Monday, May 03, 2021

When you think you cannot accomplish something, please think about George Washington. When you read about what he did, most people think he accomplished the impossible.


Despite having little experience in commanding large, conventional military forces, Washington’s strong leadership presence and fortitude held the American military together long enough to secure victory at Yorktown and independence for his new nation.

Unlike the successful Siege of Boston, the efforts to defend the city of New York ended in near disaster for the Continental Army and the cause of independence.
In what proved to be the largest battle of the Revolutionary War in terms of total combatants, Washington’s forces on August 22, 1776, were flanked out of their positions atop the Gowanus Heights (part of today’s modern Brooklyn) and soundly defeated by William Howe's roughly 20,000 man force on Long Island.

It was during these dark days at the close of 1776 that Thomas Paine’s words from the recently published American Crisis rang most true:

“These are the times that try men’s souls…the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”

Washington’s smallpox inoculation program was one of his best decisions of the war.

Up until modern times, disease, not bullets, bayonets, or cannon fire, had been the great killer of soldiers in all armies. In 1775, smallpox had so devastated the American army in Canada that John Adams bemoaned that “…smallpox is ten times more terrible than the British, Canadians and Indians together.”

In late May 1781 Washington’s situation and the fate of the American cause began to rapidly improve. Comte de Rochambeau, the commander of the French troops in America, informed Washington that France had made a 6,000,000 livre gift to the Continental Army.
It was the news that Rochambeau did not initially share with Washington that made an even bigger impact. The French fleet, now operating in strength in North American waters, had been secretly directed to the Chesapeake and a real opportunity to defeat Cornwallis’ force now existed.
Washington, who had been stubbornly fixated on attacking the British base at New York City, rallied to Rochambeau’s plan and moved his army south to Virginia. On September 5, 1781, the French fleet under the command of Admiral de Grasse drove off the British fleet sent to relieve Cornwallis. The trap was now set. The siege of Yorktown began on September 28, 1781, and ended with a Franco-American victory on October 19, 1781 – the decisive battle of the Revolutionary War.

 


 Great quotes from George Washington

“Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad company.” — George Washington

“Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.” — George Washington

“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” — George Washington