James Monroe – December 26, 1776

Experience the American dream with today’s Patriots of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.

It’s December 26, 1776. I’m at the Battle of Trenton with eighteen-year-old Lieutenant James Monroe.

JG: “Lieutenant Monroe, can you beat these elite Hessian forces?”

JM: “Mr. Gillespie, defeat is not an option. We have no choice, but to beat these Hessians. Liberty is on the line.”

Lieutenant Monroe was wounded that day, but no Americans died as they victoriously captured 920 Hessian soldiers. James Monroe went on to become President of the United States.

In Monroe City, Missouri, the James Monroe historical marker reads, “James Monroe was born at Monroe’s Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia, on April 28, 1758, to Scots-Welsh parents. He attended the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, but left school to enlist in the Third Virginia Regiment, Continental Army, in 1776. He crossed the Delaware River with General George Washington and was severely wounded in the Battle of Trenton which followed. He saw action in five other major battles, was cited for bravery, and was promoted, eventually reaching the rank of Lt. Colonel. He was the only President, other than President Washington, who served in the Continental Army. Following the war, he practiced law in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and served in two administrations which preceded his election. As a special emissary of President Thomas Jefferson, he helped negotiate the Louisiana Purchase from France… He died July 4, 1831, being the third President to die on Independence Day.”

John and Jan Gillespie are the founders of the Rawhide Boys’ Ranch; they have fostered 351 teenagers and wrote the book Our 351 Sons; they have also assisted numerous churches in developing youth programs and expanding their total church ministries. After running for U.S. Senate, John founded 1776 American Dream, which exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation of youth passionately embrace those values.

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