Young George Washington and the French and Indian War: 1753-1758

Young George Washington and the French and Indian War: 1753-1758

By: Robert M. McClung
Published by: Linnet Books
Publication Date: 2002

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The Father of His Country was not always that stellar commander and stern first president who gazes serenely from the famous portraits we have of him. George Washington was once, in fact, a proud, ambitious, and sometimes foolhardy young man whose brashness triggered a major war between the superpowers of his time.

Using Washington's diaries as a source, this book tells the story of George's uneven beginning steps into greatness. With French and British facing off for control of North America, the twenty-one-year-old Virginian took on military responsibilities far beyond his ability. Sent to warn the French to get out of the Ohio Valley, he wound up later ambushing them in peacetime, and allowing his Indian allies to murder their wounded leader. His forces, holed up in the badly-situated Fort Necessity he had constructed, were almost wiped out in return and Washington was branded as an "assassin." 

Young Washington was with Braddock when that British general's force was almost annihilated; later, he struggled to maintain discipline over his militia, while he argued with his superiors to the point of insubordination both about battle tactics and the preferments of rank. When the French finally abandoned Fort Duquesne and the Forks of the Ohio, Washington resigned and retired to a gentleman's life at Mt. Vernon. 

George Washington always had courage and great ambition, but he also had much to learn. As this book shows, the mistakes he made in the French and Indian War taught him how to deal with Indian allies; fight in the woods; keep control of his troops; provision his men; and - most of all - curb his fiery temper. These were the things that would pave his way to greatness seventeen years later when he was called to lead the Continental Army into battle against the mother country, England.

From the dust jacket

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