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Valley Forge National Battlefield
 
Our trip to Valley Forge was a little bit of a challenge. The park has no charge to enter but it's also criss-crossed with local and highway traffic. There are a lot of plaques on the sides of the road but no real place to pull over in order to get to them.  It's a beautiful place to visit , with spots to picnic, cookout and just relaxe and enjoy the beautiful Pennsylvania countryside. It's a wonderful place to go and spend the day with your family, there is enough room for little ones to run and play. The people there are wonder- ful and very helpful. I hope you enjoy the pictures and information here.
 
                                          Continental Army
                 Valley Forge Decemeber 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                           Greenes Division
                              Major General Nathaniel Greene
                                       Muhlenberg's Brigade
                          Brig. General J. Peter G. Muhlenberg
                                              Commanding
  "German Regiment" Pennsylvania Line Lieut. Col. Lewis Weltner
                (Raised July 2, 1776 - Mustered out January 1781)

     1st Regiment Virginia Infantry            Colonel Richard Parker
     5th Regiment Virginia Infantry           Colonel Abraham Buford
     9th Regiment Virginia Infantry           Lieut. Col. Burgess Ball
                              13th Regiment Virginia Infantry        
       Virginia State Regiment of Infantry Colonel George Gibson
 
 
 
 
 
Winter Encampment
December 19, 1777 - June 19, 1778

The countryside was stripped of trees. All available wood went to build and heat the city of huts that crowded this ridge.
When the Continental Army wintered here, every acre was heavily used - for entrenchments, stock pens, an artillery park, and parade grounds. Fields turned to mud. Within decades after the war, the scene had returned to woodlots and farmland. The tour route circles the encampment, now marked by earthworks and monuments. A natural triangle of
defense: the Schuylkill River, Mount Joy, and the ridge with the Outer Line earthworks. This map was sketched by Brig. Gen. Louis Lebeque Duportail, Chief Engineer of the Continental Army. Duportail was one of several French officers who volunteered to help the patriot cause.
 
Outer Line Defenses
Extending into the distance, an almost continuous line of earthworks formed the Outer Line Defenses. If the British attacked from the south, they would have had to climb this open slope, while Americans fired from high ground. Assaults never materialized.
 
 
Log City
Following their arrival December 19, 1777, the men immediately set to work building huts for shelter. General orders the preceding day specified the size and design of the huts: 14 x 16 feet each, 6 1/2 feet high, a door next to the street and a fireplace in the rear.
Despite the orders, hut size, location, and material varied - as these reconstructions demonstrate. Men from different regions were familiar with different building techniques, and few were skilled craftsmen.
A surgeon's mate wrote home, "have one Dull ax to build a Logg Hutt When it will be done knows not." "And as an encouragement to industry and art, the General promises to reward the party in each regiment, which finishes their hut in the quickest, and most workmanlike manner, with twelve dollars."
--- General Orders
     December 18, 1777

By Mid - January most soldiers were housed, twelve to a hut.
 
                            Soldiers Huts
On original street of Muhlenberg's Brigade
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                        Continental Army
                Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                        Greene's Division
                            Major General Nathaniel Greene
                                        Weedon's Brigade
                              Brig. General George Weedon
                                            Commanding
13th Regiment Infantry Pennsylvania Line      Col. Walter Stewart
    (Raised as "State Regiment of Foot" March 1, 1777 attached
   To Pennsylvania Line as 13th Regiment Infantry November 12
   1777 - Consolidated with 2nd Regiment Infantry - July 1, 1778)
2nd Regiment Virginia Infantry          Lieut. Colonel Charles Dabney
8th Regiment Virginia Infantry           Colonel John Gibson
10th Regiment Virginia Infantry         Colonel John Green
14th Regiment Virginia Infantry         Lieut. Colonel William Davis
 
    Pattersons Brigade
  Occupied This Ground
 
 
                                    Continental Army
            Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                    DeKalb's Division
                          Major General Baron DeKalb
                                   Patterson's Brigade
                          Brig. General John Patterson
                                        Commanding

      10th Massachusetts Infantry     Col. Thomas Marshall
      11th Massachusetts Infantry     Col. Benjamin Tupper
      12th Massachusetts Infantry     Col. Samuel Brewer
      14th Massachusetts Infantry     Col. Gamaliel Bradford
 
                            Maine
      
To commemorate the officers and men from that part of New England now known as the State of Maine who served in Massachusetts Regiments in The Continental Army under Washington at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-8 sharing the hardships there endured.


