What Challenges Did George Washington Face in Forming His First Army?

When George Washington agreed to be the commander of the first Continental Army, the army was already formed. The army was poorly trained and under-supplied so he faced the challenges of training, supplying and boosting morale of his new army. Thanks to his victories, he was overwhelmingly chosen to become the first president of the United States.

Until Washington took command, the Continental Army suffered one defeat after another and was an embarrassment to the country. The morale of the army was suffering and Washington knew he needed victories to keep the group together. After spending time training his men, Washington led them across the Delaware River to host a surprise attack on the British. During the attack, the Continental Army killed more than two dozen British soldiers and captured 900 more, while only suffering two casualties. The outcome of that battle lifted the troops’ spirits, leading to more victories.

Eventually, the French joined with Washington’s army and brought with them much needed supplies, fresh troops and an entire navy. This gave the army a new outlook on the war and over the next two years, the combination of French and American troops defeated the British. The Revolutionary War ended on October 17, 1781.