"Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country."
Today, Washington delivered the Newburgh Address. Ostensibly this was to help defuse a coup d'etat that was being planned among the officers of the newly victorious but not paid Continental Army. While his words were strong in the speech, it was the opening line above that really showed his officers how much their commander had sacrificed to protect the fledging nation.
Washington had sacrificed almost 20 years of his life leading them and in turn had lost the last vestiges of his youth. The humanity shown in that opening caused many of the officers to reevaluate their positions and eventually abandon the conspiracy.
As for George Washington, the country was not yet finished with him, but that is a story for another day...
Booknotes: Richmond Shall Not Be Given Up
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