This memorial is erected by the state of Maine under the auspices of the Maine Society of the Sons of the American Revolution 1907
 
                                Continental Army
       Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                DeKalb's Division
                      Major General Baron DeKalb
                                Learned's Brigade
                    Brig. General Ebenezer Learned
                                    Commanding

   2nd Massachusetts Infantry       Col. John Bailey
   8th Massachusetts Infantry        Col. Michael Jackson
   9th Massachusetts Infantry        Col. James Wesson
 
 
 
                                    Continental Army
            Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                            Division
                                    Glover's Brigade
                             Brig. General John Glover
                                        Commanding

  1st Massachusetts Infantry           Col. Joseph Vose
  4th Massachusetts Infantry          Col. William Shepard
  13th Massachusetts Infantry        Col. Edward Wigglesworth
  15th Massachusetts Infantry        Col. Timothy Bigelow
This monument is erected by a grateful commonwealth in memory of the soldiers of Massachusetts who served at Valley Forge
19  Dec  1777  -  19  June  1778
"In remembrance of the Continental Army led by George Washington, a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and in honor of the many Freemasons who were a part of the encampment at this site, the Freemasons of Pennsylvania place this monument so that future generations will know that freedom was as important in 1997 as it was in 1777 - 1778"
                      Edward O. Weisser
                      R.W. Grand Master
  Grand Lodge of F. & A. M. of Pennsylvania
                Dedicated August 24, 1997
 
And here in this place of sacrifice in this vale of humiliation in this valley of the shadow of that death out of which the life of America rose regenerate and free.  Let us believe with an abiding faith that to them union will seem as dear and liberty as sweet and progress as glorious as they were to our Fathers and are to you and me and that the institutions which have made us happy preserved by the virtue of our children shall bless the remotest generation of the time to come.
--- Henry Armitt Brown
Commander in Chief
George Washington

Major Generals
De Kalb             Mifflin
Greene               Steuban
La Fayette        Stirling
Lee                     Sullivan

Brigadier Generals
Armstrong        Patterson
Du Portail        Poor
Glover               Scott
Huntington      Smallwood
Knox                 Varnum
Learned            Wyane
McIntosh         Weedon
Maxwell          Woodford
Muhlenberg    Pulaski
 
During 1996 - 1997, the Freemasons of Pennsylvania contributed more than one million five hundred thousand dollars necessary to preserve the Arch to its original grandeur.

George Washington, Valley Forge and Freemasonry represent patriotism, freedom and brotherly love to all Freemasons. Washington served as Master of his Masonic Lodge at the same time he was President of the United States. Through the preservation of this National Memorial Arch in 1996 - 1997, the Freemasons of Pennsylvania sought to honor the memory of George Washington, a national hero,  patriot and prominent Freemason, and to honor the brave men who endured the winter encampment at Valley Forge in 1777 - 1778.

"We, as Freemasons, believe our children and their children need to know that the men in 1777 cared about freedom. They need to know that Freemasons in 1996 still care about freedom."
--- Edward O. Weisser, R.W. Grand Master, Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, March 15, 1996
A National Treasure
The National Memorial Arch was authorized by Congress in 1910 as a tribute to George Washington and his army who endured the winter encampment at Valley Forge in 1777 - 1778. It was designed by Paul Phillipe Cret, a prominent Philadelphia architect, and dedicated on June 19, 1917. Although it had stood for nearly 80 years as a symbol of the triumph achieved by Washington, by the mid 1990's the Arch was in need of major structural repairs. It was cordoned off and closed to the public for safety reasons.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
      Josiah
    Harmar
  Lieutenant
   Colonial
Thomas
  Mifflin
   Major
General
      John
  Armstrong
  Brigadier
    General
  J. Peter G.
Muhlenberg
  Brigadier
    General
 
