Narrator: Dinwiddie appealed to Britain for help. London sent General Edward Braddock. The short, arrogant officer who had spent forty-five years in the army, yet had seen almost no fighting.
Braddock assembled fourteen hundred British troops and four hundred Virginia militiamen, including Lewis and Washington, then marched toward Fort Duquesne. Washington warned of an enemy ambush; Braddock ignored him.
Ten miles east of Fort Duquesne nine hundred French soldiers and Indian warriors ambushed Braddock’s army in a dense forest. Militiamen found cover behind trees; British regulars stood in formation on the narrow road and were cut down from three sides.
“Our regulars were immediately struck with such a deadly panic that nothing but confusion and disobedience of orders prevailed amongst them. The Virginians behaved like men and died like soldiers.” George Washington
Narrator: Nearly a thousand British troops were killed or wounded. Braddock had four horses shot from under him. As he mounted a fifth, a musket ball pierced his lungs. Carried from the battlefield, Braddock looked up and asked, “Who could have thought it?”
Washington ordered a retreat. Along the way, Braddock died. Washington buried him in the middle of the road, then marched troops over the grave so Indians wouldn’t find it.
“We have been beaten,” said Washington. “Most shamefully beaten by a handful of men.”