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What General Washington Knew

February 16, 2015

“I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt altho’ death was levelling my companions on every side.”

That’s what George Washington reported about the 1755 rout of British and American forces by the French and Indian frontier coalition. Colonel Washington had warned General Braddock to beware of an ambush, but the British commander did not heed the advice of his American aide-de-camp. Braddock, dozens of officers, and hundreds of his men were killed, but Washington miraculously escaped harm and was able to organize an orderly withdrawal from the region.

The arrogance of a British Major General had led to the defeat of a highly trained army, but the hand of Providence had spared the life of the disregarded aide-de-camp. Two decades later Washington would lead the Americans against the British. The British would be no less arrogant, and Providence would be no less needed, but General Washington already knew this.

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