Wayne's   Woods
                                            Continental Army
                    Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                                    Division
                                               Poor's  Brigade
                                     Brig. General Enoch Poor
                                                Commanding

   1st Regiment New Hampshire Infantry      Col. Joseph Cilley
   2nd Regiment New Hampshire Infantry    Col. Nathan Hale
   3rd Regiment New Hampshire Infantry     Col. Alexander Scammell
   2nd Regiment New York Infantry                Col. Philip Cortlandt
   4th Regiment New York Infantry                 Col. Henry Livingston
"...it is beyond description to conceive what the men suffer..."
--- Colonel Philip Van Cordlandt 2nd NY Regiment, in a letter to George Clinton, Governor of New York, from Valley Forge on Feb. 13th, 1778
New Hampshire
Appeal to Hon. Meshech Weare, Chief State Official
Valley Forge, January 21, 1778
"Sir -
     ...Duty obligates me to observe to you the present scituation of your soldiers...Paint to yourself this their ragged suffering condition...they look up to me for relief, and it is not in my power to afford them any..."
---From Enoch Poor, Brig. Gen'l, commanding NH Forces
(erected by the state of New Hampshire)
 
 
 
The hut nearby built according to Washington's orders for the construction of huts for the Winter Camp of 1777 - 1778 stands on the site of a similar hut which sheltered soldiers of the Pennsylvania line and it commemorates their fortitude in the endurance of every adversity for their country and for independency.
Constructed by the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution June 18, A.D. 1935.
 
                                    Continental Army
            Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                Pennsylvania Division
                      Brigadier General Anthony Wayne
                                      Second Brigade
                     Lieutenant Colonel William Butler
                                        Commanding

4th Regiment Infantry Lieutenant        Colonel William Butler
    (Raised January 11, 1777 Mustered out November 3, 1783)
5th Regiment Infantry                             Colonel Francis Johnston
     (Raised January 1, 1777 Mustered out January 1, 1783)
8th  Regiment Infantry                            Colonel Daniel Brodhead
      (Raised July 20, 1776  Mustered out January 17, 1781)
11th Regiment Infantry                           Colonel Richard Hampton
                              (Raised October 25, 1778)
  (Consolidated with 10th Regiment Infantry June 24, 1778)
 
 
 
The statue faces toward the general's home nearby.
Brigadier General
  Anthony Wayne
Generals and Cattle Raids
The First and Second Pennsylvania Brigades, temporarily commanded by Brigadier General Anthony Wayne, encamped in this area. About 800 men served in each of the sixteen brigades at Valley Forge. An estimated 34,577 pounds of meat and 168 barrels of flour per day were needed to feed the army. Soldiers relied on their home states and on the Continental Congress to supply food, clothing, and equipment. Shortages varied widely between the regiments. Any number of misfortunes, spoilage, bad roads, or capture by British foragers, could prevent supplies from reaching camp. When food ran so low that mutiny seemed imminent, General Wayne led an emergency foraging expedition into New Jersey. Their mission: to round up all the cattle they could find, and to destroy what they could not bring with them. The owners concealed their herds in pine woods, and there were skirmishes with British foraging parties, but General Wayne was so successful that he become known as "The Drover."
 
                                    Continental Army
            Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                Pennsylvania Division
                      Brigadier General Anthony Wayne
                                        First Brigade
                               Colonel Thomas Hartley
                                        Commanding

