About a dozen years before the Revolutionary War, tensions increased in America between the British and the French with their Indian allies, resulting in battles.
The most notable period of the French and Indian Wars lasted from 1754 to 1763. It is considered the first global war, as allies of the French and English fought all around the world.
On July 9, 1755, about 1,400 British troops marched over the Appalachian Mountains to seize French Fort Duquesne, near present day Pittsburgh.
As they marched through a deep wooded ravine along the Monongahela River eight miles from the fort, they were ambushed by French regulars, Canadians, and Potawatomi and Ottawa Indians.
Not accustomed to fighting unless in an open field, over 900 British soldiers were annihilated.
It was known as the Battle of the Wilderness or Battle of Monongahela.
23-year-old Virginia Colonel George Washington rode back and forth during the battle delivering orders for General Edward Braddock, the Commander-in-Chief of British forces in America.
Eventually, Braddock was killed and every officer on horseback was shot, except Washington.
Washington carried Braddock from the field.
Braddock’s field desk was captured, revealing all of the British military plans, enabling the French to surprise and defeat British forces in succeeding battles at Fort Oswego, Fort William Henry, Fort Duquesne, and Carillon. The Iroquois tribes of Senecas and Cayugas decided to switch their allegiance to the French.
Washington presided at the burial service for General Braddock, as the chaplain was wounded. Braddock’s body was buried in the middle of the road so as to prevent his body from being found and desecrated.
Shortly thereafter, writing from Fort Cumberland, George Washington described the Battle of Monongahela to his younger brother, John Augustine Washington, JULY 18, 1755:
“As I have heard, since my arrival at this place, a circumstantial account of my death and dying speech, I take this early opportunity of contradicting the first, and of assuring you, that I have not as yet composed the latter. But by the All-Powerful Dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!”
An Indian warrior later declared:
“Washington was never born to be killed by a bullet! I had seventeen fair fires at him with my rifle and after all could not bring him to the ground!”
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.
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