Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Trial of Edward Braddock part 1

Part First: The Charges Brought, by the movie Alone Yet Not Alone


It came to pass one day that I read a book telling the story of the French and Indian War.  As I read, I contemplated the characters who acted in it: George Washington, Sieur de Jumonville, the Half-King, and General Edward Braddock.  Braddock especially intrigued me.  Here was a man courageous in battle yet defeated and killed by Native American Indians and French Canadians.  Did Braddock’s defeat stem from the fact that he had no Indians on his side?  Was Braddock merely unfortunate, or did he deliberately drive his natives away, atoning for his mistake with his death?


I heard a slight noise as a gentleman in a red coat with gold lace sat down near me.  Looking up, I realized that I was in a courtroom, which was rapidly filling up.  Oddly enough, I sat in a chair in the middle of the court while benches in the two halves of the court contained the rest of the crowd.  On one side I noticed an Indian chieftain seated next to a pioneer settler; on the other, a female actress and a soldier in a red coat.  It was clear that every one was deeply interested in the case.  The audience was, probably wisely, separated into pro and con, defendants and prosecutors.


“Oyez!  Oyez!  Oyez!” shouted the bailiff.  “This honorable court will now come to order to consider the case of Edward Braddock.  In brief, the charges are as follows: Edward Braddock, major-general in the British Army under George II, conducted himself in the 13 colonies with arrogance, and treated with reckless contempt his Indian allies.  This neglect and dereliction of duty caused his defeat and death at the Battle of the Monongahela on July 9, 1755.  The prosecutor will now present his evidence.”


Edward Braddock, from the movie Alone Yet Not Alone
The prosecutor stepped forward and began to read as follows:


Colonel George Washington: “The chiefs of all six tribes request an audience with Your Excellency.”

General Edward Braddock: “Colonel Washington, can’t you see I have no time for savages?”

Washington: “Sir, the chiefs bring with them over 400 warriors.  They will prove invaluable as we near Fort Duquense.”

Braddock: “Invaluable?  Are you suggesting His Majesty’s finest regiments require the assistance of untrained, illiterate savages to win in this battle?”

Washington: “They are masters of stealth and ambush.  We can employ them to protect our flanks.  Your troops cannot shoot an enemy they cannot see.”

Braddock: “Washington, you weary me.  Very well.  Give me a moment and then show them in.”

Washington: “General Braddock, may I present the great Delaware chief, Shingas.

Chief Shingas of the Delaware: “General, my people have lived, hunted on these lands from the beginning of time.  Now we willingly share these lands with the English.  We join you in driving French from these lands.  We ask only once the French are gone, that you grant us lands for hunting to feed our children.”

Braddock: “Never!  Only the British shall inherit this land.”

Shingas: “General, we willingly take up the tomahawk against the French.  We defend your cause with our lives.”

Braddock: “His Majesty’s troops do not need you to win this battle.  No savage shall ever inherit this land.  Is that clear?  Now, begone.” (1)


  1. This transcript is from the movie Alone Yet Not Alone.  For more about this movie, see www.aloneyetnotalone.com

1 comment:

  1. I also have a major interest in Gen. Braddock, and wrote my own post on his relationship with Washington here: http://thefellowshipoftheking.net/2015/08/13/passing-the-mantle-the-complex-relationship-between-general-edward-braddock-and-colonel-george-washington/