You say to your soldier [in Europe], “Do this” and he doeth it; but [at Valley Forge] I am obliged to say, “This is the reason why you ought to do that,” and then he does it. No battles were fought at Valley Forge. The last native people to inhabit the area were the Lenape, known today as the Delaware. Which is the BEST explanation for why Washington selected Valley Forge as the location for his army's winter camp? Almost from the war’s outset, Washington had argued for a large professional army. The officers formed the men into construction squads and instructed them to build cabins according to a 14-foot by 16-foot model. Valleys are the most predominant landforms on the face of the earth. Not a battle, but a winter encampment that proved to be hugely significant in the formation of the US Army. Why does it matter today? Men from far flung geographical areas were exposed to sicknesses from which they had little immunity. C. After the hardships of Valley Forge, the American army was stronger, prouder, and better trained. Civilians played a key role in the encampment. The bridge connection also made the camp more secure as patrols could range the country to the north and east to check British movements and intentions in that quarter. 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. While Valley Forge was not a site of a great battle during the American Revolutionary War, it was the site of one of its pivotal moments. This article is extremely important in this time period. Although the officers of the Continental Army wrote hundreds of letters during the Valley Forge winter, the poignant communication from which this quote is taken is one of the few extant letters from an enlisted soldier at camp—in this case, “Henery Jonson.” The Continental Army forced the British to retreat at the battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, in June 1778, and fought with skill in the southern campaigns that led to the victory at Yorktown in 1781. Valley Forge was a camp that the Militia, or the American soldiers camped in through the Winter. The Valley Forge area (terrain) was defensible. The Congress, after fleeing Philadelphia, were at … Valley Forge was chosen for many reasons. There are major concerns about people being in close proximity to each other whether in church or social gatherings. The People at Valley Forge. Life was incredibly difficult, if you survived. The winter of 1777-78 was not the worst winter experienced during the war, but constant freezing and thawing, and intermittent snowfall and rain, coupled with shortages of provisions, clothing, and shoes, made living conditions extremely difficult. The concepts of basic training, the professionalization of the officer corps, and the rise of the army’s distinctive branches, such as the corps of engineers, all got their start here. Baron von Steuben assessed the army and recognized that Washington’s men needed more training and discipline. Wayne Bodle's The Seat of War: Civilians, Soldiers, and Society during the Valley Forge Winter (forthcoming) will be a significant addition to the literature. 1400 North Outer Line Drive The encampment at Valley Forge took place from December 19, 1777 through June 19, 1778 and served as winter quarters for General George Washington 's Continental Army. Valley Forge and the Revolution put the United States on a long road to defining those ideals in ways satisfactory to all – a process still in the making. It is approximately 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It is hardly ever explained; "Valley Forge," someone will say, using the two words to convey worlds of meaning. Moreover, George Washington and his army spent a harsh winter at Valley Forge in the year 1777 -1778. More than 10,000 men (and women) were part of the Continental Army's encampment at Valley Forge. In spite of the resentment leveled at them, it was often the Quakers and other religious societies such as the Bethlehem and Lititz Moravians and the Ephrata Cloister members who rendered valuable assistance to sick soldiers while many citizens stood aside. Through the duration the encampment, Washington inspired the soldiers through his own resilience and sense of duty. The first was the emergence of a group of critics who denigrated General Washington’s leadership ability. Indeed, General Nathanael Greene believed that the troops had “fled from victory” at Germantown. The troops who came to camp included men from all 13 original colonies and regiments from all of them except South Carolina and Georgia. By the time the army left in June 1778, every tree for miles around had been taken down for firewood or hut construction, as well as miles of farmers’ fences and many outbuildings. 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. At the worst point in early March, the army listed 2,898 men as unfit for duty due to a lack of clothing. The men spent extra-long hours on duty patrolling, standing guard, and manning dangerous outposts near the city and the enemy. Provisions were available during the early months of the encampment. 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. The most common killers were influenza, typhus, typhoid, and dysentery. In fact, blacks made up some 20 percent of America’s colonial population in 1776; close to one-half million … Valley Forge provides a site for exploring this complicated story and examining the multiple perspectives of those involved there – from soldiers to citizens, officers to enslaved Americans, from women to American Indians – the encampment was a microcosm of a revolutionary society at war. They were cautiously optimistic about the future and resigned themselves to the task of establishing their winter camp. The livestock and stores of the area’s residents had been commandeered and consumed. Washington and his campaign-weary men marched into camp on December 19, 1777. In the summer of 1778, Washington could claim that the war effort was going well. While 2,000 men died that winter, Valley Forge is not the site of a battle. As well, the participants had different values, and especially different ideas about what words such as liberty, equality, slavery, and freedom actually meant in practice. Going into it, they were disheartened and weary. During the encampment, nearly 2,000 men died of disease. Steadfast patriotism found a long-term home among only a few Americans, most notably the veterans who served for the duration. Thanks to the contributions of von Steuben and others, the Continental Army was more unified than ever before. Valley Forge Encampment (1983). Valley Forge was the first winter encampment where many thousands of men had to build their own huts. The Congress, after fleeing Philadelphia, were at York PA, west of Valley Forge. The genius of this nation is not in the least to be compared with that of the Prussians, Austrians, or French. American determination to survive at Valley Forge convince the British to surrender. Because of its far-reaching consequences, the single most noteworthy achievement was the maturation of the Continental Army into a professional force under the tutelage of Friedrich Wilhelm Baron von Steuben. Concentrating the soldiers in one vast camp allowed the army to protect the countryside and be better able to resist a British attack, but it became costly when lack of supplies and hunger afflicted the inhabitants, and diseases like influenza and typhoid spread through the camp. The American Army needed to keep an eye on them and prevent them from foraging in the countryside for food they needed. An early version of what would eventually morph into the song "Stay Alive," "Valley Forge" more explicitly describes the conditions for Washington's men, as Hamilton sees "the best minds of [his] generation waste away in pestilence and starvation. The significance of the encampment lies both in its fact-based history and also its storied myth. He persuaded Congress to reform the supply system and end the crippling shortages, and attracted experienced officers to the cause, including former Prussian officer Baron von Steuben, who was assigned the task of training the troops. Instead, von Steuben demonstrated to the men the positive results that would come from retraining. 19406. Discover the stories behind some of the famous names who made Montgomery County their home during those six months. Source: Valley Forge National Historical Park General Management Plan, National Park Service, 2007. Two events that occurred during the encampment strengthened George Washington’s authority. On the march south, Washington paraded the American army through Philadelphia to impress the various factions among the citizenry with the prowess of the patriot force. the entire system of drill, evolutions, maneuvers, discipline, tactics, and Prussian formation into our Army. Valley Forge, in the American Revolution, Pennsylvania encampment grounds of the Continental Army under General George Washington from December 19, 1777, to June 19, 1778, a period that marked the triumph of morale and military discipline over severe hardship. Hardship did occur at Valley Forge, but it was not a time of exceptional misery in the context of the situation. The army's camp sat high on a … Many do not realize that the war lasted for eight-and-a-half- years, was international in scale, or that the American army campaigned in areas as far north as Canada, as far south as Georgia, and even west of the Allegheny Mountains. Valley Forge in Pennsylvania was the site of the military camp of the American Continental Army over the winter of 1777–1778 Valley Forge is among the historical places that marked the American Revolution. Cohesive, healthier, and highly efficient his army spent a harsh at. 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