Valley Forge Essay

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The beaten and weary Continental army of Gen. George Washington has retreated from Philadelphia to an area north along the river. Washington, looking for an area where he can still keep an eye out for the British, decides on Valley Forge. General Washington has difficulties keeping supplies. His men are dying from Typhus, Typhoid, and dysentery. Roads are a rarity, so any help from Congress would not make a difference. Washington even stated himself "Naked and starving as they are we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery." (-George Washington February 16th, 1778.) The Continental Army, a group of 12,000 men, settles for the winter of 1777-78. A collection of farm boys, adventurers, malcontents and mercenaries from the 13 colonies search for food and are happy over any type of clothing they can get together. This army is nothing in comparison to the British Expeditionary Force Valley Forge is an unusual memorial for the most part. There was no battle fought here. For those who want more drama, Gettysburg to the west is the place for a little more action. Washington's men built their quarters from logs and mud. Temporary hospitals In the area also were home to Washington’s men. The vaccination for smallpox is ordered by Washington and that call saved many lives. Some will die in the Battles at Trenton and Princeton. By mid-winter, disease and desertion have lessened the force to about 50% of what it was.. Most want to go home to share winter with families. Many end up doing so. Washington complains of this. He also forbids gambling among his forces. He urges them to not use alcohol and to practice their prayers. A legion of Virginia soldiers guard General Washington at his headquarters, made of stone. It is assumed Virginia colonists will be most loyal to the general, Washington himself being from Virginia. These

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