American Elephants

The Sound of War: America Finds a General by The Elephant's Child

WilliamDiamond's Drum
June 16, 1775.

“When the Congress convened in the morning, John Hancock, from the chair, informed Washington of is appointment and expressed the hope of the Congress that George Washington, Esquire, would accept their choice of him as General and Commander-in-Chief of the forces raised and to be raised for the defense of America. The Colonel bowed, took a paper from his pocket and read:”

Mr. President: Though I am truly sensible of the high honor don me in this appointment, yet I feel great distress from a consciousness that my abilities and military experience may not be equal to the extensive and important trust. However, as the Congress desire, I will enter upon the momentous duty, and exert every power I possess in their service, and for the support of the glorious cause: I beg they will accept my most cordial thanks for this distinguished testimony of their approbation.

But, lest some unlucky event should happen unfavorable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered by every gentlemanĀ  in the room, that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with.

As to pay, sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to have acce3pted this arduous employment at the expense of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make any profit from it; I will keep an exact account of my expenses; those I doubt not they will discharge ,and that is all I desire.

And so it began.

“On June 23, Washington wrote a short note to his “Dearest,” and armed with his commission and instructions from the Congress, mounted his horse for the long ride northward to his army.”

from Rebels and Redcoats.

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