Appointed shortly afterwards to command against the French in America, he landed in Virginia on February 19, 1755 with two regiments of British regulars. He met with several of the colonial governors at the Council of Alexandria on April 14 and was persuaded to undertake vigorous actions against the French. He planned four separate initiatives; Governor Shirley of Massachusetts would attack at Fort Niagara, General Johnson at Crown Point, Colonel Monckton at Fort Beausejour on the Bay of Fundy. He would lead an Expedition against Fort Duquesne at the Forks of the Ohio.
After some months of preparation, in which he was hampered by administrative confusion and want of resources, he took the field with a picked column, in which George Washington served as a volunteer officer. The column crossed the Monongahela River on July 9, 1755 and almost immediately afterwards fell into an ambuscade of French and Indians. The troops were completely surprised and routed, and Braddock, rallying his men time after time, fell at last, mortally wounded.
Braddock was carried off the field with difficulty, and died on 13 July 1755. He was buried at Great Meadows, where the remnant of the column halted on its retreat to reorganise.