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Vocabulary: anomalous, supremacy, deficient, Alleghenies, allegiance, confederacy
1. England and France were, at this time, at peace in Europe, although the troops of both nations were about to engage in conflict, in the forests of America. Their position there was an anomalous one. England owned the belt of colonies on the east coast. France was mistress of Canada in the north, of Louisiana in the south, and, moreover, claimed the whole of the vast country lying behind the British colonies, which were thus cooped up on the seaboard. Her hold, however, of this great territory was extremely slight. She had strong posts along the chain of lakes from the Saint Lawrence to Lake Superior, but between these and Louisiana, her supremacy was little more than nominal.
2. The Canadian population were frugal and hardy, but they were deficient in enterprise; and the priests, who ruled them with a rod of iron, for Canada was intensely Catholic, discouraged any movements which would take their flocks from under their charge. Upon the other hand, the colonists of New England, Pennsylvania, and Virginia were men of enterprise and energy, and their traders, pushing in large numbers across the Alleghenies, carried on an extensive trade with the Indians in the valley of the Ohio, thereby greatly exciting the jealousy of the French, who feared that the Indians would ally themselves with the British colonists, and that the connection between Canada and Louisiana would be thereby cut.
3. The English colonists were greatly superior to the French in number; but they laboured under the disadvantage that the colonies were wholly independent of each other, with strong mutual jealousies, which paralysed their action and prevented their embarking upon any concerted operations. Upon the other hand, Canada was governed by the French as a military colony. The governor was practically absolute, and every man capable of bearing arms could, if necessary, be called by him into the field. He had at his disposal not only the wealth of the colony, but large assistance from France, and the French agents were, therefore, able to outbid the agents of the British colonies with the Indians.
4. For years there had been occasional troubles between the New England States and the French, the latter employing the Indians in harassing the border; but, until the middle of the eighteenth century, there had been nothing like a general trouble. In 1749 the Marquis of Galissoniere was governor general of Canada. The treaty of Aix la Chapelle had been signed; but this had done nothing to settle the vexed question of the boundaries between the English and French colonies. Meanwhile, the English traders from Pennsylvania and Virginia were poaching on the domain which France claimed as hers, ruining the French fur trade, and making friends with the Indian allies of Canada. Worse still, farmers were pushing westward and settling in the valley of the Ohio.
5. In order to drive these back, to impress the natives with the power of France, and to bring them back to their allegiance, the governor of Canada, in the summer of 1749, sent Celoron de Bienville. He had with him fourteen officers, twenty French soldiers, a hundred and eighty Canadians, and a band of Indians. They embarked in twenty-three
birch-bark canoes, and, pushing up the Saint Lawrence, reached Lake Ontario, stopping for a time at the French fort of Frontenac, and avoiding the rival English port of Oswego on the southern shore, where a trade in beaver skins, disastrous to French interests, was being carried on, for the English traders sold their goods at vastly lower prices than those which the French had charged.
6. On the 6th of July the party reached Niagara, where there was a small French fort, and thence, carrying their canoes round the cataract, launched them upon Lake Erie. Landing again on the southern shore of the lake, they carried their canoes nine miles through the forest to Chautauqua Lake, and then dropped down the stream running out of it until they reached the Ohio. The fertile country here was inhabited by the Delawares, Shawanoes, Wyandots, and Iroquois, or Indians of the Five Nations, who had migrated thither from their original territories in the colony of New York. Further west, on the banks of the Miami, the Wabash, and other streams, was a confederacy of the Miami and their kindred tribes. Still further west, in the country of the Illinois, near the Mississippi, the French had a strong stone fort called Fort Chartres, which formed one of the chief links of the chain of posts that connected Quebec with New Orleans.
7. The French missionaries and the French political agents had, for seventy years, laboured hard to bring these Indian tribes into close connection with France. The missionaries had failed signally; but the presents, so lavishly bestowed, had inclined the tribes to the side of their donors, until the English traders with their cheap goods came
pushing west over the Alleghenies. They carried their goods on the backs of horses, and journeyed from village to village, selling powder, rum, calicoes, beads, and trinkets. No less than three hundred men were engaged in these enterprises, and some of them pushed as far west as the Mississippi.
