After watching a couple of debates with Dinesh D’Souza making mince meat out of atheist Christopher Hitchens and liberal terrorist Bill Ayers, I figured I would watch his documentary, “America, Imagine the World Without Her.” I don’t know why I waited so long to watch it. It’s an extraordinary movie, especially having been made by an immigrant who has learned more about our country than most people who are born and raised American.
The first scene in the movie shows a few very small events, which could have gone another way and easily lead to a future with no United States of America. First among them was George Washington getting shot and killed in battle. This immediately brought to mind something I hadn’t thought about in a long time. It was something I remembered reading in an encyclopedia as a kid, before you could Google anything and after real history stopped being taught in schools. So I wondered if many people even knew about it any longer. So while this topic isn’t a current event, it seems like a great idea to bring it up and let people know. I’m sure plenty is written about it with more detail than I will go into, but it takes knowing about it to search for it. I encourage everyone to do so.
George Washington was more than just a great general. Some people claim he wasn’t all that great, especially at first. Yet George Washington took a ragtag bunch of men who were not prepared for war, had never trained for war, were short on supplies, not outfitted for sustained campaigns, and were suffering from starvation, disease, and bitter weather and beat the most powerful army in the world. It was George Washington who Cornwallis surrendered to in Yorktown. There was more to George Washington though. He appeared to be singled out and protected by God Himself. By all rights, George Washington should have been dead several times over and it’s incredible he was even alive to be a general during the Revolutionary War.
Long before the Revolutionary War was the French and Indian War, from 1754-1763. The British and French both claimed trade routes with Indians going into the Ohio country. Don’t think of the modern state maps. This began in the area of modern day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Two rivers, the Allegheny and Monongahela join in Pittsburgh and become the Ohio River. In 1753, 21 year old Major George Washington was sent by the Virginia governor, Dinwiddie to deliver a demand from the British to the French that they stop building forts in the area. Dinwiddie then ordered William Trent to go and build a British fort in the area. The French refused the British demand. When Washington returned to Virginia with the refusal, Dinwiddie responded by promoting Washington to Lt. Colonel and ordered him to put together forces and to return and assist William Trent in building the fort.
Before reaching the location for the planned new fort, Washington ran into a small French contingent. Washington ambushed them and had an easy victory, but realized he couldn’t go further at this point and would have to fall back and quickly build another fort out of necessity. One of the Frenchmen escaped the battle and Washington knew a retaliation would soon come. He named the fort Necessity. It was built quickly and out of not much else than a 7 foot tall ring of sticks. Sure enough, 1200 French soldiers under the command of General De Villiers attacked Fort Necessity and Washington’s 400 men. Washington and his men fell under an enormous barrage of musket fire. The assault lasted for a solid 9 hours and only 30 of Washington’s men were killed. In the end, the French offered Washington a chance to leave if he surrendered and Washington accepted. The lack of British casualties was remarkable considering they sat in the middle of a circular barrage of musket balls for 9 hours.
By 1755, the conflict with the French had become such that interest was taken higher up in the chain of command than the governor of Virginia. Major General Braddock was sent from England to take over from this point and engage the French. He took Washington with him as an unpaid aid. This is because of a complicated quirk of the way the British Army ran things back then. Basically, a military officer wasn’t necessarily always on active duty, as we think of it today. When Washington returned after his surrender at Ft. Necessity, Governor Dinwiddie disbanded Washington’s regiment and only kept people on active duty who were ranked Captain and below. For Washington to remain on active duty he would have had to take a demotion. Instead, he just went off of active duty. When Braddock showed up and wanted Washington to join him, Washington was able to refuse and he did so based on the other little quirk the British Army operated under. Regulars were British Army, through and through. Provincial Army were more or less, colonists in the Army. You could think of it like today’s regular army and the reserves. Not quite the same, but similar enough. The Officers of the regular army always outranked all officers of the provincial army who were below Colonel. So, as a Lt. Colonel, Washington would be outranked by Regulars who were Lieutenants. Washington wasn’t having any of that and preferred going with Braddock as an unpaid aid without having butter bars outranking him.
They set off, along with Lt. Colonel Thomas Gage with roughly 1400 soldiers (100 of which were Washington’s) toward Fort Duquesne along the Monongahela river near modern day Pittsburgh. Washington warned Braddock that the French and Indians were using guerrilla tactics, hiding behind trees and rocks, but Braddock didn’t give Washington’s advice any merit, due to his much lower rank. So when they ran into a French and Indian army they weren’t prepared for what came. Both sides were surprised, but the French and Indians quickly hid behind trees and rocks while Braddock ordered columns. Only Washington’s men followed suit with the French and Indians and took cover, but this infuriated Braddock, because like most British officers of the time, he considered this cowardly. He ordered them to line up in formation as well. They got destroyed. All the while, Washington was in the front of battle enforcing Braddock’s orders, going back and forth. He had two horses shot out from under him. General Braddock was killed. Washington organized a retreat, which in the light of the situation got him reinstated in the provincial army and promoted to Colonel.
