Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/86

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

particularly the striking figure of the man before whom all bowed, as much from admiration and respect as from duty. General Washington appeared to be about forty. He had served in the British army, and as Major Washington commanded in 175—Fort Necessity, when M. de Jumonville, a French officer bearing a flag of truce, was shot by a private soldier, who did not see the white flag, and who fired without orders. According to all reports it is certain that the commander of the fort never gave any order to fire, and the most irrefutable proof of this is the gentleness, magnanimity, and goodness of General Washington,—a character which he never once belied amidst all the chances of war, and all the trials of good or bad fortune. M. Thomas[1] has deemed it proper and patriotic to paint this unfortunate occurrence in the worst light, and severely blame the British officer. Had the name of Major Washington remained obscure, it would have been stained with

  1. See Note C.