Monday, March 4, 2019

French Hostilities (1755) #genealogy #virginiapioneersnet

French Hostilities

Port of SupplyAlexandria became the military port of supply. The French hostilities in the region stirred up the Indians until the government of His Majesty became sufficiently exercised to dispatch an officer of the line, Major General Edward Braddock, two warships in which were stowed a fine arsenal of powder, rifles, and cannon, and two regiments of regulars. Word reached Alexandria in February of the arrival of Braddock in Williamsburg and that he and the Governor were in conference. The first result of this conference was a letter to "Mr. George Washington" written on March 2, 1755, and dispatched in the person of General Braddock's aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Robert Orme, requesting the presence of Mr. Washington. A second decision reached in Williamsburg was one that resounded along the Atlantic seaboard - to call a conference of the colonial governors to consider ways and means of waging the coming campaign against the French. Alexandria was chosen as a meeting place and the day set was April 14, 1755. In the meantime, the English warships Sea Horse and Nightingale under command of Admiral Keppel arrived in Alexandria. Two of His Majesty's regiments disembarked from the sea-grimed ships and the Redcoats in formation marched to the northwest of the town led by Colonel Sir Peter Halket and Colonel Dunbar. After the exchange of several letters, Colonel Washington volunteered to go unpaid with General Braddock on the campaign. All at once the town of Alexandria was overrun with governors. From Williamsburg came Dinwiddie; from Maryland, Governor Sharpe; from Massachusetts, Governor Shirley; from New York, Governor De Lancey; and from Pennsylvania, Governor Morris. Neither dress nor ceremony had yet been curtailed by the drabness of Democracy. Each governor arrived with a retinue of secretaries, attendants, and aides; each by coach, decorated in gilded scrolls and colorful arms, drawn by four to six horses; each governor resplendent in wig and powder, silken hose, coats of brocade, velvet or broadcloth, waistcoats of satin or damask, embroidered and braided, shirts of finest linen, betucked and belaced, and attended by servants in livery as colorful as their masters. The town was crowded, taverns full and private houses were put at the disposal of these visitors. Dinners and balls followed the serious councils of the day, which lasted until eleven or twelve o'clock at night. Redcoats were everywhere. The conference over, pomp and pageantry departed, but not before Mr. Washington and General Braddock had disagreed heartily on the fashion of waging warfare. The . . . more . . .

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