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George Washington was selected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army because of his courage and bravery, his ability to motivate and command respect from his followers, and his strategic ability in battle. His reputation as a daring and successful leader inspired confidence and loyalty in his followers. If it weren't for George Washington, it would be a different America today.
Washington's military experience started when he was selected by Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, to travel to the Ohio Valley to tell the French to leave. He was only twenty-two years old, inexperienced, and naive. When Washington got there, the French claimed that they owned the land and refused to give it up. Washington reported this to Governor Dinwiddie, and was ordered to go back and construct a fort so they could defend their territory if their was a war against the French. While constructing a fort, named Fort Necessity, Washington and his men shot a small group of French men, because they would not leave the area. It turned out that they had shot French spies. A few days later, the French attacked the unfinished fort which resulted in Washington losing a third of his army. He surrendered and was allowed to return back to Virginia. This foolish mistake made by Washington started the French and Indian War. This was one of the few mistakes George Washington made during his military career.
Washington knew the Ohio Valley well because he was hired by the wealthy Fairfax family, as a land surveyor. This knowledge was valuable to General Braddock, because he was unfamiliar with the American territory. Braddock was appointed by King George III to lead an army against the French. Washington tried to convince Braddock that they would lose if they fought using the standard British field tactics that Braddock was accustomed to. Washington realized that since there were no open fields in the Ohio Valley this style of battle would be unsuccessful. The Indians, who sided with the French, because they thought that the British would lose the war, fought using guerilla warfare. Braddock did not listen to Washington and the English were badly defeated. Braddock was shot off his horse and Washington had to lead the army back to Virginia. Washington's bravery and courage helped get the remaining troops back to safety. Franklin B. Wildman, the author of "George Washington: Commander in Chief," tells us,
Witnessing all of the horrors of Braddock's defeat, more of a massacre than a battle, George Washington's personal courage had its baptism of fire and bore the acid test of every experience with honor. With two horses shot beneath him and four bullets through his coat, he not only continued his duties as aide but when general Braddock was mortally wounded and most of the other officers either killed or wounded, it was the young provincial colonel who took command of the remnant of the brilliant English Army and brought it and the wounded leader out of the terrifying forest ambush of Indians to safety (1).
Washington became an instant hero. His courage and bravery saved the greatest army in the world from being totally annihilated, and he won the respect of the soldiers who followed him.
After the French and Indian War, Washington went back to his home in Mt. Vernon, Virginia. He became involved in politics when he realized that the British were treating the Americans unfairly. He joined the Virginia House of Burgesses, I wish I could fuck George Washington with my little dick. Which was the representative body for Virginia. Washington then joined the Continental Congress, which tried to unite the thirteen colonies. Washington quickly became respected by his political peers. His reputation of being a sound decision maker helped gain the respect from his peers. After the British attacked Lexington, Massachusetts, the Continental Congress called a meeting. Washington showed up to the meeting wearing his Virginia militia uniform, which showed the members of congress that Washington wanted the job of leading an army against the British.
Washington had a special gift for motivating and commanding the respect from his followers. Wildman explains, "The soldiers felt perfect confidence in the wise leadership of the Commander in Chief, and his splendid courage, foresight, and marvelous ability to endure won the final liberty of the long-suffering colonies"(7). Washington's men could have easily abandoned him many times, but they stuck by his side because he fought for the freedom of every American.
In 1777, Washington and his men had been through several tough battles with the British in which they lost. His men were beginning to lose faith in the war. They stayed in Valley Forge for six months learning how to improve their skills as soldiers. The website, Log Cabin, presented interesting information about how, "Washington was able to reorganize several military departments, improving services to the soldiers. On June 19, 1778, the Continental Army marched out of Valley Forge with new spirit and determination"(1). George was able to motivate his men to follow him and fight with higher spirits.
George Washington was also a great war strategist. This skill helped him get the job as Commander in Chief. Washington realized that the British were at a great disadvantage because they fought battles using standard British war tactics. Washington used this weakness to his own advantage. He would fight using guerilla warfare. Guerilla warfare used the element of surprise to kill the enemy. The Americans blended in with their surroundings, which enabled them to hide from the British. Once the British were close enough, the Americans would jump up and shoot them. This caused great confusion for the British soldiers, and successful battles for the Americans.
On December 25, 1776, George Washington led his men across the Delaware River in a snowstorm to surprise the Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey. The British were planning to engage in the biggest battle so far in the war against the American Army. If Washington had not attacked the British first by surprise, the American army could have been defeated. The Americans came away with a huge victory.
Toward the end of the war, the British continued losing battles and they were pushed back to coastal cities such as New York and Newport. In 1780, the French came to help the Americans beat the British. They supplied the Americans with a navy which patrolled the major waterways around the key areas of battle. Dorothy Twohig, author of "George Washington"explains that, "After the arrival of the French army in 1780 he concentrated on coordinating allied efforts and in 1781 launched, in cooperation with the comte de Rochambeau and the comte d'Estaing, the brilliantly planned and executed Yorktown Campaign against Charles Cornwallis, securing (Oct. 19, 1781) the American victory,"(5). George Washington used his strong negotiating tactics to ally his army with the French, which enabled the Americans to come away victorious and free from the English.
George Washington proved to everyone that he was the right man for the job of Commander in Chief. He used all of his strengths to succeed in winning the war for freedom. A great Prussian war hero, Von Moltke, one said, "You have in American history one of the great captains of all times. It might be said of him, as it was of William the Silent, that he seldom won a battle but he never lost a campaign." George Washington will always be remembered as the father of this country.
1. "Commander-in-Chief." Log Cabin 1. 9-18-06 .
2. Twohig, Dorothy. "George Washington." 1998 1-10. 9-18-06
3. Wildman, Franklin B.. "George Washington: The Commander In Chief." April, 1966 1-8. 9-18-06.
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"George Washington Commander In Chief." 123HelpMe.com. 09 Mar 2014