8. As the party of Celoron proceeded they nailed plates of tin, stamped with the arms of France, to trees; and buried plates of lead near them, with inscriptions saying that they took possession of the land in the name of Louis the Fifteenth, King of France.
9. Many of the villages were found to be deserted by the natives, who fled at their approach. At some, however, they found English traders, who were warned at once to leave the country; and, by some of them, letters were sent to the governor of Pennsylvania, in which Celoron declared that he was greatly surprised to find Englishmen trespassing in the domain of France, and that his orders were precise, to leave no foreign traders within the limits of the government of Canada.
1. Who controlled Canada the English or the French? _____________________
2. What religion were the Canadians? ______________________
3. How many officers were with Celoron de Bienville? ____________________
4. What was nailed to the trees? ______________________________
Vocabulary: hostilities, extinct, Chiningue, Scioto
10. At Chiningue, called Logstown by the English, a large number of natives were gathered, most of the inhabitants of the deserted villages having sought refuge there. The French were received with a volley of balls from the shore; but they landed without replying to the fire, and hostilities were avoided. The French kept guard all night, and in the morning Celoron invited the chiefs to a council, when he told them he had come, by the order of the governor, to open their eyes to the designs of the English against their lands, and that they must be driven away at once. The reply of the chiefs was humble; but they begged that the English traders, of whom there were, at that moment, ten in the town, might stay a little longer, since the goods they brought were necessary to them.
11. After making presents to the chiefs, the party proceeded on their way, putting up the coats of arms and burying the lead inscriptions. At Scioto a large number of Indians were assembled, and the French were very apprehensive of an attack, which would doubtless have been disastrous to them, as the Canadians of the party were altogether
unused to war. A council was held, however, at which Celoron could obtain no satisfaction whatever, for the interests of the Indians were bound up with the English.
12. There can be no doubt that, had they been able to look into the future, every Indian on the continent would have joined the French in their effort to crush the English colonies. Had France remained master of America the Indians might, even now, be roaming free and unmolested on the lands of their forefathers. France is not a colonizing nation. She would have traded with the Indians, would have endeavoured to Christianize them, and would have left them their land and freedom, well satisfied with the fact that the flag of France should wave over so vast an extent of country; but on England conquering the soil, her armies of emigrants pressed west, and the Indian is fast becoming extinct on the continent of which he was once the lord.
13. Celoron's expedition sailed down the Ohio until it reached the mouth of the Miami, and toiled for thirteen days against its shallow current, until they reached a village of the Miami Indians, ruled over by a chief called, by the French, La Demoiselle, but whom the English, whose fast friend he was, called Old Britain. He was the great chief of the
14. The English traders there withdrew at the approach of the French. The usual council was held, and Celoron urged the chief to remove from this location, which he had but newly adopted, and to take up his abode, with his band, near the French fort on the Maumee. The chief accepted the Frenchman's gifts, thanked him for his good advice, and promised to follow it at a more convenient time; but neither promises nor threats
could induce him to stir at once.
15. No sooner, indeed, had the French departed, than the chief gathered the greater part of the members of the confederation on that spot; until, in less than two years after the visit of Celoron, its population had increased eightfold, and it became one of the greatest Indian towns of the west, and the centre of English trade and influence.
16. Celoron reached Miami, and then returned northward to Lake Erie, and thence back to Montreal, when he reported to the governor that English influence was supreme in the valley of the Ohio.
17. In the following year, a company was formed in Virginia for effecting a settlement in Ohio, and a party proceeded west to the village of the chief called Old Britain, by whom they were received with great friendship, and a treaty of peace was solemnly made between the English and the Indians. While the festivities, consequent on the affair, were going on, four Ottawa Indians arrived from the French, with the French flag and gifts, but they were dismissed with an answer of defiance. If, at this time, the colonists could have cemented their alliance with the Indians, with gifts similar to those with which the French endeavoured to purchase their friendship, a permanent peace with the Indians might have been established; but the mutual jealousies of the colonies, and the nature of the various colonial assemblies, rendered any common action impossible. Pennsylvania was jealous of the westward advance of Virginia, and desired to thwart rather than to assist her.
