During first half of the eighteenth century, Britain and her allies (the northern German states of Hannover, Hessia, and Brandenburg-Prussia) fought the combined might of the French, Spanish, Austrians, Bavarians, Swabians, and Russians several times in order to defend their homelands and increase their power. These conflicts were called "the War for Spanish Succession" (1702-13), "the War for Austrian Succession" (1744-48), and "the Seven Years War" (1756-63). These entanglements were not confined to Europe, however. Britain, France, and Spain all had possessions outside of Europe (in America, Africa, and Asia) which were also drawn into the conflict. To the inhabitants of British America, these wars were collectively (and glibly) called "the French and Indian Wars" or "the Colonial Wars." This unit will analyze eighteenth century warfare in general and summarize the French and Indian War of 1755-1763 specifically.
Further reading: Jennings, Francis Empire of Fortune; Leach, Douglas Flintlock and Tomahawk; Freeman, Douglas Southall George Washington; Hamilton, Edward Adventures in the Wilderness: The American Journals of Antione de Bougainville 1756-60; Hanna, William Benjamin Franklin and Pennsylvania Politics; "Kuskusky Towns and Early Western Pennsylvania Indian History, 1748-78." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (January, 1992); Todish, Tim America's First First World War; Wallace, Paul Conrad Weiser; Albert, George Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania; Jacobs Wilbur Wilderness Politics and Indian Gifts; Eckert, Allen Wilderness Empire; Weigley, Russell The Age of Battles; Anderson, Fred A People's Army.
War on Film: Last of the Mohicans, Northwest Passage, A&E's Frontier Series, the Battle of Bushy Run.
Go and Visit: Fort Zeller (Newmanstown); Fort Augusta (Sunbury-- north of Harrisburg); Conrad Weiser's Homestead (Womelsdorf-- near Reading); Fort Hunter (north of Harrisburg); Daniel Boone Homestead (Birdsboro-- near Reading); Fort Necessity (412-329-5512); Fort Pitt Museum (412-281-9285); Pennsylvania Military Museum (Boalsburg-- near Penn State); Carlisle Barracks (717-235-3434); Fort Ligonier (412-238-9701); Bushy Run Battlefield (412-527-5584); Fort Le Beouf (814-732-2573); Somerset Historical Center (Johnstown); Fort Frederick, (near Hagerstown, Maryland); Fort Ticonderoga (near Lake Placid, New York); Fort Niagara (near Buffalo, New York).
1. When should a nation go to war?
2. What do you agree with more, "If you desire peace, prepare for war" or "If you desire peace, prepare for peace"?
3. What was the French and Indian War? i.e., when was it fought? Who fought it? Why was it fought?
4. What were five key events of the war?
5. How was warfare in the 18th Century fought?
6. Describe 18th Century warfare by drawing a picture of an average 18th century land battle. Include the opposing forces (e.g., French versus British, French versus Hessians, or Prussians versus Austrians) and denote infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Explain how the battle was fought.
7. Describe 18th Century warfare by drawing a picture of a typical siege of an 18th century fort. Ensure to draw the correct angles of the fort, of the siege lines, how siege lines were constructed, the cannon, etc. Explain how a siege was fought.
8. Characterize, compare, and contrast British regulars with militia c. 1756, choose which you prefer, and defend your answer.
9. Why did the English people divide their military into regulars and militia? Criticize or defend this.
How to get there:
5-1: What was Warfare in the Eighteenth
1. How many major wars was Britain involved in from 1702-63?
2. In British America, what were these wars collectively called? Why?
3. The contending power blocks:
4. Philosophy of 18th century warfare:
5. Uniform colors:
6. Which uniform color was the best? Worst? Explain:
10. Contrast a musket with a rifle, choose which you prefer, and defend:
11. Draw a web with the following terms: infantry, cavalry, artillery, rifle, musket, warfare in the 18th century, long range but long to load, short range but quick to load, bayonet, British, French, white, red, foot soldiers, soldiers on horses, big and heavy guns.
5-2: What was the British Army Like c. 1754?
