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Notwithstanding the stipulation that the CHAP. I. troops should be unmolested on their march, 1754. heavy complaints were made of their being plundered and maltreated by the Indians. The cause of their complaints was perhaps unavoidable; for it was always found extremely difficult to secure, on the part of these troublesome allies and formidable enemies, an observance of engagements.
Great credit was given to colonel Washington by his countrymen, for the courage displayed on this occasion; and the legislature were so satisfied with the conduct of the party, as to vote their thanks * to him and the officers under his command. They also gave three hundred pistoles to be distributed among the
* To the vote of thanks, the officers made the following reply:
“ We the officers of the Virginia regiment, are highly sensible of the particular mark of distinction with which you have honoured us, in returning your thanks for our behaviour in the late action; and cannot help testifying our grateful acknowledgments, for your “ high sense" of what we shall always esteem a duty to our country and the best of kings.
Favoured with your regard, we shall zealously endeavour to deserve your applause, and by our future actions, strive to convince the worshipful house of burgesses, how much we esteem their approbation, and as it ought to be, regard it as the voice of our country.
Signed for the whole corps,
CHAP. I. soldiers engaged in the action, as a reward for 1754. their bravery.
The regiment returned to Winchester to be recruited, and the companies expected from North Carolina and Maryland having arrived, governor Dinwiddie, without attending to the condition or number of the forces, ordered them, on the advice of council, immediately to march over the Alleghany mountains, either to dispossess the French of their fort, or to build one in some proper place in the country.
The little army in Virginia, which was placed
under the command of colonel Innes from North August. Carolina, did not, as now re-enforced, exceed
half the number of the enemy, and was unprovided with the means of moving, or with those supplies for a winter campaign, which are so particularly necessary in the severe climate where they were about to act. With as little consideration, directions were given for the immediate completion of the regiment, without furnishing a single shilling with which to recruit a man. Although Virginia had long basked in the sunshine of peace, it seems difficult to
account for such inconsiderate and ill judged September. measures. Colonel Washington remonstrated
strongly against these orders, but prepared, as far as possible, to execute them. The assembly, however, having risen in a few days, without making any provision whatever for the further prosecution of the war, this wild expedition was for the present relinquished.
After the season for action was over, the CHAP. I. Virginia regiment was reduced to independent 1754. companies; and in the course of the winter, orders were received for settling the rank of the officers of his majesty's forces when joined, or serving with the provincial forces in North . America; which directed, that all officers commissioned by the king, or by his general commanding in chief in North America, should take rank of all officers commissioned by the governors of the respective provinces. And further, that the general and field officers of the provincial troops, should have no rank when serving with the general and field officers commissioned by the crown; but that all captains, and other inferior officers of the royal troops, should take rank over provincial officers of the same grade, having senior commissions.
Though his original attachment to a military life had been rather increased by the applauses bestowed on his first essay in arms, colonel Washington possessed too entirely the proud and punctilious feelings of a soldier, to submit to a degradation so humiliating as this. Professing his unabated inclination to continue in the service, he retired indignantly from it, and answered the various letters which he received pressing him still to hold his commission, with assurances that, he would serve with pleasure when he should be enabled to do so without dishonour,
CHAP. I. His eldest brother mr. Lawrence Washington, 1754. who had been engaged in the expedition against
Carthagena, had lately died, and left him a considerable estate on the Potowmack, which, in compliment to the admiral who commanded the fleet engaged in that enterprise, by whom he had been particularly noticed, he had called Mount Vernon. To this delightful spot, colonel Washington now withdrew, resolving to devote all his future attention to the avocations of private life. This resolution was not long main
tained. 1755. General Braddock being informed of his
merit, his knowledge of the country which was to be the theatre of action, and his motives for retiring from the service,.... motives, which that officer could not disapprove; gratified his desire to make one campaign under a person supposed to possess some knowledge of the
art of war, by inviting him to enter into his Is appointed family as a volunteer aid-de-camp. This invi..
tation, colonel Washington readily accepted, stipulating only for permission to employ himself in the arrangement of his private affairs, until the general should be on his march, and that he might return to them, when the active
part of the campaign should be over. April. Colonel Washington joined general Brad.
dock immediately after his departure from Alexandria, and proceeded with him to Wills' creek, afterwards called fort Cumberland, where
aid-de-camp to general Braddock.
the army was detained, waiting for waggons, CHAP. I. horses, and proper supplies of provisions, until 1755. about the 12th of June. From his knowledge of the service to be performed, he very early suggested the propriety of using, to a considerable extent, pack horses instead of waggons, for the baggage of the army. This advice was June. at first rejected; but soon after the commencement of the march, its propriety became too obvious to be longer neglected, and considerable changes were made in this respect.
The army consisted of two British regiments, with a few corps of provincials. On the third Fifteenth. day after it had moved from its ground, and had marched but a little more than ten miles from fort Cumberland, colonel Washington was seized with a raging fever, which absolutely disabled him from riding on horseback. Persisting, however, in his refusal to remain behind the troops, he was conveyed with them in a covered waggon. General Braddock, who found the difficulties of the march, arising from the badness of the roads, and his long train of waggons, infinitely greater than had been expected, still continued privately to consult colonel Washington respecting the measures it would now be most proper to pursue. Retaining his first impressions on the manner of conducting the march, he strenuously urged the general to leave his heavy artillery and baggage behind, with the rear division of the army, to