Braddock’s Defeat at the Battle of Monongahela, July 9, 1755 outside of present-day Pittsburgh. (painting by Robert Griffing)
On their way to Fort Duquesne, General Braddock’s army of over a thousand soldiers met their match when they encountered a French and Native American force that they outnumbered, but could not compete with because of the terrain and forest. The Native Americans , far more familiar with the wilderness forest, hid behind trees and rocks and picked off the brightly uniformed British soldiers. Routing the soldiers after mortally wounding General Braddock, the French (aided by their Native allies) only lost about 30 soldiers, while 500 slain red-coated British troops stained the forest floor with their blood. George Washington (here dressed in blue and red coat), a Virginia militia lieutenant colonel, led the embattled British soldiers who remained back to relative safety.
Thus began the French and Indian War.