1. Two levels of British soldiers:
2. British regulars:
3. British militia:
4. Contrast regulars with militia:
5. Why was the British army divided into two components? i.e., regulars and militia:
6. Which would you be? Explain:
7. Draw a table of organization. i.e., army down to company:
8. Draw a typical eighteenth century battle with infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Describe what happens:
9. Draw an eighteenth century fort with siege lines. Explain how the fort defended itself and how to take it:
5-3: What was Braddock's Defeat, 1755?
1. Criticize or defend King George II's decision to attack the French without a declaration of war:
2. General Braddock:
3. George Washington:
4. Why was Pennsylvania reluctant to help the British regular army? What does it show about the British Empire c. 1755?
5. Significance of "Yankee-Doodle":
6. Why did Braddock construct a road from British Fort Cumberland to French Fort Duquesne? Criticize or defend this:
7. List Braddock's two options in July1755:
8. Choose which you prefer, and defend:
9. Draw a cartoon or map of the battle of the Monongahela, July 9, 1755:
10. Who was right, Washington or the regulars? Explain:
5-4: What was "Pennsylvania Awake,
5. Chief Shingas and Captain Jacobs:
6. How prepared were Pennsylvanians initially?
8. Ben Franklin:
9. Pennsylvania Provincial Regiment:
10. Fort Augusta:
11. John Armstrong:
12. Draw a cartoon of the battle/massacre at Kittanning:
13. John Forbes:
14. Significance of Pittsburg?
15. Fort Ligonier:
16.What do you agree with more, "If you desire peace, prepare for war" or "If you desire peace, prepare for peace"?
5-5: How Did the British Win, 1758-63?
8. Criticize or defend George II's strategy to win the war:
9. Fort William Henry:
10. Why was Quebec the key?
11. General Wolfe:
12. Given the circumstances, who should win the up-and-coming battle for Quebec? Explain:
13. Draw a map of the battle of Quebec, September 13, 1759:
1. Characterize, compare, and contrast British regulars with militia c. 1756, choose which you prefer, and defend your answer.
2. Why did the English people divide their military into regulars and militia? Criticize or defend this.
3. Describe 18th Century warfare by drawing a picture of an average 18th century land battle. Include the opposing forces (e.g., French versus British, French versus Hessians, or Prussians versus Austrians) and denote infantry, cavalry, and artillery and explain how the battle was fought.
4. Describe 18th Century warfare by drawing a picture of a typical siege of an 18th century fort. Ensure to draw the correct angles of the fort, of the siege lines, how siege lines were constructed, the cannon, etc. Explain how a siege was fought.
War of 1702-13: The French king wished to unite France and Spain to create one great empire. Britain and her allies (Holland, Austria, Hannover, Hessia, and Prussia) hoped to stop her, and war was declared.
1702: British raid Saint Augustine, Spanish America.
1703: British (Rooke) take the Spanish island of Gibraltar, the key to the Mediterranean.
1704: Battle of Blenheim. Britain and her allies under the Duke of Marlbourogh beat the French and her allies in Bavaria.
1704: England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland formally unify under Queen Anne. "Greater Britain."
1704: French and their Indian allies raid Deerfield, Massachusetts, in British America.
1706: Battle of Ramilles. Britain and her allies beat the French in Belgium.
1708: Battle of Oudenarde. Britain and her allies beat the French in the Netherlands.
1709: Battle of Malplaquet. Britain and her allies beat French in the Netherlands.
1710: British take the province of Acadia in French America.
1711-13: Spanish and their Tuscarora Indian allies raid British settlements in the Carolinas. Tuscaroras lose and are forced to migrate north to "join" the Haudenoshownee.
Treaty of Utrecht (1713): Britain and her allies won big. France ceded Newfoundland, Acadia (renamed Nova Scotia), and Hudson's Bay in America, and Spain formally surrendered Gibraltar. Both France and Spain promised to remain separate nations.
War of 1739-48: France and Spain wanted revenge against
Britain. Britain's ally, Prussia, wanted to take the province
of Silesia from Austria. France, Spain, Austria, and Bavaria
against Britain, Prussia, Hannover, and Hessia.
1739: Spain opened the war by attacking British shipping in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
1740: British raided Saint Augustine, Spanish America.
1741: British (Vernon) attempted to take Cartagena in Spanish America. They failed miserably.
