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1755 A.D.:  The Shawnee, Iroquois, Delaware, and Other Native Americans Battle A Bulletproof White Man!

  It was July 9th, 1755, and about 450 Native American Indians warriors from the Shawnee tribe, the Hurons, the Deleware, the Ottowas, the Miamis, along with the Iroquois (and about 30 French troops as well) were having a very successful day in their war against the British and their allies, the American Cololnists.  They were fighting in what would become a fairly major battle in the American "French and Indian" war, a battle which took place near present day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, near a French held fort called Fort Duquesne.  The conflict which occurred that day is sometimes called the Battle of the Monongahela, because of the river bearing that name being there. 

  The British and Americans had been advancing through the wild lands for days hoping to take that fort away from the French, but as they neared it, there seemed to be evidence that the fort had been abandoned.  There weren't any fresh footprints on the trail, etc.  So, they had unwisely dropped their gaurd and looked forward to entering the fort unopposed and living in a more civilized style for a while after many days of trekking through the hot rugged wilderness.  In war, it's too often true that if you snooze you lose.  That's how it worked out in this case.  It was a trap, and the trap worked.   

  So, there were around 1300 British and American Colonial troops strung out along a long section of the trail, pinned down in a savage and deadly ambush.  That's pretty amazing considering that the British were widely considered the greatest military force in the Western world at that time.  In fact, by the end of this massacre there would be over 800 British and American enlisted casualties (dead or wounded), and over 60 officer casualties on that same side.  The other side - the French and Indian side - would suffer very few:  around 50 total.  But the leadership - the Senior Officers - of this particular group of British and Americans are said to have been pretty sub-standard.  And not that experienced in actual battle.

  The French and Indians had managed to gain the forest on both sides of the British, and from the protection of the trees they were just slaughtering the British led force, whose leaders, trained in the battle techniques of Europe, still felt it dishonorable and unmanly to hide among trees.  It was an expensive opinion to hold! 

  The British leader of this particular portion of the force - a certain General Braddock - was an early casualty of the enemy fire.  He came off of his horse when he was shot through the lungs, and his last words were to the affect that 'they would know how to fight them next time!'.  For him, there was no next time. 

  A young Lieutenant, somewhat of a giant for his time at nearly 6'2" tall, tended to his dying commanding officer, but also frequently mounted up and relayed orders from other officers to all locations where his besieged fellow soldiers fought.  He was a tempting target to those Indians armed with muskets, as were all of the other mounted officers.  But this young man was, again, an especially prominent target due to being a large young man. 

 He had actually almost missed this battle.  Several days ago he had been so sick that he had been left behind with some others to recuperate.  But as soon as his health allowed, he had mounted up and rode hard enough to catch up to the main force.  (You have to wonder what he was thinking about that decision just then.  It probably seemed pretty fateful!) 

  One American Indian warrior who fought with the French that day, Red Hawk ( I'm not entirely certain on this name, but found one place referring to him as Red Hawk) decided to shoot that Lieutenant.  He considered himself an excellent shot, and the young man on the horse was a conspicuous figure.  So, he aimed, he fired, but he missed.  He would later tell people that his gun seldom missed.  He reloaded, and when the young man was near again, he fired a second time.  The lucky young man was still not hit.

  No record seems to exist of Red Hawk"s moment by moment thoughts as he, and then others, began shooting at the young man with increased focus.  There were eventually no other mounted officers to shoot at.  But it was said by Red Hawk himself that after he had taken 11 shots, he turned to other warriors near him and instructed them to cease shooting at the young Lieutenant.  It was puzzling, but it had become his opinion that the Great Spirit was not allowing bullets to hit the young man.  (I suppose he thought that it would be unwise for them to purposely and knowingly disrespect and oppose the Great Spirit's intentions, which is a wise way to think.  After all, they had already won the battle.)   

  Other Native American warriors at that battle had reached the same conclusion, it seems.  In fact, about a decade after the Battle of the Monongahela a man who had become the physician of the 'protected one' (a Lieutenant no longer and a man grown famous), was approached by another Native American warrior who was also at that battle.  He told the Physician that his eyes had witnessed the same thing.  Even his own bullets had been unable to reach their target. 

  The young man had, as stated, been the last mounted British / American forces officer in the beseiged group, the other mounted officers having all succumbing to bullets fired from the trees.  But no one had hit this young man throughout the entire battle.....even when he was reportedly the only mounted person that remained to be shot at.  Two horses were shot out from under him.  According to both him, and relatives of his that later viewed the uniform jacket he wore that day, there were 4 holes in his uniform jacket from that battle.

  Years later, an old chief made it a point to visit that now older American Lieutenant and tell him personally about his experiences from that day.  I placed what he said at the bottom of this account.  But he confirmed that he simply could not get his bullets to hit the young man he shot at.

