Valley Forge

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In the winter of 1777 - 1778, George Washington and his army struggled to survive the cold weather and snow at Valley Forge. They did, and emerged a stronger army as a result.

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Winter Camp at Valley Forge

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Valley Forge
George Washington and the Continental Army at Valley Forge
(Source: Library of Congress)
General Washington and his Continental Army spent the winter of 1777-1778 camped at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 25 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

For the first months, the soldiers were living in tents which provided little help from the cold. The soldiers lacked proper clothing -- many without shoes or warm clothes. When soldiers had to go out in the cold, they would share clothing. It wasn't until February, 1778, that the men finished building huts to live in, with fireplaces to keep them warm.


Preparing for Battle

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The men at Valley Forge spent much of their time drilling to improve their fighting skills. Baron Friedrich von Steuben, a military officer from Prussia, joined Washington and helped to train the troops. He developed a manual of arms which provided outlined drills and other training information used by the soldiers. The Continental Army emerged from Valley Forge a much more disciplined and stronger fighting force.


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