1741: Battle of Mollwitz. Prussia (King Frederick II, "the Great") beat Austria and took Silesia.
1742: Battle of Chosositz. Prussia beat Austria and keeps Silesia.
1743: Battle of Dettingen. George II of Britain personally led his troops into battle against French.
1745: Battle of Hohenfriedberg. Prussia beat Austria's ally, Saxony.
1745: Battle of Fontenoy. French (Saxe) beat British (Cumberland) in the Netherlands.
1745: Siege of Louisbourg. British (Pepperell) took the key French fortress in America.
1745-46: The Great Scottish Rebellion. Scottish-born Charles Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie," with French support, wished to seize the British crown from George II. Civil War in Britain.
1745: Battle of Prestonpans. Scottish rebels (Prince Charles) creamed English and German regulars.
1746: Battle of Culloden. English and Hessian soldiers (Cumberland) destroyed the Scottish rebels.
1747: French raided the Delaware Valley. Ben Franklin formed Pennsylvania's 1st Militia.
Treaty of Aachen (1748): Prussia won big, Austria lost, and Britain and France came out even. Britain gave Louisbourg back to France for not directly helping the Scottish rebels, and Austria formally surrendered the province of Silesia to Prussia. Britain also gives Hannover to Prussia.
War of 1754-63: Britain struck first to knock France off balance. France, Spain, and Austria wanted their territories back from the last war. France, Spain, Austria, Russia, and Bavaria against Britain, Prussia, and Hessia.
1754: British Fort Necessity burned by French Regulars in the Ohio Country of America.
1755: Braddock's Defeat. The British attacked, and France defeated them.
1755-56: French-Indians raid western settlements.
1756: Battle of Kittanning. Pa Militia (Armstrong) destroyed a major Lenape town. Massacre.
1756: Siege of Fort Oswego, British America. French (Montcalm) won. Massacre.
1756: Battle of Lobositz. Prussia (King Frederick II, "the Great") beat the Austrians.
1756: Naval Battle of Minorca. French (La Galissoniere) defeated the British in the Mediterranean.
1757: Siege of Prague. Austrians drove back the Prussians with heavy loss.
1757: Battle of Kolin. Austria beat Prussia.
1757: Battle of Hastenbeck. French defeated a British-Prussian Army. Hanover falls.
1757: Siege of Fort William Henry in British America. French (Montcalm) won. Massacre.
1757: Battle of Roßbach. Prussia beat French.
1757: Battle of Leuthen. Prussia beat Austrians.
1758: British took forts of Louisbourg and Duquesne in French America.
1758: Battle of Fort Carillon. British (Abercromy) got massacred in front of French fort.
1758: Battle of Zorndorf. Prussians and Russians slugged it out to a draw.
1758: Battle of Hochkirch. Austrian-Russian Army (Daun) defeated the Prussians.
1759: British (Baring) captured the Island of Guadaloupe in French America.
1759: Battle of Kundersdorf. Austrian-Russian army creamed the Prussians. Berlin was captured.
1759: British (Amherst) took the forts of Niagara and Carillon in French America.
1759: Naval Battle of Quiberon Bay. British stopped a French invasion of England.
1759: Battle of Münden. British-Hessian Army drive French out of western Germany.
1759: British (Boscowen) took the port of Lagos in French Africa.
1759: First Battle of Quebec. British (Wolfe) beat French (Montcalm) in open battle and took the city.
1760: Second Battle of Quebec. French (Levis) beat British in the open but couldn't take city.
1760: British (Amherst) took Montreal, French America.
1760: Battle of Liegnitz. Prussia beat the Austrians.
1760: Battle of Torgau. Prussia and Austria fought to a bloody draw.
1761: Most British Regulars were transferred to the Caribbean. Britain abandoned Prussia as an ally.
1762: Russia dropped out of the war, Spain joined France against Britain.
1762: French seized Newfoundland in British America. By September, it was recaptured by the British.
1762: British captured Guadalupe and Martinique in French America and Havana, Cuba, Spanish America.
Treaty of Paris 1763: Britain won, France lost, Prussia came out even, and Austria lost. Britain gave Guadaloupe and Martinique back to France in exchange for Canada and Louisiana. Britain exchanged Spanish Cuba for Florida. Prussia kept Silesia.
