During the American War of Independence, the commander of a small unit of soldiers was giving orders to his men about the heavy cannon that they were trying to lift to its place at the top of some fortifications. It was almost beyond their power to lift the weight, and the commander kept shouting encouraging words.
An officer, not in uniform, was passing by, and he asked the commander why he did not help the soldiers. Greatly surprised, the man turned round and said proudly, “Sir, I am a corporal!”
“Oh, you are, are you?” – replied the officer. – “I did not know that. I beg your pardon, Mr. Corporal”.
Then he got off the horse he was riding and, taking hold of the rope that the men were pulling at, he pulled with all his strength. And when the cannon was in its place, he turned to a little great man and said, “Mr. Corporal, when you have another job like this and have not enough men, send for you commander-in-chief, and I shall gladly come and help you”.
The corporal was struck with astonishment. The man who had helped his soldiers was George Washington.
The earliest known portrait of Washington, painted in 1772 by Charles Willson Peale, showing Washington in uniform as colonel of the Virginia Regiment.
More on G. Washington, the 1st President of the United States, you can find here.