Archived Story

Hess: Washington shows bravery in defeat

Published 4:51pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012

American Heritage

By Bob Hess

The battle now being complete, the terms of surrender being agreed upon, Washington and his troops were ready to head back to Virginia.

However, the Indians and the French weren’t done with Washington and his embattled men yet.

They decided to give the Virginia troops a send off by looting them of what little the troops had left.

This continued until July 5 of 1754.

Washington had a choice to make.

He could use his battle weary men to fight the looters, or take the men and march off.

Fearing that another battle would mean more dead or even a total massacre of his troops, he decided not to fight and just head  for Virginia with what they could salvage.

The nightmare of this journey ended on July 17, 1754, when he and, what was left of his troops, arrived back in Williamsburg, Va.

Not much was left.

His men had not been paid and many had deserted.

Though defeated, Washington was considered as a brave leader.

On Sept. 15, 1754, a man by the name of John Robinson wrote that the House of Burgesses had taken, “Notice of the bravery of yourself, and the rest of the officers and soldiers under your command in a gallant defense of your country and have ordered me to return you their thanks for it…”

Dinwiddie did not blame the defeat on the troops or the leader, but on the lack of support from the other colonies.

Washington’s elder brother died and left him the Mount Vernon farm that was located in Virginia.

Within two months, the Virginia Regiment was disbanded and replaced with companies of 100 men each, which eliminated Washington’s position as Colonel.

Washington resigned, being angry over this decision which included a demotion from colonel to captain as a result.

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