Taking four days to travel twelve miles, they had no idea whatever of woodland warfare. Washington complained that they had to stop to flatten every mole hill and build a bridge across every stream. Their general had been trained in the wars in Europe, where it was believed ungentlemanly to duck, even if you saw a cannonball coming straight for you. These were the men that toasted each other before battle, and would offer the other the chance to fire first, which would be politely declined. They would march in neat rows right at cannons and lines of men with guns, get mowed down in masses, while their officers ordered them not to flinch but march as the men in front of them were knocked down like dominoes.
When a detachment of scouting Indians and Frenchmen fired on them, they formed up into nice neat rows in the middle of a clearing and began to fire back. The Indians and their French allies lay down behind logs and picked them off. Men on horses were the first ones killed and wounded, Braddock among them. In all the Americans and British lost 900 men, the French and Indians about 16.
With the commanding general down, Washington began to order men about. He had two horses shot out from under, his hat shot off, and four bullets passed through his coat. He was later told by an Indian chief that the man had ordered his men to shoot the man on the horse, but that they could not kill Washington. Finally the chief fired on him, but was mortified that he could not die.
God, Washington said, had Providentially protected him, while “death was leveling my companions on every side.”
I need not state what history would look like, if we had had a revolution, minus Washington.
Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott