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Michigan Chapter Eight

Border Wars of the Colonists

Braddock himself was conspicuous for his bravery. Four horses were killed under him and he mounted a fifth. Three of his most gallant officers were wounded severely, including Gates and Gage, who afterward became noted officers on opposite sides in the war of the revolution, and Gladwin, who eight years later defended Detroit against Pontiac. The latter Indian chief was a conspicuous figure on the French side, having led a rabble of Ottawas from Detroit. The British troops wholly ignorant of this kind of fighting were soon on the run. Braddock seeing that the day was lost undertook to rally the men for an orderly retreat and while doing so was shot through the body. He was rescued by some of his gallant companions and borne to a place of safety. But his wounds were fatal and he expired three days later. The English lost in this engagement eighty-six officers and sixty-three men killed and disabled. The loss of the French was slight, being only three officers killed and four wounded. The principal fatalities on that side were among the Indians, but the number was never definitely known. The retreat of the English became in fact a rout. Everything not hurriedly removable was destroyed. More than a hundred wagons were burned; cannon, shells and ammunition were buried or thrown into the river; provisions were scattered through the woods and swamps. The result was that the French Were left in complete possession of the country. Thus exposed to the ravages of the victorious savages there was great apprehension among the dwellers on the frontier. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia strongly supported by Washington, exerted himself for the re-organization of the expedition to renew the attack upon the fort. But Colonel Dunbar, upon whom the command of the regular troops devolved, marched them off to Philadelphia and left the frontiersmen to shift for themselves. The result was as had been foreseen; the country was ravaged in the most barbarous fashion.

Michigan


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