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Chapter Four. A Provincial Goes to War: George Washington and the Virginia Regiment, August 1755–January 1759

Peter C. Luebke


Subject History » Military History
Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Colonial History

Place Americas » Northern America

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1700-1799

Key-Topics war

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444331035.2012.00006.x


Extract

After the disaster of Braddock's defeat in July 1755, Washington returned to Virginia. Shortly thereafter, he received a commission as colonel of the reconstituted Virginia Regiment. Instead of examining Washington's career during the ensuing three and a half years of the French-Indian War for hints of his future greatness, one should study how he developed as a leader. Rather than forging Washington as a military commander or enhancing his knowledge of military theory, the war only tempered his innate qualities. He learned more about politics than military matters. As colonel of the Virginia Regiment, Washington would attempt to raise troops from a reluctant populace, quell Indian raids that seemed to materialize out of the mist, and impress upon political leaders that cooperation and offensive action was needed to secure the Appalachian backcountry. Washington endured much frustration until the arrival of British general John Forbes. But Washington's contentment with Forbes soon turned bitter, as Forbes seemed to favor Pennsylvania's interests in the Ohio country at the expense of Virginia's. Washington's experiences here helped convince him of the need for colonies to cooperate, both in terms of their common security and commercial interests. Washington began to perceive that so long as Britain exercised arbitrary authority over the colonies, business ventures and speculations ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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