George Washington to Mary Ball Washington, July 18, 1755

Selected images from the Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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George Washington to Mary Ball Washington, July 18, 1755

Shortly after the defeat of General Braddock's army on July 9, 1755, a defeated but clearly exhilarated George Washington wrote this excited and reassuring account of the battle to his mother, Mary Ball Washington. Washington praised the Virginia soldiers for their "Bravery," but condemned the British regulars who "broke, and run as Sheep pursued by dogs" for their "cowardice" and "dastardly behavior." The fortunes of war smiled down on Washington, as the young American escaped uninjured by hostile or friendly fire, although "I had four Bullets through my Coat, and two Horses shot under me." Washington continued to serve in the Anglo-American military and was a major factor in Britain's defeat of the French and capture of Fort Duquesne (renamed Fort Pitt by the British) in 1758. Immediately after his return to Virginia, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis on January 6, 1759.

See Series 2, Letterbook 1, image 77, for additional images and a transcription of this letter.

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