Many were surprised that Washington could have possibly survived the battle. One British soldier is quoted as saying, “I expected every moment to see him fall. Nothing but the superintendent care of providence could have saved him.” Washington’s coat had four musket ball holes in it, yet he was unscathed. The Indians claimed that there was a shield around Washington that protected him.
15 years later, this battle led to what many know as the Indian Prophesy of George Washington in 1770. Washington was approached by a group of Indians, the chief among them took part in the battle and brought Washington this message. “I am a chief, and the ruler over many tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes, and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path, that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. It was on the day, when the white man’s blood, mixed with the streams of our forest, that I first beheld this chief: I called to my young men and said, ‘Mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe- he hath an Indian’s wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do- himself is alone exposed. Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies.’ Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for him, knew not how to miss- ‘twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we, shielded him from harm. He cannot die in battle.
I am old, and soon shall be gathered to the great council-fire of my fathers, in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something, bids me speak, in the voice of prophecy. Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies- he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn, will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire!”
This all occurred before the Declaration of Independence. Now, on to the Revolutionary War. Washington, unlike many generals, actually lead the armies from the front. This is a habit that you would think only a bulletproof general would adopt. In battle after battle, Washington came out unscathed where he should have been riddled with bullets. Just focusing on the most miraculous escapes from death, let’s jump 2 years into the Revolutionary war into 1777.
In January of 1777, Washington was focused on Cornwallis, but his attention became diverted when an American militia under the command of Brigadier General Hugh Mercer, not far away in Princeton, New Jersey was being defeated by two British regiments commanded by Lt. Colonel Charles Mawhood. One day after defeating a British attack in Trenton, Washington rode in with his army to save the day against Mawhood forcing British surrender! It doesn’t sound amazing that reinforcements arrive and save the day. What is amazing is how it happened. Washington arrived while the militia were in full retreat and getting mowed down. He hollered out, “Parade with us, my brave fellows! There is but a handful of the enemy, and we will have them directly.” The militia complied and immediately rallied. Washington ordered them not to fire until his command. He led them, riding on a horse in front, to within 30 yards of the enemy before ordering his men to fire. So many shots were fired that it was reported that the smoke in the air was too thick to be able to see a thing. Washington was in the middle of both sides firing away! It was sheer insanity! When the smoke cleared, Washington was again unscathed.
Later in the same year of 1777, Washington had yet another brush with death, but which can be said to have be averted by God in a different way, by influencing the heart of a man. The British army, like other armies were known for lining their armies up in a chivalrous battle formation. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is the only way they fought. And for those out there who think the 2nd Amendment only protects muskets, because the Revolutionary War was only fought with muskets, think again. The British had snipers. Their targets were officers. We’ve been taught that the officers were sort of off limits to aim at in Revolutionary times, but this isn’t the case at all. British snipers had one main purpose. Take out the commanders, at all costs!
Washington, while riding alone with another cavalry officer inadvertently ran into the edge of a fresh 12,500 member, British army. He ran directly into a sniper team lead by Captain Patrick Ferguson who were waiting for just such an encounter with orders to shoot and kill any American officers they laid eyes on. Ferguson and his men were armed with breech loading, fast repeating rifles that Ferguson designed himself. Assault rifles! Not Muskets! Ferguson hollered out to Washington, who gave a casual glance, then nonchalantly turned and slowly left, along with his companion. It was Ferguson’s job to shoot to kill, but he later said, “I could have lodged half a dozen balls in or about him, before he was out of my reach, but it was not pleasant to fire at the back of an unoffending individual, who was acquitting himself very coolly of his duty—so I let him alone.” Ferguson did his job every other day, why not this day?
There are many more examples of Washington escaping death where he shouldn’t have. He was always in the thick of battle and stood out like a sore thumb by the way he dressed. He was tall and rode tall horses. He was instantly recognized by the enemy anywhere he met them. He was the biggest target the British army wanted taken out and he always offered himself up to be targeted as easily as possible. It was almost as if he knew he was bulletproof and could waste enemy fire by taking it himself and drawing it off of his men. I know of no other general that is comparable in all of history, especially who has seen so many battles.
All I’ve pointed out regarding possible divine intervention is Washington’s impervious nature when it comes to being shot at, but so many other things were also incredibly fortunate that the sheer numbers of events belie statistical credulity if only luck were involved. I could go on for days about those events, but just one example is when Washington sent Henry Knox to Fort Ticonderoga for supplies. To make a long story short, this was a wasted effort under the time constraints they were under, because it couldn’t be successful. It required that it be warm enough for a river and lake to be traversable for precisely long enough to float tons of canons & supplies to one point and then for it to snow like crazy and everything to freeze so they could continue on from that point with dozens of sleds. It worked like clockwork as if Washington could predict the weather.
It is my belief that divine intervention was a daily part of George Washington’s life, because God wanted The United States of America to be founded. Anyone is free to believe what they like, but they can’t prove me wrong.
AMP (Anna Maria Perez)
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Sources, mainly to ensure correct dates, ranks, names, & details I didn’t trust to memory:
AMP (Anna Maria Perez)
If you enjoyed this blog post, please share on Facebook, Twitter or one of the other choices below! Thank you!