Edward Braddock

Edward Braddock

General Edward Braddock (January 1695 – July 13, 1755) was a British soldier and commander-in-chief for North America during the actions at the start of the French and Indian War (1754–1763).

Braddock was born in Perthshire, Scotland circa 1695. His father, Major-General Edward Braddock, died in 1725. His military career started with the Coldstream Guards in 1710. 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. He died in battle trying to take Fort Duquesne

Appointed shortly afterwards to command against the French in America, he landed in Virginia on February 19, 1755 with two regiments of British regulars. He met with several of the colonial governors at the Congress of Alexandria on April 14 and was persuaded to undertake vigorous actions against the French. He planned four separate initiatives; Governor Shirley of 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, 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 July 9, 1755, and almost immediately afterwards encountered an Indian and French force. Braddock's troops were completely surprised and routed, and Braddock, rallying his men time after time, fell at last, mortally wounded by a shot through the right arm and into his lung.

Braddock was carried off the field by Washington and another officer, and died on July 13, 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.
*In 1804, human remains believed to be Braddock's were discovered 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.
*General Braddock is the namesake of Braddock, Pennsylvania.


* [http://www.nps.gov/fone/braddock.htm Fort Necessity National Battlefield]
* [http://www.nndb.com/people/077/000049927/ NNDB]

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