When the Second Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia in May 1775, George Washington, one of the Virginia delegates,
was elected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. On July 3, 1775, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, he took command of his
ill-trained troops and embarked upon a war that was to last six grueling years.
General Washington realized early that the best strategy was to harass the British. He reported to Congress, "we should
on all Occasions avoid a general Action, or put anything to the Risque, unless compelled by a necessity, into which we ought
never to be drawn." Ensuing battles saw him fall back slowly, then strike unexpectedly. Finally in 1781 with the aid of
French allies--he forced the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.