18. The governors of New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia were fully conscious of the importance of the Indian alliance, but they could do nothing without their assemblies. Those of New York and Pennsylvania were largely composed of tradesmen and farmers, absorbed in local interests, and animated but by two motives; the cutting down of all expenditure, and bitter and continuous opposition to the governor, who represented the royal authority. Virginia and Pennsylvania quarrelled about their respective rights over the valley of the Ohio. The assembly of New York refused to join in any common action, saying, "We will take care of our Indians, and they may take care of theirs."
19. The states further removed from the fear of any danger, from the action of the Indians and French, were altogether lukewarm.
20. Thus, neither in the valley of the Ohio, nor on the boundaries of the New England states, did the Indians receive their promised gifts, and, as the French agents were liberal both in presents and promises, the Indians became discontented with their new friends, and again turned their eyes towards France. Old Britain, however, remained firm in his alliance; and the English traders, by constant presents, and by selling their goods at the lowest possible rates, kept him and his warriors highly satisfied and contented.
21. The French, in vain, tried to stir up the friendly tribes to attack Oswego on Lake Ontario, and the village of Old Britain, which were the two centers to which the Indians went to trade with the English; but they were unsuccessful until, in June, 1752, Charles Langlade, a young French trader, married to a squaw at Green Bay, and strong in influence with the tribes of that region, came down the lakes with a fleet of canoes, manned by two hundred and fifty Ottawa and Ojibwa warriors. They stopped awhile at the fort at Detroit, then paddled up the Maumee to the next fort, and thence marched through the forests against the Miamis.
22. They approached Old Britain's village in the morning. Most of the Indians were away on their summer hunt, and there were but eight English traders in the place. Three of these were caught outside the village, the remaining five took refuge in the fortified warehouse they had built, and there defended themselves.
23. Old Britain and the little band with him fought bravely, but against such overwhelming numbers could do nothing, and fourteen of them, including their chief, were killed. The five white men defended themselves till the afternoon, when two of them managed to make their escape, and the other three surrendered. One of them was already wounded, and was at once killed by the French Indians. Seventy years of the teaching of the French missionaries had not weaned the latter from cannibalism, and Old Britain was boiled and eaten.
5. What was Chiningue called by the English? ____________________
6. Who was the great chief of the Miami confederation? ___________________
7. The French agents were liberal both in presents and what? ________________
8. How long had the French missionaries been teaching the Indians? ___________
Vocabulary: Marquis of Duquesne, Galissoniere, notoriously, Allegheny, fatigued,
24. The Marquis of Duquesne, who had succeeded Galissoniere as governor, highly praised Langlade for the enterprise, and recommended him to the minister at home for reward. This bold enterprise further shook the alliance of the Indians with the English, for it seemed to them that the French were enterprising and energetic, while the English were slothful and cowardly, and neglected to keep their agreements. The French continued to build forts, and Dinwiddie, governor of Virginia, sent George Washington to protest, in his name, against their building forts on land notoriously belonging to the English crown.
25. Washington performed the long and toilsome journey through the forests at no slight risks, and delivered his message at the forts, but nothing came of it. The governor of Virginia, seeing the approaching danger, made the greatest efforts to induce the other colonies to join in common action; but North Carolina, alone, answered the appeal, and gave money enough to raise three or four hundred men. Two independent companies maintained by England in New York, and one in South Carolina, received orders to march to Virginia. The governor had raised, with great difficulty, three hundred men. They were called the Virginia Regiment. An English gentleman named Joshua Fry was appointed the colonel, and Washington their major.
26. Fry was at Alexandria, on the Potomac, with half the regiment. Washington, with the other half, had pushed forward to the storehouse at Wills Creek, which was to form the base of operations. Besides these, Captain Trent, with a band of backwoodsmen, had crossed the mountain to build a fort at the forks of the Ohio, where Pittsburgh now stands.
27. Trent had gone back to Wills Creek, leaving Ensign Ward, with forty men, at work upon the fort, when, on the 17th of April, a swarm of canoes came down the Allegheny, with over five hundred Frenchmen, who planted cannon against the unfinished stockade, and summoned the ensign to surrender. He had no recourse but to submit, and was allowed to depart, with his men, across the mountains.
28. The French at once set to, to build a strong fort, which they named Fort Duquesne. While the governor of Virginia had been toiling, in vain, to get the colonists to move, the French had acted promptly, and the erection of their new fort at once covered their line of communication to the west, barred the advance of the English down the Ohio valley, and secured the allegiance of all the wavering Indian tribes.
