George Washington unscathed, reality upended;
He's unharmed despite 4 bullet holes through coat

The miracle that allowed our nation's founding father to survive and the prophecy that foretold his greatness
George Washington

"I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation."
–Colonel George Washington,
July 18, 1755

Pitts. Post-Gazette story

Braddock's Battlefield Center reopens

Read article published on May 20, 2019


Chapter on the 1770 expedition resulting in Indian Chief's prophecy

Click full screen icon to read (p.300, 8 pages)

According to historian David Barton, "This story of George Washington once appeared in virtually every text book in America, but it hasn't been seen in over (~60) years."

The Battle of Monongahela took place on July 9, 1755

On July 18, 1755, George wrote to his brother, John A. Washington the following:

"As I have heard since my arrival at this place [Fort Cumberland], a circumstantial account of my death and dying speech, I take this early opportunity of contradicting the first, and of assuring you that I have not as yet composed the latter.

But, by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!"

View the full letter | The battle was also detailed in a biography: "The Life of George Washington," published in 1855 by Jared Sparks.


Sixteen years later, a prophecy that comes true

The Great Spirit protects him. People will hail him as founder of a mighty empire.

In 1770, Washington and Dr. Craik, his intimate friend from his boyhood to his death, were traveling on an expedition to the western country, for the purpose of exploring wild lands. While near the junction of the Great Kanawha and Ohio Rivers a company of Indians came to them with an interpreter, at the head of whom was an aged and venerable chief.

The council fire was kindled, when the chief addressed Washington through an interpreter to the following effect:

"I am a chief, and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes, and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path, that I might see the young warrior (George Washington, from the day he had horses shot out from underneath him) of the Great Battle.

"It was on the day when the white man's blood mixed with the streams of our forest, that I first beheld this chief. I called to my young men and said, mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe — he hath an Indian's wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do — himself is alone exposed.

"Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies.

"Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for him, knew not how to miss - 'twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we, shielded him from harm. He cannot die in battle. I am old, and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy.

"Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies — he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire."'

From: Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington, by George Washington Parke Custis.

Battle re-enactment

Braddock's Battlefield Center

Map of the battlefield vicinity today

The center building on 6th Street is the location of the museum. It was established in 2012. The battle site is just seven miles east of today's downtown Pittsburgh.