Generals

British & Germans

Continental Army, Militia & French

  • William Alexander, Lord StirlingContinental Army general — one of Washington’s best
  • Benedict ArnoldTalented Continental Army general who defected to the British
  • Horatio GatesContinental Army general, won the Battles of Saratoga
  • Nathanael GreeneContinental Army general; key to winning the war in the South
  • Henry KnoxContinental Army general, chief artillery officer, first Secretary of War
  • Tadeusz KosciuszkoPolish patriot, fought seven years in the American Revolution
  • Marquis de LafayetteFrench aristocrat, Continental Army officer, like a son to Washington
  • Charles LeeContinental Army general, formerly a British officer
  • Richard MontgomeryIrish-born Continental Army general, formerly a British officer
  • Daniel MorganMilitia soldier, military tactician, Continental Army general
  • Israel PutnamMilitia general, fought with distinction at the British at Bunker Hill
  • comte de RochambeauCommander-in-chief of French forces
  • Philip SchuylerContinental Army general, U.S. Senator for NY
  • Arthur St. ClairContinental Army general, surrendered Fort Ticonderoga to the British
  • Baron von SteubenContinental Army general from Prussia, drilled the troops at Valley Forge
  • John SullivanContinental Army general, Continental Congress delegate, NH governor
  • George WashingtonCommander-in-chief of the Continental Army; first President
  • Anthony WayneContinental Army general, defeated the British at Stony Point

Washington’s courage thrilled his men. But he was not an enlisted man’s general. He did not interact personally with them, and would not let his officers do so either. Officers under his command who supped or slept in enlisted men’s headquarters were routinely punished. To Washington’s mind, discipline and hierarchy were central to maintaining unit cohesion and integrity. No warm, outgoing person, notes one historian, Washington bound men to him by his own sense of justice and dedication. Yet how his troops viewed him, and in what ways their opinions may have changed over time, is uncertain. Although nineteenth-century history books and old soldiers’ memoirs resonate with references to the commander-in-chief’s inspirational presence, diaries and other accounts written in wartime rarely mention him.

Edward G. Lengel
General George Washington: A Military Life (2005)