Valley Forge

By: Helen Flock

Arrival: At Valley Forge

The Continental Army made up of 12,000 men arrived on December 19, 1777 after a bitter lose at Germantown. Valley Forge which is located 20 miles northwest of the city of Philadelphia next to the Schuylkill River. Upon arrival the men built 2,000 wooden huts, defensive trenches and a bridge so they could easily cross the Schuylkill River.
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Arrival of Friedrich Wilhelm Von Steuben

The man who is looked at to have change the Continental Army arrived on February 23, 1978. Von Steuben was recruited by Benjamin Franklin after being a member of the Prussian Royal family. Immediately after he arrived George Washington appointed him Acting Inspector General and was to train the men to be better prepared before and during battles. Training was not easy, Von Steuben spoke very little English, and had to have a translator translate the training plan every night. The men who spent the whole time with Von Steuben called the experience "a great transformation" Von Steuben trained 100 men exclusively and after their training was complete those men went on to train larger groups.
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The men were not prepared to work as hard as they did. Working from dawn to dusk every day of the week. In the beginning of their time at Valley Forge they had limited supplies and provision, but no one was starving and had no clothing. Another thing that troubled the army was disease in March of 1978, at the end over 2,000 men died and 3/4 of them died from a disease. ( Typhus, Typhoid, Dysentery, and Influenza). The outbreaks were contained by sanitation and inoculations.


The men celebrated the end of training on May 6, 1778 with a grand parade, cannon salute, and the playing of the song " Feu De Joie". The men showed off their drilling order, and showed off their imposing appearance with their new training techniques . They finally left the camp after 6 months on June 19, 1778. The men went straight to fight The Battle of Monmouth and left there with a win, showing their growth and accomplished training paid off.
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United States. National Park Service. "People." National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, 13 Sept. 2014. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.

"Forging an Army: Winter at Valley Forge." About. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.