2011 20¢ Washington
Issue Date: April 11, 2011
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint "USPS"
As Indian attackers leaped from behind trees to ambush the larger British force, the famed British Regulars panicked and fled. A 23-year-old colonel named George Washington rode among the fleeing soldiers, trying to rally them to fight. Two horses were killed beneath him, and four bullet holes tore through his clothing before he was pulled to safety.
That courage would prove crucial years later during the American Revolution. Washington’s experience and character made him an obvious choice to lead. “If you speak of solid information and sound judgment, Colonel Washington is unquestionably the greatest man on that floor,” said Patrick Henry.
Thomas Jefferson later wrote, “[Washington] was incapable of fear, meeting personal dangers with the calmest concern.” Indeed, Washington was drawn by the thrill of battle. “I heard the bullets whistle, and, believe me, there is something charming in the sound,” he wrote while serving in the French and Indian War.
As the commander of the Colonial Army, Washington required a different sort of courage that was sorely tested during the harsh winter at Valley Forge. He declared he would “share in the hardships and partake in every inconvenience.” That concern for his soldiers, combined with his fearless leadership, helped America endure – and ultimately triumph.