Sunday, November 27, 2011
Stewarts - Part 5 - General Braddock
Stewarts, Washington, and General Braddock’s Defeat
(A historical story in 7 little parts)
By David L. Green
A very frustrated and nervous Governor Dinwiddie called for help in his struggle with the French. In response, King George II sent one of his leading generals – Major General Edward Braddock- along with 2 British (Irish) Regiments and a “train of Royal Artillery”.
It seems there were several delays in gathering up enough supplies and men for the expedition (The Battle of Monongahela 1755 - Braddocks Defeat). While still in camp and preparing for the battle to come, Washington and several others, including Benjamin Franklin (Abbott), tried to advise the General that the methods proven on the battlefields of Europe would not work with this enemy. War was fought differently here.
The British General was very proud and arrogant. He had no doubts that the French would see this great column of British regulars and just run and hide in fear of their obvious superiority. No amount of coaxing from these inferior colonists could persuade him otherwise.
So, with a long line of British regular troops, 2 companies of provincial “rangers” and “light horse“, several wagons, carts of supplies and camp followers (including a young teamster by the name of Daniel Boone) (Faragher), General Braddock set out across Va. to teach those pesky French a lesson. The procession was about 4 miles long on a narrow, winding road.
Following a group of “carpenters” and woodsmen, the column moved on as the woodsmen cut and cleared a 12 foot wide road through the wilderness. This, as you might imagine, was a very slow and tedious journey for all involved.
Col. Washington and his rangers had become very adept at the “Indian way of fighting” as all early settlers and trappers had learned to survive in this hostile frontier. They knew that an army standing shoulder to shoulder in wide lines (wearing bright red coats) was probably not the smartest way to go about this.