*****  This young man was to be, throughout much of his life, a soldier, an officer.  One thing that was noted about him, as a point of interest once he became a famous man, was that he had long held the habit of thanking God before a meal for the food that was being eaten, and asked Him to bless it (which was not so uncommon a thing) but that he was also insistant that a prayer be said afterward, when the meal was over, again thanking God for what He had provided.  And he expected the participation of those eating with him at the table.   The man's writings made it plain that he attributed his victories to the Almighty or to Providence, a name he seemed to use interchangably with God.  And among the personal and official letters that he wrote during fairly long and illustrious life, scholars and historians say there are over 100 original prayers.  There is simply no doubt that this man believed in God and Jesus.  A French citizen said that he had once walked in on this man kneeling in prayer in front of a Bible early in the morning.  Another acquaintance said that this man habitually awoke at 5 A.M., dressed, and then prayed his morning devotional.  Alexander Hamilton, one source said, confirmed that yes, this 5 A.M. morning devotional was the man's constant every day habit.  *****

  There is a famous frontier survival story from this same period, from these same days.  It involved Mary Draper/Ingles, a Virginian mother of two that was nearly full term with a third child, who was abducted by a Shawnee war party, taken around 800 miles from her home into country of the Ohio River where no men from her area had ever been known to even explore yet (though the French had) and while she was a prisoner in the Shawnee village she had been told the same story of the bullet proof young officer by a Frenchman (a trader and friend to the Shawnee) who was listening to an Indian chief recounting the battle.  That was where I got the name Red Hawk, which may or may not have been a fictionalized name.  

  Mary Draper escaped with another female captive, an old Dutch woman named Gretyl I believe, and made it home after around 50 days.  Both women were just as tough as the head of a nail, and resolute to the last fiber of their being.  They made it back, but only on the last of the last of the last of their strength.  Along with her essentially unmatched adventure story, Mary shared this overheard account of the bullet proof young Lieutenant.  A book called 'Follow the River' by James Alexander Todd tells her story, and speaking for myself, I sure loved reading it.  Awesome book.  In my copy, this account was on page 121 of 406 pages.  You can just ratio that if you use some other copy. 

  Later, years later, the young man became a General, and as battle after battle occurred, the Americans fighting the British in that war, the soldiers under the command of this man had the same story to relate.  During some of the most heated firefights this General was found at the very front, rallying men, shouting orders, pointing out weak areas of the line, redeploying forces, and doing this while mounted and conspicuous upon his horse. 

  Soldiers spoke of being in such a hail of bullets that small tree limbs and little branches were being shot away all around them and they scarce dared to raise their head enough to fire back, yet in would ride their General, shouting out orders to them, encouraging them, while seated high upon the saddle of his mount yet seemingly untouchable.

  There came a time when the war was over, and his new nation would have no other person but him be their first leader.  And so he agreed.  There were some who wanted to make him a king, but he refused.  He already acknowledged a King - a King from Heaven, and so he became their first President instead. 

  I'll bet you a $1.25 that you know who he was!

  One site listed this as the recorded words of a certain chief who traveled far to meet Washington, (yes, of course it was George Washington) having learned that he was the young Lieutenant from that long and far distant battle:

  "I am chief and ruler over my tribes.  My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains.  I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle.  It was on the day that the white man's blood mixed with the streams of our forest that I first beheld the chief [Washington] ....I called to my young men and said "Quick, let your aim be certain and he dies. "  Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss.  Twas all in vain.  A power mightier by far than we shielded you.  I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of heaven and who can never die in battle."

  Washington, the young Lieutenant, wrote his brother a letter giving an account of the battle near Fort Duquesne shortly after it happened.  According to other sites I visited, the letter, in part, says this, concerning the fact that he survived it unscathed:

  "By the all powerful hand of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probablity or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot out from under me, yet I have escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me."

    If guess we all know that if God says you will live, you will live.  If God has plans for you still in this life, you will not yet die.  God is sovereign.  If Jesus says that you can follow Him and live forever, then you can!  Jesus has God the Father's authority to offer us this, and so the offer is solid, and valid, and available to all who see its value and joyfully seize upon it.  Salvation is through Christ!  Christ alone!  So says Jesus the Christ, and He would know. 

  God the Father gave Him authority to speak, and the very words that He should speak...Jesus told us that.  So when He tells you that if you follow Him you can know salvation, that offer is....well........bulletproof.  Can anyone hold such an expensive gift in disdain?  After all, we know from scripture that the alternative is eternity in what we call Hell.  

     An example of a George Washington prayer, written in Washington's own handwriting in a journal.  I found it on www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond  I liked that site.  The prayer is a little long, but it's worth reading carefully, because it is one of the humblest prayers I have ever read, yet shows a depth of spiritual thought that is almost startling in a 20 year old, which should have been Washington's approximate age on April 23, 1752 when this was written:

  "Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ, my merciful and loving Father; I acknowledge and confess my guilt in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day.  I have called on thee for pardon and forgiveness of my sins, but so coldly and carelessly that my prayers are become my sin, and they stand in need of pardon.  I have sinned against heaven and before Thee in thought, word, and deed.  I have contemned Thy majesty and holy laws.  I have likewise sinned by omitting what I ought to have done and committing what I ought not.  I have rebelled against the light, despising thy mercies and judgement, and broken my vows and promise.  I have neglected the better things.  My iniquities are multiplied and my sins are very great.  I confess them, O Lord, with shame and sorrow, detestation and loathing, and desire to be vile in my own eyes as I have rendered myself vile in thine.  I humbly beseech thee to be merciful to me in the free pardon of my sins for the sake of Thy dear Son and only Savior Jesus Christ who came to call not the righteous, but sinners to repentence.  Thou gavest Thy Son to die for me.  Make me to know what is acceptable in Thy sight, and there in to delight, open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concerning my knowledge, faith, and repentence, increase my faith, and direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life."  

  I looked up 'contemned', and it means despised or viewed with disrespect.  I hadn't seen that word before.

  Here's one - a diary entry - from only a couple of years before the Declaration of Independence: from June 1, 1774:  "Went to church and fasted all day."  Short, but revealing. 

  George Washington....some people say he was a deist....that he merely believed in some higher being.  But he sounds like a Christian believer and a willing tool for God to me.  I think some of these writings show that.  How about you?          

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