The American Revolution

Valley Forge

Valley Forge

During the American Revolution, there were an assortment of military camps. Valley Forge was one of the important ones. It was located on the west bank of the Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania. This would be the main camp for the Continental Army from the 19th of December to the 19th of 1778. This camp is often remembered for its harsh winter conditions and the rigorous training that the soldiers.


The weather at Valley Forge was strident and unforgiving. "The end of December with a low of 6 Degrees and the end of March with a low of 8 Degrees" ("Weather at Valley Forge" 2). These temperatures were substantially below freezing. On top of that, "Instead of being quartered in substantial buildings, they [the soldiers] lived in tents during their first weeks at Valley Forge while constructing primitive log huts that provided basic protection against winter weather but few creature comforts"("Valley Forge" 1). The low temperatures combined with the lack of clothing and shelter made life at Valley Forge tough. General Washington could see the number of people fit for duty decline rapidly. "On 23 December 1777 Washington reported 2,898 of about 11,000 rank and file in camp as unfit to do duty for that reason. A month later the number was nearly four thousand" ("Valley Forge"3).


Valley Forge was a military encampment, so there were drills and marches. These were done to strengthen the army and make them fit to fight the British. "He [Friedrich Wilhelm] devised a simple uniform system of drill particularly suited to American circumstances and trained the main army in it. Steuben also began introducing European administrative procedures and helped to instill stronger discipline and professional pride in the lower ranks"("Valley Forge" 5) This intense training proved to be valuable when the American army fought the British.


In the end, Valley Forge proved to be an important event of the civil war. It helped stabilize the army and make it stronger. It also promoted nationalism in all ranks of the army. It is also an event to learn.

Sources

Valley Forge Article:

Chase, Philander D. "Valley Forge." Encyclopedia of the New American Nation. Ed. Paul Finkelman. Vol. 3. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2006. 295-297. U.S. History in Context. Web. 8 Feb. 2016.