes, and also what I had read of a former defeat of 1500 French, who invaded the Illinois country, I had conceived some doubts and some fears for the event of the campaign. But I ventured only to say, “ To be sure, Sir, if you arrive well before Duquesne, with these fine troops, so well provided with artillery, the fort, though completely fortified, and assisted with a very strong garrison, can probably make but a short resistance. The only danger I apprehend of obstruction to your march, is from the ambuscades of the Indians, who by constant practice, are dextrous in laying and executing them: and the slender line, near four miles long, which your army must make, may expose it to be attacked by sarprise in its flanks, and to be cut like a thread into several pieces, which from their distance cannot come up in time to support each other.” He smiled at my ignorance, and replied, “ These savages may indeed be a formidable enemy to your raw American militia; but upon the King's regular and disciplined troops, Sir, it is impossible they should make any impression.” I was conscious of an impropriety in my disputing with a military man in matters of his profession, and said no more. The enemy however did not take the advantage of his army which I apprehended its long line of march exposed it to, but let it advance without interruption till within nine miles of the place; and then when more in a body, (for it had just passed a river, where the front had halted till all were come over) and in a more open part of the woods than any it had passed, attacked its ad vanced guard, by a heavy fire from behind trees and bushes; which was the first intelligence the general had of an enemy's being near him. This
guard being disordered, the general hurried the troops up to their assistance, which was done in great confusion, through waggons, baggage, and cattle; and presently the fire came upon their flank: the officers being on horseback were more easily distinguished, picked out as marks, and fell very fast; and the soldiers were crowded together in a huddle, having or hearing no orders, and standing to be shot at till two-thirds of them were killed; and then being seized with a panic, the remainder fled with precipitation. The waggoners took each a horse out of his team and scampered; their example was immediately followed by others; 80 that all the waggons, provisions, artillery, and stores were left to the enemy. The general being wounded was brought off with difficulty; his secretary, Mr. Shirley, was killed by his side, and out of 86 officers 63 were killed or wounded ; and 714 men killed of 1100. These 1100 had been picked men from the whole army; the rest had been left behind with Col. Dunbar, who was to follow with the heavier part of the stores, provisions, and baggage. The flyers not being pursued arrived at Dunbar's camp, and the panic they brought with them instantly seized him and all his people. And though he had now above 1000 men, and the enemy who had beaten Braddock, did not at most exceed 400 Indians and French together, instead of proceeding and endeavoring to recover some of the lost honor, he ordered all the stores, ammunition, &c. to be destroyed, that he might have more horses to assist his flight towards the settlements, and less lumber to remove. He was there met with requests from the governor of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, that he would post his troops on the frontiers, so as to afford some protection to the inhabitants; but he continued his hasty march through all the country, not thinking himself safe till he arrived at Philadelphia, where the inhabitants could protect him. This whole transaction gave us Americans the first suspicion that our exalted ideas of the prowess of British regular troops had not been well founded,
In their first march, too, from their landing till they got beyond the settlements, they had plundered and stripped the inhabitants, totally ruining some poor families, besides insulting, abusing, and confining the people if they remonstrated. This was enough to put us out of conceit of such defenders, if we had really wanted any. How different was the conduct of our French friends in 1781, who during a march through the most inhabited part of our country, from Rhode Island to Virginia, near 700 miles, occasioned not the smallest complaint, for the loss of a pig, a chicken, or even an apple!
Captain Orme, who was one of the general's aides-de-camp, and being grievously wounded, was brought off with him, and continued with him to his death, which happened in a few days, told me
that he was totally silent all the first day, and at night only said, " Who would have thought it ?" That he was silent again the following day, saying only at last, “ We shall better know how to deal with them another time ;” and died in a few minutes after.
The secretary's papers, with all the general's orders, instructions, and correspondence, falling into the enemy's hands, they selected and translated into French a number of the articles, which they printed, to prove the hostile intentions of the British Court before the declaration of war, Among these I saw some letters of the general to the ministry, speaking highly of the great service I had rendered the army, and recommending me to their notice. David Hume, who was some years after secretary to Lord Hertford, when minister in France, and afterwards to Gen. Conway, when secretary of state, told me he had seen among the papers
in that office, letters from Braddock, highly recommending me. But the expedition having been unfortunate, my service, it seems, was not thought of much value, for those recommendations were never of any use to me. As to rewards from himself, I asked only one, which was, that he would give orders to his officers not to enlist any more of our bought servants, and that he would discharge such as had been already enlisted. This he readily granted, and several were accordingly returneil to their masters, on my application. Dunbar, when