George Washington

See "Major George Washington's Reconnaissance" at the Huachuca History Program under "Masters of the Intelligence Art":

Allen. Thomas B. George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War. Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2004.

Peake, Studies 49.2 (2005), refers to this as a "splendid little book. Written for teenagers, it is good reading for all. It does not break new ground, but it does concentrate Washington's spying experiences in one place.... Unlike most books of the genre, this one is rather well documented with many solid primary and secondary sources, often with their Web addresses. In his well written, interesting, valuable history, Allen has made an important contribution to the literature of intelligence."

Clark comment: Having now read Allen's award-winning work for "young adults," I can only echo Hayden Peake's comments above, which zero in on the merits of this "splendid little book" (only 149 pages of text, although the endnotes are also worth reading).

Bakeless, John E. "General Washington's Spy System." Manuscripts 12, no. 2 (1960): 28-37. [Petersen]

De Noya, Mary. "Washington's Secret Army." Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine 116, no. 2 (1982): 102-105.

Petersen: "Espionage, informers."

Fleming, Thomas. "George Washington, Spymaster." American Heritage 51, no. 1 (Feb.-Mar. 2000). []

"It is commonly understood that without the Commander in Chief's quick mind and cool judgment the American Revolution would have almost certainly expired in 1776. It is less well known that his brilliance extended to overseeing, directly and indirectly, extensive and very sophisticated intelligence activities against the British."

Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington, A Biography. 7 vols. New York: Scribner, 1948-1957.

Although intelligence is not the focus of Freeman's massive biography, there are plenty of opportunities here to look over Washington's shoulder as he managed his extensive intelligence network.

Haefele, Walter R. "General George Washington: Espionage Chief." American History Illustrated 24, no. 6 (Nov.-Dec. 1989): 22-27, 69-70.

Halverson, Sean. "Dangerous Patriots: Washington's Hidden Army during the American Revolution." Intelligence and National Security 25, no. 2 (Apr. 2010):. 123-146.

The author argues that Washington's "intelligence networks operated in [a] more proficient and modern manner than their British counterparts." He notes that as President, Washington "continued to construct and rely on his intelligence measures as a tool for his foreign policies in safeguarding the new republic."

Kross, Peter. "George Washington: America's First Spymaster." Military Intelligence, Jan.-Mar. 1991, 6-8.

Loescher, Burt Garfield. Washington's Eyes: The Continental Light Dragoons. Ft. Collins, CO: Old Army Press, 1977.

Prather: This work is "about the operations and organization of the four Continental Light Dragoon units. [It] outlines the exploits of these units that were vital to gaining information regarding the activities of the British army for the Continental Army."

Prather, Michael S. [LCDR/USN]. "George Washington, America's First Director of Military Intelligence." Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Military Studies, Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia. [Available at:]

Aftergood, Secrecy News 2004, no. 18 (13 Feb. 2004): "Uncritical and naive in presentation..., the author nevertheless provides a convenient introduction to his chosen subject."

Stevens, Peter F. "Early Disinformation Campaign: George Washington Was Master of Deception Employed against the British." Military History 9 (Jun. 1992): 12ff.

Thompson, Edmund R. "George Washington, Master Intelligence Officer." American Intelligence Journal 5 (Jul. 1984): 3-8.

Wise, William. The Spy and General Washington. New York: Dutton, 1965. [Petersen]

Return to American Revolution Table of Contents