Getting to know George Washington

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If you want to know what George Washington and John Adams were really like, ask someone who knew them.

"My name is Benjamin Stottert. I am the first Secretary of the new United States Navy," says actor John Curd, who's playing one of Washington's loyal compatriots this weekend at a Virginia tavern.

Before he was a cabinet secretary, Stottert served in the Continental Army, foraging for food and horses for Gen. George Washington’s troops. Stottert says Washington "was a man who was carving out for himself his place in history" and modeled himself after heroes of classic literature.

"To a military man, the greatest thing that could happen to him was that he leads an under-numbered military force against impossible odds and he dies in battle - like a mythological god."

Washington, of course, did not die in battle … though Stottert recalls a battle in New Jersey where Washington and his men attacked unseen across the Delaware - a river “that should never have been crossed” - and captured an entire garrison of Hessian soldiers.

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