History 1 Cp period 2
17, March, 2010
George Washington: An American Hero
George Washington grew up with discipline and education from his father Augustine Washington. Some of the lessons George Washington was taught had a lot to do with The French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War. George Washington’s upbringing contributed to his success in the military for the United States. He was a perfect candidate for the first president of the United States. He was considered an American hero from some of the people in the United States.
George Washington was born on Feb. 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, VA(George Washington’s Mount Vernon).
Washington was the eldest of four. George’s Parents names were Augustine Washington and Jane Butler. Washington’s mother died when he was at a young age. In 1731 Augustine Washington married Mary Ball which she had a son. At age six, the Washington family moved to Ferry Farm in Stafford. George was educated by his father and his elder half brother named Lawrence. He was mainly taught by his father because of how well he was educated. Augustine Washington taught George how to survive in the wilderness because it is a valuable lesson for someone who is growing up.
In 1743, Augustine Washington passed away. Soon after, George moved with his older brother to Mount Vernon. George met a woman named Sally Cary Fairfax and got married to her. The Fairfax helped George build his career. Washington’s dream was to go to sea, however, he changed that to a surveyor. George helped the Fairfax family lay out the town of Belhaven (which is now a day’s called Alexandria) in 1749 and became surveyor of Culpeper County. In 1752, Lawrence Washington died of Tuberculosis(Albert Marrin, George Washington and the Founding of a Nation 30-39).
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George Washington took over Lawrence’s home in Mount Vernon.
In 1753, there was a rivalry going on between the French and the British over having control of the Ohio Valley. Because Washington was one of the four of Virginia’s military he got public notice by Gov. Robert Dinwiddie. This was a very dangerous mission that was approximately five hundred mile mission through the mountains of the Ohio Valley. Washington was dispatched by Dinwiddie on a mission to warn the French commander at Fort Le Boeuf of encroachment on territory claimed by the British because the French were building forts on the Ohio Valley.”I will do what is possible”, said George Washington to Dinwiddie ( Laurie Calkhoven An American Life 34).
As Washington was traveling, he meet the “Half King”(Laurie Calkhoven An American Life 35) which is an Iroquois chief. He gave Washington the name Conotocarious (Town Talker).
He convinced the Indian tribe to help him on his mission. The French did not obey the warning.
The travel back to Virginia for Washington was very dreadful. Meaning it was mid December, it was snowing. It was impossible to cross most of the rivers. The Horses could barely be ridden because their legs would sink into the snow and get cut from the ice chunks on the ground. Washington was in a hurry to tell the lieutenant governor that there could be a French attack. He and his Indian translator Christopher Gist moved along the trails thorough the weather. An Indian guide promised to lead Washington through a shortcut through the long trail but, there was no shortcut. Washington figured that there was a dead end and led the men back into the right direction. As they began to move the Indian that tried finding a shortcut ran in front of Washington and shot at him and missed. Washington stopped the Indian from shooting again. Gist wanted to kill him but George didn’t want to see the sight of a man getting killed. Washington took his gun and sent the man on his own. After the mission he was promoted to lieutenant colonel at 22 years of age because of his journey through the weather (Laurie Calkhoven An American Life 37).
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Dinwiddie made a record of the expedition that was called The Journal of George Washington. He was famous as soon the record was published.
On April of 1754, the French were building a fort at the Forks of Ohio (Paul Johnson The Founding Father 19).
They sent eight hundred soldiers and four hundred Indians to take out Washington’s army. Washington and his men reacted quickly build a log stockade. He named it Fort Necessity which wasn’t large enough to hold all of George Washington’s men.
On July 3rd, 1754, the French attacked. Washington’s men were unprepared without protection. A heavy rain fall came into the battle field. The rain rushed into the fort and ruined the gun powder. “Hurry rush into the buildings!” said Washington to his men( An American Life, Laurie Calkhoven 39).
This battle lasted for nine hours. Washington never wanted to surrender this battle but, one-third of his men have been killed(James Flexner 10).
The French offered to talk to Washington. The next day which was July 4th 1754, Washington had no choice but to surrender on behalf of the British.
