Skip to comments.The Strange Case of George Washington’s Disappearing Sash
Posted on 11/20/2016 11:46:42 AM PST by afraidfortherepublic
One winter day in December 1775, months after the battles at Concord and Lexington marked the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the nascent American military formally met its commander-in-chief. A group of Virginia rifleman found themselves in the middle of a massive snowball fight with a regiment of quick-talking New Englanders who ridiculed the strangely dressed Virginians in their white linen frocks, ruffled and fringed. The colonies were still strangers to each other at this point: The Declaration of Independence was months away, and the ragtag army representing the rebels was far from formally American. The meeting of nearly 1,000 soldiers quickly devolved into an all-out brawl on the snowy grounds of Harvard Yard.
But as quickly as it had begun, the fighting screeched to a halt. A man charged into the middle of the fray on horseback, seizing two men into the air with his bare hands and ordering the militiamen to stand down. Few of the assembled soldiers recognized him as George Washington: Most Americans barely knew what the untested general looked like, let alone anything about his mettle. But part of his uniform announced his identity: his sash. The blue-green shimmering ribbon of silk caught the afternoon light, a formal sign of his command and, according to historians, one of the earliest symbols of national identity in a nascent country that lacked a constitution and a flag. The snowball fight ceased immediately -- the general was on the prowl.
(Excerpt) Read more at smithsonianmag.com ...
Revolutionary War/George Washington ping list alert. Interesting story.
I suppose since I am not a historian, that is the reason I don’t see a huge amount of significance on the existence of the sash.
As part of the military, it’s not surprising that there would have been several sashes, braids, tassels, Bas-Relief buttons, epaulettes and medals put on display from time to time.
Seems like maybe George Washington himself, stopped wearing it, because it seemed to be too much like the uniforms of the troops Americans were fighting.
I have always loved that story...it seemed to encapsulate what kind of man George Washington was.
Please add me to the ping list.
When friends of a Civil War Brigadier General approached me to find a home for their ancestor's uniform, I decided to contact my friend who is the curator at the Marine Museum at Parris Island. He is not only a historian of Marine history, but he has actively researched, taught, lectured, and written books on the War. And since the Battle of Honey Hill, S.C. in which this specific officer was wounded, took place less than 3 hours from Parris Island, I decided that the Marine Museum would be the best place for it. They already had a diorama of the Battle of Honey Hill, and the uniform would only add to the display. I had originally thought of contacting The Smithsonian, or one of the museums in Massachusetts (the officer was born in Dedham, and served in Mass. infantry units), but decided that S.C. would be the best place because it wouldn't be hidden away in a drawer somewhere, forgotten, and never seen by the public.
I thought at first glance that someone had ripped off George’s stash.
Speed reading is not my friend.
Good for you! It’s great to support some of the lesser known, and more appreciative, museums. Big institutions often do not give donated artifacts their due position in the spotlight. There are rumors, for instance, that the Milwaukee County Museum dumped boatloads of donated materials into Lake Michigan a number of years ago. Others they sold, or traded away. Once you are dead, and your heirs have moved away, nobody checks on what you donated.
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Recessional of the Sons of the American Revolution:
“Until we meet again, let us remember our obligations to our
forefathers who gave us our Constitution, the Bill of Rights,
an independent Supreme Court and a nation of free men.”
Dr. Benjamin Franklin, when asked if we had a republic or a monarchy, replied "A Republic, if you can keep it."
That’s a pretty auspicious date to me! April 19th, the real Patriots Day.
He stopped wearing it because he no longer needed it. Global Warming was taking over and winters were getting milder..
Thanks very much.
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