By Mark Bowser
Is it possible for a person to be bulletproof? Protected beyond all measure of human understanding? America’s foremost historian, David Barton, shared a story that used to be found in almost every American history text book for one hundred and fifty years. Today, most students and Americans have never heard this story.
The story takes place twenty years before the American War for Independence. George Washington was a young man of twenty-three years old when he was called to duty in the French and Indian War. The war was between the United Kingdom and France. Both sides had claimed ownership of the land around the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. A peaceful agreement couldn’t be made so war broke out between the two European powers.
The Americans joined the British side and most of the Native Americans joined with the French. At the time, George Washington was Colonel of the Virginia Militia. George Washington and one hundred of his militia joined with General Braddock to kick the French out of Fort Duquane which is now the city of Pittsburgh.
On July 9, 1755, they walked right into an ambush. The British were still about seven miles from the fort marching in the midwestern wilderness when all of sudden they began taking on fire from both sides of their path. The French and Indians shot at them from all angles: from behind trees, underneath logs, sheltered from rocks, and even from above in the top of trees.
The British were some of the world’s best and most experienced soldiers. Unfortunately, it was at European style of warfare. In that style, both armies would line up in straight lines on opposite sides of a field and bravely fire at each other.
So, in the middle of a wilderness, the British did what they had been trained to do. They lined up shoulder to shoulder neatly as if they were marching in a parade. They were easy pickings for the enemy. The Indians and French protected by their hiding places took out the British with ease. In only two hours, over 700 of the 1,300 British and Virginia Militia troops were slaughtered. Only thirty of the French and Indians had been shot.
George Washington was the only officer who was not shot off of his horse. This twenty three year old militia leader found himself in command of what was left of the British army. What should he do? Continue to fight? Washington knew what he had to do. He must save what was left of his men. Washington gathered up the remaining troops and retreated back to Fort Cumberland.
During the battle, several horses had been shot from underneath Washington. Later, Washington found four bullet holes in his jacket, but he had not been touched by one bullet. He told his family in a letter that,“By the all powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation.” Washington knew he was protected by Almighty God. There was not a doubt in his mind about that.
Fifteen years later in 1770, George Washington and a close friend returned to those same woods where the battle had been fought. An Indian Chief heard that Washington was there and traveled far to meet with him. The Native American Chief told Washington that he had been a leader in that great battle and that he had instructed his braves to single out all the officers, including Washington. The Chief himself had shot at Washington seventeen times without success. Believing that Washington was under the protection of the Great Spirit, the Chief told his braves to quit firing on Washington.
On that day in 1770, the Chief told Washington, “I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. I have come to pay homage to the man whose is the particular favorite of Heaven and who can never die in battle.”
There was a time when most American children were taught that story in school about our first President. Today, most Americans have never heard that story. A recent poll stated that only 40% of Americans have a basic knowledge of American history. That is very sad … and dangerous. Philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
That lesson goes both directions. Today, there are ignorant cries to tear down statues in an attempt to erase part of our history. But, if we don’t remember the mistakes of the past then we are condemned to repeat them.
There is evil in parts of history. We must never repeat the sins of the past. So, we must understand history. We must understand how the Hitler of the 1930’s became the Hitler of the 1940’s and killed over eleven million Jewish people. We must understand the history of slavery and how one man, Abraham Lincoln, led the fight to end that scourge in the United States in 1863.
History is not without evil … but we must remember it. History is also filled with stories of good and we must remember them too. We must walk on the shores of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and remember the Wright Brothers and man’s leap into a bigger world. We must remember that first shaky flight and how it shined a light onto the path that led us to Tranquility Base on July 20, 1969 where Neil Armstrong took “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” So, is it possible to be bulletproof and protected beyond all measure of human understanding? Oh yeah!
ANNOUNCING! A New Podcast Gaining Attention — Let Me Tell You A Story with Mark Bowser
Stories are everywhere! We all love them! We love them in books, at the movies, and in our favorite podcasts. But, what if a story could be — more? What if a story could change your life in a substantial, positive way? What if a story could take you to the pinnacles of success and show you how to scale life’s mountains too?
Well, that is what Let Me Tell You a Story podcast with Mark Bowser is all about. Professional Speaker & Author Mark Bowser will take you behind the scenes of some of history’s greatest feats and unknown achievements so that their stories can be a city on a hill shining like a beacon in the night inspiring us to live our best! Come join us every Monday and Thursday! Please subscribe now so that you won’t miss one exciting episode. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, etc….
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