After the battle, the French decided to not take any prisoners from Fort Necessity. They chose to let them go home with the agreement that they would not return Ohio for one year. Over the next five years Washington would lead the British troops and the Virginia militia against the French. One of the reasons why Washington never won the battle was because he never was prepared for the fight with protection, he didn’t supply that much gunpowder to fight a battle and he never took anyone’s advice because he thought he knew that what he was doing was correct.
Governor Dinwiddie and the Virginia colony realized how brave Washington was at Fort Necessity. The British military didn’t agree with the colony because of their frustration and their loss of soldiers. Washington wanted to be promoted to British officer(Tyler Martin).
Washington saw British ships sailed into the Potomac River with many soldiers and cannons and their new Major General named Edward Braddock. He tried making a name for himself by doing what Washington tried doing which was taking the French out of the Ohio Valley except he wanted to succeed. Washington signed up for Braddock’s force as a volunteer aide (Joseph Ellis 45).
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On July 8th 1775 Braddock and Washington led two thousand men to Fort Duquesne which was at the Ohio Valley.
On their way to Fort Duquesne Washington, Braddock and their troops fell into a danger zone in the woods. They heard shooting from all different directions. The French were shooting at the British hidden from behind trees and rocks. The redcoats decided to run towards Washington and Braddock to retreat from the woods. Braddock sent them back and instead of having the troops spread out, they were huddled and shooting in all different directions. It began to get ugly because the troops started to shoot each other and the gun powder that they were shooting stung their eyes which made it hard for them to see anything. Washington wanted to make the troops charge in the woods to fight the French but Braddock didn’t agree and since Braddock was in charge, he got what he wanted. The British officers began to be killed one by one because they were very easy targets. Washington’s horse was shot and he jumped off and jumped off another horse. Two musket balls tore through his coat but he was never hit(Laurie Calkhoven 39).
Braddock was badly shot and ordered Washington to get reinforcements which were forty miles away from the battlefield “Washington, were going to have to retreat” said Braddock to Washington(Laurie Calkhoven, An American Life 45).
George rode during the night passing dead British soldiers. At one point of traveling, he needed to get off his horse to find the road because it was too dark to see the road. He made it home to find the reinforcements. Washington addressed the situation to them and they were too frightened to march. England loosed the battle with the loss of Braddock during the battle. Braddock died three days after the battle. Washington had to bury him in the road so that the Indians wouldn’t scalp Braddock. Washington made his troops march over his body so that the gravel flattened out and so that his body would be hidden. The British and the Americans lost more than nine hundred casualties, when the French and the Indians only loosed twenty three soldiers. The British moved their troops north and left the Ohio Valley to the French because the British couldn’t fight no longer. As they left the area, Washington was elected Colonel of the Virginia Regiment and Commander in Chief of all Virginia forces. Washington was only twentythree years old when he was elected. The people did not blame Washington for the loss because he saved Braddock’s body from getting scalped, and they thought he was brave for still going strong in the battle when he was getting shot at. The British wanted to make a third attempt of taking over Fort Duquesne.
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Washington and his troops made their way to Fort Duquesne in November 1758. The British outnumber the French and made the French retreat. Washington finally had Fort Duquesne in his hands. After Fort Duquesne, The British won many pivotal battles and in 1763 the French claimed to all territory east of the Mississippi River(Sharon Pola).
This concluded towards the French and Indian War. The British won this battle.
Washington took charge of sixteen thousand militia men outside of Boston on July 3, 1775. The Revolutionary War had begun. Being that the people of America depended on George Washington, he knew he couldn’t lose this war. Washington found a bunch with no orders in the military. The men were farmers, woodsmen, and clerks dressed in homemade uniforms(About.com).
Soldiers often ran away of fear because they didn’t want to die, lose their families, or their land that they owned. Washington made the same mistake he did before, he didn’t have enough gun powder for the battle. Washington sent a messenger to Boston to spread a rumor that they had so much gun powder. He said that they eighteen thousand barrels. He also told Boston that they didn’t know what to do with it all. The British believed Washington’s lie and he was able to send appeals for gun powder across the colonies.
