10 Interesting Facts About Valley Forge

Monday, January 10, 2022

 

10 Interesting Facts About Valley Forge

10 Interesting Facts About Valley Forge

Valley Forge marks a particularly difficult time for George Washington's hodgepodge force of colonial militias while also representing a time when that force became more cohesive. Troops were exhausted and not well supplied. Washington chose Valley Forge for the encampment because it was on a naturally defensible plateau and was close enough to Philadelphia that the colonial military could keep an eye on the British. The encampment would last for 6 months. Training at Valley Forge would mold the force into a more unified fighting unit.

We visited Valley Forge National Historic Park during our summer visit to Pennsylvania. I have visited Valley Forge dozens of times and it is just as poignant each and every time. Visiting the park introduces so many fascinating facts. Here are a collection that I found interesting:

1.) Approximately 250 - 400 women lived within the encampment.

2.) Mary Ludwig Hayes famously remembered as "Molly Pitcher," joined her husband at the encampment. He was enlisted in the 4th Continental Artillery Regiment.

3.) Martha Washington joined George Washington for a portion of the encampment.

4.) The winter encampment included about 1,500 - 2,000 huts as well as other buildings and structures.


5.) About 1 of every 6 soldiers died of disease while at the encampment.

6.) George Washington and his troops arrived at the winter encampment 6 days before Christmas in 1777. 

7.) The first public celebration of George Washington's birthday was at Valley Forge.

George Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge.
George Washington's Headquarters at Valley Forge.

8.) Prussian military officer Baron Freiderich Von Steuben trained the army, revamped the administration and improved sanitation.

9.) Soldiers constructed a state of the art bridge across the Schuykill River. The bridge was modeled after Roman bridges.

10.) Today, Valley Forge is a remarkable nature have with 26 miles of hiking and biking trails.


Sources:

10 Facts: Valley Forge by American Battlefield Trust

Overview of History and Significance of Valley Forge by NPS


10 Interesting Facts About Valley Forge


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