Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Day 129, June 4

Until I did some research, I had believed a battle to be fought at Valley Forge.  And perhaps there was one, though it was not between the Americans and the British.  It was a battle against cold, hunger, and despair.  The defeated American army, under General George Washington, retreated to the plains of Valley Forge, Pennsylvannia. 

The Continental Army had just lost two important battles to the British.  the enemy now occupied Philadelphia, forcing the Americans to the frigid plains.  It (1777)  was one of the worst winters in history.  Winds blew in hurrrican force gales across the plains.  The temperature dropped below zero.  The ill-equipped American Army was without shoes, winter clothing, and food.

More than 3000 American soldiers died that winter in Valley Forge.  They lay in unmarked graves. On December 23, 1777, Washington wrote, "There are 2,898 men in camp unfit for duty because they are barefooted and otherwise naked ..."

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