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as if they were to drill before the king, marched straight on in splendid array. Washington thought it the most beautiful show he had ever seen; but he said to the general : “Do not let the soldiers march into the woods like that. The Frenchmen and the Indians may even now be hiding behind the trees ready to shoot us down. Let me send some men ahead to see where they are and let some of our Virginians who are used to fighting in the forest go before to clear them away." But General Braddock told him to mind his own business, and marched on as gallantly as ever.
Suddenly, just as they reached a narrow part of the road, where the woods were all about them, the Frenchmen and Indians who were waiting for ARM-3 them, behind the great trees and underbrush, opened fire upon the British troops, and there came just such a dreadful time as Washington had feared. But, even now, Braddock would not give in. His soldiers must fight as they had been drilled to fight in Europe, and, when the Virginians who were with him tried to fight as they had been accustomed to, he called them cowards and ordered them to form in line.
BRADDOCK'S HEADQUARTERS IN WEST VIRGINIA.
(From a recent sketch.)
It was all over very soon. The British soldiers, fired upon from all sides and scarcely able to see where their enemies were, became frightened, huddled together and made all the better marks for the bullets of the French ,and Indians hiding among the trees and bushes. Then, General Braddock fell from his horse, mortally wounded; his splendidly-drilled red-coats broke into a panic, turned and run away, and only the coolness of Washington and the
Virginian forest-fighters who
Washington fought like a hero. Two horses that he rode were killed while he kept in the saddle; his coat was shot through and through, and it seemed as if he would be killed any moment. But he kept on fighting, caring nothing for danger. He tried to turn back the fleeing British troops ; he tried to bring back the cannons, and, when the gunners ran away, he leaped from his horse and aimed and fired the cannons himself. Then with his Virginians, that Brad
THE INDIAN ALLIES OF THE FRENCH RETURNING HOME AFTER BRADDOCK'S DEFEAT DRESSED IN THE SPOIL OF
THE BRITISH ARMY.
dock had so despised as soldiers, he protected the rear of the retreating army, carried off the dying general and, cool and collected in the midst of all the terrible things that were happening, saved the British army from slaughter, buried poor General Braddock in the Virginia woods and finally brought back to the settlements what was left of that splendid army of the king. He was the only man, in all that time of disaster, who came out of the fight with glory and renown.
After that, you may be sure his advice was followed. When another army was raised, and, after three years of waiting and preparation, the soldiers, at last, were ready to go once more against the French, Washington's plans were adopted ; his way of doing things was followed out, and he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of all the forces in Virginia.
He did not seek the command; he did not want it. But it was Washington's way never to say no to what seemed to be his duty. “If it is in my power to avoid going to the Ohio again,” he wrote to his mother, “I shall. But if the command is pressed upon me by the voice of the country, it would be dishonorable in me to refuse it.” That is the way that office should be accepted and duty looked at by every man and by every boy, and, as I have told you once before, that was Washington's way.
Once more British soldiers were sent to Virginia, and with them, marching westward, went Washington and his