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"The Grandest Congress"

Gen. Braddock Meets the Governors

     Major General Edwward Braddock, the Commander of all His Majesty's Forces in North America, met with the governors of five colonies to discuss his plans for ousting the French from land claimed by our sovereign. In a meeting at the home of John Carlyle, noted Alexandria merchant, Governors Dinwiddie of Virginia, Sharpe of Maryland, Morris of Pennsylvania, Shirley of Massachusetts and De Lancey of New York
Grand Assembly GrndA57w
gathered to be formally introduced to the General and to receive his instructions. Also present was Col. William Johnson, the experienced Indian Agent for New York. General Braddock presented his credentials to the Governors and then immediately brought up the subject of a common war fund. The governors unanimously rejected the suggestion saying their assemblies would not approve such a fund without explicit assistance from Parliament. Braddock turned to other matters. The council was in agreement with the war plan for the four pronged attacks against the French, and they also approved the appointment of Johnson as the agent to meet with the Iroquois to keep them neutral in the conflict. Braddock & Dinwiddie GrndA44In relation to that plan, Gen. Braddock presented a royal commission to Gov. Shirley as a General and second in command in North America to Gen. Braddock. When the meeting ended Gen. Braddock felt confident that the multi-pronged stragegy would be victorious, but he let it be known that he was appalled with the lack of progress made in getting the money and supplies he desperately needed to feed and supply his army. (The picture just above shows seated next to Gen. Braddock our own Gov. Dinwiddie making an important point at the conference. Also note the map on the table is the map of Messrs. Fry and Jefferson recently published of the inhabited parts of Virginia.)
    In one of the closets of Carlyle House we spyed this one of General Braddock's uniforms. Note the red sash that is hung over the right shoulder. This would be used to carry the officer off the battle field in case he should be wounded or killed. Heaven forbid that anything like that should happen to our great general in the western wilderness of Virginia. The French and their savage allies can not be victorious over such a grand army as we have seen camped here in Alexandria.

The assembly of Governors is the most important event to occur in Alexandria since its founding only a few years ago. Everyone turned out to see the Governors and the General. This picture shows some of the most important people in Alexandria gathered with Mr. Carlyle (on the right) as the General met inside the house. We also have a picture showing some of the maids cooking on the grounds of the house to GrndA02w.jpgsupply food for the great number of people who came to town for this important event. Seldom has there been such a grand occassion as this in our colony. It shows the importance that our port town has in the business of Virginia. We look forward to much commerce when the army is victorious and settlers can move into the Ohio country and expand our colony.

The General's Army

44th Regiment GrndA64w.jpg   Although the advance party of the army left Alexandria on April 4th to clear the road to Fort Cumberland for the main army, some is still encamped here waiting for the General to depart. We saw one of the members of Col. Halkett's 44th Regiment on duty on the front lawn of Carlyle House, the general's temporary headquarters. We assume that he is acting as part of the General's guard. We remind all young men of the colony that Gen. Braddock brought many extra uniforms for the recruits needed to bring his two regiments up to full strength. Surely, any young man would do well to enlist and wear such a distinguished uniform.
   We understand that Col. Dunbar's 48th Regiment has already crossed the Potomac at Rock Creek and is headed for Frederick, Maryland. Surely, the General must know that no one travels to Fort Cumberland through Maryland when there is already a path through Virginia.
   We also have a picture of the dashing Virginia Peyromie GrndA61Regiment officer, William Chevalier de Peronie. Capt. Peronie was a French Protestant, but is now settled in Virginia and highly esteemed. At Fort Necessity he was an ensign and, being desperately wounded, obtained leave to wait upon the Assembly to petition for some recompence for his personal losses of clothing, &c. On 30th, August, 1754, the Burgesses voted him their thanks, and especially desired the Governor to promote him, and he accordingly received a Captains commission to date from August 25th, 1754. Surely, such a handsome and gallant officer will gain glory in the coming campaign and bring honor to his Regiment. We look forward to his safe return soon. We assume from the saddle holsters for his pistols that he may be part of the honor guard of Virginia Light Horse that will accompany the General to Frederick and Fort Cumberland. Our gallant Virginians certainly have a position of honor in this campaign.



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updated: Apr. 10, 2005
© Charles C. Hall 2005

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