George Washington is easily the most well known American ever. Known as the father of our country, he has our nation’s capital, an entire state, and countless cities, buildings, and streets named after him. We’ve all heard the legend of George Washington and the cherry tree, and most of us are aware that George Washington was the man that led the Colonies to victory over England, but today I’m going to highlight what I think is one of the most remarkable events in George Washington’s life.
It all started when Britain launched a campaign against the French and their Indian allies in America. George Washington, who at this point already had a military reputation in the British army, was invited to join the staff of General Edward Braddock, as his personal aide de camp.
The General set off in 1755 with an army of 2,000 men to take the French Fort Duquesne in the Ohio Valley. Washington tried to warn General Braddock that the army was walking into a trap and they couldn’t win by just walking up to the fort and taking it, Braddock wouldn’t listen. It turns out, Washington had seen a thing or two, and he knew a thing or two. Sure enough, before the army reached the fort, they were ambushed by the enemy.
The British army was used to conventional battle out in the open, where the two sides marched towards each other and fired. This time, it was different. Gunfire came from all directions, and British soldiers were mowed down by the unseen enemy. Firing aimlessly at an enemy they couldn’t see, their cause was hopeless. General Braddock was shot, along with all his aides… except George Washington. Instead of dying, Washington, who had been battling with illness, rode all over the field shouting orders from the commander! After the battle, the remaining men carried the wounded away, including Braddock. Before he died, the General gave Washington his ceremonial battle sash, along with his two pistols. Some of his last words were “Who would have thought!” and “we shall know better another time.”, reminders to all of us that pride goes before the fall. In the end, 997 men of the British force were killed.
What’s really miraculous about this story is that although George Washington had two horses shot from under him, and found three bullets in his coat and one in his hat afterward, he survived unharmed!
But that’s not all. Fifteen years later, in 1770, Washington and some other men were traveling in the same area. They were met by a group of Indians, who said that their chief was the leader of the Indian force that had defeated Braddock, and wanted to meet with them.
When they all sat down together, this is what he said:
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!
Keep in mind that this was five years before the revolution even started! Nobody even knew that Washington would become the commander of the American forces against England, and no one dreamed of the great nation that would be founded afterward. This was a truly remarkable prophecy.
To me, it’s really amazing how George Washington was under divine protection during the battle at Fort Duquesne. It shows how God had a purpose for this great man and wasn’t going to let him die yet. We can learn a lot from this story that applies to us personally. I’m not saying that when we fight for freedom we’ll all end up having the same divine protection George Washington had, but his fearless, selfless service is an example to us all of what it truly means to be a patriot.
I’m grateful for the sacrifices that that this country’s founders made so that we could have a free country. I’m thankful for the constitution that god inspired them to write, and for the freedoms protected by it. I hope we can all be courageous in defending those freedoms, just like George Washington.