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Friday, July 04, 2008

Revolutionary War and Washington

After watching the History Channel for most of the day on the events following George Washington during the Revolutionary war I am burned out on information. It was interesting to see that George Washington was not a perfect human being but in all respects a General running a rag tag army of civilians. What really amazed me was his ability to keep an army together after one brutal winter after another and still come out with a fighting force each spring. To be honest with you, I was shocked to see how hard the troops in the Revolutionary War had it and the conditions they survived to fight another day.

One thing I was not aware of watching this all day long documentary was the fact that Washington faced so many crisis that seemed to pile one on top of the other but he still managed to control the situation even when it came to mutiny. Did you know that he ordered the trial and firing squad for mutineer soldiers that left in mass to confront the Continental Congress? I sure as hell didn’t! After the firing squad event where several people were shot to death for their actions in the mutiny there was no more talk or actions of abandoning the cause for liberty.

I was amazed to see that at any point in time Washington could have lost the war but his sense of perseverance and survival transcended the British desire to track him down. While the army of King George sat fat and happy Washington evolved into a man that saw that the battles could not be won on European tactics.

Make no mistake about it, George Washington was a great military leader in the sense of military objectives. Were he running for office today he would never have a chance in one million life times of being elected. Washington made hard decisions that I’m sure he had to think long and hard on and politics was always at the back of his mind with the Continental Congress forever on his mind. With the funds for his dysfunctional army at the mercy of the Congress his hands were tied. Their wishes and orders were his military duty to follow.

Washington did not win the Revolutionary War on his own, many other brilliant minds of the day contributed to the eventual result and it was a war of attrition. General Green of Rhode Island contributed greatly to the end of the war with his attrition battles with Lord Cornwallis. As he tracked through the countryside of the Carolina’s he moved his opponent too far from his supplies and thus manipulated him into a dead lock eventually at York Town. With the help of France and all of the diplomatic work Ben Franklin had been doing the siege of the city began with Cornwallis trapped. No escape from land, no escape from sea.

One of the things that surprised me was to learn how many slaves of African decent were participants in the Revolutionary War. Mind you the British used the freedom angle as well and many slaves in the south ran from their owners to the English army to enlist for the sake of freedom. Many more from northern states were signing up to fight even though Washington banned the use of slaves and blacks as soldiers at the beginning of the conflict. Later on in the war he simply ignored the order and the Congress because he needed the men to fight.

Having watched this series on the History Channel I am wiser and more informed on what America is really about. The suffering that all of the people faced in uniform during the Revolutionary War was horrid. How they actually won the war was indeed a gift from God. I thank God and all that gave the ultimate sacrifice to allow me to write these very words. Call it freedom of the press as a blogger or freedom of Speech, either way, Washington made the things we have all fought for generations possible to make America the place to live and prosper. Only in America is a phase that is to common on these shores of Liberty.

I'm not sure if the History Channel has a video you can view on line but I provided a link to get the video just for giggles. I'm new to being a history buff and this one all day long series has impressed me to no end. Just when I thought I was up on American history, the History Channel proved me wrong.


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Blogger Just Wondering said...

Hey Papamoka - my husband and I watched the History Channel most of the day today too! It was great stuff, and it just felt right to be doing that today, didn't it? It also made me want to see that A&E movie again in which Jeff Daniels played George Washington.
I love the history channel!

11:40 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

I was yelled at about 5:00 to go watch it in the bedroom by my wife. The kids were destroying the house with boredom because Daddy was watching the nap channel as they call it.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I heard about those shows about Washington on the History Channel. Unfortunely, I was unable to watch them but hopefully they will be on again! The American Revolution is a fascinating area of study for me.

Welcome to being a history buff! :)

11:30 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

I highly recommend the entire series Rebecca. There was tons of information that I had never heard of regarding Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, and the list goes on. Take for instance General Green, he was Washington's greatest confidant and most succesful General and he was a Quaker? Then there was Washington's personal slave that accompanied him everywhere he went that they claim was his best friend for life. Lots of little nuggets such as these to devour!

9:47 AM  

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