Britain and her allies fought three major wars with France and her allies from 1702-63. These wars were fought across the globe. World War. In British America, these wars were simply called "the French and Indian Wars," "the Colonial Wars," or "the Great Wars for Empire."
Britain and the northern German states of Hannover, Hessia, and Prussia.
France, Spain, Russia and the southern German States of Austria and Bavaria.
Although most of the fighting occurred in Europe, some occurred "in the empire," i.e in America, Asia and Africa.
Like today, 18th century warfare was limited to its weapon technology. The leaders therefore had to limit objectives and the number of combatants. What good was a captured province if it's destroyed?
Infantry. Base of an army, most numerous. They were foot soldiers armed with flintlock muskets (smoothbores) with a range of 100 yards. Close in, fire a few volleys, and charge with the bayonet.
Cavalry. Dynamic arm, decisive arm. Shock troops. Soldiers mounted on horses. Armed with swords and flintlock pistols. Charge into enemy infantry frontally or in flank.
Artillery. New technology. Firepower. Big, heavy guns on wheels. Designed to destroy enemy fortifications or engage infantry or cavalry at long range (1,000 yards).
Typical Land Battle: Artillery pounded infantry. Infantry advanced across an open field to within 100 yards of the enemy line. They fired three of four volleys and then charged. If the attacking line wasn't stopped at 30 yards, it usually won. The opposing cavalry fought on the flanks. It took 15 seconds to load and fire a musket (1 minute and 30 seconds to fire a rifle out to 300 yards). A regiment can move 100 yards in 30 seconds.
Typical Siege (preferred method of warfare): Very controlled. Very mathematical. Low casualties. Surround a fort. Dig trench lines near the fort. Bomb the fort. Dig trenches closer to fort. Batter down the walls with bigger guns, and the fort surrenders. It was noble to surrender if the enemy forced you into a corner. The goal was to force the opposing army into a corner and make it quit. Not kill it! (Expensive to raise and keep an army and why wipe out potential tax payers?)
5-2: The British Army c. 1754
Regular: Full-time central government soldiers. In the military during times of war or peace. "1st rate." Not many. The enlisted men were drawn from the lower class (criminals, vagabonds, debtors and such), and the officers were drawn from the upper class (landless lords, i.e. 2d or 3d sons). A harsh, but proud life. Seven-year enlistments.
Militia: Part-time local government soldiers. Consisted of all classes. Many. Used for home defense. Every free male 16-55 was enrolled in the provincial militia and had to arm and equip themselves with modern weapons. They had to drill one day a year. "Battalion Day." Some local militias (especially in New England) drilled at least once a month, usually on Saturdays. The Militia was outlawed in the counties of Scotland and Ireland for fear of rebellion against the central government. During times of war, the provinces would raise standing formations for one year's service during a war. "Provincials."
A typical infantry regiment consisted of 8 fusilier companies, one grenadier company and one light infantry company. Usually, the light infantry and grenadier companies of a given army were grouped together. In British America, many of the militia companies had a mixture of rifles and muskets. There wasn't really any uniformity. While some militia companies were superbly dressed (e.g. the Cadwalader Greens of Philadelphia), others weren't. Militia regiments were therefore a hodge-podge.
5-3: Braddock's Defeat, 1756
During the 1740's an 50's, both France and Britain were racing for control of the Fork of the Ohio (present Pittsburgh). France wanted to link Canada with Louisiana and Britain wanted to expand its colonial empire west. At the time, the Ohio Country was inhabited by Delaware, Shawnee, and Seneca Indians who were allied with the British. In 1754 however, the French kicked the British traders out of the Ohio Country by building Forts Presque Isle, Le Beouf, Machault, and Duquesne.
In reaction, the King of England, George II, sent General Edward Braddock with two regiments of regular infantry-- the 44th and 48th-- and asked Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia to mobilize their militias to help Braddock and supply his army. While Virginia and Maryland agreed, Pennsylvania refused.
Once Braddock reached Fort Cumberland in Virginia, he placed 21-year-old Colonel George Washington of the Virginia Militia in charge of the provincials and then headed north toward Fort Duquesne.
