George Washington’s Vision at Valley Forge (in the Winter of 1777).
America’s evolution in three episodes. Are we ready for the Third?
A few days ago, reading an esoteric book, I came across the story of “The Vision of George Washington”, in the winter of 1777, when the American War of Independence had just begun. It was not the first time I had read this story, but still it moved me very much, something resonated within me; and except at times when I was mentally occupied with my work during the day, the greatness of this story went round and round in my head continually, until I could not resist the temptation to write about it.
I hope that every person born in the United States, and also those who have come here to live and truly love this country, have read this extraordinary account of America’s Founding Father.
The story of “George Washington’s Vision” was first published by Wesley Bradshaw in 1859, in the National Tribune. It was copied in this same newspaper in December 1880, Vol. 4, №12. Since then, it has been re-copied by a multitude of people. I myself am copying it as it is on various websites on the Internet; therefore, I write it in square brackets and italics. It does belong to all, and spreading it will be very beneficial to everyone who reads it.
A bit of History.
The antecedents to the American War of Independence date back to the Franco-British rivalry in North America and the consequences of the so-called “Seven Years’ War” in Europe.
The War of Independence of the United States of America was a war between the first 13 British colonies in North America and their country of origin Great Britain. The conflict lasted eight years -from 1775 to 1783-, ending with the British defeat at Yorktown and the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
As we will see later in the account of the Vision, Washington’s army had had successful campaigns, but also disastrous ones. Considering the approaching winter, the Commander-in-chief sought quarters for his men. He wanted to remove the troops from the camp in the White Marsh area and move to a safer place to spend the coming season. Of the few alternatives he had, he selected Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, northwest of Philadelphia.
On December 19, 1777, when the poorly equipped and even worse fed Continental army, weary from long marches, arrived at Valley Forge, he had to build more than a thousand wooden huts, which would provide shelter for the soldiers, always with critical shortages plaguing the army.
Malnourished and poorly clothed, living cramped in damp huts, disease and other ailments broke the troop’s health. Some 2,500 men died that winter. Although Washington repeatedly appealed for relief, the Continental Congress was unable to provide it.
There was also another, no less serious problem. The Continental Army was not a professional militia; and improving military efficiency, morale, and discipline were as vital to the welfare of the troops as their sources of supply. Washington entrusted the task of developing and carrying out an effective training program to Baron Friedrich von Steuben, a Prussian officer.
Material shortages and military training were successfully overcome that famous winter of 1777 to 1778, at Valley Forge. The war would last another five more years, but for George Washington, his men and the nation he sought to give birth to, a decisive victory had been won that did not depend on arms: the victory of the will.
The success of the conflict was due to the firm determination of the colonists, the leadership and organizing genius of George Washington, and French and Spaniard aid.
During the War of Independence, France helped the American revolutionaries with land troops, the Marquis de La Fayette being one of the great military men and a friend of Washington. The continental army was also reinforced by sea with ships and material. Spain, for its part, did it initially in a clandestine way, from the spring and summer of 1776; and in an open way, from the battle of Saratoga (1777) onwards, by means of the arms and the supplies provided by the merchant Diego de Gardoqui ’s ships, opening a front in the south flank.
General Washington’s Vision at Valley Forge.
[[ The last time I ever saw Anthony Sherman was on the fourth of July, 1859, in Independence Square. He was then ninety-nine years old, and becoming very feeble. But though so old, his dimming eyes rekindled as he gazed upon Independence Hall, which he came to visit once more. “Let us go into the hall,” he said. “I want to tell you of an incident of Washington’s life — on which no one alive knows of except myself; and, if you live, you will before long see it verified”.
“George Washington would hardly have been the type of man that one would expect to be seeking visionary manifestations or to be easily taken in by them. From the opening of the Revolution we experienced all phases of fortune, now good and now ill, one time victorious and another conquered. The darkest period we had, I think, was when Washington after several reverses, retreated to Valley Forge, where he resolved to pass the winter of 1777.
Ah! I have often seen the tears coursing down our dear commander’s care-worn cheeks, as he would be conversing with a confidential officer about the condition of his poor soldiers. You have doubtless heard the story of Washington’s going into the thicket to pray. Well, it was not only true, but he used often to pray in secret for aid and comfort from God, the interposition of whose Divine Providence brought us safely through the darkest days of tribulation.”
An Uninvited Guest
“One day, I remember it well, the chilly winds whistled through the leafless trees, though the sky was cloudless and the sun shone brightly, he remained in his quarters nearly all the afternoon alone. When he came out I noticed that his face was a shade paler than usual, and there seemed to be something on his mind of more than ordinary importance. Returning just after dusk, he dispatched an orderly to the quarters of the officer I mention who was presently in attendance.”
“After a preliminary conversation of about half an hour, Washington, gazing upon his companion with that strange look of dignity which he alone could command, said to the latter: I do not know whether it is owing to the anxiety of my mind, or what, but this afternoon as I was sitting at this table engaged in preparing a dispatch, something seemed to disturb me. Looking up, I beheld standing opposite me a singularly beautiful female.So astonished was I, for I had given strict orders not to be disturbed that it was some moments before I found language to inquire into the cause of her presence. A second, a third, and even a fourth time did I repeat my question, but received no answer from my mysterious visitor except a slight raising of her eyes. By this time I felt strange sensations spreading through me. I would have risen but the riveted gaze of the being before me rendered volition impossible. I assayed once more to address her, but my tongue had become useless. Even thought itself had become paralyzed. A new influence, mysterious, potent, irresistible, took possession of me. All I could do was to gaze steadily, vacantly at my unknown visitant. Gradually the surrounding atmosphere seemed as though becoming filled with sensations, and luminous. Everything about me seemed to rarify, the mysterious visitor herself becoming more airy and yet more distinct to my sight than before. I now began to feel as one dying, or rather to experience the sensations which I have sometimes imagined accompany dissolution. I did not think, I did not reason, I did not move; all were alike impossible. I was only conscious of gazing fixedly, vacantly at my companion.”
