Braddock's Expedition

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BRADDOCK'S EXPEDITION, unsucessful British attempt to capture Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) during the French and Indian War. On 14 April 1755 General Edward Braddock, the commander of all British forces in America, was dispatched with two regiments. The first objective was Fort Duquesne. The regulars, the colonials, and a small contingent of Indian allies rendezvoused at Fort Cumberland to start for Fort Duquesne by the route later called Braddock's Road. The army, 2,200 men strong, started west on 7 June but had advanced only to Little Meadows (near Grantsville, Maryland) by 16 June. On the advice of Lieutenant Colonel George Washington, his aide-de-camp, Braddock left his heavier supplies behind and pushed on rapidly with some 1,200 men and a minimum of artillery.

Meanwhile, from Fort Duquesne, Captain Daniel Beaujeu led some 250 French soldiers and 600 Indians to oppose Braddock. When the two parties met unexpectedly on 9 July, the British opened fire, putting most of the French to flight and killing Beaujeu. Beaujeu's sub-ordinate rallied the Indians to seize an unoccupied hill and to surround the British line. The van of the English, falling back, became entangled with the main body, and order was lost. The British stood under a galling fire for three hours before Braddock ordered a retreat. The general and many of the officers were killed, and the retreat became a rout.

Colonel William Dunbar, now in command, retreated to Fort Cumberland. Refusing the request of Virginia and Pennsylvania to build a fort at Raystown (Bed-ford, Pennsylvania) and defend the frontier, he marched to Philadelphia in August and left the border to suffer Indian raids. Although Braddock's expedition failed, it demonstrated that an army could march over the Alleghenies, it taught the troops something of Indian fighting, and its very mistakes contributed to the success of the Forbes Expedition in 1758.


Cohen, Sheldon S. "Major William Sparke along the Monongahela." Pennsylvania History 62, no. 4 (1995): 546–556.

Kopperman, Paul E. Braddock at the Monongahela. Pittsburgh, Pa.: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1976.

Pargellis, Stanley. "Braddock's Defeat." American Historical Re-view 41, no. 2 (January 1936): 253–269.

Solon J.Buck/a. r.

See alsoAllegheny Mountains, Routes Across ; Duquesne, Fort ; Monongahela, Battle of the .

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Braddock's Expedition

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