There were also 14 cannon, 15 trench mortars, 11 small grenade mortars, 150 Pennsylvania wagon teams (paid at 15 shillings a day), about 100 camp followers, and 1,500 pack horses.
Braddock had to widen the foot path for his wagons and siege cannon. This slowed his march to a mere 4 miles a day. On July 1st, Braddock reached the Great Meadow and established a base. There his scouts informed him that Fort Duquesne had been reinforced by hundreds of more Indians. They also handed him a sketch of the fort. With this information in hand, Braddock held a meeting.
Washington suggested to keep the heavy gear at the base and march directly on the French fort with one lightened brigade, 6 light cannon, and 11 light grenade mortars to surround it with 1,000 men. Surround Fort Duquesne now before it was reinforced even further. Only later should the siege guns be brought up.
Dunbar and Halkett, the brigade commanders, disagreed. They said that all forces should go forward together. "Safety in numbers and firepower. Especially in this God-forsaken wilderness." This would take another month or so.
Braddock sided with Washington. The heavy cannon, the wagons, the camp followers, and the half of the army under Dunbar would be left behind at the Great Meadow and Halkett's Brigade, the 44th &etc will go forward.
Fort Duquesne had 300 French soldiers and 650 Indian allies (versus 2,000 British). On July 8th, the French learned that Braddock's advance elements were only 10 miles south of the fort. Should they:
Stay in the fort and defend with all forces. Withstand a siege.
Attack the advance element with everything.
Attack the advance element with half and defend the fort with half.
The French chose #2. On July 9th, Braddock's men crossed over to the east bank of the Monongahela River and into an open woodland. While the pack horses, wagons, and light cannon traversed the narrow trail, they were flanked on each side by Halkett's 44th Regiment. The light infantry was out in front, followed by the Grenadiers, then the fusiliers. Washington's militia brought up the rear.
The French had hoped to ambush Braddock's advance element, but showed up too late (he had to wait for the Indians to conduct a war ceremony the night before). Instead, the French ran right into the British lights. Both sides were surprised. A fire fight ensued.
Instead of charging in with the grenadiers, the advance element was ordered to fall back to the fusiliers. In the meantime, the French and Indians reorganized and attacked the main column. The lack of training and experience of the British Regulars and Militia soon began to show. Many of the young recruits panicked. They fired ragged, ineffective volleys, sometimes even into their own men. The Indians fired at them from a wooded hill on the right and from the river bank on the left. They would sometimes even charge forward in small groups, called "Indian rushes," grab a scared young soldier, and scalp him before the eyes of his comrades.
Braddock tried to restore order. "Stand and fight! Give them the bayonet!" It didn't work. Five horses were shot out from under him. He then tried to storm the hill with his grenadiers and fusiliers but was driven back. The 6 light cannon weren't even used effectively. After three hours of desperate fighting, over 75% of the British became casualties, including General Braddock and Colonel Halkett. The French and Indians lost only about 50. By mid-afternoon, Braddock, with a bullet in his lung, ordered Washington to "get the men out." He also said: "Perhaps we will deal with them better the next time." Luckily for Washington and the survivors, the French-Indians swept down upon the objective and began to pillage, scalp or capture wounded prisoners for future torture. They didn't pursue Washington. At Fort Duquesne that night, over 100 British subjects were tortured by the Indians. It was ghoulish.
The next morning, Washington's beaten command made it back to the base. Dunbar was still there with 1,000 men and the heavy cannon. He could have pushed forward, but decided to retreat back to Fort Cumberland. Along the way, on July 13th, Braddock died of his wounds and was buried in the middle of the muddy road near the Great Meadow in order to avoid being desecrated. It was a total defeat and the frontier was now wide open. The French and their Indian allies now moved over onto the offensive side and began to attack across the mountains into Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia and down Lake Champlain into New York. Yeek.
5-4: The French Strike Back, 1756-57
After Braddock's Defeat, the French and Indians went on the counter-offensive. They attacked across the Alleghenies into Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Hundreds of people were killed or captured. In reaction, Pennsylvania raised a militia and constructed several forts in 1756. The largest was Fort Augusta.
The French and Indians also drove down Lake Champlain from forts Frederic and Carillon. In 1757, they took Fort William Henry by siege and threatened Albany from the north.
