Washington At Christmas

George Will has a wonderful column today on George Washington’s slow trek home for Christmas in 1783.

His goal, 220 years ago, was to sleep Christmas Eve in his 6-foot 6-inch bed at his Virginia home on the bank of the Potomac. It would be nicer than some other recent Christmas Eves.

Such as in 1776, when he led soldiers across Delaware River ice floes to one of his greatest — and, truth be told, relatively few — victories, at Trent Town, as Trenton was then known. Only four Americans died that night, two — probably shoeless — from frostbite.

George Washington spent Christmas Eve 1777 with an army leaving bloody footprints in the Valley Forge snow. Six years later, he was heading to a home he had left in 1775 to lead farmers and shopkeepers against the British Empire.