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George Washington: Commander And Chief

George Washington was a United States national who was born in Westmoreland County on 22 February 1732. He was a son to Augustine Washington and Mary Ball. He served as a commander in chief of the armed forces after he was elected by the Continental Congress to be a commander in the American Revolutionary Forces from 1775 to 1783. He was able to drive out the British armies out of what was referred to as the strategic locations such as Boston, Yorktown and Saratoga.

In 1787 Washington chaired the Philadelphia convention where he played a key role in the drafting of the United States constitution. When his father died, he went to stay with his step brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon and became a big plantation farmer. Washington shown strong passion in maritime and naval activities, a sentiment that was not shared by her mother and instead of going against her mother, he turned to surveying and was lucky to secure himself a surveying job in 1748 at Lord Fairfax’s land.

He also played an integral role in surveying and mapping Virginia town which is currently known as Alexandria in 1749. The 1753, he took advantage of the Ohio rivalry between the French and British over who was supposed to be in control and got a post of an adjutant where he was sent by Governor Robert Dinwiddie to a French commander based at Fort Le Boef to warn him against making any further encroachment to the valley. This put him to the public limelight and somehow made him a nationally recognized figure.

This research paper is going to limit its focus on the life of George Washington as the commander in chief of the Revolutionary forces. It will also try to show how George ascended to position of a commander and finally to become the president of the United States. The paper starts by giving brief introductory information of George washing ton and the then it concentrates on his life as a commander in chief in its main body. In conclusion of this paper, the key points that have been discussed are highlighted.

Basically, his political life could be said to have started in 1753 when he was dispatched by the governor to send a warning signal to the French power to stop encroaching the Mississippi region which under the charter was within Virginia limits under British rule while at the same time to study the French leadership design and assess the strength of their army, to befriend the native tribes and get to learn any other ting that could have been of importance, something he did with a lot of diligence .

He set out for the journey with a horse on 15th November thorough vast tracts of wilderness, following impassable roads due to heavy snow and rains and crossing rivers with no bridges not mentioning the hostile Indian tribes who hated English people. He continued with this journey until he met Ohio commandant Le Gardeur de St. Pierrecame at the present day Waterford, Pennsylvania whom he gave the letter. Washington was also given the feedback which to the British colonial governor was not satisfactory.

The French were determined to own the controversial territory without being stopped by the British “The French were too intent on their favorite project of extending their empire in America, to be diverted from it by the remonstrance of a colonial governor. ” It was as a result of this that Virginia governor convinced the assembly of the need to establish a regiment comprising of three hundred men who work would be to stop the French from making further encroachments to the British territories.

To oversee this activity, Washington was made a lieutenant-colonel while Fry was appointed as the colonel. At this time they relied on the information that they received from royal Indians of the progress of the French and they were very aware of the fort that was being erected between Monongahela and Alleghany rivers although the war had not officially been declared.

After sometime, colonel Fry died and Washington took over and immediately decided to surprise the French army whose moves spell no good but with the help of the friendly Indians . The French army erected and strengthened fort Duquesne as they continued to advance against the British territories. The British forces decided to establish their own force at Great Meadows but before their plans could become viable, the French attacked the fort. The British faced them strongly in an operation that lasted for hours.

Spearheaded by Washington, the British army fought their enemies with great expertise and intrepidity but was later overwhelmed by better equipped Indian and French troops who forced them to relinquish the ownership of the Fort Necessity to enemies. He was arrested and tricked to sign a declaration letter which was written in French which he did not understand. The letter said that he and his army have agreed to surrender, a blame that was exonerated from him by the British who understood well what happened and because of the commendable manner in which he conducted his army .

Washington was unhappy with Virginia military arrangement and thus he resigned from his position but in 1755 he volunteered to join a military expedition led by Edward Braddock, a British General after being asked by the British officers who had earlier recognized his war expertise. The expedition was a design by the British to repossess the Ohio territory. Braddock was not unaware of the fighting tactics of the Indian and to make the matter worse, he refused to adhere to the advice he was given by his seniors.

