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George Washington - Early Military Experiences

George Washington - Early Military Experiences
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.59

     challenging words:    dew-CANE, surveyor, militia, military, command, successful, valuable, defeat, member, district, surrender, knowledge, navy, mission, army, battle
     content words:    George Washington, Mount Vernon, Admiral Edward Vernon, Lawrence Washington, Fort Duquesne, When George, Fort Necessity, Indian War, Major General Edward Braddock

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George Washington - Early Military Experiences
By Jane Runyon

1     You could almost say that George Washington was born to be in the army. When he was only eleven years old, his father died. He was sent to live with his older half brother, Lawrence. Lawrence had been in the British navy and was now trying to become a successful plantation owner in northern Virginia. He named his plantation Mount Vernon after his commanding officer, Admiral Edward Vernon. Lawrence told young George stories of his adventures in the military. George grew up wanting to share the adventures his brother had experienced.
2     When Lawrence Washington died in 1752, George was a twenty-one-year-old surveyor. George inherited Mount Vernon and the command of the militia in the southern district of the colony. It wasn't long before George's military knowledge was put to the test.
3     In these early days of the colonies, it was sometimes hard to say for certain who controlled what lands. The French said certain areas belonged to them, and the English claimed some of the same land. It was up to a surveyor to study the boundaries of an area and decide just who owned what. The British governor decided to send George Washington to an area the French had named Fort Duquesne. (We pronounce it dew-CANE.) If you were to look at a map today, you would not find Fort Duquesne. Instead, you would find the city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. The British believed this was an area that belonged to them. George was sent to tell the French that they were to leave the area. When George arrived at Fort Duquesne, the French told him that they were not going to leave. George had to return to the governor of Virginia and admit that he had failed in his first mission. The governor sent George back to Fort Duquesne. This time he sent one hundred fifty soldiers with him. On the way to the fort, they met a scouting party for the French and had the first real battle George had been in. He found that he enjoyed the experience.

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