George Washington Is Appointed Commander In Chief Of The Continental Army
On June 16, 1775, George Washington was appointed commander in chief of the Continental Army by the Second Continental Congress.
That same day, the Congress authorized the creation of the post of chief engineer for the army, in anticipation of upcoming battles with British forces. The engineers' work building fortifications, surveying terrain, and clearing roads during the war proved so valuable to the Revolutionary forces that the Congress resolved, four years later, based on a recommendation from the Board of War.
The Continental Congress appointed Washington commander-in-chief of the American revolutionary forces in 1775. The following year, he forced the British out of Boston, lost New York City, and crossed the Delaware River in New Jersey, defeating the surprised enemy units later that year. As a result of his strategy, Revolutionary forces captured the two main British combat armies at Saratoga and Yorktown. Negotiating with Congress, the colonial states, and French allies, he held together a tenuous army and a fragile nation amid the threats of disintegration and failure. Following the end of the war in 1783, Washington returned to private life and retired to his plantation at Mount Vernon, prompting an incredulous King George III to state, "If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world."
Resolved…That there be a chief Engineer for the army, in a separate department, and two assistants under him; that the pay of the chief engineer be sixty dollars per month, and the pay of the assistants each, twenty dollars per month.”— Entry of June 16, 1775, Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789