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Valley Forge is a military camp that is located in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. During many of the major wars in 1700s and 1800s Valley Forge became a place the army’s went to during the winter months. It’s location was far enough west from Philadelphia so it was hard for the British army to surprise attack them. It was along the Schuylkill river and had high hills so it was easy to defend themselves. Valley Forge was one of the most important places for the American Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. George Washington And the Valley Forge site The leader of the American Continental Army was George Washington during the Revolutionary War. There were over 12,000 soldiers from the 13 colonies that were part of the American Continental Army.
During 1777 the army had already been defeated by the British army in the battles of Brandywine and Germantown and needed time to rest and retrain. Valley Forge is where George Washington picked to encamp his Continental Army during the winter of 1777-78. Washington got respect from the soldiers because he was a leader that stayed with his men. He was the best horseman in the camp and he was very athletic.
The British army were occupying Philadelphia which was the capital at the time. The British seized Philadelphia after beating Washington’s army at the battle of Brandywine and the Battle of Paoli. But Washington had a plan to engage the British again by surprising and destroying them. Valley Forge was in a good position from Philadelphia 18 miles along the river bank.
You might think the camps at Valley Forge were really comfortable, but they were actually packed with people, full of sickness, and the winter elements made it really harsh. Over 2,000 soldiers died from starvation, disease, poor weather conditions, and malnutrition. They were dying from these illnesses because they didn’t have a lot of food or clothing which made them feel very weak and the diseases were very contagious. Some of the diseases they died from were pneumonia, smallpox, typhus, and dysentery. Some soldiers had no shoes because the government didn’t have enough money so when they wore them out they couldn’t replace them. Because of that they would get frostbite and if there feet turned green they had to get there foot amputated. The army’s supplies like food and tents were delayed in getting to Valley Forge so they had to build huts to protect from the bad weather. Washington designed the huts and the soldiers built them. He made rules for how the huts should be maintained and no food could be eaten in the huts.
Retraining the Army at Valley Forge General Baron von Steuben came to Valley Forge in February 1778 to retrain the army. He taught them how to march in formation, fire their guns, and use bayonets. General Baron von Steuben did not speak English language but the soldiers really liked him. When the army first got to camp in Valley Forge they were tired and cold, but after 6 months at camp they were re-energized and ready to fight against Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton’s British army at the Battle of Monmouth in New Jersey. They were more skilled at fighting after being at camp Valley Forge and that made them able to win the battle against the British in 9 days. On June 19 1778 they left Valley Forge to battle the British as they moved to New York.
It was George Washington’s decision to march his army to Valley Forge that allowed the 13 colonies to be victorious against the British. The Army rested and retrained even with bad conditions and sickness but it was enough to make them successful when they battled the British again. Valley Forge was an important place for the Army during the Revolutionary War in the winter months due to its location in Pennsylvania.
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