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Triumph at Valley Forge

Valley Forge Triumph

By M. Miller, Grade 7


In the winter of 1777, during our War for Independence, General Washington chose Valley Forge as the winter encampment for the Continental Army. Located north of Philadelphia, Valley Forge was an ideal spot because of its layout; the Americans would be protected from any British attacks.


But the conditions there were not so wonderful. The winter months showed no mercy. More than 2,500 out of the 11,000 soldiers died of cold or illness in their small wooden huts. Food was meager and clothing sparse.


The weather finally lightened up in March and April. Things began to look better as Washington took this time as an opportunity to train his troops and strengthen them for the year ahead. Von Steuben, a Prussian officer, was in charge of preparing the soldiers.


As for Washington himself, he had been facing backlash and trying to keep his position as head of the army. Three men, Horatio Gates, Thomas Mifflin, and Thomas Conway were accusing him of incompetence and believed that his goal was to become dictator.


Fortunately, Washington proved his integrity by showing graciousness and respect to visiting delegates. The men realized that George Washington was an honorable general and had no intentions of taking over as dictator.


Prospects were brightening greatly by late spring. The Continental Army was now much better prepared and much more strengthened than it had previously been.


Valley Forge turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It had toughened the Americans through an extremely harsh winter and taught them to never give up. As a result, they left Valley Forge more durable and determined than ever.


This historical thought was delivered by our upper school students at devotional on 2/8/24. Each week one class leads the student body in prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, scripture recitation, a meditation, and an historical thought. Family and friends are welcome, Thursdays 8:30-9:05 am.

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