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Transcript of Valley Forge
Army Supplies and Restoration
George Washington petitioned for relief and supplies.
George Washington is Criticized
The American public and Congress began criticizing Washington for his inability to advance in the war effort.
Anti-Washington movements arose and were led by Brigadier General Thomas Conway while soldiers worked in secret to degrade Washington.
George Washington's Response
Washington responded by announcing that he knew the critics were involved in degrading him.
This silenced most of them.
For the original soldiers of Valley Forge, it was more of a struggle than a rest stop. Soldiers built 2000 huts using 80 logs per hut with one ax.
Why were they in Valley Forge?
Brigadier General Thomas Conway
When the soldiers arrived they were undernourished, barefooted, poorly clothed, and full of diseases like typhoid, typhus, and small pox.
Due to the malnutrition and disease, over 2500 soldiers died at Valley Forge the winter of 1777-1778.
January 24, 1778:
Five congressmen came to Valley Forge to examine the Continental Army's conditions.
Washington informed them that he wanted Congress to take control of the army supply system, pay for their supplies, and replenish them with necessities that were scarce.
Baron von Steuben stepped into aid assistance to the tired soldiers. He came to rally up the soldiers who were previously discouraged soldiers from the Brandy Wine Battle the Germantown battle that they had lost.
Von Steuben Lent his military advice to the discouraged soldiers and pumped them up.
By the end of February there were supplies flowing through the camp after congress gave full support.
The summer of 1777 for Washington's army was spent fighting a string of losing battles.
In December Washing marched his troops to Valley Forge, 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia which was being occupied by British solders.
Here, Washington would keep an eye on General Howe's British army in Philadelphia.
Bryley Chambers Jade Sautter Annie Zavitz
Baron Von Steuben
After the winter, the Continental Army found out that France was going to aid them by sending military and monetary donations.
France had signed an alliance pact, on February 6, 1778 with the 13 colonies, after General Horatio Gates had led his army and won the decisive Battles of Saratoga.
On June 19, 1778, exactly six months after the soldiers arrival at Valley Forge, the tested army marched away from Valley Forge and retook Philadelphia. They later charged in pursuit of the British, who were moving toward New York. The Battle of Monmouth, which occurred on June 28, 1778, resulted in an indecisive victory, though Congress and many newspapers treated it as an American victory.
Von Steuben was a onetime member of the elite General Staff of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. No longer in the Prussian Army, and without employment of any kind, von Steuben offered his military skills to the patriot cause "without pay or rank".
Valley Forge National Historic Park commemorates the perseverance, sacrifice, and strength of the soldiers, the Continental Army, and the generals that were present during the winter of 1777-1778.