On Campaign Against Fort Duquesne

The Braddock and Forbes Expeditions, 1755–1758, through the Experiences of Quartermaster Sir John St. Clair


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About the Book

During the Seven Years’ War, Sir John St. Clair served as Deputy Quartermaster General with British General Edward Braddock’s disastrous campaign to capture Fort Duquesne at the Forks of the Ohio in 1755. St. Clair had great responsibilities during the campaign and was the first Deputy Quartermaster General in North America’s history.
History has laid a litany of blame at Braddock’s feet: he was old, slow, logistically naïve, a martinet poorly versed in tactics, uninterested in his soldiers’ welfare and unwilling to cooperate with the colonists. Based on a new transcription of St. Clair’s correspondence, this comprehensive study of Braddock’s logistics offers a radical reinterpretation of the general and his campaign. The author also presents an examination of St. Clair’s role as quartermaster during Brigadier General John Forbes’ subsequent and successful campaign against Fort Duquesne in 1758.

About the Author(s)

Douglas R. Cubbison is a military historian and curator with the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, U.S. Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He writes about social, military and American history.

Bibliographic Details

Douglas R. Cubbison
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 232
Bibliographic Info: 16 illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9783-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2113-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Redcoats in Virginia: Introduction to the Braddock Expedition 3
1. “A mad sort of Fool”: Sir John St. Clair, Infantry Officer, Before 1754 9
2. “An officer of distinction, who aids and assists the general”: The Staff of Braddock’s Expedition 10
3. “I have done every thing in my power to facilitate their march to the Allegany Mountains”: Organization of the Movement to Fort Cumberland, January–March 1755 34
4. “The roads begin to be very indifferent”: Movement from Alexandria to Fort Cumberland 60
5. “We pursued our route through a desolate country”: Movement to Fort Duquesne 72
6. “Amongst the first that were wounded”: Battle of Monongahela and Retreat 98
7. Mountains, Wagons and Whiskey: Sir John St. Clair’s Participation in the Forbes Campaign, 1758 111
8. “Sir John’s long illness”: Sir John St. Clair, 1759–1767 123
9. “A Lyon Rampant”: Conclusions 129
Appendix A: Sir John St. Clair’s Braddock Campaign Letterbook 131
Appendix B: Sir John St. Clair’s Chronology, October 1754–September 1755 192
Appendix C: Catalogue of Sir John St. Clair’s Letterbook During the Braddock Expedition 197
Chapter Notes 201
Bibliography 215
Index 221

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Cubbison gives the reader a solid understanding of St. Clair’s personality and insight into the difficult task of moving a professional European army in the North American wilderness of 1755…a much-needed look at the logistics of the Braddock and Forbes campaigns and commendably writes St. Clair back into history”—H-Net Reviews