We spent the day wandering around Valley Forge, enjoying the beautiful grounds, and relearning some or our country's history.
Ask someone to think of Valley Forge and they will nearly always envision an anonymous group of soldiers struggling against winter’s fury and clothed in nothing but rags. Certainly hardship did occur at Valley Forge, but the encampment experience could be characterized as “suffering as usual,” for privation was the continental soldier’s constant companion.
Army records and eyewitness accounts speak of a skilled and capable force in charge of its own destiny. Rather than wait for deliverance, the army located supplies, built log cabins to stay in, constructed makeshift clothing and gear, and cooked subsistence meals of their own concoction. Provisions, though never abundant in the early months of the encampment, were available.
This is a picture of the inside of one of the cabins the soldiers built. You will notice a fireplace for food preparation and warmth. While primitive, each cabin had seven bunks for sleeping off the floor. Imagine seven men spending the winter in these surroundings.
Shortages of clothing did cause severe hardship for a number of men, but many soldiers had a full uniform, and the well-equipped units patrolled, foraged, and defended the camp. The sound that would have reached your ears on approaching the camp was not that of a forlorn howling wind, but rather that of hammers, axes, saws, and shovels at work.
The small building known as Washington’s Headquarters was the place where General George Washington and his staff lived and worked for the six months of the Valley Forge winter encampment. Beginning on May 23, visitors will be delighted by a fully restored building and completely new facilities surrounding it.