Washington Takes Command

July 3, 1775

On June 15, 1775, General George Washington was voted commander-in-chief of the Continental army by the American Congress. However, he did not arrive in Massachusetts to assume his duties until July 3, 1775.

The army which Washington met at Cambridge was largely an untrained and undisciplined lot. Consisting mostly of local farmers, a few artisans, and skilled workers, they basically knew little about military discipline and the expectations of a real military leader like Washington. The soldiers lived in tents and other makeshift shelters. Supplies came in sporadically, but there never seemed to be enough guns, ammunition, cloth, food, or back pay.

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