The Battle of Monmouth
26 June 1778
The Commander in Chief was every where, his Presence gave Spirit and Confidence and his command and authority soon brought every thing into order and Regularity."
Major General Nathanael Greene, 2 July 1778
For hours, through a rain of shot and shell, General George Washington rode back and forth along this hill, encouraging his men, seeing to the care of the wounded, and, as the British began withdrawing, directing the counterattack. Tall, athletic, and fearless, Washington radiated strength.
An onlooker, Dr. William Read, recorded seeing "Gen. Washington riding to and fro along the line, sometimes at full speed, looking nobly, excited, and calling loudly to the troops by the appellation of brave boys. He saw Washington standing to the right of the lineaw a cannon ball strike a wet hold in the side of a hill, and the dirt fly at him. The General, coolly standing in his stirrups, was said to say to the officers that urged that than was no place for him, he being observed by the enemy, ?the he was admiring the manner in which Proctor was handling their right."
Monmouth was a much-needed victory for the General and his army. After the defeats at Brandywine and Germantown and the loss of Philadelphia, there had been mutterings in Congress and the Continental Army that someone else might make a better Commander in Chief. After the Battle of Monmouth, there was no question. Washington was well on his way to becoming our first President and "Father of our Country."