Was George Washington a good general?

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George Washington: The General

On February 22, 1732 in the British Commonwealth of Virginia, Mary Ball Washington gave birth to her first son. Little did she know that her son, George, would later become one of the greatest military leaders of all time, and her countries first president (Virginia.edu).

Washington was one of ten children (six by Mary Ball and four by George Washington's father's first wife) in an aristocratic Virginian family. The Washington family was farmers as well, growing tobacco and preparing timber. Washington received his primary education at a nearby churchyard school and was later sent to a boarding school 30 miles away. He enjoyed learning about the practical world, although George was a good student, he did not excel in reading or languages. In Washington's early teens his formal education came to an end (Virginia.edu).

When Washington was 16, he met Lord Thomas Fairfax, an Englishman who owned an enormous tract of land in the northern neck of the colony.

Fairfax gave Washington his first job. Washington would soon begin helping Lord Fairfax survey the lands of the Shenandoah Valley. Through his surveying work, Washington saved up enough money to begin buying plots of land. By the age of 21 Washington was now employed as the official surveyor of the county of Culpepper. He now owned more than 1500 acres, all purchased with his own money (Callahan pp. 4-5).

In 1752, Washington's older brother Lawrence died. This left George with the responsibilities of Lawrence's Mount Vernon estate, and also requested that George replace his brothers' office as an adjutant general of the colony. His responsibilities included overseeing the militia of the districts. In 1753, Washington successfully carried a British ultimatum to the French in the Ohio River Valley. A year later, he served as a colonel in...