Just when Braddock together with his small army was about to conquer Fort Duquesne, the Indian and French forces which were hiding in grass thickets descended on them and almost all the officers who were with him on horse backs were killed but Washington was lucky to escape from the deadly incident. Unfortunately, Braddock was killed in the crash leaving the army under the hands of Washington who in a bid to make himself a hero, struggled to mobilize the remnants of Virginian forces and British troops who were by then greatly demoralized but his efforts were futile and they finally retreated .

Though the British lost in this expedition, a lot of credit went to Washington whom many believed that if he was the one in charge of the army, the blunder that resulted would have not occurred. So the British lost in this battle but were not ready to let the French and the Indian took over their territories just like that and to that end, they mobilized another regiment which was put under the leadership of George Washington thereby becoming the official commander in chief of the Virginian forces .

Soon after Washington assumed power as the commander , he gave all the necessary directives including the recruitment strategy of new troops and the proceeded to Winchester to make war arrangement with lieutenant colonel but while on the way he was informed that the Indians and French had attacked their back settlement and with immediate effect, he postponed his journey and went back to mobilize his army and people. Unfortunately, the people were at this time terrified to stand up against their enemies and thus fled in panic giving the assailants an edge over them and the assailants managed to cross the Alleghany Mountains.

Washington’s war expertise was a bit challenged by the assailants’ expertise because they would avoid direct confrontation with the British troops and instead resorted to guerilla tactics or warfare. They avoided attacking the forts and targeted the solitary families in the yard. Having adapted to savagery life, they would hide in the bush and wait for the right time to attack, “The invaders could seldom be brought to a regular engagement. Honorable war was not in their contemplation. Plunder, devastation, and murder, were their objects” .

His people would assemble to the forts but the bold enemies would inch towards them and cause havoc something that made him to plead to the governor in a sorrowful letter to assist him claiming that people were coming to him for protection which he could not offer. By this time, Washington commanded less than seven hundred regiment and this was a number that greatly fell short of what he wanted and yet they were required to offer protection to the Virginian three hundred and sixty miles frontier. Besides, they were ill equipped and undisciplined.

According to Washington, undisciplined army is equivalent to a mob and thus could not stand the hard fight that their enemies presented . George Washington was an apt leader who was quick to point mistakes that those in authority committed and shown them the way forward for example, he advised the governor to assent to the recruitment of more army. In 1756 and 1757 he made many proposals and suggested that if the British were not ready to launch an offensive attack to the enemy, then it was imperative for them to put in place twenty two forts along the exposed Virginia frontier and two thousand troops be permanently deployed .

The British government was slow to act and according to Washington, it was the reason why they were attacked and defeated by their enemies. Though reluctant, they decided to put his proposal into test but on probation under the leadership of General Forbes who was the person in charge of defense of both middle and southern colonies. Although they accepted and promised to implement what he had suggested, they were slow to act something that made success to be nothing but a dream and this posed serious negative consequences to the British.

“The propriety of the remonstrance made by Washington against the many delays which had taken place, now became obviously striking. The hopes of restoring peace to the frontier settlements by reducing Fort Duquesne began to vanish” . Washington never despaired and continued to advance despite a lot of major setbacks on his army until he reached Fort Duquesne and surprisingly enough, he found the fort has been deserted by the French who by then were concentrating on the tough battle that had been initiated by the British on the North and thus could not have afforded to keep its army in the fort while their presence was badly needed elsewhere.

Again, to make the matter worse, the Indians had turned against the French who had deserted them to go to protect their interests in the Northern Ohio and for this reason, they would butcher anyone who stood in their way irrespective of age and sex something that further weakened the French. Though they were doing this, they felt vulnerable and were willing to collaborate with any other stronger power that approached them and this greatly favored the British who badly wanted to repossess their territory .

Washington having convinced the Indians that he would protect them, they let him take the country and fort Duquesne which the British renamed to Fort Pitt which they equipped with 200 army men from Washington’s regiment. The British and the Indian also signed a peace treaty with all Indian tribes in the region thereby bringing both the operation and Washington’s career to an end as after this he resigned . In 1777 up to 1783, George Washington was the commander in chief of the Continental army leading an ill trained army during the Revolutionary War.

