Washington Is Hailed As a Hero in Rallying the British Forces After Braddock’s Defeat at the Battle of the Monongahela
After the Battle of Fort Necessity, even though George Washington was hailed as a hero, the colonial governors decided to have the colonial governor of Maryland lead an expedition against the French at Fort Duquesne, even though he had no military experience. Also, it was decided to divide the Virginia forces into three units to be headed by Captains, thus effectively demoting George Washington. As a consequence, Washington decided to resign his commission and return home to Mount Vernon. Washington changed his mind, however, and volunteered his services as a volunteer aide-de-camp to British Major General Edward Braddock when he was sent with two regiments of British regular troops to lead the expedition against the French Fort Duquesne. Landing in Alexandria, Virginia on February 20, 1755, Braddock took several months to make preparations. By June, however, Braddock’s expedition set out, with Washington joining the expedition in Cumberland, Maryland. By July 9, 1755, Braddock’s forces had finally reached the banks of the Monongahela not far from it joined with the Allegheny River to form the Ohio River (i.e. the Forks of the Ohio) where Fort Duquesne was located. Shortly afterwards, the lead column of Braddock’s army led by General Braddock and accompanied by George Washington was ambushed by French and Indian forces with all of the British officers, including General Braddock, killed. What saved Braddock’s army was George Washington who rallied the forces and led them in retreat. Washington then rode through the entire night to bring reinforcements from Braddock’s forces that were in the rear. As a consequence, George Washington was hailed as the hero of the Battle of the Monongahela.