The Founding Fathers and Mothers believed that George Washington was protected by “Providence” because he had a divine destiny. (Perhaps, each of us has a divine destiny.) George Washington dodged death so many times that his survival is miraculous. He repeatedly acknowledged “Divine Providence” for his personal survival and for the success of the American Revolution.
French and Indian War: Battle of Monongahela
During the Battle of Monongahela (outside present-day Pittsburgh) a British/American force under General Braddock was defeated by the French Canadians and American Indians. During the four-hour battle, General Braddock was killed. (Washington kept General Braddock’s scarlet sash as a memento, and it is displayed in Mount Vernon.)
Most of the other senior officers were killed or severely wounded. The British/Americans lost 997 soldiers. Two-thirds of the British/American force were killed or seriously injured. The British/American troops were in chaos.
Twenty-two-year-old Major George Washington courageously charged into the center of the battle on his horse to rally the troops. He was amazingly poised as musket balls flew around him. He helped the surviving soldiers escape slaughter.
Washington’s horse was shot out from under him. Miraculously, he was not hurt.
Washington found another horse. This horse was also shot out from under him. He again avoided death or injury. (Good news for George; bad news for the horses.)
After the battle, Washington took off his coat. He discovered four musket ball holes in the coat he was wearing. Where did those bullets go? How could the bullets go all the way through his heavy wool coat without hitting him? Incredible!
In a letter to his brother Washington penned: “But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me.”
After the battle, Major Washington was lauded as the “hero of Monongahela,” and he was promoted to Colonel.
Because of Washington’s proven courage under fire during the French and Indian War, along with his integrity, the Continental Congress selected him as commander of the Continental Army.
Revolutionary War: Crossing the Freezing Delaware
Near the end of 1776 General Washington was becoming desperate. He had suffered defeat after humiliating defeat.
So, he decided to sneak his army across the Delaware River, on Christmas night, in the freezing ice strewn water, in the middle of winter. Of course, the British did not anticipate this. It was nuts!
The Americans were paddling across the water in tipsy shallow long boats. Falling into the freezing water meant a freezing death, even if they managed to get out.
The ice and currents threatened to overturn the heavily laden boats. Washington personally set out with three boats. Two of the boats capsized. Only his boat made it across. Again, he survived, while others around him did not.
Revolutionary War: Battle of Princeton
During the Battle of Princeton in 1777, General Washington wanted to inspire his troops. So, he rode his horse within 30 yards of the British lines while musket balls whizzed all around him. He was an easy target. Even the most incompetent riflemen should be able to hit a big man on a horse only 30 yards away.
Washington’s troops understandably freaked out. They were terrified that their commander was going to be killed. They begged him to fell back. Instead, he invited them to join him in front of the British lines. “Parade with me my fine fellows, and we will have them soon.” Amazing!
Six Deadly Diseases
George Washington miraculously survived six deadly diseases.
- -Persistent dysentery
In 1778, Washington declared, “The hand of Providence has been conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.”
On December 14, 1799, George Washington passed away at the age of 67. Experts opine that he succumbed to epiglottis, an inflammation of the cartilage at the root of the tongue which allows swallowing while covering the windpipe.
George Washington had completed his mission with honor. He had fulfilled his divine destiny. He had earned the title: “The Father of Our Country.”
(Sources: Personal tours of Mount Vernon; “George Washington,” American Ride, BYUtv Series; “George Washington was nearly impossible to kill,” We Are the Mighty, by Black Stilwell, Business Insider Magazine, Apr. 27, 2018, http://www.businessinsider.com; “Ten Facts About George Washington and the French and Indian War,” “10 Things You Really Ought to Know about George Washington,” http://www.mountvernon.org; “The Trigger: [What] Sparked the French and Indian War,” David Preston, Smithsonian Magazine, Oct. 2019, p. 78; “Founding Father George Washington,” Providence Forum, providenceforum.org; “George Washington.” “George Washington in the French and Indian War,” Wikipedia.)