After the war emerged, Washington presented himself to the Second Continental Congress dressed in a military uniform a sign indicative of war preparedness . The British officers knew too well that he was a patriot who was devoted, well reputed and experienced in military affairs and thus nothing could have stopped them from giving him a significant position in the army. He presented himself not because he was after any position of power but because he was patriotic who loved his country in fact, he even claimed he was not good enough to hold the position of commander in chief.

On 14th June 1775 after the continental army was formed by the congress, Washington was chosen to be the commander in chief and in July he officially took the position and led the continental army at Cambridge in Massachusetts. Having an outstanding war expertise, in good time he noted there was a shortage of gun powder and an immediate action to save the situation was taken including raiding British’s arsenals in the Caribbean and sourcing some from the French. This helped to launch a military confrontation against the British, strong enough to make their enemies withdraw.

He conducted his operations with military precision that was unmatched to that of Britain and the British though they constantly criticized the continent patriots, they gave credit of the victory to Washington and wished their commanders were like him . In September 11th, 1777, Washington intercepted the British naval advancement under General Howe aimed at owning New York in a capacity of a Commander in Chief of the armed forces in an Independent United States at Long Island in what came to be the fiercest battle in the Revolutionary War.

Washington was not lucky in this and other battles that followed shortly and this cast a shadow of doubt in his military expertise but in December 1776, he made a counter move with about 1,000 men to confront the Hessians at Trenton, New Jersey. This time he was successful and won the Trenton and Princeton battles . In 11th September 1777 in a Battle of Brandywine, Washington was outmaneuvered by Howe who without any resistance from Americans accessed Philadelphia.

Washington tried repossessing the town but to no avail but he managed to recapture Saratoga form the British. At this time, the French in response to Burgoyne defeat joined the war on American side turning the war into a global thing. For the next six months, Washington’s army spent their lives camping at Forge Valley where winter caught them and killed some of his strongest men Antiques Digest . In 1778 when British were leaving Philadelphia for New York, Washington intercepted them at Monmouth but this did not stop them from heading to their destination.

A year later when Washington saw it was impossible to penetrate the British’s army, he embarked on an earth scorched policy that saw Iroquois village destroyed and to render the death blow to the British was the French naval troops who in October 1871 at Virginia trapped the British army and forced them to surrender the Yorktown. Though he remained as the commander in chief after this, he would be defeated in many battles before securing success.

On 25th November 1783, the British forces officially vacated the New York City leaving it to Washington and his men and on 4th December 1783, he resigned from being the commander in chief of the armed forces. After this period, he became admired by many people who encouraged him to vie for presidency which he actually did in 1789 . George Washington was and is still legendary whose role in the war as the commander in chief of the armed forces in both in the Indian war and in the Revolutionary war cannot be underrated.

He spearheaded many battles that brought glory to the land of America and above all the independence which is greatly cherished. He was a son to Augustine Washington and Mary Ball. He served as a commander in chief of the armed forces after he was elected by the Continental Congress to be a commander in the American Revolutionary Forces from 1775 to 1783. He was able to drive out the British armies out of what was referred to as the strategic locations such as Boston, Yorktown and Saratoga.

In 1787 Washington chaired the Philadelphia convention where he played a key role in the drafting of the United States constitution. Bibliography: Antiques Digest. George Washington Is Appointed Commander-In-Chief. 1919. Retrieved from http://www. oldandsold. com/articles22/george-washington- 7. shtml Historic Valley Forge. George Washington: The Commander in Chief. 2009. Accessed at http://www. ushistory. org/Valleyforge/washington/george2. html Ramsey, David. The life of George Washington. Archiving Early America. 1996. Available online at http://www. earlyamerica.

com/lives/gwlife/chapt2/ McGranahan, Ronald W. George Washington. The American Revolutionary. 1998 – 2004. Retrieved from http://americanrevwar. homestead. com/files/GWASH. HTM Marshall, John. The Life of George Washington, Commander in Chief of the American Forces, During the War Which Established the Independence of His Country, and First President of the United States. Adamant Media Corporation, 2000. McNeilly, Mark George Washington and the art of business: leadership principles of America’s first commander-in-chief. Oxford University Press US, 2008

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