George Washington's Life Guard
 

 Revolutionary War Life Guard Re-enactors

 

The flag and uniform of the Commander-in-Chief's Guards was described by historianBenson John Lossing:

The flag is white silk, on which the device is neatly painted. One of the Guard is seen holding a horse, and is in the act of receiving a flag from the Genius of Liberty, who is personified as a woman leaning upon the Union shield, near which is the American eagle. The motto of the corps, "CONQUER OR DIE," is upon a ribbon. The uniform of the Guard consisted of a blue coat with white facings, white waistcoat and breeches, black half gaiters, a cocked hat with a blue and white feather.

 

The Commander-in-Chief's Guard, commonly known as Washington's Life Guard, was a unit of the Continental Army that protected George Washington during the American Revolutionary War.  The unit was initially created by selecting four men from each Continental Army regiment present at the siege of Boston.

Because it was an honor to belong to the unit, care was taken to ensure that soldiers from each of the 13 states were represented in the Guard Major Caleb Gibbs of Rhode Island was the first commander of the Guard, and was given the title of captain commandant.

Washington's General Order on March 11, 1776:  "The General being desirous of selecting a particular number of men, as a Guard for himself, and baggage, The Colonel, or commanding Officer, of each of the established Regiments, (the Artillery and Riflemen excepted) will furnish him with four, that the number wanted may be chosen out of them. His Excellency depends upon the Colonels for good Men, such as they can recommend for their sobriety, honesty, and good behaviour; he wishes them to be from five feet, eight Inches high, to five feet, ten Inches; handsomely and well made, and as there is nothing in his eyes more desirable, than Cleanliness in a Soldier, he desires that particular attention may be made, in the choice of such men, as are neat, and spruce. They are all to be at Head Quarters to morrow precisely at twelve, at noon, when the Number wanted will be fixed upon. The General neither wants men with uniforms, or arms, nor does he desire any man to be sent to him, that is not perfectly willing, and desirous, of being of this guard. They should be drill'd men."

British forces defeated Washington's troops in the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777. Howe outmaneuvered Washington and marched into Philadelphia unopposed on September 26. Washington's army unsuccessfully attacked the British garrison at Germantown in early October. Meanwhile, Burgoyne, out of reach from help from Howe, was trapped and forced to surrender his entire army at Saratoga, New York. France responded to Burgoyne's defeat by entering the war, openly allying with America and turning the Revolutionary War into a major worldwide war. Washington's loss of Philadelphia prompted some members of Congress to discuss removing Washington from command. This attempt failed after Washington's supporters rallied behind him.[31]

Washington's army camped at Valley Forge in December 1777, staying there for the next six months. Over the winter, 2,500 men of the 10,000-strong force died from disease and exposure. The next spring, however, the army emerged from Valley Forge in good order, thanks in part to a full-scale training program supervised by Baron von Steuben, a veteran of the Prussian general staff. The British evacuated Philadelphia to New York in 1778 but Washington attacked them at Monmouth and drove them from the battlefield. Afterwards, the British continued to head towards New York. Washington moved his army outside of New York.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington


Home Page