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George Washington's Great Escape

CBN.com Even as a young soldier in the French and Indian wars, George Washington recognized the hand of God on him personally. Describing battle experiences in a letter to a friend, Washington wrote:

“By the all-powerful dispensations of providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectations, 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!”

Deep personal faith in God led Washington to accept command of the Continental Army at the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1776.

He knew that outcome of the war would affect not only the rebelling colonists, but unseen future generations as well.

On July 2, 1776, General Washington stirred his troops with these words:

“The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the conduct and courage of this army.”

The events of one extraordinary day, just one month later, both confirmed Washington’s faith and demonstrated the miraculous intervention of God in the course of America’s destiny.

Faced with the fact of America’s declared independence, the British military command determined that the key to suppressing the rebellion lay in the domination of New York. Whichever army controlled access to the Hudson River controlled the lines of supply for the colonies North and South of this strategic zone.

Under the command of General William Howe, the British quickly established a formidable presence in New York, their only impediment being the American-held town of Brooklyn.

It was here on the western end of Long Island that General George Washington found himself nearly surrounded, outnumbered more than three to one by a better-trained, better-equipped enemy. However, when circumstances seemed to spell defeat, a miraculous series of events began to unfold.

Amazingly, the very capable and seasoned General Howe failed to capitalize on his obvious military advantage. Throughout the afternoon, the evening and the following morning, Washington’s forces tensed for an attack which never materialized.

By the afternoon of August 28, northeast winds drove a chilling rain across the East River, preventing the British fleet from launching any offensive maneuver.

Inspired by the delay, General Washington formulated a daring strategy of escape. Under the storm’s cover, he began to remove his beleaguered army by small boats, enabling them to join other American forces a full mile behind enemy lines. As night fell, the inclement weather dissipated, and still Washington’s army continued its evacuation without detection.

But as the morning sun dawned, the Americans calculated that at least 3 more hours were needed to transport the last of the 8,000 troops.

What happened next is best described by one who was actually there.

Major Ben Tallmadge, a member of the Continental Army, wrote:

“At this time, a very dense fog began to rise, and it seemed to settle in a peculiar manner over both encampments. I recollect this providential occurrence perfectly well. And so very dense was the atmosphere that I could scarcely discern a man at six yards’ distance. We tarried until the sun had risen, but fog remained as dense as ever.”

What the British discovered when the fog lifted was an empty and abandoned encampment. Washington’s army had seemingly vanished, along with all their provisions, cannons and even horses. Instead of defeat, the Americans experienced a temporary setback and regrouped to fight on at a future successful day.

General George Washington recognized God’s hand on his life during the Revolutionary War

 “I was but the humble agent of a favoring Heaven, whose benign influence was so often manifested in our behalf and to whom the praise of victory alone is due.”

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