"By the coolness and spirit of a Virginian boy..."
“The imbecility of her military leaders abroad, and the fatal wants of energy in her councils at home, had lowered the character of Great Britain from the proud elevation on which it had been placed by the talents and enterprise of her former warriors and statesmen. No longer dreaded by her enemies, her servants were fast losing the confidence of self respect. In this mortifying abasement, the colonists, though innocent of her imbecility, and too humble to be the agents of her blunders, we're but the natural participators. They had recently seen a chosen army, from that country, which, reverencing as a mother, they had blindly believed invincible–an Army led by a chief who had been selected from a crowd of trained warriors for his rare military endowments, disgracefully routed by hand full of French and Indians, and only saved from annihilation by the coolness and spirit of a Virginian boy, who's riper fame has since diffused itself with a steady influence of moral truth, to the uttermost confines of Christendom.”
- James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans, Folio Society Edition, p. 16
Cooper is here setting the context for the story which follows. And just which Virginian boy could he be referring to?