The soldiers at Valley Forge lived in 900 small huts ashioned from logs and clay. A dozen soldiers jammed into each 14 by 16 foot hut.
Because of lack of blankets and warm clothing, many soldiers were forced to sit up all night by the fires. There was a near-famine in the camp. Weeks went by with the men having no meat and little else to eat.
A few men deserted; however, most of them remained at their posts, despite the horrible conditions. Washington maintained discipline, insisting his men conduct themselves like soldiers. Eventually supplies began to trickle through. Raiding parties captured supplies from the British and supplemented their meager food and clothing.
By the time spring arrived, those who survived knew the worst was over. In June, the American troops marched from Valley Forge and defeated the British at Monmouth, New Jersey, taking them by surprise.
It was a turning point in the war, emotionally and strategically.