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Washingston's Rules of War Cheat Sheet by

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Rules of War

Rule 1: Don’t Assume You Are Welcome
“You are by every means in your Power to endeavor to discover the real Sentiments of the Canadians towards our Cause, and partic­ularly as to this Expedi­tion, ever bearing in Mind, that if they are averse to it and will not cooperate, it must fail of success.”

Rule 2: Cultivate Local Support
“Conci­liate the affections of those People and such Indians as you may meet with by every Means in your Power, convincing them that we come, at the Request of many of their Principal People, not as Robbers or to make War upon them; but as the Friends and Supporters of their Liberties, as well as ours. And to give Efficacy to these Sentim­ents, you must carefully inculcate upon the Officers and Soldiers under your Command that not only the Good of their Country and their Honour, but their Safety depends upon the Treatment of these People.”

Rule 3: Respect Local Religious Practi­ces
“As the Contempt of the Religion of a Country by ridiculing any of its Ceremonies or affronting its Ministers or Votaries has ever been deeply resented, you are to be partic­ularly careful to restrain every Officer and Soldier from such Imprudence and Folly and to punish every Instance of it. On the other Hand, as far as lays in your power, you are to protect and support the free Exercise of the Religion of the Country and the undist­urbed Enjoyment of the rights of Conscience in religious Matters, with your utmost Influence and Author­ity.”

Rule 4: Don’t Abuse Prison­ers
“Any Prisoners who may fall into your Hands, you will treat with as much Humanity and kindness, as may be consistent with your own Safety and the publick Interest. Be very particular in restra­ining not only your own Troops, but the Indians from all Acts of Cruelty and Insult, which will disgrace the American Arms, and irritate our Fellow Subjects against us.”

Rule 5: Withdraw if Your Objectives Are Unobta­ina­ble
“If unforseen Diffic­ulties should arise or if the Weather shou’d become so severe as to render it hazardous to proceed in your own Judgment and that of your principal Officers (whom you are to consult), in that Case you are to return, giving me as early Notice as possible, that I may give you such Assistance as may be necess­ary.”

George Washington

"­"The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of this countr­y." - George Washington

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