Major-General (1754-55) and Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in North America (1755)
born January 1695, Perthshire, Scotland
died July 13, 1755, Great Meadows, North America
Edward Braddock was the son of Major-General Edward Braddock of the 2nd Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards.
On October 11 1710, Braddock was appointed ensign in the 2nd Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards.
In 1716, Braddock was promoted to lieutenant of the grenadier company of the 2nd Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards.
On May 26 1718, Braddock fought a duel in Hyde Park with Colonel Waller, using swords and pistols.
In 1736, Braddock was promoted to captain in the 2nd Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards (equivalent to the rank of lieutenant-colonel in a regiment of line infantry).
In 1743, Braddock was promoted to major in the 2nd Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards.
On November 21 1745, Braddock was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in the 2nd Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards.
During the War of the Austrian Succession, in 1747, Braddock served in the Netherlands at the siege of Bergen op Zoom.
On February 17 1753, Braddock was appointed colonel of the 14th Regiment of Foot.
In 1754, Braddock was promoted major-general. Shortly afterwards, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America.
On January 14 1755, Major-General Edward Braddock sailed from Cork in Ireland with the 44th Regiment of Foot and the 48th Regiment of Foot, each numbering 500 men. On February 20, his expeditionary force arrived at Hampton near Williamsburg in Virginia. The two regiments were then ordered to march up the Potomac to Alexandria. On April 14, Braddock met with several of the colonial governors at the Congress of Alexandria. During this congress, it was decided to launch four offensives against the French:
- Major-General William Shirley, the British governor of Massachusetts would lead an expedition against Fort Niagara on Lake Ontario;
- Major-General William Johnson would lead an expedition against Fort Saint-Frédéric (present-day Crown Point) on Lake Champlain;
- Colonel Robert Monckton would lead an expedition against Fort Beauséjour in Acadia;
- Braddock would personally lead an expedition against Fort Duquesne at the Forks of the Ohio.
After some months of preparation, in which he was hampered by administrative confusion and want of resources previously promised by the colonials, Braddock took the field with a force of 2,150 officers and men, in which George Washington served as a volunteer officer. On May 10, the expeditionary force reached Fort Cumberland, its base at the junction of Wills' Creek with the Potomac. On June 10, Braddock's force left Fort Cumberland and began its long march through the forest towards Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburgh), a distance of about 150 km. On June 19, Braddock took 1,200 selected men and marched forward, leaving most of his men behind at Little Meadows. During his advance, Braddock created a gap of some 60 km between his division and Dunbar leading a second division of about 1,000 men to escort provision stores and heavy baggage. On July 9, Braddock's column was only 16 km from Fort Duquesne when it clashed with Beaujeu's force advancing to meet it in the engagement of the Monongahela. The French were behind defences in front and the Indians on each flank. Braddock had five horses shot under him and was himself severely injured before being carried off the field. The British force was crushingly defeated and broke into rout. On July 11, Braddock was carried into Dunbar's camp. More than 100 wagons and stores that could not be brought back to Fort Cumberland were burned. Guns, howitzers and shell were burst or buried. What remained of the British expeditionary force now retreated towards Fort Cumberland, still 96 km to the rear. On Sunday July 13, the retreating British force reached Great Meadows where, at about 8:00 p.m., General Braddock died. Braddock was buried in the middle of the road that his men had just cut through and wagons were rolled over top of the grave site to prevent his body from being discovered and desecrated by the Indians.
This article borrows most of its texts for the period before 1755 from the Wikipedia article Edward Braddock, retrieved on January 10 2014
The section on the campaign of 1755 is mostly derived from our articles depicting the campaign and the ensuing engagement.
Encyclopaedia Britannica – Edward Braddock, retrieved on January 10 2014
Quebec History – Edward Braddock, Marianopolis College, retrieved on January 10 2014