5 Reasons George Washington Was Either Lucky or a Wizard
The fact that George Washington didn't die in battle proves that he couldn't die in battle, because he really really should have died in battle. Perhaps someone should have tried cutting his head off with a sword, because looking at the facts, the first real president of the United States was a fucking Highlander. He thwarted death, fell into the presidency, and succeeded only by the most fortuitous of flukes.
He Was Invincible
In 1755, George Washington served as an aide-de-camp under General Edward Braddock during the French and Indian War. "Aide-de-camp" is a fancy way of saying "assistant," and Washington volunteered for the gig because he knew the area well. An aide-de-camp is supposed to help out the highest-ranking officer, fetch things for him, and do other secretarial work, so it's a little strange that Washington decided to, instead, take command of the British army and announce his invincibility to the world.
"Six-foot-eight, weighs a fucking ton."
In one battle, a botched surprise attack, the British were losing. Badly. After hours of intense battle, Braddock was shot off his horse. The British troops were surrounded and couldn't seem to get organized. Then Washington, basically the army equivalent of a golf caddy, started giving the troops orders, riding back and forth between them and the officers. Now, that's not luck; that's just balls. He was giving orders despite the fact that he was a volunteer who held no rank, and if that wasn't bad enough, his horse got shot out from under him.
We can't stress enough that Washington was just a guy who volunteered because he knew the area well. After his general was incapacitated, he didn't think, "Shit, this does not end well for me," but instead, "Whoa, looks like a position just opened up. Shotgun!" Then, in battle, when a horse was shot out from under him, he just got another, like that was no thing. Then, when it happened again, he GOT ANOTHER. Instead of realizing that God wanted him to fucking walk, Washington just thought, "Oh, bad day for horses," and picked the next victim.
"Maybe if I strap one to each foot, like a giant pair of constantly pooping sandals ..."
Because of his efforts, the British troops were able to form a rear guard and allowed a safe retreat. At the end of the battle, Washington had four bullets in his coat and none in his body. He also happened to be the only officer who wasn't shot down. All of this when he was by his own account not recovered from an illness that had him lying down in a wagon for 10 days. Years later, an Indian chief traveled to meet Washington. He recounted the battle, saying, "Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss ... I am come to pay homage to the man ... who can never die in battle." Let's be clear: We here at Cracked believe that if a Native American says that someone is magic, that person is magic. Not up for discussion.
Washington's bulletproof status didn't disappear when it was time for the Revolutionary War, either. During the battle of Princeton in 1777, Washington charged into a fight where an American regiment had already been defeated. Washington arrived to a battle the British were completely destroying and to American men fleeing from all angles, which must have been confusing to Washington, who never understood why people were afraid of bullets. Things were falling apart on an impossible scale, which is of course when Washington shines his brightest. Balls in hand, Washington rode over to the fleeing men and called out, "Parade with us, my brave fellows! There is but a handful of the enemy, and we will have them directly." The men couldn't look George Washington in his radiating, God-imbued face and keep running; they were only mortal.
"Gaze into my eyes..."
Getting his troops into formation, Washington rode in front of them and told them not to fire until he gave his word. Washington rode until he was just 30 yards away from the British, and, standing in the middle of the two armies, ordered his men to fire.
Let's pause the story. George Washington, the commander in fucking chief of a fledgling nation, a symbol for the would-be country, stood, not only in front of his own men with guns telling them to shoot, but also between his men and the British troops who were 30 goddamn yards away. His courage was only outweighed by his stupidity. Yes, his men needed to see a strong leader in order to keep united, but you know what they also needed? Their leader to not be killed by taking 500 bullets to the face. If you don't remember, the British troops had a tendency to stand in a line; it's a big part of why a lot of historians think the Americans were able to win the war. In this instance, however, it means that George Washington was a single man on a horse standing in front of a Wall of Death. A Wall of Death that was mostly aiming for him.
So many shots were fired that it was described, "The smoke was so thick that it was virtually impossible to see. The entire scene was chaos." The smoke cleared and George was not lying dead on the ground as he should have been, but instead "sat upright on his horse, calm and resolute."
"Oh man, this would make a badass profile picture. Quick, paint it before the smoke clears!"
Colonel Fitzgerald, Washington's aide, burst into tears upon seeing the commander alive. Riding over to his friend, Washington said, "The day is our own." So to be clear, not only did Washington not seem to understand the almost certain death he had just ass-raped, but he had the balls to assert that they would win the ensuing battle, a claim that he had no grounds to believe were true. Except they totally won.
He Was Born into a Sweet Gig
Since we're all from the future, we know that Washington is an obvious choice for president and commander in chief and whatever the hell else he wants to be. The American people needed to elect Washington, because God built him out of magic and testicles, and that sort of thing should be rewarded.
"This resolution is to appropriate all the women for Washington. All those in favor?"
Of course it wasn't so obvious back then, and in fact, Washington should not have been elected to be the leader of anything, let alone an entire army. Braddock's defeat was just one of Washington's many, many defeats. Fort Necessity, for example, which Washington set up and then almost immediately had to surrender after a brief battle. That does not make for a shining military history.
There were much older, more experienced men to choose from, but why did Washington get called up to the big leagues? Did he give a passionate speech? Did he have the best guns? Did he captivate a nation?
Did he make sad eyes until they finally caved?
