April 18, 2012
Yes, it was the same sword wielding general who triumphed, in a contest organized by the National Army Museum, to determine the greatest enemy commander to face Britain.
The very same future president that historian Stephen Brumwell said was responsible for "the worst defeat for the British Empire ever."
He also, as Brumwell pointed out, had the skills to deal with his political counterparts in Congress and his French allies.
All the more remarkable, since the man who defeated such notables as Irish independence hero Michael Collins, France's Napoleon Bonaparte, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, had little appetite for fighting.
Washington’s diaries are filled, not so much with war strategies, but with juicy references to that "succulent boar" we gorged on in Alexandria, or that "superb hunk of venison cooked so slow over the fires that it fell off the bone."
Of course, if a meal displeased him, he could be as tough.
“It was stringy beyond belief; even Franklin, who’ll eat anything, couldn’t stomach it.”
Both before and after the Revolutionary War, Washington frequented barbecues along the Potomac River, as Mary V. Thompson notes in "Cornbread Nation 2: The United States of Barbecue."
"George even hosted more than a few barbecues of his own, giving one in May 1773 and buying "45 weight" of flour "for barbecue," presumably to make the bread or biscuits that were part of the spread.
Today, of course, there is open warfare about where the best barbecue comes from.
North Carolinians contend that the only true barbecue in the country is cooked around Lexington, or barbecue "down east," around Goldsboro.
Tennesseans say there's nothing like Memphis dry rub ribs.
Then there are the red sauce people from Kansas City and then there’s Texas brisket.
So who makes the best?
I usually side with any barbecue in the part of the country I’m sampling at the time.
I’d like to think George would agree with that diplomatic stance.