l Fort Duquesne l Braddock's Field July 9, 1755. The Journal of Captain Robert Orme records the following:
"It was now near two o'clock, and the advanced party under Lieutenant Gage and the working party under St John St Clair were ordered to march on 'till three.
No sooner were the pickets upon their respective flanks, and the word was given to march, but we heard and excessive quick and heavy firing in the front.
The General imagining the advanced parties were very warmly attacked, and being willing to free himself from the incumbrance of the baggage, order'd Lieutenant Colonel Burton to reinforce them with the vanguard, and the line to halt. According to this disposition, eight hundred men were detached from the line, free from all embarrassments, and four hundred were left for the defense of the and Artillery and baggage, posted in such a manner as to secure them from any attack or insults.
The General sent forward an Aid de Camp to bring him an account of the nature of the attack, but the firing continuing, he moved forward himself, leaving Sr Peter Halket with the command of the baggage. The advanced detachments soon gave way and fell back upon Lieutenant Burton's detachment, who was forming his men to face rising ground upon the right. The colours were advanced in different places, to separate the men of the two regiments. The General ordered the officers to endeavor to form the men and to tell them off into small divisions and to advance with themユ; but neither the entreaties nor threats could prevail.
The advanced flank parties, which were left for the security of the baggage, all but one ran in. The baggage was then warmly attacked; a great many horses, and some drivers were killed; the rest escaped by flight. Two of the cannon flanked the baggage, and for some time kept the Indians off: the other cannon, which were disposed of in the best manner and fired away most of their ammunition, were of some service, but the spot being so woody, they could do little or no execution.
The enemy had spread themselves in such a manner, that they extended from front to rear, and fired upon every part.
The place of action was covered with large trees, and much underwood upon the left, without any opening but the road, which was about twelve foot wide. At the distance of about to hundred yards in front and upon the right were two rising grounds covered with trees.
When the General found it impossible to persuade them to advance, and no enemy appeared in view; and nevertheless a vast number of officers were killed, by exposing themselves before the men; he endeavored to retreat them in good order; but the panick was so great that he could not succeed. During this time they were loading as fast as possible and firing into the air. At last Lieutenant Colonel Burton got together about one hundred of the 48th regiment, and prevailed upon them, by the General's order, to follow him towards the rising ground on the right, but he being disabled by his wounds, they faced about to the right, and returned.
When the men had fired away all their ammunition and the General and most of the officers were wounded, they by one common consent left the field, running off with the greatest precipitation. About fifty Indians pursued us to the river, and killed several men in the passage. The officers used all possible endeavours to stop the men, and to prevail upon them to rally; but a great number of them threw away their arms and ammunition, and even their cloaths, to escape the faster.
About a quarter of a mile on the other side the river, we prevailed upon near one hundred of them to take post upon a very advantageous spot, about two hundred yards from the road. Lieutenant Colonel Burton posted some small parties and centinels. We intended to have kept possession of that ground, 'till we could have been reinforced. The General and some wounded officers remained there about an hour, till most of the men run off. From that place, the General sent Mr. Washington to Colonel Dunbar with orders to send wagons for the wounded, some provision, and hospital stores; to be escorted by two youngest Grenadier companies, to meet him at Gist's plantation, or nearer, if possible. It was found impracticable to remain here, as the General and officers were left almost alone; we therefore retreated in the best manner we were able. After we had passed the Monongahela the second time, we were joined by Lieutenant Colonel Gage, who had rallied near 80 men. We marched all night, and the next day, and about ten o'clock that night we got to the Gist's plantation."

"Robert Orme, the author of this journal, entered
the army as an ensign in the 35th Foot. On 16th Sept. 1745, he exchanged into the Coldstreams,
of which he became a lieutenant, April 24, 1751.
He was never raised to a captaincy, though always spoken as such. He probably obtained a leave of absence to accompany General Braddock, with whom he was a great favorite. He was an honest and capable man, says Shirley (VI. C. R., 404),
and it was fortunate that the General was so
much under his influence. He brought letters of introduction from Thomas Penn to Gov. Morris
(II. P. A., 195), and seems to have made a most favorable impression on all whom he encountered."

 

Braddock's Expedition: A Monograph.

A Publication of the
Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Edited from the original manuscripts
by Winthrop Sargent, M.A.

Member of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 1856. Page 283.