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ting nothing, thus preparing himself unconsciously to use against his teachers the knowledge he acquired. He also made warm friends with the English officers, and was treated with consideration by his commander. The universal practice of all Englishmen was to behave contemptuously to the colonists, but there was something about Washington which made this impossible. They all treated him with the utmost courtesy, vaguely conscious that beneath the pleasant, quiet manner there was a strength of character and ability such as is rarely found, and that this was a man whom it was unsafe to affront. There is no stronger instance of Washington's power of impressing himself upon others than that he commanded now the respect and affection of his general, who was the last man to be easily or favorably affected by a young provincial officer. Edward Braddock was a veteran soldier, a skilled disciplinarian, and a rigid martinet. He was narrow-minded, brutal, and brave. He had led a fast life in society, indulging in coarse and violent dissipations, and was proud with the intense pride of a limited intelligence and a nature incapable of physical fear. It would be difficult to conceive of a man more unfit to be entrusted with the task of marching through the wilderness and sweeping the French from the Ohio. All the conditions which confronted him were unfamiliar and beyond his experience. He cordially despised the provincials who were essential to his success, and lost no opportunity of showing his contempt for them. The colonists on their side, especially in Pennsylvania, gave him, unfortunately, only too much ground for irritation and disgust. They were delighted to see this brilliant force come from England to fight their battles, but they kept on wrangling and holding back, refusing money and supplies, and doing nothing. Braddock chafed and delayed, swore angrily, and lingered still. Washington strove to help him, but defended his country fearlessly against wholesale and furious attacks. Finally the army began to move, but so slowly and after so much delay that they did not reach Will's Creek until the middle of May. Here came another exasperating pause, relieved only by Franklin, who by giving his own time, ability, and money, supplied the necessary wagons. Then they pushed on again, but with the utmost slowness. With supreme difficulty they made an elaborate road over the mountains as they marched, and did not reach the Little Meadows until June 16th. Then at last Braddock turned to his young aide for the counsel which had already been proffered and rejected many times. Washington advised the division of the army, so that the main body could hurry forward in light marching order while a detachment remained behind and brought up the heavy baggage. This plan was adopted, and the army started forward, still too heavily burdened, as Washington thought, but in somewhat better trim for the wilderness than before. Their progress, quickened as it was,
still seemed slow to Washington, but he was taken ill with a fever, and finally was compelled by Braddock to stop for rest at the ford of Youghiogany. He made Braddock promise that he should be brought up before the army reached Fort Duquesne, and wrote to his friend Orme that he would not miss the impending battle for five hundred pounds.
As soon as his fever abated a little he left Colonel Dunbar, and, being unable to sit on a horse, was conveyed to the front in a wagon, coming up with the army on July 8th. He was just in time, for the next day the troops forded the Monongahela and marched to attack the fort. The splendid appearance of the soldiers as they crossed the river roused Washington's enthusiasm; but he was not without misgivings. Franklin had already warned Braddock against the danger of surprise, and had been told with a sneer that while these savages might be a formidable enemy to raw American militia, they could make no impression on disciplined troops. Now at the last moment Washington warned the general again and was angrily rebuked.
The troops marched on in ordered ranks, glittering and beautiful. Suddenly firing was heard in the front, and presently the van was flung back on the main body. Yells and war-whoops resounded on every side, and an unseen enemy poured in a deadly fire. Washington begged Braddock to throw his men into the woods, but all in vain. Fight in platoons they must, or not at all. The result was that they did not fight at all. They became panic-stricken, and huddled together, overcome with fear, until at last when Braddock was mortally wounded they broke in wild rout and fled. Of the regular troops, seven hundred, and of the officers, who showed the utmost bravery, sixty-two out of eighty-six, were killed or wounded. Two hundred Frenchmen and six hundred Indians achieved this signal victory. The only thing that could be called fighting on the English side was done by the Virginians, “the raw American militia,” who, spread out as skirmishers, met their foes on their own ground, and were cut off almost to a Islall. Washington at the outset flung himself headlong into the fight. He rode up and down the field, carrying orders and striving to rally “the dastards,” as he afterwards called the regular troops. He endeavored to bring up the artillery, but the men would not serve the guns, although he aimed and discharged one himself. All through that dreadful carnage he rode fiercely about, raging with the excitement of battle, and utterly exposed from beginning to end. Even now it makes the heart beat quicker to think of him amid the smoke and slaughter as he dashed hither and thither, his face glowing and his eyes shining with the fierce light of battle, leading on his own Virginians, and trying to stay the tide of disaster. He had two horses shot under him and four bullets. through his coat. The Indians thought he bore a charmed life, while his death was reported in the
colonies, together with his dying speech, which, he dryly wrote to his brother, he had not yet composed. When the troops broke it was Washington who gathered the fugitives and brought off the dying general. It was he who rode on to meet Dunbar, and rallying the fugitives enabled the wretched remnants to take up their march for the settlements. He it was who laid Braddock in the grave four days after the defeat, and read over the dead the solemn words of the English service. Wise, sensible, and active in the advance, splendidly reckless on the day of battle, cool and collected on the retreat, Washington alone emerged from that history of disaster with added glory. Again he comes before us as, above all things, the fighting man, hot-blooded and fierce in action, and utterly indifferent to the danger which excited and delighted him. But the earlier lesson had not been useless. He showed a prudence and wisdom in counsel which were not apparent in the first of his campaigns, and he no longer thought that courage was all-sufficient, or that any enemy could be despised. He was plainly one of those who could learn. His first experience had borne good fruit, and now he had been taught a series of fresh and valuable lessons. Before his eyes had been displayed the most brilliant European discipline, both in camp and on the march. He had studied and absorbed it all, talking with veterans and hearing from them many whings that he could have ac