Washington mind was great and powerful, without being of the very first order; his penetration strong, though not so acute as that of a Newton, Bacon, or Locke; and as far as he saw, no judgement was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion. Hence the common remark of his officers, of the advantage he derived from councils of war, where hearing all suggestions, he selected whateever was best; and certainly no general ever planned his battle more judiciously.
These three bolded parts perplexed me, I can't imagine the figurative meaning. Could anyone help me to understan these three parts.