Historical records matching General Edward Braddock
About General Edward Braddock
General Edward Braddock (January 1695 – 13 July 1755) was a British soldier and commander-in-chief for the 13 colonies during the actions at the start of the French and Indian War (1754–1765). He is generally best remembered for his command of a disastrous expedition against the French-occupied Ohio Country in 1755, in which he lost his life. He was ambushed a few miles from Fort Necessity leaving him dead and his remaining forces in disarray.
In 1747 as a Lieutenant-colonel he served under the Prince of Orange in Holland during the Siege of Bergen op Zoom.
In 1753 he was given the colonelcy of the 14th (Buckinghamshire) Prince of Wales Own Regiment of foot (now known as the West Yorkshire Regiment), and in 1754 he became a major-general.
Appointed shortly afterwards to command against the French in America, he landed in Virginia on 20 February 1755 with two regiments of British regulars. He met with several of the colonial governors at the Congress of Alexandria on 14 April and was persuaded to undertake vigorous actions against the French. A general from Massachusetts would attack at Fort Niagara, General Johnson at Crown Point, Colonel Monckton at Fort Beausejour on the Bay of Fundy. He would lead an Expedition against Fort Duquesne at the Forks of the Ohio.
After some months of preparation, in which he was hampered by administrative confusion and want of resources previously promised by the colonials, the Braddock expedition took the field with a picked column, in which George Washington served as a volunteer officer. The column crossed the Monongahela River on 9 July 1755, and shortly afterwards collided head-on with an Indian and French force who were rushing from Fort Duquesne to oppose the river crossing. Although the initial exchange of musketry favored the British, felling the French commander and causing some Canadian militia to flee, the remaining Indian/French force reacted quickly, running down the flanks of the column and putting it under a murderous crossfire. Braddock's troops reacted poorly and became disordered. Braddock, rallying his men time after time, fell at last, mortally wounded by a shot through the chest.
Braddock was borne off the field by Washington and another officer, and died on 13 July 1755, just four days after the battle. Before he died Braddock left Washington his ceremonial sash that he wore with his battle uniform. Reportedly, Washington never went anywhere without this sash for the rest of his life, be it as the Commander of the Colonial Army or with his presidential duties.
He was buried just west of Great Meadows, where the remnants of the column halted on its retreat to reorganize. Braddock was buried in the middle of the road and wagons were rolled over top of the grave site to prevent his body from being discovered and desecrated. George Washington presided at the burial service, as the chaplain had been severely wounded.
Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography (1791) includes an account of helping General Braddock garner supplies and carriages for the general's troops. He also describes a conversation with Braddock in which he explicitly warned the General that his plan to march troops to the fort through a narrow valley would be dangerous because of the possibility of an ambush. This is sometimes cited as advice against the disastrous eventual outcome, but the fact remains that Braddock was not ambushed in that final action, and the battle site was not in any case, a narrow valley. Braddock had in fact taken great precautions against abuscade, and had crossed the Monongahela an additional time to avoid the narrow Turtle Creek defile.
In 1804, human remains believed to be Braddock's were found buried in the roadway about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west of Great Meadows by a crew of road workers. The remains were exhumed and reburied. A marble monument was erected over the new grave site in 1913 by the Coldstream Guards.
General Braddock is the namesake of Braddock, Braddock Hills, and North Braddock in Pennsylvania; Braddock Heights near Frederick, Maryland; Braddock Middle School and Braddock Road in Cumberland, MD; and, in Virginia, Braddock Road which runs from Alexandria to Fairfax and Braddock Street in Winchester.