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Major General Edward Braddock
General in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in North America

Gen. Braddock


July 16-17 Event at Fort Necessity
Guns at the Fort on the Great Meadow
Remembering Braddock's Defeat
Fort Necessity in the Great Meadow

    Under a changing sky, the Great Meadow - "a charming field for an encounter" - was filled with displays and activities commemorating Braddock's Defeat. The days events included an exciting display of artillery firing from three types of guns that Gen. Braddock hauled over the mountains to use in his expected siege of Fort Duquesne. There were also musket firing demonstrations and military life interpretations. Inside the Visitor Center visitors could view the introductory video, browse for books or buy prints of Robert Griffing's newest painting, "The Wounding of General Braddock."

Visitor Center Activities

View from Visitor Center at Fort Necessity
View from inside Visitor Center looking toward fort.

Robert Griffing signing prints

Robert Griffing signing prints of "The Wounding of Gneral Braddock" in the Visitor Center at Fort Necessity. On the wall behind Mr. Griffing is his painting, "A Charming Field for an Encounter." The print of the wounding of Braddock was for sale; the bookstore had many other prints as well as books and maps for sale.  See our "Web Links " page for ordering info on the Griffing print.


Artillery Demonstrations

    The highlight of the Cleaning the 6 pounderday was the firing demonstrations put on by the Oneida Indian Nation Living History Program. The Oneida have a grand collection of artillery reproductions in commemoration of their long history of service to the American military. They brought three types of pieces that Gen. Braddock had on his campaign.  The firing crew did a good job of impressing the visitors on the necessity for safety when using such a powerful and destructive weapon. One of the crew is shown here cleaning out the barrel before reloading.  Every precaustion is taken to insure the gun does nor fire during the loading process.


smoke on firing      These two photos give you a good undestanding of how smoke will cover a battlefield and make it hard to see your enemy or even your comrades and officers. The photo at right is immediately after the howitzer fires; the photo below is about 10 seconds later. This howitzer was the most destructive of the cannons because of its ability to lob exploding shot over walls. 

spreading smoke
The red line shows the extent of the photo above right for comparison.

Six pound field piece    This series of photographs is of the six pound field piece.  This cannon can be used as a siege weapon, but it was designed primarily for use on the field of battle against troops and cavalry. This is a brass gun which is lighter and stronger than an iron weapon. The high polish is indicative of the pride that artillery men take in their pieces.


aiming the 6 pounder

    This cannon is so heavy that in order to aim it at least two men must pull ropes attached to the end of the carriage and turn it to aim the barrel.

Ready to fire



The crew is ready to fire.



6 pounder firing

Smoke from 6 pounder

    One can only imagine the confusion on a battlefield with all the smoke from guns both large and small and the terrible noise. The British hoped that such a scene on a field of battle would frighten the Indians and give the French, who had no field pieces at the battle, a reason to retreat.  However, among the forests this only added to the confusion and terror for the British soldiers themselves who feared the yell and the tomahawk of the Indians.

carriage howitzer

   The small carriage at left is for transporting the large guns.  The part of the howitzer that is on the ground would be placed on the iron pike of the carriage and men or horses could more easily move the piece.

Dragon emblem     We thank Darryl Gillette, Master Armorer/Ordinance Officer, and his crew for a very exciting as well as informative demonstration. It is not often that one gets to see such a collection of working reproductions and such a competent crew.  To the right is the emblem of this Artillery Company; they do indeed have fire breathing dragons.


Small Arms and Living History

   There were some small guns at the fort also. Between artillery demonstrations there were flintlock musket firings.

Musket firing

    Between the smoke & fire Rain at Fort Necessitydemonstrations there was time to talk to the living history interpreters and learn all you wanted to know about colonial life. Especially during the rain the reenactor's tents were popular places to visit unless you had a convenient tree for shelter. It is, of course, tradition that it rains at Fort Necessity in commemoration of the Battle in 1754 when Lt. Col. Washington surrendered in the rain.

Living history interpreter

What every good man needs on the frontier.

    We thank Fort Necessity National Battlefield for this commemoration of General Edward Braddock's failed campaign. Although the army only crossed the Great Meadow on their way to and from the battle, this division of the Park Service operates both Braddock's Grave and Jumonville Glen Park. For pictures of the Sunday morning ceremony at Braddock's Grave click here.

July 16-17 index page

Main Braddock Index


Charles C. Hall 2005
www.FortEdwards.org  -  www.BraddocksMarch.org