Not only was Washington struggling on the amount of gun powder he had, he had to build an army of soldiers from thirteen different colonies. Washington’s troops did not follow orders that Washington set and didn’t trust men from other colonies(Laurie Calkhoven 44).
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Washington had hoped he would be able to spend some time in Mount Vernon but he was to afraid the army would fall apart without him. He wrote to his wife Martha to ask her to spend time with him in Massachusetts. Martha traveled to his winter camp to stay with Washington.
Washington’s wife and the troops wives were happy to spend time with each other. One day two different militias got into a snow ball fight but it progressed into a realkicking and punching fight (Laurie Calkhoven 44).
Washington got the notice about the fight. He went over to the two militias to break up the fight. The fight was over as soon as he got there “ You men aren’t going to fight for this country if you want to fight each other!”George Washington said to his men(Albert Marrin, George Washington and the founding of a Nation 23) . Because the two militias got into a fight, the whole army had to pay. Washington made more discipline for his soldiers. The US army had more discipline than the British at one point.
Washington wanted to start the battle soon but the staff disagreed with him because they didn’t think his men would be ready to fight in a battle yet. On January 2nd, Washington raised the American flag on a post which was on Prospect Hill. The British thought the Americans wanted to surrender so they celebrated.
Finally on the night of March 4, 1775, Washington sent three thousand of his men to Dorchester Heights over looking Boston to build a series of forts. The British woke up the next morning to cannons aimed at their 6 forts. They had two choices – attack or retreat. A violent storm made the British not attack. General William Howe ordered his soldiers to load the ships as soon as possible. More than one thousand people in Boston were begging Howe to take them with him. Other people pleaded Washington to not fire on the city and destroy their homes. The British retreated from Boston.
The Boston eventually moved to New York City to plant their colonies there. Washington knew where they were going because it was an easy spot to plant colonies so he followed the British. On August 27, 1776 the Battle of Brooklyn Heights began. The British outnumbered the Americans and defeated them. The soldiers gave up, throwing their guns and leaving the battlefield. The next couple of months, Washington kept his troops at Manhattan (George Washington’s Mount Vernon).
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He knew that all of America gave up on the war except George Washington. He tried gaining confidence back in his troops and nothing seemed to work for them. Washington knew he needed a victory to gain confidence for his country.
Winter came and General Howe decided to plant his men in Manhattan and Staten Island for the whole season but in case of an emergency, they kept some troops in New Jersey. Washington’s men were supposed to go home for Winter break but he held them back because he had a plan to attack the British for a desperate victory. He scheduled the attack on Christmas Day.
On Christmas Night, George Washington led his men across the Hudson River. Sleet was falling down while Washington crossed the river into New Jersey. The guns weren’t able to fire due to the weather. Washington made the troops use their bayonets but he knew that they wouldn’t last. Washington took his troops into houses to dry their gunpowder.
All of his troops shot from the windows of the houses at the Germans. The Germans were blinded because of the weather. The men were shot from all different directions. They suddenly
surrendered and the victory was in Washington’s hands for the first time in the Revolutionary War. This victory gave the Washington, troops, and the country of America confidence. They gained momentum and won the Revolutionary War.
Works Cited Page
Calkhoven, Laurie. George Washington-an American Life. New York: Sterling
Publishing, 2006. Print.
Ellis, Joseph J. His Excellency: George Washington. New York: Liberty of
Congress Publication, 2004. Print.
Flexner, Thomas James. Washington the dispensible man. Canada: Little Brown and
company, 1974. Print.
Johnson, Paul. George Washington. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2005.
Martin, Tyler. American History. Orion place: The Hill Comp, 1976. Print.
Marvin, Albert. George Washington and the founder of a nation. Chicago, Ill:
Dutton Books, 2001. Print.
Pola, Sharron J. “The White House.” Presidents in the White Hosue. N.p., n.d.
Web. 15 Jan. 2010. .
“George Washington’s Mount Vernon.” George Washington’s Mount Vernon. N.p.,
2010. Web. 16 Jan. 2010.
“George Washington Biography.” About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Jan. 2010.