Military Career Washington appeared at the Second Continental Congress in his Virginia militia colonel's uniform, advertising his military experience to a Congress in search of a commanding general. Tunisia Metro Map John Adams nominated Washington as commander of the Continental army, and he accepted in June 1775. He took command of a force arrayed around Boston. This force lacked any professional training and knew little of the military arts.
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Nevertheless, with the arrival of heavy siege cannon from New York, Washington managed to drive the British from Boston in March 1776. Despite the auspicious beginning of 1776, the year took a darker turn when the British moved against New York City that summer. Washington was hammered by the British at Long Island and Manhattan Island and was eventually forced to retreat to New Jersey.
He divided his raw forces in the face of the enemy and was saved from total annihilation only by the lethargy of General Sir William Howe, the British commander. December 1776 saw a rapid revival of patriot fortunes. On Christmas Day, 1776, Washington led the Continental army across the Delaware River to attack an outpost of Hessian mercenaries in British service, taking more than 900 Hessian prisoners.
On January 3, 1777, Washington struck at a British army at Princeton, New Jersey, in a brilliant stroke that allowed him to hit the British and then slip away.