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The Braddock Expedition, or Braddock's Defeat, was the name given to the expedition led by Edward Braddock, during the French and Indian War. This expedition aimed to capture the French Fort Duquesne, in an attempt to expand the territory controlled by the British Crown. However, these efforts ended in disaster when the French Army, aided by a party of Native Americans led by the Templar Haytham Kenway, ambushed and decimated the British formation, killing Braddock in the process.
Prior to the expedition, the French and British forces were in negotiations for a possible truce. The Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in the colonies, Edward Braddock, refused the offer and planned an expedition to defeat the French once and for all. He claimed that the French would only temporarily abide by the peace treaty, breaking it whenever they had an advantage, and so he drew up plans to capture Fort Duquesne. A copy of these plans were stolen by the Templar Haytham Kenway, in preparation for his ambush on Braddock's army.
In July 1755, Braddock began the march to the fort with nearly 2000 men, and a sizable amount of artillery. To try and maintain the element of surprise, Braddock marched his men through the thick forest, foolishly believing that no one would detect them there, and completely oblivious to the French who were waiting within.
Haytham's party of Templars and Natives arrived at a point very close to the marching force and prepared their ambush, during which Haytham stole the attire of a Redcoat soldier in an attempt to sneak up on Braddock. When he had Braddock at the end of his pistol barrel, a small regiment of French regulars ignited the ambush, followed by the collaborating Natives.
Charles Lee shot and killed the French commander Daniel Liénard de Beaujeu as he charged on horseback at Haytham and Braddock. Braddock then fled towards the river with the Haytham in close pursuit. As the Templar gained on Braddock, French marksmen who were hiding in the thick of the trees shot at the several British wagon loads of gunpowder, causing them to explode and create chaos along the path. Seeing that Braddock was in danger, George Washington killed Haytham's horse in an attempt to aid his commanding officer's escape. Despite this, Kaniehtí:io knocked Washington off his horse and pinned him to the ground with a knife to his neck, giving Haytham the time to chase down and kill Braddock. Meanwhile, the far more prepared and organized French troops ended the expedition, after having inflicted devastating blows to the British regulars' numbers, causing the rest of the red coats to flee. The natives then took to scalping the remaining wounded and dead, as well as drinking captured rum from the battle.
As a result of the expedition, a large part of Braddock's forces were decimated during the battle, with at least one French and unspecified Native American casualties.
- Christopher Gist was part of the expedition.