The First Threat
“Presently I heard a voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn,” while at the same time my visitor extended her arm eastwardly. I now beheld a heavy white vapor at some distance rising fold upon fold. This gradually dissipated, and I looked upon a strange scene. Before me lay spread out in one vast plain all the countries of the world — Europe, Asia, Africa and America. I saw rolling and tossing between Europe and America the billows of the Atlantic, and between Asia and America lay the Pacific. “Son of the Republic,” said the same mysterious voice as before, “look and learn.” At that moment I beheld a dark, shadowy being, like an angel, standing, or rather floating in mid-air, between Europe and America, dipping water out of the ocean in the hollow of each hand, he sprinkled some upon America with his right hand, while with his left hand he cast some on Europe. Immediately a cloud raised from these countries, and joined in mid-ocean. For a while it remained stationary, and then moved slowly westward, until it enveloped America in its murky folds. Sharp flashes of lightning gleamed through it at intervals, and I heard the smothered groans and cries of the American people. A second time the angel dipped water from the ocean, and sprinkled it out as before. The dark cloud was then drawn back to the ocean, in whose heaving billows it sank from view.”
The Second Threat
“A third time I heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn,” I cast my eyes upon America and beheld villages and towns and cities springing up one after another until the whole land from the Atlantic to the Pacific was dotted with them. Again, I heard the mysterious voice say, “Son of the Republic, the end of the century cometh, look and learn.” At this the dark shadowy angel turned his face southward, and from Africa I saw an ill-omened spectre approach our land. It flitted slowly over every town and city of the latter. The inhabitants presently set themselves in battle array against each other. As I continued looking I saw a bright angel, on whose brow rested a crown of light, on which was traced the word “Union,” bearing the American flag which he placed between the divided nation, and said, “Remember ye are brethren.” Instantly, the inhabitants, casting from them their weapons became friends once more, and united around the National Standard.”
The Third Threat
“And again I heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.” At this the dark, shadowy angel placed a trumpet to his mouth, and blew three distinct blasts; and taking water from the ocean, he sprinkled it upon Europe, Asia and Africa. Then my eyes beheld a fearful scene: from each of these countries arose thick, black clouds that were soon joined into one. And throughout this mass there gleamed a dark red light by which I saw hordes of armed men, who, moving with the cloud, marched by land and sailed by sea to America, which country was enveloped in the volume of cloud. And I dimly saw these vast armies devastate the whole country and burn the villages, towns and cities that I beheld springing up. As my ears listened to the thundering of the cannon, clashing of swords, and the shouts and cries of millions in mortal combat, I heard again the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.” When the voice had ceased, the dark shadowy angel placed his trumpet once more to his mouth, and blew a long and fearful blast.”
“Instantly a light as of a thousand suns shone down from above me, and pierced and broke into fragments the dark cloud which enveloped America. At the same moment the angel upon whose head still shone the word “Union”, and who bore our national flag in one hand and a sword in the other, descended from the heavens attended by legions of white spirits. These immediately joined the inhabitants of America, who I perceived were well-nigh overcome, but who immediately taking courage again, closed up their broken ranks and renewed the battle. Again, amid the fearful noise of the conflict, I heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.” As the voice ceased, the shadowy angel for the last time dipped water from the ocean and sprinkled it upon America. Instantly the dark cloud rolled back, together with the armies it had brought, leaving the inhabitants of the land victorious. Then once more I beheld the villages, towns and cities springing up where I had seen them before, while the bright angel, planting the azure standard he had brought in the midst of them, cried with a loud voice: “While the stars remain, and the heavens send down dew upon the earth, so long shall the Union last.” And taking from his brow the crown on which blazoned the word “Union,” he placed it upon the Standard while the people, kneeling down, said, “Amen.”
“The scene instantly began to fade and dissolve, and I at last saw nothing but the rising, curling vapor I at first beheld. This also disappearing, I found myself once more gazing upon the mysterious visitor, who, in the same voice I had heard before, said, “Son of the Republic, what you have seen is thus interpreted: Three great perils will come upon the Republic. The most fearful is the third (The comment on his word ‘third’ is: “The help against the THIRD peril comes in the shape of Divine Assistance. Apparently the Second Advent)…., passing which the whole world united shall not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land and Union.” With these words the vision vanished, and I started from my seat and felt that I had seen a vision wherein had been shown to me the birth, progress, and destiny of the United States.” “Such, my friends,” concluded the venerable narrator, “were the words I heard from Washington’s own lips, and America will do well to profit by them.” ]]
Sooner or later the third episode of Washington’s Vision will manifest itself, in which time America will go through a very difficult situation for the nation and its people, whose historical moment will determine not only its survival, but also its world hegemony, this time not based on the power of money, but rather on far superior physical, psychological, mental and spiritual values. After this event, nothing and no one will be able to prevent this country from developing a New Civilization, a wonderful Golden Age.
I can only say: “May every son of the Republic learn to live for his God, for his land and for the Union”.
So be it.