29. Although war had not yet been declared between England and France, the colonists, after this seizure, by French soldiers, of a fort over which the English flag was flying, henceforth acted as if the two powers were at war. Washington moved forward from Wills Creek with his hundred and fifty men, and surprised a French force which had gone out scouting. Several of the French were killed, and the commander of Fort Duquesne sent despatches to France to say that he had sent this party out with a communication to Washington, and that they had been treacherously assassinated.
30. This obscure skirmish was the commencement of a war which set two continents on fire. Colonel Fry died a few days after this fight, and Washington succeeded to the command of the regiment, and collected his three hundred men at Green Meadow, where he was joined by a few Indians, and by a company from South Carolina.
31. The French at Duquesne were quickly reinforced, and the command was given to Coulon de Villiers, the brother of an officer who had been killed in the skirmish with Washington. He at once advanced against the English, who had fallen back to a rough breastwork which they called Fort Necessity, Washington having but four hundred men, against five hundred French and as many Indians.
32. For nine hours the French kept up a hot fire on the intrenchment, but without success, and at nightfall Villiers proposed a parley. The French ammunition was running short, the men were fatigued by their marches, and drenched by the rain which had been falling the whole day. The English were in a still worse plight. Their powder was nearly spent, their guns were foul, and among them they had but two cleaning rods.
33. After a parley, it was agreed that the English should march off with drums beating and the honours of war, carrying with them all their property; that the prisoners taken in the previous affair should be set free, two officers remaining with the French as hostages until they were handed over.
34. Washington and his men arrived, utterly worn out with fatigue and famine, at Wills Creek. This action left the French masters of the whole country beyond the Alleghenies.
9. Who was sent to protest the French building forts on English land? __________
10. How many men did Ensign Ward have with him? ________________________
11. How many men did Washington have when he surprised the French? ________
12. Who became the masters of the country beyond the Alleghnies? ____________
Vocabulary: Boscawen, negotiations, Monongahela
35. The two mother nations were now preparing for war, and, in the middle of January, 1755, Major General Braddock, with the 44th and 48th Regiments, each five hundred strong, sailed from Cork for Virginia; while the French sent eighteen ships of war and six battalions to Canada.
36. Admiral Boscawen, with eleven ships of the line and one frigate, set out to intercept the French expedition. The greater part of the fleet evaded him, but he came up with three of the French men of war, opened fire upon them, and captured them. Up to this time a pretence of negotiations had been maintained between England and France, but the capture of the French ships brought the negotiations to a sudden end, and the war began.
37. A worse selection than that of Major General Braddock could hardly have been made. He was a brave officer and a good soldier, but he was rough, coarse, and obstinate. He utterly despised the colonial troops, and regarded all methods of fighting, save those pursued by regular armies in the field, with absolute contempt. To send such a man to command troops destined to fight in thick forests, against an enemy skilled in warfare of that kind, was to court defeat.
38. As might be expected, Braddock was very soon on the worst possible terms with the whole of the colonial authorities, and the delays caused by the indecision or obstinacy of the colonial assemblies chafed him to madness. At last, however, his force was assembled at Wills Creek. The two English regiments had been raised, by enlistment in Virginia, to 700 men each. There were nine Virginian companies of fifty men, and the thirty sailors lent by Commodore Keppel. General Braddock had three aides-de-camp--Captain Robert Orme, Captain Roger Morris, and Colonel George Washington.
39. It was the 1st of June, when James Walsham rode with Colonel Washington into the camp, and, three days later, the last companies of the Virginian corps marched in. During the next week, some of the English officers attempted to drill the Virginians in the manner of English troops.
40. "It is a waste of time," Colonel Washington said to James, one day, when he was watching them, "and worse. These men can fight their own way. Most of them are good shots, and have a fair idea of forest fighting; let them go their own way, and they can be trusted to hold their own against at least an equal number of French and Indians; but they would be hopelessly at sea if they were called upon to fight like English regulars. Most likely the enemy will attack us in the forest, and what good will forming in line, or wheeling on a flank, or any of the things which the general is trying to drum into their heads, do to them? If the French are foolish enough to wait at Fort Duquesne until we arrive, I have no doubt we shall beat them, but if they attack us in the woods it will go hard with us."
