George Washington (Lansdowne portrait) by Gilbert Stuart, oil on canvas, 1796My children have been receiving mysterious letters in old-fashioned copperplate writing, each detailing a Revolutionary War event and signed "General George Washington." We had to do a little detective work to discover the source of these epistles~~an adult friend who is a very knowledgeable history buff. I so appreciate gestures such as these, and am thrilled that my children are being enriched by history in this unique way. Here is a copy (in part) of their latest correspondence:
In dire straits for food and no prospects of supply, God's providence provided our sustenance. Quite dramatically, the famine completely ended. Countless thousands of fat shad, swimming up the Schuylkill to spawn, filled the river...Soldiers thronged the river bank~ the cavalry was ordered into the river bed~ the horsemen rode upstream, noisily shouting and beating the water, driving the shad before them into nets spread across the Schuylkill...
So thick were the shad that, when the fish were cornered in the nets, a pole could not be thrust into the water without striking fish....The netting was continued day after day... until the army was thoroughly stuffed with fish and in addition, hundreds of barrels of shad were salted down for future use. Praise be the Almighty in our time of need~ as He is ever faithful.
~General George Washington