Q&A: Challenges of the American Revolution
We are grateful to General George Washington (Dan Shippey), Alexander Hamilton (Eben Kuhns) and Marquis de Lafayette (Mark Schneider) for answering additional questions for students about their lives and their experiences in the Revolutionary War. Thank you to the many students who submitted questions during our program.
Q: Did your wife, Martha, participate in the war effort?
A: Indeed, she worked to organize the ladies to raise money for the war effort, to repair clothes and even make shirts for the men. She visited and volunteered with the sick in camp. She organized the Headquarters household and made sure all was prepared when visitors came. There was never a time in all eight years of the war that we did not have a constant parade of visitors.
Q: Did you ever have children?
A: Unfortunately, my dear Patsy and I never have had any children of our own. I was fortunate enough to be stepfather to my good wife’s daughter and son from her first marriage.
ABOUT THE WAR
Q: What was it like when General Lee called a retreat instead of fighting?
A: I was at first in utter disbelief. I accused the soldier who first told me of lying, as the idea was so inconceivable to my mind. When I realized General Lee had in truth called for retreat I am embarrassed to admit my anger overwhelmed my customary disposition.
Q: How did you feel when you found out about Benedict Arnold being a turncoat?
A: It was one of the darkest days I can recollect in the entirety of the war. That a man who had hazarded all for our cause so often, had dared when others would have run and had suffered grievous injury only to recover and return to the field, that he for a foreign purse would turn traitor? It is still beyond my understanding. He was, at the time, the officer I would have trusted in the field above all others.
Q: What happened to Benedict Arnold?
A: It is my understanding that he is residing in London.
Q: Did you ever fight on the front lines or did you command only?
A: My Military Family and my dear Wife have often expressed a desire that I might take more care of my own safety in field. It is my belief however that leadership requires that one leads from the front.