41. During the ten days which elapsed between his arrival and the start, James was kept hard at work, being for the most part employed galloping up and down the road, urging up the wagoners, and bringing back reports as to their position and progress. On the 10th of June the army started; 300 axemen led the way, cutting and clearing the road; the long train of pack horses, wagons, and cannon followed; the troops marched in the forest on either side, while men were thrown out on the flanks, and scouts ranged the woods to guard against surprise.
42. The road was cut but twelve feet wide, and the line of march often extended four miles. Thus, day by day they toiled on, crossing the Allegheny Mountains, range after range; now plunging down into a ravine, now ascending a ridge, but always in the deep shadow of the forest. A few of the enemy hovered round them, occasionally killing a straggler who fell behind.
43. On the 18th of June, the army reached a place called the Little Meadows. So weak were the horses, from want of forage, that the last marches had been but three miles a day, and, upon Washington's advice, Braddock determined to leave the heavy baggage here, with the sick men and a strong guard under Colonel Dunbar; while he advanced with 1200 men, besides officers and drivers.
44. But the progress was still no more than three miles a day, and it was not until the 7th of July that they arrived within eight miles of the French fort. Between them lay, however, an extremely difficult country with a narrow defile, and Braddock determined to ford the Monongahela, and then cross it again lower down.
45. The garrison of Fort Duquesne consisted of a few companies of regular troops, some hundreds of Canadians, and 800 Indian warriors. They were kept informed, by the scouts, of the progress of the English, and, when the latter approached the Monongahela, a party under Captain Beaujeu set out to meet them. His force consisted of 637 Indians, 100 French officers and soldiers, and 146 Canadians, in all about 900 men.
46. At one o'clock in the day, Braddock crossed the Monongahela for the second time. The troops had, all the day, been expecting the attack and had prepared for it. At the second ford the army marched in martial order, with music playing and flags flying. Once across the river they halted for a short time, and then again continued their advance.
47. Braddock made every disposition for preventing a surprise. Several guides, with six Virginian light horsemen, led the way. Then came the advanced column, consisting of 300 soldiers under Gage, and a large body of axemen, under Sir John Sinclair, with two cannon. The main body followed close behind. The artillery and wagons moved along the road, the troops marched through the woods on either hand, numerous flanking parties were thrown out a hundred yards or more right and left, and, in the space between them and the line of troops, the pack horses and cattle made their way, as they best could, among the trees.
13. How many ships of war did the French send? _______________________
14. Who did Major General Braddock despise? __________________________
15. How wide was the road cut? ______________________
16. How many men did Captain Beaujeu have in total? ____________________
48. Beaujeu had intended to place his men in ambush at the ford, but, owing to various delays caused by the Indians, he was still a mile away from the ford when the British crossed. He was marching forward when he came suddenly upon the little party of guides and Virginian light horsemen. These at once fell back. The Indians raised their war whoop, and, spreading right and left among the trees, opened a sharp fire upon the British.
49. Gage's column wheeled deliberately into line, and fired volley after volley, with great steadiness, at the invisible opponents. The greater part of the Canadians bolted at once, but the Indians kept up their fire from behind the shelter of the trees. Gage brought up his two cannon and opened fire, and the Indians, who had a horror of artillery, began also to fall back.
50. The English advanced in regular lines, cheering loudly. Beaujeu fell dead; but Captain Dumas, who succeeded him in command, advanced at the head of his small party of French soldiers, and opened a heavy fire.
51. The Indians, encouraged by the example, rallied and again came forward, and, while the French regulars and the few Canadians who had not fled held the ground in front of the column, the Indians swarmed through the forests along both flanks of the English, and from behind trees, bushes, and rocks opened a withering fire upon them. The troops, bewildered and amazed by the fire poured into them by an invisible foe, and by the wild war whoops of the Indians, ceased to advance, and, standing close together, poured fruitlessly volley after volley into the surrounding forest.
52. On hearing the firing, Braddock, leaving 400 men in the rear under Sir Peter Halket, to guard the baggage, advanced with the main body to support Gage; but, just as he came up, the soldiers, appalled by the fire which was mowing them down in scores, abandoned their cannon and fell back in confusion. This threw the advancing force into disorder, and the two regiments became mixed together, massed in several dense bodies within a small space of ground, facing some one way and some another, all alike exposed, without shelter, to the hail of bullets.
