Washington, George Washington, Cornwallis discussed on Overnight America with Ryan Wrecker


Segment, our long celebration of the life of George Washington. Our nation's first president and the father of our country. Let's continue where we left off. Deeply feeling the plight of his men Washington constantly hounds, the continental congress for supplies trying to shame them by appealing to their sense of patriotism, Congress's typical response is to give Washington permission to commandeer what he needs from those living near his station troops, Washington refuses this invitation to rob his fellow citizens at the point of a ban at arguing that to do. So we'll Elliott the very people in whose name the struggle has been undertaken a struggle also exists with his generals Washington has as much trouble with some of them as he does with the British men like Charles Lee and Horatio gates men who'd been officers in the British army thought Washington was a bumpkin someone who didn't know anything about an army or how to run a war and they caused George a tremendous amount of trouble. They conspired they talk behind his back date spoke to members of congress. They tried to discredit him. But in the end, he met them with patience and persistence and their own incompetence ruin and George survived and Throughout his career. He appears touched by God. On horseback. He leads charges into the thick of battle wilfully exposing himself to cannon and musket fire strolling through a hell of shot yet. Not once does a bullet or shrapnel ever even grace him in April seventeen eighty one a British warships sales of the Potomac and trains, her guns on Washington's cherished home. Mount vernon. Most of Washington's Virginia now lay under British control the governor of Virginia Thomas Jefferson, begs Washington to come home and save his state Washington declines. When Jefferson called upon Washington to defend his home and his state. He was talking to a Washington who no longer existed. Washington's allegiance was no longer to the country. He had grown up in English Virginia. But was an allegiance future. Washington's record on the battlefield is three wins nine losses and one tie, which is no source of pride. If we succeed we have a chance to end the war. But the best battle to win is the last one surprise and terror. And Washington indoors long enough to win it the three week siege at your coun- providence. This is where the revolutionary war ends on October nineteenth seventeen eighty one when British general Cornwallis asks for the terms, Washington replies. That the same honour should be graduate to Cornwallis surrendering army as was granted to the American garrison of Charleston. The point is not lost on Cornwallis when Charleston fell to the British in seventeen eighty the British refused to grant the Americans the honors of war treating them as rebels and not as a legitimate army. Washington now demands the same two million of Cornwallis, but Cornwallis claims illness and sends us stand into the surrender ceremony. Indisposed? Second income on in an attempt at insult. The British standing tries to hand over Cornwallis his sword to a French officer who had fought with the Americans. But the Frenchman refuses directing him instead to Washington. Washington also refuses he orders the Englishman to surrender Cornwallis has soared to general Lincoln Lincoln. Accept the surrender. Who was humiliated American commander at Charleston. Partial. During his campaign against the British Washington is always outnumbered typically outgunned and always short on supplies weapons wagons horses and boats yet he repeatedly slips the British news choosing strategic retreat over honorable defeat. He doggedly wears his enemy down. The British lose the war not so much because the Americans under Washington defeat them on the battlefield, but because General George Washington does not give up or go away. But Washington's most important performance has yet to occur. I'm ascendancy is the end of the war Washington's generals and his high staff officers are disgruntled they haven't been paid. They don't trust the congress. They're not so sure that it's such a good idea to give over control of this new nation to this bunch of squabbling. Politicians? Many among them wanted Washington to assume greater power, in fact, maybe dictatorial powers, his officers plan a meeting at their headquarters on the night of March fifteenth seventeen eighty three they know how you feel. So they do not want you there the secret meeting. They will debate a move against congress to demand their back pay at gunpoint. If necessary. Washington knows he has to confront them. He begins writing a speech he agonizes over every sentence. And every word he was ripped apart inside he had suffered with these men. He'd watched them die. He'd watched them be wounded for their country. He knew what they'd given up. He knew how congress had mistreated them and him was attracted by their offer to be a kind of came. He knew for certain that if he gave into their offer he gave into the allure of power. Only would he betray his country. But he would also betray the reputation and the honor that had been so hard for him to attend. He rides alone to the meeting as he enters the building, the officers are stone. But he sees no smiles, and there is no applause as he stands before them and begs them, not to open the floodgates of civil.

Coming up next