No. It came down to geography. Just like today, an important position was filled based on demographics. Namely, Washington was from the right state. Virginian support was key to winning the war, and hey, Washington's from Virginia, so, sure, let's make him commander in chief. Without that appointment, Washington would never have become president. That just goes to show you, kids -- if you work hard and try your best and are literally born in the right place at the right time through no agency of your own whatsoever, you too can grow up to be president.
His Terrible Plans Worked Despite All Reason
It's the early winter of 1775, and George Washington is now General George Washington and fighting against the mother country. The Continental Army has the British-occupied Boston surrounded, but the two armies are in a stalemate, because Washington's men simply don't have enough firepower to force the British out. A man named Henry Knox shows up saying, "Hey, I've got an idea," and Washington says, "Sounds good." Knox replies, "Wait, I should clarify: It's retarded." "In that case," Washington says, "sounds fucking great."
The mission was simple, in that a simpleton came up with it. Knox wanted to go to Fort Ticonderoga, recently captured from the British, acquire all of the surrendered weaponry kept within, and bring it to Dorchester Heights to hopefully dislodge the British. The fort was 300 miles away, the plan required a ton of men and money, cannons had to be dismantled, flotillas had to be bought or made to ship everything down a river, stuff had to be moved onto sleds and hauled by enough oxen to handle the combined weight of the cannons and the sleds, and everything depended on the weather being a fickle bitch in their favor -- they needed warmth to keep the river unfrozen and snow for covering ground with the sleds, and George Washington was strongly advised against authorizing the mission. Because it was impossible.
"Sir, the flow chart is quite clear about impossible missions."
Well, Washington doesn't know the meaning of "impossible" or "too risky" or "stupid" or "You've been given direct orders not to do this" or "George, this isn't your personal pissing contest, it is a goddamn war." So he gave Knox the go-ahead.
Knox ventured out and was able to get to the fort in Ticonderoga within four days, and he immediately began the work of disassembling the artillery. By the ninth day, everything was packed up on the flotillas and heading downriver. The men were rowing against freezing winds, and they only just managed to get the cannons across the lake when it started to freeze over. Within a week, Knox was able to obtain around 40 sleds able to carry the 5,400-pound loads, along with the oxen to pull them. Like clockwork, it started snowing, right when the men needed it to. It seemed like another stroke of that sweetly lotioned George Washington luck was in play.
"I have naked pictures of God with something called a Kardashian. He does what I tell him."
It didn't make any sense. When Washington needed the river not to be frozen, it wouldn't be, and when he needed it to snow so the men could transport the weaponry via sled, it snowed. If this doesn't convince you that God's in some kind of weird heavenly gambling tournament and put a whole lot of money on George Washington's success, then we don't know what will.
He Controlled the Weather?
We just touched on this briefly, but Washington's weather-related luck actually came up a lot. In August of 1776, America had declared itself a nation, and the first major battle of the Revolutionary War was underway. George Washington didn't have nearly as many men as the British, and that's before you take into account how many were ill or unprepared. Washington set up shop at a Manhattan harbor and waited for the British there, knowing that the harbor would be important. When the British did arrive, Washington got his ass spanked, as he was wont to do.
And then British Army Commander in Chief William Howe decided to stop attacking Washington's troops, even though they were basically stranded and Howe had a giant ship with lots of firepower. Just fucking because. Because George Washington was 70 percent leprechaun.
The Washington family crest.
Washington, meanwhile, fed spies bad information to make the British believe that he was asking for reinforcements, when really he sent for every ship and boat in the area to enable the entire army to retreat. Obviously all of the boats coming would most likely clue Howe in to some general happenings, but this is George Washington we're talking about, so he saw no flaw in the plan.
Because Washington was destined to win the war and be president, it began to pour rain so hard that Howe wasn't able to see the boats or the men packing up camp. By dawn, most of the troops had sailed off for Manhattan, and to make sure the rest of the troops joined them, Washington let his pupils go all white and flew up into the sky with lightning shooting out his fingertips. What happened is described as a dense, providential fog settling over the land, allowing the rest of the men to evacuate unseen. By the time the fog lifted and Howe saw the men sailing away, it was too late to try and catch them.
"I'm sure this won't come back to bite me in the ass."
He Was Magic (Part 1 of 234-Part Series)
Washington's crossing of the Delaware and subsequent Christmas conquering of the Hessian enemies is famous by now, but what a lot of people might not know is just how ass-backwardsly Washington stumbled into victory.
Washington's plan, of course, was to sail across the Delaware on December 24 and attack on Christmas. When Washington's men sailed out, a British sympathizer saw the men and sent a servant to deliver a warning message. The note actually got to Colonel Johann Rall, the leader of the Hessian men, who promptly put the note in his pocket instead of reading it and continued playing cards and drinking. We haven't been in a lot of wars, but we're pretty sure that "reading urgent notes regarding the whereabouts of your enemies" is probably one of the first things they teach you to know (assuming you needed to even be taught that). Maybe Rall skipped that day of army training, or maybe the part of his brain that deals with reason is made of poop, or maybe George Washington is just cosmically, unfairly, inexplicably lucky. Whatever the reason, Rall never read the note.
"Not now, I've got the captain down to his boxers!"
Or, not never. Rall eventually read it the next day, after he had been forced to surrender.
For more presidents who were probably terminators, check out Abraham Lincoln: Portrait of a Crazy Badass and How to Fight Andrew Jackson: The Deadliest President Ever.