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Edward Braddock

Edward Braddock

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General
General
A general officer is an officer of high military rank, usually in the army, and in some nations, the air force. The term is widely used by many nations of the world, and when a country uses a different term, there is an equivalent title given....

 Edward Braddock (January 1695 – 13 July 1755) was a British
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 soldier and commander-in-chief for the 13 colonies during the actions at the start of the French and Indian War
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 (1754–1763). He is generally best remembered for his command of a disastrous expedition
Braddock expedition
The Braddock expedition, also called Braddock's campaign or, more commonly, Braddock's Defeat, was a failed British military expedition which attempted to capture the French Fort Duquesne in the summer of 1755 during the French and Indian War. It was defeated at the Battle of the Monongahela on...

 against the French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

-occupied Ohio Country
Ohio Country
The Ohio Country was the name used in the 18th century for the regions of North America west of the Appalachian Mountains and in the region of the upper Ohio River south of Lake Erie...

 in 1755, in which he lost his life.

Early life


Braddock was born in Perthshire, Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 circa 1695. Braddock was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards
Coldstream Guards
Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards , is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division....

 in 1710.

Netherlands Campaign


In 1747 as a Lieutenant-colonel he served under the Prince of Orange in Holland
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 during the Siege of Bergen op Zoom
Siege of Bergen op Zoom (1747)
The Siege of Bergen op Zoom took place during the Austrian War of Succession, when a French army, under the command of Lowendal and the overall direction of Marshal Maurice de Saxe, laid siege and captured the strategic Dutch border fortress of Bergen op Zoom on the border of Brabant and Zealand...

.

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.

North America


Appointed shortly afterwards to command against the French
French and Indian War
The French and Indian War is the common American name for the war between Great Britain and France in North America from 1754 to 1763. In 1756, the war erupted into the world-wide conflict known as the Seven Years' War and thus came to be regarded as the North American theater of that war...

 in America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, 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
Congress of Alexandria
The Congress or Council of Alexandria was a 1755 meeting of Major-General Edward Braddock, commander-in-chief of the British Army in North America and governors of five of the constituent colonies...

 on 14 April and was persuaded to undertake vigorous actions against the French. A general from Massachusetts would attack at Fort Niagara
Fort Niagara
Fort Niagara is a fortification originally built to protect the interests of New France in North America. It is located near Youngstown, New York, on the eastern bank of the Niagara River at its mouth, on Lake Ontario.-Origin:...

, General Johnson at Crown Point
Fort Crown Point
Crown Point, was a British fort built by the combined efforts of both British and Provincial troops in North America in 1759 at narrows on Lake Champlain on the border between modern New York State and Vermont...

, Colonel Monckton
Robert Monckton
Robert Monckton was an officer of the British army and a colonial administrator in British North America. He had a distinguished military and political career, being second in command to General Wolfe at the battle of Quebec and subsequently being the Governor of New York State...

 at Fort Beausejour
Battle of Fort Beauséjour
The Battle of Fort Beauséjour was fought on the Isthmus of Chignecto and marked the end of Father Le Loutre’s War andthe opening of a British offensive in the French and Indian War, which would eventually lead to the end the French Empire in North America...

 on the Bay of Fundy
Bay of Fundy
The Bay of Fundy is a bay on the Atlantic coast of North America, on the northeast end of the Gulf of Maine between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with a small portion touching the U.S. state of Maine...

. He would lead an Expedition
Braddock expedition
The Braddock expedition, also called Braddock's campaign or, more commonly, Braddock's Defeat, was a failed British military expedition which attempted to capture the French Fort Duquesne in the summer of 1755 during the French and Indian War. It was defeated at the Battle of the Monongahela on...

 against Fort Duquesne
Fort Duquesne
Fort Duquesne was a fort established by the French in 1754, at the junction of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in what is now downtown Pittsburgh in the state of Pennsylvania....

 at the Forks of the Ohio
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

.

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
Braddock expedition
The Braddock expedition, also called Braddock's campaign or, more commonly, Braddock's Defeat, was a failed British military expedition which attempted to capture the French Fort Duquesne in the summer of 1755 during the French and Indian War. It was defeated at the Battle of the Monongahela on...

 took the field with a picked column, in which George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 served as a volunteer officer. The column crossed the Monongahela River
Monongahela River
The Monongahela River is a river on the Allegheny Plateau in north-central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania in the United States...

 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.

Legacy



  • Benjamin Franklin
    Benjamin Franklin
    Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

    's Autobiography
    The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
    The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the traditional name for the unfinished record of his own life written by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790; however, Franklin himself appears to have called the work his Memoirs...

    (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
    National Road
    The National Road or Cumberland Road was the first major improved highway in the United States to be built by the federal government. Construction began heading west in 1811 at Cumberland, Maryland, on the Potomac River. It crossed the Allegheny Mountains and southwestern Pennsylvania, reaching...

     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
    Coldstream Guards
    Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards , is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division....

    . The grave site is considered to be British territory.
  • General Braddock is the namesake of Braddock
    Braddock, Pennsylvania
    Braddock is a borough located in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 10 miles upstream from the mouth of the Monongahela River. The population was 2,159 at the 2010 census...

    , Braddock Hills
    Braddock Hills, Pennsylvania
    Braddock Hills is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States, and is part of the Pittsburgh Metro Area. Braddock Hills is located approximately east of downtown Pittsburgh...

    , and North Braddock
    North Braddock, Pennsylvania
    North Braddock is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States. North Braddock was organized from a part of Braddock Township in 1897. North Braddock is a suburb east of Pittsburgh with a 15-minute travel time to the city...

     in Pennsylvania; Braddock Heights
    Braddock Heights, Maryland
    Braddock Heights is a census-designated place in Frederick County, Maryland, United States. The population was 4,627 at the 2000 census. Braddock Heights is part of the Middletown, Maryland School District...

     near Frederick, Maryland
    Frederick, Maryland
    Frederick is a city in north-central Maryland. It is the county seat of Frederick County, the largest county by area in the state of Maryland. Frederick is an outlying community of the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is part of a greater...

    ; and, in Virginia, Braddock Road in Alexandria
    Alexandria, Virginia
    Alexandria is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2009, the city had a total population of 139,966. Located along the Western bank of the Potomac River, Alexandria is approximately six miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.Like the rest of northern Virginia, as well as...

     and Braddock Street in Winchester
    Winchester, Virginia
    Winchester is an independent city located in the northwestern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the USA. The city's population was 26,203 according to the 2010 Census...

    .

Sources


  • explorepahistory.com
  • Fred Anderson, Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America: 1754-1766 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000).
  • Paul Kopperman, Braddock at the Monongahela (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1977).
  • Lee McCardell, Ill-Starred General: Braddock of the Coldstream Guards (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1958).
  • Louis M. Waddell and Bruce D. Bomberger, The French and Indian War in Pennsylvania:Fortification and Struggle During the War for Empire (Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1996).