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The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their Houses, and Farms, are to be pillaged and destroyed, and they consigned to a State of Wretchedness from which no human efforts will probably deliver them. The fate of unborn Millions will now depend, under God, on the Courage and Conduct of this armyOur cruel and unrelenting Enemy leaves us no choice but a brave resistance, or the most abject submission; that is all we can expectWe have therefore to resolve to conquer or die.

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Source Notes: Source: General GEORGE WASHINGTON, general orders, July 2, 1776.The Writings of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, vol. 5, p. 211 .

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George Washington was commander in chief of the Continental army during the American Revolution and first president of the United States (1789-97).

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