1st Regiment Infantry           Colonel James Chambers
      (Raised July 1, 1776 Mustered out November 2, 1783)
2nd Regiment Infantry         Colonel Henry Bicker
   (Raised October 25, 1776 Mustered out November 3, 1785)
7th Regiment Infantry          Lieutenant Colonel David Grier
    (Raised January 1, 1777 Mustered out January 17, 1781)
10th Regiment Infantry        Lieutenant Colonel Adam Hubley
   (Raised October 25, 1776 Mustered out January 17, 1781)
                Hartley's Additional Regiment of Infantry
Lieutenant Colonel Morgan Connor raised January 11, 1777
Consolidated with 11th Regiment Infantry January 13, 1779
                                           Anthony Wayne
  Colonel Chester Co Battalion of Minute Men July 21, 1775
      Colonel 4th Penna. Infantry Battalion January 3, 1776
Brig. General Continental Army Feb 21, 1777 to Nov 3, 1783
               Brevetted Major General September 30, 1783


"Resolved unanimously, that the thanks of congress be presented to Brig. General Wayne for his brave, prudent and soldierly conduct in the spirited and well conducted attack on Stony Point; that a gold medal emblematical of this action be struck and presented to Brig. General Wayne."

Major General and Commander in Chief United States Army, March 5, 1792 to December 15, 1796
            1777 - 1778
Euse Petit Placidam Sub

      Libertate Quietem
 
Virginia
This marker is placed at the encampment site of regiments of the commonwealth of Virginia to commemorate the officers and men of Virginia which area, at the time, encompassed what is now the state of West Virginia. These Virginians were wintered here in 1777 - 1778 as a part of General George Washington's army in the war for American independence.

Erected by the Sons of the American Revolution of Virginia.
 
In Memory Of Unknown Soldiers Buried At Valley Forge 1777 - 1778

Erected by  Valley Forge Chapter Daughters of th American Revolution
 
Brigadier General Henry Knox, Washington's 27 year old artillery chief, used as his quarters the small stone section of this house located upstream on Valley Creek from Washington's Headquarters, this was the farm home of John Brown and his family. As was typical in the area. The small stone house was increased in size to meet the needs of a larger family and as a show of wealth.
 
Knox's Quarters
 
 
General Henry Knox
Officer's Quarters
In contrast to soldiers' log huts, officers' quarters appear lavish. But the present houses look significantly different from encampment days. Architectural modifications have more than doubled the size of General Henry Knox's "quarters." Though a number of officers began the encampment in local farmhouses, many (including Knox) later moved into huts to be closer to their men.
 
Reluctant Hosts
Valley Forge farms were generally prosperous; the area had been cleared and settled since the early 1700s. When the army arrived, many nearby homes and farmhouses were converted to military use. While political loyalties were divided, most civilians simply wished to be left free of the conflict.
 
Lord Stirling's
Quarters
--->
Lafayette's Quarters --->
William
Maxwell's
Quarters

<---
<---
Henry Knox's Quarters
Four generals were housed in this area: Henry Knox, William Maxwell, Lord Stirling, and the Marquis de La Fayette.
 
 
Picture forthcoming
 
Village of Valley Forge
Village settled by the workers at iron forge begun in 1742. The forge and part of the village were burned by the British army in 1777. Washington's quarters during the winter of 1777 - 78 were in the Isaac Potts' house, a part of the original village.
 
 
To Marylanders who served here
Col. Tench Tilghman, confidential aide to Washington, who wrote: --
---"formerly of my family - in every action (of) the main army - often refused his pay - left as fair reputation as ever belonged to human character"--
                                                 Continental Army
                      Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                                          Division
                                                   Scott's Brigade
                                   Brigadier General Charles Scott
                                                     Commanding

      Additional Infantry Regiment Penna. Line          Col. John Patton
                                               Raised Jan 11, 1777
              Consolidated with 11th Regiment Infantry Jan 18, 1778
                                              4th Virginia Infantry
      8th Virginia Infantry                                  Colonel Abraham  Bowman
                                                      12th Virginia Infantry
      Virginia Regiment Infantry at Large      Colonel William Grayson
The Two Maryland Brigades
Maj. Gen John Sullivan         
1st Reg. Col. John H. Stone
2nd Reg. Col. Thomas Price
3rd Reg. Col. Mordocai Gist
4th Reg. Col. Josiah C. Hall
Brig. Gen. William Smellwood
5th Reg. Col. William Richardson
6th Reg. Col. Otho H. Williams
7th Reg. Col. John Gunby
Reg. of Col. Moses Hazen
Artillery: - Capt. Wm. Brown's Co. and Capt. Richard Dorsey's Co. and as Washington wrote,

"the men without cloths to cover their nakedness - blankets to lie upon - without shoes - their marches traced by blood from their feet - through frost and snow - without house or hut - or provisions - submitting without murmur --" for the freedom of you who read this.
 
