Despite having little practical experience in managing large, conventional armies, Washington proved to be a capable and resilient leader of the American military forces during the Revolutionary War.
Admission is free on Feb. 22 for George Washington’s birthday. Admission tickets will be distributed on-site upon arrival.
When George Washington was appointed commander in chief of the Continental Army in June of 1775, it was hardly an army at all.
While Washington managed to organize and motivate this ragtag group of citizen-soldiers, he continually struggled to obtain funds for them from the Continental Congress. Signing up as a new recruit meant committing to low pay, harsh discipline, and poor food.
This enlistment form from Mount Vernon’s archives shows 25 signatures of the hardy men who agreed to serve for the “United Colonies of America” for three months in January of 1776. Those who were unable to read or write signed with an X. The printed notice advises Washington’s soldiers to bring with them, “a good effective Fire Arm, and Blanket, also a good Bayonet and Cartridge Punch, (if possible).”
Despite these tough conditions, many flocked to join out of commitment for the cause of liberty and independence.
This object spotlight originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Mount Vernon magazine. Subscribe to the magazine by becoming a member today.Learn More