Tag Archives: George Washington

Washington joins the dark side

Video game developers are giving the Revolution’s hero the dictatorship he never had.  My question: If George Washington makes a grab for absolute power, doesn’t he sort of cease to be George Washington?

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Filed under American Revolution

Reputations and rankings

A few days ago Tom Clemens stuck up for George McClellan during a Department of Defense lecture.  Little Mac’s reputation, he argued, has suffered unfairly due to contemporary political meddling, unclear orders, and the towering stature of the men he opposed.  The 150th anniversary of Antietam seems like a good opportunity for public historians and popular writers to offer people a more positive portrait of McClellan than they’ve been accustomed to, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

On a much weightier note, online forum users are discussing the only presidential ranking method that really counts: Which chief executive would prevail in a mass free-for-all knife fight?  Jackson, Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt are the obvious odds-on favorites.  On the other hand, Washington was 6’2″, ripped, and long-limbed.  I think he’d hold his own with the best of ‘em.

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Filed under Civil War, History and Memory

Was Washington a military genius?

Gen. David Palmer thinks so:

Changes in technology over the centuries, as well as differences in geography and resources, make comparisons seem apples and oranges.  However, it is feasible to measure how well a general did with what he had to work with and considering the opponents he faced.  In that regard, Washington was an absolutely superb strategist, the best the United States has produced, ever.

Personally, I wouldn’t go that far; in fact, I think one of Washington’s own subordinates, Nathanael Greene, was a superior strategist.  But I would agree that Washington was a gifted strategical thinker, able to balance purely military factors with larger political considerations.

Palmer makes his case in a book published last month.

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Filed under American Revolution, Historiography

Crossing the Delaware. . .in Zodiacs

Check this out:

The sun was still trying to punch its way through a thick fog Friday morning when 22 U.S. Army infantrymen climbed board two inflatable Zodiac assault boats and started paddling across the Delaware River at Washington Crossing Historic Park in Upper Makefield.

It was the same spot where George Washington and his men made their famous crossing more than 200 years ago — and that was the point. Friday’s trip across the river by members of the 4th Battalion, 3rd United States Infantry Regiment was part of an informal exercise called a “staff ride,” during which service members simulate famous battles or campaigns in American military history at the sites where they happened.

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The ultimate compliment

From the Daily Mail:

American revolutionary leader George Washington has been voted the greatest enemy commander to face Britain, lauded for his spirit of endurance against the odds and the enormous impact of his victory.

In a contest organised by Britain’s National Army Museum, the first President of the U.S triumphed over Irish independence hero Michael Collins, France’s Napoleon Bonaparte, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Making the case for Washington, historian Stephen Brumwell said the American War of Independence (1775-83) was ‘the worst defeat for the British Empire ever.’

More formidable than Napoleon!  Not bad for a guy who spent the latter months of ’76 retreating across New York and New Jersey.

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Filed under American Revolution, History and Memory

Crossing site gets a makeover

Washington Crossing Historic Park is getting a new visitor center, and I think it’ll be money well spent.

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Filed under American Revolution, Museums and Historic Sites

Re-animating George Washington

So William Thornton, the guy who designed the U.S. Capitol, wanted to bring George Washington’s corpse back to life.  Good to know.

Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth:

I proposed to attempt his restoration, in the following manner. First to thaw him in cold water, then to lay him in blankets, and by degrees and by friction to give him warmth, and to put into activity the minute blood vessels, at the same time to open a passage to the lungs by the trachæa, and to inflate them with air, to produce an artificial respiration, and to transfuse blood into him from a lamb. If these means had been resorted to and had failed all that could be done would have been done, but I was not seconded in this proposal; for it was deemed unavailing. I reasoned thus. He died by the loss of blood and the want of air. Restore these with the heat that had subsequently been deducted, and as the organization was in every respect perfect, there was no doubt in my mind that his restoration was possible. It was doubted by some whether if it were possible it would be right to attempt to recall to life one who had departed full of honor and renown; free from the frailties of age, in the full enjoyment of every faculty, and prepared for eternity.

Reminds me of that joke about a zombie protest.  “What do we want?  BRAINS!  When do we want it?  BRAINS!

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