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Old 12-01-2012   #306
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Default Matt: Plausible Explanations

French after action reports, written by regulars, tended to mention only the regulars - and noted Canadian militia and Indian allies only in passing. E.g., snips from an English translation of Contrecoeur's report of Braddock's Defeat:

... on the 9th of the month he sent Monsieur de Beaujeu against the enemy and gave him for second in command Monsieurs Dumas and de Lignery, all three of them being captains, with four lieutenants, six ensigns, 20 cadets, 100 soldiers, 100 Canadians, and 600 savages, with orders to hide themselves in a favorable place that had previously been reconnoitred. The detachment found itself in the presence of the enemy at three leagues from the fort before being able to gain its appointed post. Monsieur de Beaujeu seeing that his ambuscade had failed, began a direct attack. He did this with so much energy that the enemy, who awaited us in the best order in the world, seemed astounded at the assault. Their artillery, however, promptly commenced to fire and our forces were confused in their turn. The savages also, frightened by the noise of the cannon rather than their execution, commenced to lose ground. Monsieur de Beaujeu was killed, and Monsieur Dumas rallied our forces. He ordered his officers to lead the savages and spread out on both wings, so as to take the enemy in flank. At the same time he, Monsieur de Lignery, and the other officers who were at the head of the French attacked in front. This order was executed so promptly that the enemy, who were already raising cries of victory, were no longer able even to defend themselves.
The enemies have lost more than a thousand men on the field of battle; they have lost a great part of their artillery and provisions, also their general, named Monsieur Braddock, and almost all their officers. We had three officers killed and two wounded, two cadets wounded. This remarkable success, which scarcely seemed possible in view of the inequality of the forces, is the fruit of the experience of Monsieur Dumas and of the activity and valor of the officers that he had under his orders.
Langlade (pretty decent bio here) was there (as a commissioned ensign in the Colonial Marines in 1755), but without mention in Contrecoeur's report. Langlade received a better press from the British !

Edward Willard Deming's well-known oil painting, "Braddock's Defeat" (left) shows Langlade (far left) commanding Wisconsin and Michigan tribes in July 1755.


Last edited by jmm99; 12-01-2012 at 02:46 AM.
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