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George Washington Essay

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On July 21, 1775 Washington reported to John Hancock that he was organizing the army into divisions and brigades to promote order, regularity and discipline. However, Washington did not mention his efforts to Congress again until February 9, 1776 and this report was one of failure. Washington's troops remained undisciplined to the point that they often neglected their equipment so Washington had to ask Congress for new equipment. Washington elaborated in his February 9, 1776 letter that his troops were still undisciplined because they had too much power over their officers. As Washington's failure to defend New York City showed later in 1776 his efforts to discipline and train his army were an utter failure.

Throughout the latter half of 1775 expiration of enlistments was a constant headache to Washington, but Washington again showed his incompetence as a military leader. He reported on September 9 that enlistments were about to expire. But it wasn't until November 28 that Washington was able to begin taking re-enlistments and this was possible only because he agreed to grant furloughs at the rate of 50 concurrent furloughs per regiment. So instead of pressing the siege of Boston, which presented a chance to end the war immediately, Washington intentionally weakened the army and thus prolonged the war. For all of Washington's supposed ability to inspire his troops, he was utterly unable to inspire them when his inspiration could have had the greatest effect. The 50 furloughs per regiment in the face of a besieged enemy show that Washington was not commanding his troops, but rather his troops had him at their mercy.

On September 7, 1775 Washington reported to Congress that he was expecting 7 tons of lead and 500 guns. But Washington never reported to Congress that these supplies arrived. So where did they go? Then on December 4 he told Congress he needed gunpowder and that the lack of powder was keeping him from taking action against the British. He still didn't have the needed powder come February 26, 1776.

All during the Boston campaign Washington intentionally moved his troops closer to the enemy despite the fact they didn't have enough guns and powder. And then he even divided his army and ordered Benedict Arnold to invade Canada during the winter with an under-supplied army whose troop enlistments were about to expire. Only a reckless fool would use such a strategy.

In short Washington knew nothing about administering an army.

As a strategist Washington was an utter failure. For most of 1775 he had the British army under siege in Boston- except for Boston harbor. According to Washington's reports to Congress British ships freely entered and left Boston harbor. He did nothing to prevent the British from being re-supplied; he did nothing to strike at the British fleet and he was glad when the British escaped. Washington did plan to place artillery



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