Washington served as a Virginia delegate to the Second
Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1775. Facing
a fight for independence with Britain, he was elected
Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. He was
chosen to lead the army because of his experience
and reputation. On July 3, 1775, at Cambridge, Massachusetts,
he took command of his ill-trained troops and entered
a war that lasted 8-1/2 grueling years.
Commander-in-Chief, Washington was a daring leader.
He used the element of surprise to win American victories.
One of the most memorable surprise movements was when
he led his troops across the Delaware River and attacked
the unsuspecting Hessian troops at Trenton, New Jersey
in 1776. Generals Howe and Cornwallis, leaders of
England's Ministerial Army, had planned to engage
the entire American army in combat at one time and
defeat them. But Washington surprised them when he
secretly led his troops across the icy Delaware River.
From there, the Americans captured Trenton and Princeton,
New Jersey, briefly pushing the British army back
to New York. This maneuver forced the British troops
to spend the winter in New York City. During this
short three-week campaign, the entire cause of the
American Revolution was saved by Washington's bold
and skillful action, and the Revolutionary troops
were more confident of their abilities to win their
war for independence.
road to victory, however, was not easy. Over the next
long months, Washington's Continental Army grew weary.
The soldiers marched into Valley Forge, Pennsylvania,
on December 19, 1777, after several tough battles
with the British. Washington and his men spent the
winter at Valley Forge, living in a log hut city for
six months. There, the men received expert training
to improve their skills as soldiers. Washington was
able to reorganize several military departments, improving
services to the soldiers.
June 19,1778, the Continental Army marched out of
Valley Forge with new spirit and determination. The
troops pursued the British as they departed from Philadelphia,
and defeated them at the Battle of the Monmouth in
Continental Army bravely fought for another five years
under Washington's leadership. Finally, they defeated
the larger and better-equipped British. Washington's
courage and determination inspired his troops. He
defeated General Cornwallis and his troops at Yorktown
in October 1781, the last major battle of the Revolutionary
more about our George Washington:
Before the Presidency
Did You Know?
Life After the Presidency