And it is He who changes the times and epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding. Daniel 2:21
The life of George Washington in our American heritage is vaguely taught to school children today. The facts he was the ‘Father of our Country’ and the commanding general of the Continental Army during the American War of Independence are quickly brushed over. Yet the man is a miracle.
On July 9, 1755 Washington was a 23 year old Virginia colonel acting as an aide to British General Edward Braddock. Braddock’s orders were to take troops into the Ohio Country and push the French presence out of the country. His first mission was to take Fort Duquesne (doo-KANE) and push north after the enemy.
Braddock’s troops met French and Canadian troops accompanied by their Native American allies on July 9th at the Monongahela River in what is now western Pennsylvania. Even though the French were outnumbered nearly 2 to 1 their stealth and fighting tactics of firing from behind cover decimated the ranks of the British who were ordered to stand in the open in ranks and return fire in the European fashion. After three hours of furious fighting General Braddock was mortally wounded. Of the 86 original British officers 26 were killed and 37 wounded. Washington, his 6’2” frame an inviting target, was unharmed even after having two horses shot from beneath him. While he had no official position in the chain of command he was able to restore some order among the ranks and developed a rear guard action allowing the remaining troops to disengage from the French. By sunset the British were in full retreat, fleeing back down the road on which they had come. Of the 1300 British soldiers 878 had been killed or wounded while French losses totaled 39. It was a stunning defeat for the British.
But the story does not end there. Fifteen years later, in 1770, an old Indian chief named Red Hawk requested to see Washington. The aged Indian said he was at the battle and remembered Washington being in the thick of the fighting and telling his braves to kill the officer on the horse. Red Hawk said one of his men fired point blank at Washington 22 times and Red Hawk himself, whose ‘rifle never missed’ fired at Washington 11 times. When they realized they could not kill him the chief ordered his men to stop firing at him believing the Great Spirit was protecting him. After the battle Washington found four bullet holes in his coat but to his amazement was without a scratch. After relating this to Washington the chief went on to give a prophecy that Washington would become a powerful leader and would create a great nation.
These moments in our history are buried from the general knowledge of the average American. This story of Washington at Monongahela was expunged from school books in the early 1920s, a great loss to up and coming generations of American school children most of whom will never know how God divinely protected one He called to lead. While it is often said that America is not nor ever has been a ‘Christian nation’ we have been a deeply Christian culture imbued by the Judeo-Christian ethic and led by the vision and religious beliefs of our founders. That culture seems to be quickly slipping away and if not forgotten then buried by those who deny the Godly beginnings of America. Bringing to remembrance God’s Providence is a healthy thing for any nation. In remembering we bear in mind our special heritage and the might and blessing by that Providence making the Father of Our Country the man God would not let die.