Lead: In the 1700s the United States broke from England. No colony in history had done that before. This series examines America’s Revolution.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: In 1755 London determined to capture Fort Duquesne, a fortress the French had built at the Forks of the Ohio near present-day Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and drive the French from the Ohio valley. They sent a large expedition of British regulars under General Edward Braddock. George Washington joined Braddock’s staff as a Lt. Colonel, but on the trail, Washington became severely ill. Fortunately, he re-joined the Braddock column in time to participate in the Battle of the Monongahela. The British were ambushed and suffered a catastrophic defeat. Braddock was a brave but incompetent leader, unused to wilderness fighting, and when his forces stumbled into the French and their Native American allies, suffered a defeat counted among the worst the British suffered in the war. Braddock was killed and Washington rallied the remaining troops, took command of the rear guard and organized an orderly and strategic retreat even though he was still wracked with fever and a severe headache. His performance in battle and in the retreat won him admiration from his men and the authorities in both Virginia and London.