Following his initial role in the French and Indian War as a leader in the Virginia militia, George Washington briefly resigned from his military position and returned to his private farms and
lands. However, no more than five months later in Mary 1755, Washington was asked by the British Brigadier General Edward Braddock to receive the rank of honorary colonel and fight alongside the
British in their conflict with the French and their Indian allies. This military position offered Washington his first real experience fighting alongside an experienced military professional.
Additionally, he took keen interest in the strategies of the British army. These observations would later allow Washington to attempt to predict the movements of the British forces during the
Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, Washington's mission with General Braddock was an utter disaster. The British army was ambushed along the Monongahela River by French and Indian forces engaging
in guerilla-style warfare. As the British officers began to fall one-by-one, General Braddock himself was mortally wounded. Only Washington remained alive and able to lead the forces. As he
rallied the remaining forces and commanded them to keep their formation, Washington had two horses shot out from under him. Also, he found four bullet holes through his overcoat after the fighting
had ceased. Despite his heroic efforts, George Washington did little to minimize the bloodshed that occurred that day. Nonetheless, his actions further cemented the public opinion of him as a
great war hero. Following the brutal attack on Braddock's men, the British decided to postpone any future fighting during July 1755. Just a month later, the twenty-three-year-old George Washington
was appointed commander of the Virginia military by Governor Dinwiddie and was ordered to protect the western Virginia frontier. His time as commander of the Virginia militia was a frustrating
time for the young Washington. Not only did he find difficulty in receiving funds and support from the Virginia House of Burgesses but also he had to deal with poorly trained and mutinous troops.
Washington had difficulty in recruiting troops for his army, and once he had formed an army, men deserted regularly and in large numbers. At this time, he began to see the errors in the colonial
military draft laws: the upper middle class and the wealthy were largely excluded from the draft. Also, he was able to observe that the common people were largely not in favor of the war effort.
In addition to being uncooperative and stingy when Washington would try to gather rations and supplies from them, they also often protested the war effort and even threatened Washington himself.
Needless to say, his stint as the commander of the Virginia militia helped to form some of George's personal, political, and military views. After three years of patrolling and defending the
Virginia frontier (primarily from hostile Indian forces), Washington returned to serve in the British army in 1758 as part of an expedition to capture Fort Duquesne. Despite a tragic friendly
fire accident that killed several of Washington's men, the British were successful in their attack on the French Fort Duquesne. Afterwards, George returned to civilian life at his Mount