George Washington's War: The Forging of a Revolutionary Leader and the American Presidency

George Washington's War: The Forging of a Revolutionary Leader and the American Presidency

Bruce Chadwick

Language: English

Pages: 576

ISBN: 140220406X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The American Revolution was won not on the battlefields, but in the mind of George Washington. A compulsively readable narrative and extensive history, George Washington's War illuminates how during the war's winter months the young general created a new model of leadership that became the model for the American presidency.

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Congressman to report “sickness and mortality have spread…to an astonishing degree.” Doctors in camp had never experienced the waves of diseases—and were despondent about the mounting fatalities. Dr. Benjamin Rush, the army's chief surgeon for the region, was one of them. “Young men under 20 years of age were subject to the greatest number of camp diseases. The southern troops were more sickly than the northern or eastern,” he said, and, like others, blamed most deaths on typhus, contracted as

woods for best effect. The general then sent dispatches to different brigades and regiments, ordering them into a defensive line near Springfield. He would rely on the regulars and the militia from different counties, all commanded by Nathanael Greene, to hold off Knyphausen. The Morris County militia was led by Sylvanus Seely, who shouted profanities every few seconds as he tried to force his men to move faster as they traversed an open meadow within the range of a string of British soldiers

slaveholder? All evidence points toward three reasons: 1) his years away from Mount Vernon in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, states where slavery was doggedly opposed by prominent political leaders and ministers of large churches and was debated publicly, and not just by the Quakers and Baptists; 2) the virulent anti-slavery attitudes of the men who were closest to him throughout the winter camps of the war: Livingston, Greene, Hamilton, Laurens, Lafayette, and Jay, among

until I sleep with my fathers. If anyone ever believed that there was any consideration by Washington of remaining on as the commander-in-chief and becoming some sort of combined commander-in-chief and civilian head of state, or even king, that consideration should have been discarded when he put down the officers' revolt at Newburgh. That was the perfect moment for him to lead the army against Congress and seize control of the United States. He could have declared that he had to take over the

ordering deserters turned over to local courts for trial and to offer a five dollar reward for any apprehended. He asked Livingston to do that directly. The loss of men was getting so bad, he told John Hancock sarcastically, that he feared “we shall be obliged to detach one half of the army to bring back the other.” In Philadelphia, Congress saw the logic of his demands, as it understood most of his plaintive pleas, even if Washington did not believe that they did, and agreed to his requests. It

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