George Washington Plus God

Each year in America we celebrate our independence which but for a change in the wind and an eerie fog we might still be a colony.
In the summer of 1776, the Continental Congress commissioned General George Washington to serve as commander-in-chief of the greatly out manned and out gunned American forces. Washington’s 9,000 men were poised on Brooklyn Heights. Their purpose was to try to stop British General William Howe from moving up the Hudson River Valley and dividing the colonies enabling a total British victory.
They watched as the British fleet which was described as looking like London afloat had delivered over 32,000 well equipped British and German soldiers. In a previous encounter between the two armies Washington had suffered over 1,000 casualties. Howe was now poised to deliver the final defeating blow but for some reason paused intending the next day to annihilate the American forces.
Washington’s position was an impossible one. The superior British force of 20,000 regulars was at his front and the nearly mile wide Hudson River at his rear. Howe paused to allow the vast British fleet to sail up the river and be in position the next morning to attack from Washington’s rear as he assaulted the front. No army had ever been in a more defenseless position.
In the late evening a strong breeze began to blow prohibiting the fleet to sail up the river. This fortuitous change in the wind foreshadowed a change in battle strategy.
Washington proposed a retreat by crossing the wind swept river at night. The officer in charge of the maneuver, General Alexander McDougall, informed Washington that crossing the wind stirred river was impossible. One chronicler wrote, “about eleven o’clock when, as if by design, the northeast wind died down. Then the wind shifted to the southwest….” This shift in the wind enabled John Glover’s Massachusetts sailors and fishermen to begin crossing the river in an attempt to evacuate as many of Washington’s men as possible. These oarsmen knew how to stealthy maneuver their crafts with a minimum of noise.Employing anything that would float the evacuation began and moved slowly. Most of the boats were so overloaded water came within inches of the gunwales. It became apparent the night would not be long enough to facilitate the strategic withdrawal. Again the weather intervened. A pea-soup fog so thick persons could not see six feet moved in just before dawn. This cover allowed the last of Washington’ forces to ship out by 7:00 A.M. Just beyond the range of British guns they looked back and saw the British forces already on the shore they had just evacuated.
This allowed the American forces opportunity to regroup and eventually win the war for independence.
Call it what you will: luck, happenstance, or blind fate, but those there wrote of if as “a peculiar providential occurrence,” “manifestly providential,” and “very favorably to the design.”
In our current culture God is often denied. However, today as in that day a remnant of spiritually inclined believers still pray thanking Him for His grace and asking for His blessings. As America faces an uncertain future that cadre has cause to do so again as we celebrate our independence made possible by Him.