General Edward Braddock
General in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in North America
Braddock's March 2005
In Camp with General Braddock
April 16-17, 2005 in Winchester, Virginia
A French & Indian War Living History Camp
In Camp with General Braddock, the event in Winchester commemorating Gen. Braddock's march through the northern Shenandoah Valley and West Virginia, was more than just a camp reenactment. Because the event was sponsored by three different organizations with different missions and perspectives there were various activities both to entertain and to educate. Through the efforts of Mr. Bill Austin of Shenandoah University's History and Tourism Center, the attendees were treated to several very enlightening lectures by noted local experts.
The Lecture Series
The house at Abram's Delight is perfectly suited for an event such as this. Not only is it authentic to the period, but the rooms are very suitable for displays.
The front room had a video reviewing the causes and consequences of the campaign as well as some authentic Braddock road artifacts (note the cannon ball on the floor under the table) and a banner of Col. Washington's Frontier Forts Association. Just to the rigth are the soldiers of the Virginia Regiment.
The next room had a display about the forts of the Virginia Frontier, a 44th Regiment soldier's uniform, two cases of artifacts and, of course, woodwork and furniture of the period.
Our sponsors were very pleased to have a display of eighteenth century artifacts including some from Braddock sites in Pennsylvania . This display was made possible through the generous cooperation of the Braddock Road Preservation Association of Jumonville, Pennsylvania. The collection, only a part of which is shown here, consists of both military and civilian items.
These artifacts were all taken from sites along the route of Gen. Braddock's march including Col. Dunbar's camp at Jumonville.
Another item on display was a reproduction of the uniform of a soldier of Col. Halkett's 44th Regiment. This item was loaned by Mr. Steve Knuckles.
The coats color is the standard red from which we get the term, "Redcoats." It is the facing and sleves of the coat which give it its distinguishing character that marks each particular regiment. The coat's facings are yellow, the color which was the background color for the Regimental ensign. The tape-lace is white, with a yellow stripe and black and blue waved lines (sawtooth shape). The loops or bars of lace across the front of the coat are a distinguishing mark for each regiment and those of the 44th are square-ended loops of equal distances. Both officers and enlisted men had silver buttons of equal spacing.
Virginia Regiment Uniforms
Brightly uniformed British Regulars were not the only soldiers on the campaign. The Virginia Regiment was there in their new blue uniforms. On display were models of the old and the new Regimental uniform. On the left is the original red uniform of the Virginia Regiment at the time of the Battle of Fort Necessity. We believe that most soldiers at that battle wore civilian clothes because their uniforms had not yet arrived, but the red uniform was the standard for 1754. When the Regiment was reorganized by Gov. Dinwiddie, it had the blue uniforms shown on the right. There is a contemporary account of the Battle of the Monongohela where a Virginian refers to the "Virginia Blues."
The Virginia Frontier
Another display inside of Abram's Delight was created by Fort Edwards for this event. It told about the Virginia frontier and its forts during the French and Indian War. One of the most striking graphics was an aerial photograph of the entire route of Gen. Braddock's march showing the mountainous terrain that so challenged the army. Another drawing showed Fort Loudoun in Winchester that Col. Washington built after the defeat to protect the settlers on the frontier. There was also an artist's concept drawing of the stockade wall that has been discovered at the Fort Edwards archaeological site. The display gives the viewer an insight into the effect that Braddock's defeat had on the colonial frontier.
There were several publications that were available to visitors. The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society had commissioned a special map of Braddock's route by noted local cartographer, Wilbur Johnston. Mr. Johnston was gracious enough to come to the event to sign the maps and discuss the project with the visitors. This map shows the route in relation to modern places and highways so the tourist can get oriented as to Braddock's route.
Another publication that was available was the just published book: Gen. Braddock's Defeat: Contemporary Reports and Later Remembrances. The Fort Edwards Foundation compiled this collection of articles from magazines and newspapers of the time as well as memoirs of individuals intimately involved in the campaign. The articles are arranged in chronological order which gives the reader a very good picture of the entire campaign and its consequences. The style of the publication and the high quality paper it is printed on give a very authentic feel to the work. The centerfold of the book is the part of the Fry and Jefferson Map of the Inhabited Part of Virginia which covers Braddock's entire route from Alexandria to the Forks of the Ohio River.
Unfortunately, we do not have a photograph of another author who came to the event to sign his book and talk with visitors. Published late last year just for the anniversary is Braddock's Road Across Northern and Western Virginia: A 250th Anniversary Retrospective; by Ralph E. Hersko, Jr. This is an easily readable, short introduction to and account of Gen. Braddock's campaign. Although there are no maps, there are plenty of photographs of sites along the route. This is of particular interest to history buffs in Virginia and West Virginia. Mr. Hersko sold out of the books he brought within two hours.
Books for Sale
The Fort Edwards Foundation's Vice President and Museum Director was on hand to sell various books on the colonial period and Braddock's campaign. He also had an army of his own in the locally crafted "Teasels" on the table. These cute characters come in all kinds of colonial costume including red coated soldiers complete with a fifer and drummer. The Foundation is a member of Col. Washington's Frontier Forts Association, one of the sponsors of the event. Seems Bob just can't stop reading history!
This set of pictures appears on the "Living History" page for this event but we make special note of it here. The wagon owner shown at left is Mr. Art Snyder of Pennsylvania. It was a special priviledge to have him with us since he is the descendant of one of the Pennsylvania wagoneers who was actually employed on the Braddock campaign; his ancestor was James Hoffman. Unfortunately, little is known of his story or of any other wagoneers on the campaign. Perhaps he might have met Daniel Morgan and Daniel Boone both of whom drove wagons for the march.
|A Wagoneer's Descendant
We have placed on this page the more "modern" educational opportunities at the weekend event. Of course there are many more to be found in the area where the reenactors presented the "living history." However, we reserve those activities for our "Frontier Gazette."
Please check our "Events" page for information on upcoming Braddock March events.
The event would not have been possible without the wonderful cooperation among the three sponsoring organizations and their on site representatives (left to right): Bill Austin of Shenandoah University's History and Tourism Center, Cissy Shull of the Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society and Charles Hall of Col. Washington's Frontier Forts Association (www.FrontierForts.org). This event is a wonderful example of a cooperative effort among different kinds of organizations committed to making history come alive.
Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society
Col. Washington's Frontier Forts Association
History and Tourism Center, Shenandoah University