Edward Braddock, the commander of the British forces who was killed in the Battle of Monongahela was hastily buried as the British retreated before the French and Indian army. George Washington, having been General Braddock’s Aid-De-Camp, filled in for the wounded chaplain and read the funeral prayers over General Braddock’s body.
The litter on which he lay was set down, and his remaining officers gathered sadly around it. As a last token of gratitude to his young volunteer aid, for his noble devotion and heroism, he gave him a splendid charger and his own body servant. A brief farewell—a faint gasp—a weak struggle—and Braddock lay a corpse in the forest. A grave was hastily dug in the center of the road, to conceal it from the Indians, into which, with his sword lain across his breast, he was lowered. Young Washington read the funeral service by torchlight over him, the deep tones of his voice interrupted only by the solemn ‘amen’ of the surrounding officers—the open grave, and beside it the pale face of the sleeper, combined to form a scene at once picturesque and most solemn. A mark was left to designate the spot, and the army again defiled though the wilderness.
*Hon. J. T. Headley, The Illustrated Life of Washington (New York: G. & F. Bill, 1859) p. 60. See also, Washington Irving, Life of George Washington (New York: G. P. Putnam & Co., 1856) Vol. I, p. 201.