 
 
 
Fresh Pork and Small Beer
In the rear of the camp, near the Adjutant-General's office, one of three public markets opened in February 1778. Farmers were encouraged to sell their produce to the short rationed soldiers. Fresh Pork, Fat Turkey, Goose, Rough-skinned Potatoes, Turnips, Indian Meal, Sour-Crout, Leaf Tobacco, New Milk, Cyder, and Small-Beer were included

i
n the list of articles published in the Pennsylvania Packet and circulated in hand bills. This west end of the encampment became a thronging complex. Down the road clattered hospital and supply
wagons, and couriers between Washington's Headquarters and the Continental Congress in York. Artificers' huts were a frenzy of activity. All around was the noise of blacksmiths' and wheelwrights, hammers and coopers saws as the artificers built wagons, repaired wheels and made barrels.
 
British Raid
Early in 1777, the American Quartermaster General selected Valley Forge to serve as one of the Continental stores. Thousands of barrels of wheat and flour, tomahawks, horseshoes and tools were moved into the Potts-Dewees forge and outbuildings.
In September, after the battle of Brandywine, a British, detachment headed for Valley Forge.
Warned of their approach, a party of dragoons along with Lt. Colonel Alexander Hamilton tried to ferry the stores across the Schuylkill. But not in time. The Americans had to retreat, and the enemy captured precious food and equipment.
Two days later the main British army passed through, carrying off or destroying the supplies. The forge, sawmill, and several homes and outbuildings were set afire. Only ruins remained at the time of the encampment, three months later.
 
 
Dewees' House
 
 
 
 
 
 
Washington's Sleeping Quarters
Aid's Room
Not only were the working arrangements crowded, but so were the sleeping arrangements. Every available space was put to use in accommodating aides and servants - the hallway, the attic stairs as well as this room would have held several officers. These officers spent some of their limited personal time writing home. During his stay here, John Laurens wrote to his father asking for specific necessities. In response his father sent the requested wool, buttons, gloves, epaulets, combs, hair powder and powder bag along with a new shirt.
 
 
 
The  Headquarters  Kitchens
 
 
                              Erected By
The   Maryland   Society  of   Pennsylvania
                                   1963
 
 
 
Washington's   Headquarters
For six months this quiet path was a congested thoroughfare. Express ridersfrom Congress, civilians requesting passes, guards posted around the house, couriers rushing out with new orders, foreign officers seeking employment, continually jammed this road during the encampment. At the center of the tumult was the Commander-in-Chief. From Headquarters, George Washington issued General Orders to the brigades, dictated eloquent warning to Congress, and directed military operations from Georgia to Maine.
 
General George Washington, Commander-in-Chief.
Portrait by Charles Willson Peale while at Valley Forge
Headquarters Complex
The Headquarters house overlooking the confluence of Valley Creek and the Schuylkill River, was the hub of military activity it was from here that General Washington, with the assistance of his staff, conducted the daily routine of the Army, often there were more than twenty officers and aides present to assist the Commander-In-Chief in his duties.
 
 
Valley Forge Railroad Station
A 20th Century Structure
The Valley Forge railroad station, completed in 1913 to service visitors to Washington's Headquarters and the village of Valley Forge, was constructed of native sandstone and recalls the time when rail excursions were popular before the widespread use of private automobiles. The tracks of the Philadelphia, Germantown and Norristown railroad, predecessor to conrail, were first utilized in 1832 to meet the demands of industrialization.
 
