Fort Necessity National Battlefield | BRADDOCK GRAVE

General Edward Braddock's Grave at Fort Necessity National Battlefield

General Edward Braddock’s Grave at Fort Necessity National Battlefield

After George Washington’s defeat at Fort Necessity on July 3, 1754, a battle which began the French and Indian War, the British had no confidence that a colonial militia could defeat the French, so two regiments of British regulars under the command of General Edward Braddock were sent to America. They arrived in Virginia in February 1755. Braddock was tasked with removing the French from Fort Duquesne, which was located where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers merge to form the Ohio River (modern-day Pittsburgh), a key position to controlling the area.

Braddock and his men traveled on the road that Washington had built the previous year, but they had to widen it to accommodate their wagons and artillery. Impatient with the progress, Braddock and 1,400 soldiers rode ahead of the men building the road. On July 9th, while crossing the Monongahela River about ten miles from Fort Duquesne, they were surprised by a large force of French soldiers and their Indian allies. The Battle of the Monongahela lasted for three hours and ended in a French victory. Nine hundred British soldiers were killed or wounded, including Braddock himself (severely wounded). The British retreated back to the Great Meadows area where Braddock succumbed to his wounds and died on July 13th. His men buried him in the nearby road. George Washington presided over the funeral. Afterwards, the men rode their horses and wagons over the grave to obliterate all traces of it.

In 1804, men discovered skeletal remains buried in the road while making repairs. The remains were believed to be those of General Braddock based on officer uniform buttons also found in the grave. Braddock was reinterred—minus a few bones that were kept as souvenirs—on a nearby hill that is now marked by a granite memorial. The memorial itself was placed in 1913.

Visitors to Fort Necessity National Battlefield are invited to stop at the site of General Edward Braddock’s grave, which is officially part of the park. It is located on Route 40 about one mile northwest of the battlefield. Stairs lead from the parking lot to the grave site. For those who cannot walk up stairs, a paved path is available.

Stairs from the parking lot to Braddock's Grave at Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Stairs from the parking lot to Braddock’s Grave at Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Paved path to Braddock's Grave at Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Paved path to Braddock’s Grave at Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Braddock’s original burial spot in the road is also preserved. When taking the stairs from the parking lot, you will come to a paved path that runs to the right (the stairs are the only way to access the path). Follow this a short ways to the grave site, which is now marked by a metal tablet. The path, by the way, follows the original Braddock Road.

Original burial site of General Edward Braddock, Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Original burial site of General Edward Braddock, Fort Necessity National Battlefield

In addition to the grave, there is a stone marker that commemorates the Braddock Road. The road was in use until around 1818, at which time it was largely abandoned as traffic migrated to the new National Road. Parts of Braddock’s Road were incorporated into the new route, which itself was largely incorporated into the modern Route 40. A few original segments of Braddock’s Road still survive within Fort Necessity National Battlefield.

Commemorative marker for the Braddock Road, Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Commemorative marker for the Braddock Road, Fort Necessity National Battlefield

Plan to spend no more than 15 minutes at Braddock’s Grave.

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Last updated on February 15, 2023
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