David Barton has written the following amazing story found in his book, The Bulletproof George Washington. Barton says that at one time, this story of God’s divine protection of George Washington could be found in virtually all school textbooks. Now few Americans have read the story or know anything about it, because it is not found in today’s textbooks.
This story displays how God works in our world. Without God’s intervention George Washington might never have lived to be the “Father of our Country”. Washington often told others about this life-changing event that influenced the man he became and affirmed God’s plan for his life.
George Washington began his military career in 1754 when he was in his early twenties. He began not as a private but as a major in the militia of Virginia and was promoted to Colonel. At that time, the British colonists had settled the eastern seaboard and claimed all lands in the West. The French settled in Canada and in Louisiana and also claimed land in the West. This created a conflict between the British and the French and resulted in the French and Indian War.
The French made plans to build a series of forts on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, stretching from Canada to New Orleans. This action would block the British Colonies from access to the West and make it possible for the French to colonize the area.
Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia commissioned George Washington as an ambassador and sent him with a letter to the French telling them to cease their plans. Washington met the French at Fort Duquesne, which later was renamed Fort Pitt. (It is now the site of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.) Washington was unsuccessful in his efforts, and the French pushed ahead with building the forts.
To protect their interests, the British sent approximately one thousand battle-hardened troops to Virginia and put British General Braddock in charge. Braddock wanted the help of the colonists, so he appointed George Washington as his chief aide and honored his rank of Colonel. Virginia provided another three hundred troops, making a total of thirteen hundred men under Braddock’s command. With the help of Benjamin Franklin, money, horses, wagons, cannons and supplies were assembled. Braddock and Washington led the troops and trekked several hundred miles through the forests. They built roads as they proceeded to Fort Duquesne.
Braddock was used to the out-in-the-open style of warfare waged in Europe. Washington warned him that the Indians (allies of the French) fought ambush style and shielded themselves behind trees. Braddock wouldn’t listen. Twice he refused to believe this same warning from Indians who were friendly to the British. He was so rude to them that they gave up trying to make him understand.
So, Braddock’s army stood in their bright red British uniforms, shoulder-to-shoulder, out in the open, completely exposed to the enemy. They were sitting ducks when shots were leveled at them from the forest. The French and Indians suffered only minimal casualties, but the general’s army suffered near annihilation. Braddock was killed. It was a slaughter.
The hostile Indian marksmen continued to shoot at the mounted British officers and singled out Washington as a target. “Quick, let your aim be certain and he dies,” the chief commanded. The warriors aimed their rifles at George Washington on horseback and shot round after round at him. Washington remained unhurt.
The native warriors stared at the scene in disbelief. Their rifles seldom missed their mark. The chief suddenly realized that a mighty power must be shielding this man and told his warriors to stop firing.
As the firing slowed, Washington gathered the few remaining troops and led the retreat to safety. That evening, as the last of the wounded were being cared for, Washington noticed an odd tear in his coat. It was a bullet hole! He rolled up his sleeve and looked at his arm directly under the hole. There was no mark on his skin. Amazed, he took off his coat and found three more holes where bullets had passed through his coat but stopped before they reached his body.
Nine days after the battle, after hearing the rumor circulating about his death, Washington wrote his brother John to confirm that he was still very much alive.
“As I have heard since my arrival at this place, a circumstantial account of my death and dying speech, I take this early opportunity of contradicting the first and of assuring you that I have not as yet composed the latter. But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!”
The events that occurred around Colonel Washington that day during the battle provide compelling proof that he was in God’s care and survived due to the Lord’s direct intervention on his behalf. One of the Indian warriors, who had been a leader in the battle was heard later to relate the events of that day. “Washington was never born to be killed by a bullet! I had seventeen fair fires at him with my rifle, and after all could not bring him to the ground!”
He said, “Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man (indicating Washington), and guides his destinies—he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.”
George Washington not only survived this battle in 1755, but was not even wounded. He fought other battles as well in his lifetime, but was never wounded in any of them.
“A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you.” (Psalm 91:7).