George Washington - Commission as Commander in Chief

Two days following the Battle of Bunker Hill, the Continental Congress appointed George Washington (1732-1799) to lead the Continental Army.

This document - the original commission - named Washington "Commander in Chief of the army of the United Colonies and of all the forces raised or to be raised by them and of all others who shall voluntarily offer their services and join the said army."

Washington did have competition for the job. According to the Library of Congress:

Washington was selected over other candidates such as John Hancock based on his previous military experience and the hope that a leader from Virginia could help unite the colonies. Washington left for Massachusetts within days of receiving his commission and assumed command of the Continental Army in Cambridge on July 3, 1775.

After eight years of war, Washington resigned his commission as Commander in Chief on December 23, 1783.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Library of Congress - John Bull and Uncle Sam: Four Centuries of British-American Relations - image vc48.




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