George Washington: Gentleman Warrior

George Washington: Gentleman Warrior

Stephen Brumwell

Language: English

Pages: 512

ISBN: 162365100X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Winner of the prestigious George Washington Book Prize, George Washington is a vivid recounting of the formative years and military career of "The Father of his Country," following his journey from brutal border skirmishes with the French and their Native American allies to his remarkable victory over the British Empire, an achievement that underpinned his selection as the first president of the United States of America. The book focuses on a side of Washington that is often overlooked: the feisty young frontier officer and the early career of the tough forty-something commander of the revolutionaries' ragtag Continental Army.

Award-winning historian Stephen Brumwell shows how, ironically, Washington's reliance upon English models of "gentlemanly" conduct, and on British military organization, was crucial in establishing his leadership of the fledgling Continental Army, and in forging it into the weapon that secured American independence. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including original archival research, Brumwell brings a fresh new perspective on this extraordinary individual, whose fusion of gentleman and warrior left an indelible imprint on history.

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the Heights of Guana. At first sight, these hills posed a formidable barrier, but their length obliged the defenders to spread themselves dangerously thin. In addition, the Heights were pierced by four “passes”; defensive forces covered three of them, but the most easterly, Jamaica Pass, was left unguarded. In truth, the American dispositions on Long Island were badly flawed, with the advanced troops too far forward to enjoy support from their comrades at Brooklyn and vulnerable to annihilation

fighting spirit and boasting in Parliament that he would march from one end of the colonies to the other with 5,000 men;21 the same number were under his command that night. Lieutenant General Philip von Heister and 4,000 of his blue-coated Hessians held the British center at Flatbush. Meanwhile, Howe, Clinton, Cornwallis, and another 9,000 men were preparing for their long night march. At dawn on August 27, this flanking force had reached Jamaica Pass without incident. By then both Grant and

Papers, GD 45/2/102/3: “American and other papers of Lieutenant-Colonel (later Brigadier-General) John Forbes,” undated pencil sketch of an order of battle. This is reproduced in Cubbison, British Defeat of the French in Pennsylvania, p. 164. 59. Bouquet to William Allen, November 25, 1758, in Stevens, Kent, and Leonard, eds., Bouquet Papers, II, p. 610. 60. See “Extract of a Letter from Pittsburgh (Lately Fort Duquesne),” and “Letter from General Forbes’ Army, Pittsburgh (formerly Fort

fact rambled on at pamphlet length, he aimed to provide a “candid” account of Virginian affairs and more “particularly of the grievances which the Virginia Regiment has struggled against for almost three years.”54 As “a principal actor from the beginning of these disturbances,” Washington considered himself well qualified to do so. In the pages that followed, he resurrected familiar themes: the ineffectiveness of the disorderly and tardy militia; the money that had been squandered by failing to

merits reward; and that there is, as equitable a right to expect something for three years hard and bloody service, as for 10 spent at St. James’s etc. where real service, or a field of battle never was seen. For good measure, Washington took a swipe at Dinwiddie himself, complaining that it was the “general opinion” that the Virginia Regiment’s services were “slighted” or had “not been properly represented to His Majesty.” In its criticism of what Washington believed to be the British Empire’s

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