Excerpts from the book

November 27, 1748 – Belvoir

Six months later, Lawrence and George left Mount Vernon, a modest one-and-a-half-story home flanked by two chimneys, painted white, and well sited overlooking the Potomac. The pair rode to an engagement party at Belvoir, the Fairfax family estate. It was a beautiful, clear, crisp Friday evening in late fall in northern Virginia. Will’s wedding was planned for late December, and the best of Virginia society were attending his engagement ball. “I spoke with Will yesterday,” Lawrence commented. “He can be a dour little fellow, but his pending nuptials seem to have lifted his spirits.” Lawrence was in an excellent mood and good health, George noted. His brother had been experiencing a persistent and violent cough that bloodletting and other treatments had not alleviated. However, Lawrence’s condition appeared to improve in the cool evening air as they rode together. “Will is as happy as I have ever seen him,” George replied. … Read More

The Battle

At about 2:30 p.m., George, still at Braddock’s side, was surprised to hear the unmistakable pops of muskets, followed a couple minutes later by the crash of mass directed fire. The column shuddered to a halt, and Braddock immediately ordered messengers ahead to determine what was happening. Within a couple of minutes, he received confused reports from young officers indicating that the vanguard had run into French and Indian troops, with volleys erupting directly in front of Gage’s men and resulting in an indeterminate number of casualties. As updates continued to stream in, Braddock remained composed and, apparently completely at ease on his horse, made no effort to move forward. George pulled his mount next to the general and volunteered, “Sir, if you would like, I would be pleased to go to Colonel Gage and the van and provide you with a more complete report of conditions.” Confidently surveying the … Read More