Tuesday, April 26, 2022

unduly optimistic..............................

Braddock marching to Fort Duquesne

Franklin developed a mixed view of Braddock.  "This general was, I think, a brave man, and might probably have made a figure as a good officer in some European war," he said afterward.  "But he had too much self-confidence, too high an opinion of the validity of regular troops, and too mean a one of both Americans and Indians."  Braddock had boasted of the victories he would swiftly win. . . . 
French and Indians not cooperating

     Franklin thought Braddock unduly optimistic.  He tried to point this out.  "To be sure, sir, if you arrive well before Duquesne, with these fine troops, so well provided with artillery, that place, not yet completely fortified, and as we hear with no very strong garrison, can probably make but a short resistance.  The only danger I apprehend of obstruction to your march is from ambuscades of Indians, who, by constant practice, are dexterous in laying and executing them; and the slender line, near four miles long, which your army must make, may expose it to be attacked by surprise in its flanks, and to be cut like a thread into several pieces, which, from their distance, cannot come up in time to support each other."

     Braddock would have none of it.  "He smiled at my ignorance," Franklin recalled, "and replied, 'These savages may, indeed be a formidable enemy to your raw American militia, but upon the king's regular and disciplined troops, sir, it is impossible they should make any impression.'"

     Franklin fell silent.  "I was conscious of an impropriety in my disputing with a military man in matters of his profession, and said no more."

-H. W. Brands, Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in The American Revolution

Braddock mortally wounded

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