Commander-in-Chief's Guard
Washington's guard occupied the huts near Headquarter's. At the beginning of the encampment fifty guards protected General Washington, his baggage and valuable papers. To be in the life guard, as the troops called it, one originally had to be a property-owning, native-born Virginian. It was assumed such men would be loyal to Washington.
After Baron Friedrich von Steuben arrived in February 1778, one hundred additional men from various state regiments were detailed to the guard. Steuben personally trained them at marching, musket loading and charging with bayonet. Under his skilled instruction the life guard became a model company for drilling the entire army.
 
 
 
                         In Memory of
         Nine North Carolina Regiments
In Brig. Gen.  Lacklan McIntosh's Brigade
       Under General George Washington
       December  19, 1777 - June 19, 1778
                       At Valley Forge

     Placed by the North Carolina Society
                         NSDAR 1972
Gen. Lachlan Mc Intosh
1727 - 1806

"...an officer of great worth and merit." Geo. Washington

During the winter of Valley Forge, Gen. Lachlan McIntosh of Georgia commanded the First Brigade of the Continental Army. The Brigade, which was composed of North Carolina Regiments,  was quartered in this area. McIntosh also commanded Washington's Life Guard.

To commemorate the services of Gen. McIntosh and of other Georgians in the young republic's critical hour of Valley Forge the state of Georgia has gratefully erected this memorial.
 
 
Innerline Defense
The low mound in front of you is part of the original earthworks of the fortified encampment of Valley Forge. They extended about one mile from Mount Joy on the south to the Schuylkill River on the north.
 
Inner Line Defenses
If the British had over-run the Outer Line, or crossed the river at Fatland Ford, they would have faced the Inner Line Defenses. Trees now block the Americans' extensive field of fire. Trenches are filling in. But the original earthworks are visible from the Tour Road along the ridge crest to your right.
Other defenses were farmed over soon after the army marched out of Valley Forge. But here on Mount Joy terrain proved too rugged even for pasturing.
Help us preserve the historic fortifications. Please do not walk or climb on the earthworks.
 
 
 
Redoubt 4
May 9, 1778, "There are at present but two Engineers in camp besides General du Portail, and they are fully employed in constructing the necessary works of defence..."
With the British only 18 miles away, troops were digging defenses all winter. Redoubt 4 was started and completed in May. It helped defend the northern approaches to the encampment, and anchored this end of the Inner Line. It helped defend the northern approaches to the encampment, and anchored this end of the Inner Line. For 3/4 - mile
along the shoulder of Mount Joy fromRedoubt 4 near the river, to Redoubt 3 to the south the Inner Line defended the center of the encampment.
 
                               New Jersey Brigade
                                Continental Army

                 Erected By the state of New Jersey
  Upon the site occupied by the New Jersey Brigade
                  Infantry - Line - Continental Arm

               Brigadier General William Maxwell
               First Regiment  Col. Mathias Ogden
               Second Regiment  Col. Israel Shreve
                 Third Regiment Col. Elias Dayton
             Fourth Regiment Col. Ephraim Martin

               Decemeber 19, 1777 - June 18, 1778
 
Innerline Defense
The low mound in front of you is part of the original earthworks of the fortified encampment of Valley Forge. They extended about one mile from Mount Joy on the south to the Schuylkill River on the North.
 
 
 
 
 
To Build a Redoubt
The earthworks today appear to be giant molehills. But it took complex engineering to construct them. A deep ditch was excavated in front, to slow an attacking enemy. The dirt was heaped into "gabions" - baskets of interwoven branches. Bundles of branches called "fascines" were piled outside and inside the wall to protect the defenders, then the entire work was usually covered with sod to absorb cannon fire.
 
Here at Redoubt 3, the inside walls were faced with stakes. Sod was scarce in the mud - churned encampment. Though partially reconstructed, Redoubt 3 is built on remnants of the original site. Please do not climb on the earthworks.

Defending the Gap
The valley between Outer and Inner Line defenses left the Americans vulnerable to attacks from the south. Redoubt 3 was built to secure this

Wayne's Pennsylvania Brigades. Their huts were plainly visible in the treeless encampment. In the event of attack, troops in Redoubt 3 could have raked the gap with cross-fire.
 
