George Washington wrote these words during the American Revolutionary War.
As a young man he had served with the British militia and saw that the British lacked understanding of Colonial warfare. Most of all they were unwilling to listen to good advice. But this knowledge would serve him very well decades later.
General Washington was a master of strategy. He knew his Colonial army was no match for a large and trained British army. So, he chose his battles carefully, and was willing to receive good advice.
Washington required hard work and demanded discipline from his soldiers, and made sure he led by example. He stayed with his men at Valley Forge during the entire winter, the harshest one on record. 2,500 American soldiers died that year. During the seven years of war, he visited his home a total of only 10 days.
He later wrote about Valley Forge,
“To see the soldiers without clothes, without blankets, without shoes…without a hut to cover them…and submitting without a murmur… can scarcely be paralleled.”
Washington was willing to lead his army from the front, and was famous for his courage in battle. The American soldiers knew Washington would not ask them to do something he himself would not do. They would go anywhere with him and do anything for him. So they bled for him and helped bring forth a brand new country..
It was no surprise that George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the new nation, the United States of America, and four years later was re elected.
One of Washington’s men who had accepted no pay wrote:
At the end of the war, Washington was a hero. Congress had given him powers that were equivalent to those of a dictator, and he could have taken full control of the new nation. Instead, Washington resigned, opening the way for us to enjoy the liberties we have today.
Washington’s character and leadership made him a true military and political hero and America’s role model.
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