Valley Forge. While most were of English descent, African, American Indian, Austrian, Dutch, French, Germanic, Irish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Prussian, Scottish, Spanish, and Swedish persons also filled out the ranks. In addition to the huts, the men constructed miles of trenches, five earthen forts (redoubts), and a state-of-the-art bridge based on a Roman design over the Schuylkill River. The army interred few, if any, of its soldiers who perished within the lines of the camp. Valley Forge was a naturally defensible plateau where they could train and recoup from the year’s battles while winter weather, impassable roads, and scant supplies stopped the fighting. VAlley Forge had taken place the winter of 1777-1778. The Inspector General also spelled out directives for officers and eventually wrote a complete military handbook. Jared S., Ledyard Middle School, Ledyard, CT. A. Valley Forge remains a touchstone - always ready to minister to a generation in crisis. In the summer of 1778, Washington could claim that the war effort was going well. Starting in 1776, vital French aid in the form of military materiel flowed to America. At Valley Forge, Steuben trained the still-raw troops, who came away a disciplined fighting force giving a good account of themselves in 1778. The troops who came to camp included men from all 13 original colonies and regiments from all of them except South Carolina and Georgia. The encampment brought together men, women, and children of nearly all ages, from all walks of life, of every occupation, from different ethnic backgrounds, and of various religions. From this location 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Washington was close enough to maintain pressure on the enemy dwelling in the captured patriot capital, yet far enough to prevent a surprise attack on his own troops. Additional information about the history, people, and places of Valley Forge is available in the History & Culture section. Within what is now the park, 18 landowners established fairly prosperous farms on the choice agricultural soils. Valley Forge. Why was George Washington choice of valley forge as a winter camp a bad decision? Many African Americans served at Valley Forge. It is approximately 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia. These returns reveal that two-thirds of the men who perished died during the warmer months of March, April, and May, when supplies were more abundant. Only Washington’s bold Christmas night 1776 crossing of the Delaware River and subsequent victories at Trenton and Princeton, New Jersey, saved the cause from disaster. Steadfast patriotism found a long-term home among only a few Americans, most notably the veterans who served for the duration. Rather than wait for deliverance, the army procured supplies, built log cabins to stay in, constructed makeshift clothing and gear, and cooked subsistence meals of their own concoction. (All misspellings and odd capitalizations appear in the original.) The September 1777, British occupation of Philadelphia brought the war to southern New Jersey. By the early 19th century, landowners on the north side, with its particularly exceptional agricultural soils, experimented with “scientific farming” to increase the yields of their fields, and became prosperous. The “relish for the trade of soldiering” that von Steuben inspired in the men also enabled the army, despite continuing hardships and spiraling citizen apathy, to stick single-mindedly to their task until they secured independence in 1783. Valley Forge “Helplessness includes hopelessness and history attest that loss of hope and not the loss of lives is what decides the issue war” B. H. Linddel Hart. Almost from the war’s outset, Washington had argued for a large professional army. The Continental Army’s quick seizure and use of the land directly across the Schuylkill River offers an example of the extent of its capability. Of those three moments… Perhaps the most notable suffering that occurred at Valley Forge came from a factor that has not been frequently mentioned in textbooks: disease was the true scourge of the camp. The park commemorates the sacrifices and perseverance of the Revolutionary War generation. At the worst point in early March, the army listed 2,898 men as unfit for duty due to a lack of clothing. It is approximately 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia. During the encampment, nearly 2,000 men died of disease. Valley Forge had been the Continental Army Encampment during 1777 until 1778. The People at Valley Forge. The scale and intensity of the encampment devastated the landscape of the Valley Forge area. Though they lost both battles, as well as the capital at Philadelphia, the Continental Army emerged from these experiences with a confidence like that of an underdog sports team that had thrown a scare into the champion: ... [the experience of the battle of Germantown] has served to convince our people, that when they make an attack, they can confuse and Rout even the Flower of the British Army, with the greatest ease, and they are not that invincible Body of Men which many suppose them to be. Why does it matter today? These persons and their Scottish, Irish, and German neighbors assisted the army to varying extents as their sentiments ranged in degree from staunch patriot to fervent Tory. Where is the Clifton Forge Company in Clifton Forge … Valley Forge is the location of the 1777-1778 winter encampment of the Continental Army under General George Washington. Philadelphia was back under patriot control. Von Steuben has spent time Unfortunately both of these works contain some of the myths that cannot be substantiated by the documents. Encampment One observer of the march through the city that summer prophetically stated that, [The men] though indifferently dressed, held well burnished arms, and carried them like soldiers; and looked, in short, as if they might have faced an equal number with a reasonable prospect of success. The most common killers were influenza, typhus, typhoid, and dysentery. In mid-June Washington’s spy network informed him that the British were about to abandon Philadelphia. Von Steuben’s regulations extended beyond tactical instruction. Shortages of clothing did cause severe hardship for a number of men, but many soldiers had a full uniform. By December 12, Washington made his decision to encamp at Valley Forge. Valley Forge National Historical Park is the site of the third winter encampment of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, taking place from December 19, 1777 to June 19, 1778.The National Park Service preserves the site and interprets the history of the Valley Forge encampment. Valley Forge was important because after only sporadic victories (Trenton, Princeton) and defeat at Brandywine the army was demoralized and on the verge of dissolution (as it was for most of the war.) The desire to commemorate began to shape the history of this place soon after the army marched out. C. after the hardships of Valley Forge, the American Army was Stronger, prouder, and better trained. The lack of supplies, clothing and food meant the winter here was not a pleasant one. The success of Valley Forge also can be measured in longer-term gains. 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