53. Men and officers were alike new to warfare like this. They had been taught to fight in line against solid masses of the enemy, and against an invisible foe like the present they were helpless. The Virginians alone were equal to the emergency. They at once adopted their familiar forest tactics, and, taking their post behind trees, began to fight the Indians in their own way.
54. Had Braddock been a man of judgment and temper, the fortunes of the day might yet have been retrieved, for the Virginians could have checked the Indians until the English troops were rallied and prepared to meet the difficulty; but, to Braddock, the idea of men fighting behind trees was at once cowardly and opposed to all military discipline, and he dashed forward on his horse, and with fierce oaths ordered the Virginians to form line. A body of them, however, under Captain Waggoner, made a dash for a huge fallen tree, far out towards the lurking places of the Indians, and, crouching behind it, opened fire upon them; but the regulars, seeing the smoke among the bushes, took them for the enemy and, firing, killed many and forced the rest to return.
55. A few of the soldiers tried to imitate the Indians, and fight behind the trees, but Braddock beat them back with the flat of his sword, and forced them to stand with the others, who were now huddled in a mass, forming a target for the enemy's bullets. Lieutenant Colonel Burton led 100 of them towards a knoll from which the puffs came thickest, but he fell wounded, and his men, on whom the enemy instantly concentrated their fire, fell back. The soldiers, powerless against the unseen foe, for afterwards some of the officers and men who escaped declared that, throughout the whole fight, they had not seen a single Indian, discharged their guns aimlessly among the trees.
56. They were half stupefied now with the terror and confusion of the scene, the rain of bullets, the wild yells which burst ceaselessly from their 600 savage foemen; while the horses, wild with terror and wounds, added to the confusion by dashing madly hither and thither. Braddock behaved with furious intrepidity. He dashed hither and thither, shouting and storming at the men, and striving to get them in order, and to lead them to attack the enemy. Four horses were, one after the other, shot under him. His officers behaved with equal courage and self devotion, and in vain attempted to lead on the men, sometimes advancing in parties towards the Indians, in hopes that the soldiers would follow them. Sir Peter Halket was killed, Horne and Morris, the two aides-de-camp, Sinclair the quartermaster general, Gates, Gage, and Gladwin were wounded. Of 86 officers, 63 were killed or disabled, while of non-commissioned officers and privates only 459 came off unharmed.
57. James Walsham had been riding by the side of Washington when the fight began, and followed him closely as he galloped among the troops, trying to rally and lead them forward. Washington's horse was pierced by a ball and, staggering, fell. James leaped from his horse and gave it to the colonel, and then, seeing that there was nothing for him to do, withdrew a short distance from the crowd of soldiers, and crouched down between the trunks of two great trees growing close to each other; one of which protected him, for the most part, from the fire of the Indians, and the other from the not less dangerous fire of the English.
58. Presently, seeing a soldier fall at a short distance from him, he ran out and picked up his musket and cartridge box, and began to fire at the bushes where the puffs of smoke showed that men were in hiding.
59. After three hours' passive endurance of this terrible fire, Braddock, seeing that all was lost, commanded a retreat, and he and such officers as were left strove to draw off the soldiers in some semblance of order; but at this moment a bullet struck him, and, passing through his arm, penetrated his lungs, and he fell from his horse. He demanded to be left where he lay, but Captain Stewart of the Virginians, and one of his men, bore him between them to the rear.
60. The soldiers had now spent all their ammunition, and, no longer kept in their places by their general, broke away in a wild panic. Washington's second horse had now been shot, and as, trying to check the men, he passed the trees where James had taken up his position, the latter joined him.
61. In vain Washington and his other officers tried to rally the men at the ford. They dashed across it, wild with fear, leaving their wounded comrades, cannon, baggage, and military chest a prey to the Indians.
62. Fortunately, only about fifty of the Indians followed as far as the ford, the rest being occupied in killing the wounded and scalping the dead. Dumas, who had now but twenty Frenchmen left, fell back to the fort, and the remnants of Braddock's force continued the flight unmolested.
17. What did the Indians have a horror of? _____________________
18. How many men did Braddock leave in the rear? ______________________
19. With what did Braddock beat his soldiers? ________________________
20. For how long did Braddock’s army endure the attack? __________________