Primary Resource

Letter from George Washington to John Augustine Washington (July 18, 1755)

In this letter to his brother John Augustine Washington, dated July 18, 1755, George Washington describes the defeat that General Edward Braddock and his army of British regulars faced at the hands of a smaller contingent of French soldiers and Indian allies. Washington served on Braddock's staff as a volunteer aide, and while he escaped unscathed, Braddock was killed.

Transcription from Original

To John Augustine Washington

Fort Cumberland, Md., 18 July 1755]

To Mr Jno. Auge Washington, Mo.t Vernon.

Dear Brother,

As I have heard; since my arrival at this place, a circumstantial account of my death and dying speech; I take this early opportunity of contradicting the first, and of assuring you, that I have not, as yet, composed the latter.—But, by the All-powerful Dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four Bullets through my Coat, and two Horses shot under me; yet escaped unhurt, altho[ugh] Death was leveling my Companions on every side of me!

We have been most scandalously beaten by a trifling body of men;—but fatigue, and want of time, prevent me from giving you any of the details, untill I have the happiness of seeing you at Mount Vernon; which I now most ardently wish for, since we are drove in thus far.—A weak and feeble state of Health, obliges me to halt here for two or three days to recover a little strength, that I may thereby

— page 2 —

be enabled to proceed homewards with more ease: You may expect to see me there, on Saturday or Sunday fortnight, which is as soon as I can well be down; as I shall take my Bullskin Plantations in my way.—Pray give my compliments to all my Friends.—I am, Dr Jack,

Your most aff.e Brother,
G. W——n