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General George Washington, 1780-83
Congress created the Continental Army on 14 June 1775. Washington was chosen to become its commander-in-chief because of his military experience and the belief that a Virginian would better unite the colonies. Considered an incisive leader who kept his “ambition in check,” Washington suffered early but not insurmountable defeats. His daring strategy at the Battles of Trenton and Princeton won precious victories. After a desperate winter at Valley Forge a reinvigorated army, with the aid of the now allied French, pushed south to prosecute the war. The Siege of Yorktown was a decisive Allied victory by the combined forces of the Continental Army under Washington, the French Army commanded by General Rochambeau, and the French Navy commanded by Admiral de Grasse.
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