 
 
 
Artillery Park
Some redoubts and earthworks went unarmed. Most cannons at Valley Forge were kept in the Artillery Park near the center of the encampment. From here guns could be rushed to the point of attack. The Artillery Park gave the Americans a flexible defense. But camp roads were deep in mud; horses were starving. It may be fortunate that an attack never came.
 
General Knox commanded and trained the Continental Artillery. With a gun crew of 14 to 15 men for each field 6 - pounder, precise teamwork was essential. (In actual combat the Continentals often made do with smaller crews.)
 
Brigades handled a variety of cannons. Though some were cast in America, many guns were acquired from the French or captured from the British.
 
The Camp's Road System
Adapting to the terrain, the arriving army used peaceful farm roads as lines of communications within the sprawling encampment. Livestock, commissary wagons, and troops dragging firewood quickly turned roads into rivers of mud.
After Sullivan's Bridge was completed, this road led north across the Schuylkill River to the army's supply staging area.
 
Captain Henry Lee of the Light Dragoons
Dragoons
Dargoons (cavalry) were the camp's messengers and lookouts. Though dragoons sometimes galloped these roads, carrying letters from General Washington, they more often patrolled between Valley Forge and Philadelphia, scouting for British troop movements. Since dragoons demanded frequent remounts, local farmers learned to hide their best horses.
 
Schoolhouse
This one room stone structure was built about 35 years after the encampment when the village of Valley Forge was expanding with industry. It served as a school until a new and larger building was constructed directly across Gulph Road, it then deteriorated and was used by local farmers as a storage shed and stable until it was restored first in 1915 and again in 1975.
 
Site of the Marquee
On this spot General George Washington erected his campaign tent (Marquee) when he entered Valley Forge December 19, 1777. He occupied this tent until December 24. 1777. When he moved his headquarters to the Potts House at the junction of Valley Creek and Schuylkill River.
 
 
 
                            Continental Army
   Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                           Sullivan's Division
                  Major General John Sullivan
                           Maxwell's Brigade
                Brig. General William Maxwell
                               Commanding

1st New Jersey Infantry        Colonel Mathias Ogden
2nd New Jersey Infantry       Colonel Israel Shreye
3rd New Jersey Infantry       Colonel  Elias Dayton
4th New Jersey Infantry       Colonel Ephraim Martin
 
                                    Continental Army
            Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                    Stirlings Division
                           Major General Lord Stirling
                                 Pennsylvania Brigade

                                        Commanding
           3rd Regiment Infantry     Colonel Thomas Craig
     Raised January 1, 1777 Mustered out November 3, 1783
6th Regiment Infantry     Lieutenant Colonel Josiah Harmar
      Raised January 1, 1777 Mustered out January 1, 1783
  9th Regiment Infantry     Lieutenant Colonel George Nacel
    Raised October 25, 1776  Mustered out January 17, 1781
         12th Regiment Infantry      Colonel William Cooke
                                Raised October 1, 1776
      Consolidated with 3rd Regiment Infantry July 1, 1778
 
 
 
 
 
 
Achilles heel.
Directly across the valley is the Outer Line, supported by Brigadier General Anthony
 
 
Huntington's Brigade Occupied This Ground
Conway's  Brigade  Occupied This Ground
William Maxwell's Quarters
                                        Continental Army
                Valley Forge December 19, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                                Division
                                     Huntington's Brigade
                         Brig. General Jedediah Huntington
                                            Commanding

1st Regiment Connecticut Infantry     Lieut. Col. Samuel Prentice
2nd Regiment Connecticut Infantry   Col. Charles Webb
5th Regiment Connecticut Infantry    Col. Philip B. Bradley
7th Regiment Connecticut Infantry    Col. Heman Swift
 
Crowded and Very Sickly
Putrid fever, the itch, diarrhea, dysentery and rheumatism were some of the afflictions suffered by the Continental troops. At Valley Forge the Hospital Department inoculated two to three thousand against smallpox. Medicine, food, blankets and even straw for bedding were in short supply.
All kinds of "Dirt and Filth" were ordered burned or buried. General Orders in May requested mud plaster removed, huts made as airy as possible, and "the Powder of a Musquet Cartridge burnt in each
hut daily to purify the Air."
As filth and offal accumulated in and around the huts, the number of sick increased. Washington continually issued orders to clean up the huts.
"...the smell was in some places intollerable, owing to the want of Necessaries or the Neglect of them..."
June 10 the Army moved from huts to tents.

