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march, and that night reached the great meadows. Braddock was sinking very rapidly and was so weak that Noah Stevens predicted he would not live until morning.
His defeat had broken the proud spirit of the British general. He was silent most of the evening after the battle, only ejaculating occasionally through the night:
“ Who would have thought it?” The day after the battle, he was weaker and still silent; yet hope lingered in his breast, for he exclaimed with a sigh:
“ We will know better how to deal with them another time.”
He was very grateful for the attentions paid him by Captain Stewart, Washington and Stevens, and more than once when roused from his melancholy reveries, he expressed his admiration of the Virginians. During the night of the 13th, General Edward Braddock died from his wound, at the Great Meadows, the place of Washington's discomfiture in the previous year.
His grave was dug in the wilderness, and he was buried just before the break of day. With torches the soldiers gathered about the open grave, where, the chaplain being wounded, Washington read the funeral service, and the body of the haughty Briton was lowered to its last restingplace.
THE WAR CLOUD GROWS DARKER.
The war, that for a space did fail,
ENGLISHMEN are noted for tenacity, and Braddock's signal defeat did not discourage either the home government or the colonies. Braddock was severely censured for his obstinacy, and Washington and the Virginians praised for their coolness and bravery. The defeat of Braddock was calculated to inspire the Virginians with confidence in themselves. They had saved the army; regulars were not invincible, and the French and Indians had never had any great terrors for the continental militia, when they were anything like equal in numbers.
Governor Shirley was appointed Braddock's successor in the chief command of all the English forces in America. He had led an expedition to operate against Forts Niagara and Frontenac, which, though it did not accomplish much, suffered
no such disaster as Braddock's had. The march from Albany to Oswego, on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, was through a wilderness and very fatiguing, and, when he arrived at the latter place in August, his little army of fifteen hundred men was much reduced by sickness and dispirited by the news of Braddock's disaster. The New York assembly had freely voted men and money for this expedition, and the Six Nations had promised many warriors; but, despite all their rosy-hued promises, not more than twenty-five hundred able-bodied men were in camp at Oswego on the first of September.
Shirley was energetic and not in the least disheartened, nor did he allow any of his men to become so. He began strengthening the post at Oswego by the construction of two stronger forts in addition to the dilapidated little structure which he found there. A fort was on each side of the Oswego River. Fort Pepperell, which was afterward changed to Fort Oswego, was on the west side, and had a strong stone wall, with square towers. Fort Ontario, on the east, was built of huge logs and earth. Shirley built vessels to bear his troops on the bosom of the lake to their future destination, which was Canada; but re-enforcements came not, and the storms of Autumn swept over Ontario, threatening again and again the destruction of their little fleet.
At last, disheartened by the continued delay, he left seven hundred men to garrison the fort and marched back to Albany with the remainder, where he arrived late in October. There he made vigor. ous preparations for re-enforcing and supplying the garrison at Oswego, for the Marquis de Montcalm, a distinguished French soldier, was then governor of Canada, and would be likely to pursue aggressive measures the following spring. Having been appointed to fill the vacancy made by Braddock's death, Shirley returned to Massachusetts, leaving William Alexander, his secretary, in New York.
By far the most successful expedition of the year was one entrusted to leadership of William Johnson, who held great influence over the Indians in the Mohawk valley. He was unencumbered with regulars, his army consisting chiefly of Indians and New England militia, the latter from Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, while his Indians were from the Mohawk valley. These were assembled at Albany, the New England men having Phineas Lyman for their chief commander. There were also some New York and New Jersey militia with the army, when, in July, it was at the head of small-boat navigation on the Hudson, fifty miles above Albany.
The army now numbered about six thousand able-bodied men, and among them were Putnam
and Stark, men destined to become immortal in the history of their country.
While waiting on the banks of the upper Hudson for Johnson to join him, Lyman constructed a fort, which was named after himself; but, on the arrival of Johnson in August, he changed the name to Fort Edward. This was no doubt done because of the jealousy of Johnson, who evidently did not relish the popularity of his lieutenant. On his arrival, Johnson assumed command of the troops, and, with the main body, he marched to the head of a beautiful lake, about a dozen miles long which the French called Holy Sacrament, but which Johnson, in compliment to the king of England, changed to Lake George, which name it bears to this day.
At Lake George, he formed a camp of five thousand men, protected on the north by the lake and on both flanks by impassable morasses and tangled forests. Having accomplished this much, the troops waited in idleness the coming of the wagons, while the Indians, not dreaming of the approach of an enemy, roamed the forests at will.
The French were not idle, meanwhile. They had heard of the efforts being made to seize Crown Point, and were making every preparation to defend that post. Vaudreuil, the governor of Canada, had called to arms every able-bodied man in the