Early in the Revolutionary War, Washington sent one of his officers to requisition horses from the local landowners. Calling at an old country mansion the officer was received by the elderly mistress of the house. “Madam, I have come to claim your horses in the name of the government,” he began. “On whose orders?” demanded the woman sternly. “On the orders of General George Washington, commander in chief of the American army,” replied the officer. The old lady smiled. “You go back and tell General George Washington that his mother says he cannot have her horses,” she said.