Washington Mythology

Both admirers and detractors have invented myths about our first President. A famous biographer tells of his years spent trying to separate fact from fiction.

Anyone who has the temerity, as I have had, to set out in quest of a true understanding of George Washington undertakes a perilous adventure that requires climbing over hallucinatory mountains and penetrating ghost-ridden forests.Read more »

Rewards For Service

In a tribute to one of the men who made the Bicentennial possible, last fall the House and Senate passed, and the President signed into law, a bill posthumously promoting George Washington to the rank of six-star General of the Armies. During his life, Washington had to make do as best he could with the three-star rank of Lieutenant General. The bill, which was sponsored by Representative Mario Biaggi, a New York Democrat, was intended to make Washington stand above “all other grades of the Army, past and present.”

G. Washington Meets A Test

What were the French up to in the Ohio Valley in 1753? Setting out in search of an answer, a bold young major from Virginia soon found himself skirting catastrophe

The year was 1753, the month November. Through bone-chilling rain and sleety snow, seven horsemen plodded slowly up the jagged slopes of the Allegheny Mountains. Around the narrow trail were miles upon miles of giant black walnut, cherry, oak, and locust trees, heavy with moss and knitted together by tangled Virginia creeper. It was a primeval forest, and in its shadowy depths Indian war parties were on the prowl. The seven men were taking a desperate gamble, and no one knew it better than the rugged six-footer who rode at the head of the little expedition. Read more »

The Good Soldier White

Modern G. I.’s will recognize a fellow spirit in the sergeant who wrote this account of life in General Washington’s army

I enlisted in the regiment of artillery commanded by Col. Richard Gridley, the beginning of May 1775, for 8 months, as a bombardier, in Capt. Samuel Gridley’s company; but had not been very long in that capacity, before the Adjutant came to me and said, I understand that you are a good speller, I told him I could spell most any word. Why cannot you come and be my Assistant said he. … He said he paid five shillings per week, besides his rations, and mine would be the same, which he would pay. …

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