Life of George Washington: The Soldier
In this lithograph, Colonel George Washington directs the fighting from his horse during the Battle of the Monongahela, on July 9, 1775, during the French and Indian War. A column of 1,700 British regulars and colonial militiamen were marching toward the French-held Fort Duquesne on the Forks of the Ohio River when they were ambushed by French soldiers and their Indian allies. A rout of the British ensued. Washington later wrote, "We have been most scandalously beaten by a trifling body of men." An excerpt from a letter by the twenty-three-year-old colonel to his brother is quoted beneath the print:
I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation, for I had four bullets through my coat and two horses shot under me, yet, I escaped unhurt, although death was levelling my companions on every side of me.
Among those killed in the fighting was British general Edward Braddock.