The British reinforced Fort Edward with more regulars and a New Hampshire militia company, "Rogers's Rangers," conducted several raids up Lake Champlain.
5-5: The British Win, 1758-63
In 1758, the British commander in America, Sir Jeffrey Amherst, went on a major offensive. The new Prime Minister, William Pitt, sent the bulk of the British Army and Navy to support him. Amherst:
Took Fort Duquesne and drove up to Lake Erie.
Took Forts Carillon and Frederic and gained control of Lake Champlain
The Duquesne expedition was led by Colonel Henri Bouquet, a Swiss mercenary in British pay. Bouquet marched out of Carlisle, Pa, with the 60th (Royal Americans), and the 77th (Frasier's Highlanders) regiments of foot, two Pennsylvania regiments, and two Virginia regiments. He fortified his route every 70 or so miles by building forts Loudon, Bedford and Ligonier. When the French attempt to stop him failed, they burned the Ohio Valley forts and retreated back up to Fort Detroit. The British took over the forts.
In 1759, Amherst:
Amherst sent his best available general, General James Wolfe, to sail up the St. Lawrence and take Quebec with 8,500 Regulars. Quebec itself was defended by 6,000 French soldiers and about 500 Indians under General Montcalm, the best of New France.
June: Wolfe occupies Ile d'Orleáns.
July: Wolfe takes Point Levis but fails to take Beauport.
August: Wolfe again attacks Beauport but is crushed.
On the night of September 12th, Wolfe decides to scoot part of his army up the the Anse du Foulon. It's a special way up the cliffs of Quebec. He gambles everything by floating 4,500 of his men right under the French guns. Colonel William Howe's light infantry were the first to scale up the 60-yard-high cliffs. No cannon or siege mortars were taken up. By 4:00 a.m., Howe's men have taken out the French outposts. "Que vive?" "France." "Que regiment?" "Le Reine." Bonk. By dawn, Wolfe's entire force was lined up about a mile south of Quebec on Abraham's Plain. Montcalm was shocked. He had 6,000 soldiers and Indians and over 100 cannon inside the city walls. This was it. Montcalm had four choices:
Stay behind walls and defend the city. Wait for winter.
Attack with all 6,000 men to avoid an English siege. Hit them now.
Attack with 3,000 men and keep the rest inside of Quebec. Hit them now.
Wait two days for 3,000 reinforcements from Montreal and then attack with 9,000 knowing that the British would have begun to dig trenches.
Montcalm chose #2, like the French did with Braddock. They advanced across the fields shoulder-to-shoulder six ranks deep. Indians guarded the flanks. 3,000 French regulars against 4,500 British regulars. There were also 3,000 Indians out on the flanks. Montcalm had his men fire several volleys and advanced meticulously. Wolfe told his commanders: "Hold your fire. Wait for the order." The white-cladded French line advanced to within 60 yards and three of the six lines fired their last volley. Hundreds of British soldiers dropped. As the French reloaded, Wolfe ordered his entire line (which now overlapped the French) to "Make ready! Present! Fire!" The French line crumpled. Wolfe then ordered, "Charge!" The red-cladded regulars bolted forward with bayonets. The Highlanders, in the center of the line, charged with broad swords. Hand-to-hand fighting ensued. What was left of the Montcalm's Army either scattered or fell back into the city. Generals Montcalm and Wolfe were both killed (Wolfe was hit in the wrist, groin, and chest). The French then surrendered the city, and then, all of New France, from Louisbourg to New Orleans, to the British.
5-6: Pontiac's War, 1763-64
With the fall of Quebec in 1759, France surrendered all of its claim to North America. All forts and towns that were once French, were now British.
The Indians were forced to accept the new trade arrangement in which the British raised the prices and refused to trade things like muskets or powder.
The British Indian agents knew this would cause problems but Lord Amherst felt that the Indians must submit totally like their French friends in America.
From 1762-64, Chief Pontiac was able to unify the Indians against the British and killed thousands. He even threatened forts Pitt and Detroit.
The Indians hoped that the French would drive up the Mississippi River from New Orleans.
Pontiac gets crushed by 1764 by the British Army
The last French and Indian War is over.