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the most profound silence reigned over this wild territory. The only countenance among them which was clouded with care or concern was that of Washington, who, as he rode beside the general, vainly represented that the profound silence and apparent solitude of the gloomy scenes around them afforded no security in American warfare against deadly and imminent danger. Again, and still vainly, did he offer to scour the woods in front and on the left with the provincial troops. The general treated his fears as the effects of fever upon his brain, and the provincials were ordered to form the rear-guard of the detachment.

About noon they reached the second crossing-place, within ten miles of Fort Duquesne, and at one o'clock had all crossed the river in safety. Three hundred men under Colonel Gage formed the advanced party, which was closely followed by a party of two hundred; and last of all followed the general with the main body, consisting of about seven hundred men, the artillery and baggage.

After crossing the river, the road along which they marched led for about a half a mile through a low plain, and then commenced a gradual ascent of about three degrees, the prospect being shut in by hills in the distance. About a hundred and fifty yards from the bottom of this inclined plain, and about equi-distant from the road leading to the fort, commenced two ravines, from eight to ten feet deep, which led off in different directions until they terminated in the plain below. Covered as these ravines were with

trees and long grass, and the British having no scouts, it was impossible for them to discover their existence without approaching within a few feet of them. Up this inclined plain, between these ravines, General Braddock led his army on the afternoon of the 9th of July.

While the English were thus leisurely advancing, the scouts of the French kept the commandant of Fort Duquesne accurately informed of their motions and their numbers. Believing the small force under his command wholly inadequate to the defence of the fort against three thousand men, with a formidable park of artillery, as his scouts had represented them, he was hesitating what course to pursue, when Captain de Beaujeu offered to lead a small party of French and Indians to meet the enemy and harass his march. It required a great deal of persuasion to induce the Indians to engage in what they considered an impossible undertaking, but possessing their confidence, he finally subdued their unwillingness, and induced about six hundred of them to accompany him. With these and about two hundred and fifty French and Canadians, he intended to occupy the banks of the Monongahela, and harass the English as they crossed the river. It was only on the morning of the 9th, that he was ready to start on this expedition, and when he arrived near the river his spies reported that Braddock had already crossed. Finding that he was too late to pursue his original plan, De Beaujeu placed his followers in the ravines before mentioned, between which the English were seen advancing along the road.

When the three hundred under Gage came near the head of the ravines, a heavy discharge of musketry was poured in upon their front, and immediately after another upon their left flank. This was the first notice which they had of the presence of an enemy. Braddock was completely surprised. Gage ordered his men to fire, and though no enemy was visible, yet they poured such a discharge upon the spot where the smoke of the first fire was still to be seen, that the Indians, believing that it proceeded from artillery, were upon the point of retreating. Their indecision was but for an instant, for the advance falling back on the main body, threw them into confusion; and instead of following the example of the Indians and taking to the trees, or opening upon their invisible foe a discharge of grape, they were ordered by Braddock to maintain their ranks and advance. Captain De Beaujeu was killed by the first discharge of Gage's men, and Captain Dumas, who succeeded him in the command, immediately rallied the Indians,

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and sending them down the ravines, ordered them to attack the enemy on each flank, while he, with the French and Canadians, maintained his position in front. Then commenced a terrible carnage. The British, panic-struck and bewildered, huddled together in squads, heeded not the commands of their officers, who were riding about madly urging them to advance, but they only fled from one side of the field to be met by the fire of an invisible foe on the other side; and then they would gather in small parties as if they hoped to shield themselves behind the bodies of their friends; firing without aim, oftener shooting down their own officers and men than Indians. Their only hope would now have been to separate, rush behind the trees, and fight man to man with their assailants; but Braddock insisted on forming them into platoons and columns, in order to make regular discharges, which struck only the trees, or tore up the ground in front. The Virginians alone seemed to retain their senses. Notwithstanding the prohibition of the general, they no sooner knew the enemy with whom they had to deal, than they adopted the Indian mode of fighting, and each for himself, behind a tree, manifested bravery worthy of a better fate.

Meanwhile the French and Indians, secure behind their natural breastworks, aimed deliberately, first at the officers on horseback, and then at others, each shot bringing down a man. The leaders, selected by unerring aim, fell first. Captains Orme and Morris, two of the three aides-de-camp, were wounded early in the action, and Washington was the only person left to distribute the general's orders, which he was scarcely able to do, as he was not more than half recovered from his illness. Notwithstanding the neglect with which his warnings had been treated, he still aided his general with his mental as well as his physical powers; though the troops lay thick around him in slaughtered heaps, he still gave the aid of salutary counsel to his ill-fated chief, and urged it with all the grace of eloquence, and all the force of conviction. Riding in every direction, his manly form drew the attention of the savages, and they doomed him to destruction. The murdering rifles were levelled, the quick bullets flew winged with death, and pierced his garments; but, obedient to the Sovereign will, they dared not shed his blood. One chieftain especially singled Washington out as a conspicuous mark, fired his rifle at him many times, and ordered his young warriors to do the same, until they became convinced that he was under the especial protection of the Great Spirit, and would never die in battle, when they

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