At camp, brigade hospitals treated the less seriously ill and those recovering from the smallpox inoculation. When the sick overflowed these "flying hospitals," meeting houses and barns within a few miles of camp were pressed into service. The seriously ill were moved to general hospitals at Yellow Springs, Bethlehem, Lititz, Reading and Ephrata.
 
 
 
 
 
The Grand Parade
Cannon smoke clouds the field below. A roar of muskets crisscrosses the Grand Parade as thousands of double-ranked troops perform a feu de joie ("fire of joy.")

To celebrate the signing of the French Treaty of Alliance, General
Washington reviews the troops of the entire encampment May 6, 1778. The Grand Parade becomes a showplace for the newly trained and disciplined Continental Army - a tribute to Baron von Steuben's intensive drilling.
The signing of the Treaties of Commerce and Alliance with France was a crucial step toward victory. For the first time, a major power officially recognized the independence of the United States, assuring a steady flow of foreign aid. France soon became Great Britain's open enemy.
Training for Victory
Like a drill sergeant, Inspector General Friedrich von Steuben trains eyeball to eyeball with a company fo Continentals. This model company must serve as an example to the rest of Washington's army.
The Grande Parade, here at the center of the encampment, is the only terrain expansive enough for drilling  massed brigades. In simulated battle, Steuben sends troops back and forth across rough ground, preparing for the impending campaign against the British.
Steuben stressed bayonet drill. Before this time, the Americans had never been trained in close fighting. Yet bayonet charges decided the outcome of most battles in the 18th century.
 
 
 
Varnum's Quarters
When he moved in, General James Varnum used one room as both living quarters and brigade headquarters, and even held general courts martial. The owners, David and Elizabeth Stephens and their family, were allowed to remain in the rest of the house. A large portion of their farmland was used for the Grand Parade. When Varnum's hut was completed, he joined his Rhode Island and Connecticut brigades hutted on both sides of the road near Stephens' home.
 
 
 
Brigadier General James Varnum
Major General Friedrich von Steuben
Guarding the Bridge
Redoubt 1 commanded the high ground, with an unobstructed view of the river and Sullivan's Bridge, 300 yards below. The redoubt was built to guard the bridge and the encampment's northern supply routes, and was manned by Varnum's Rhode Island Brigade from huts nearby.

Bridging the Schuylkill was one of General Washington's most pressing concerns. The army needed access to the land across the river, and a quick escape route in case of an over-whelming British attack.
Sullivan's Bridge
According to General John Sullivan, there were few tools and skilled carpenters available. "Some of the Brigades who were to furnish me with Carpenters sent me Taylors who had never used an ax in their lives; kept their good Carpenters at home to Build Hutts." By mid-winter the bridge was completed.
Major General John Sullivan
 
                                           Continental Army
                 Valley Forge December 8, 1777 June 18, 1778
                                                    Division
                                           Varnum's Brigade
                              Brig. General James M. Varnum
                                               Commanding

1st Regiment Rhode Island Infantry        Col. Christopher Greene
2nd Regiment Rhode Island Infantry      Col. Israel Angell
4th Regiment Connecticut Infantry          Col. John  Durkee
8th Regiment Connecticut Infantry          Col. John Chandler
 
                           Dedicated  To
         Major General Nathanael Greene
Brigadier General James Mitchell Varnum
             Colonel Christopher Greene
                    Colonel Israel Angell

And to other officers and men of 1st and 2nd Rhode Island regiments encamped at Valley Forge in 1777 - 1778
 
 
             Defenders Gate
Washington Memorial Chapel
 
 
Waterman's Monument
This 50 foot granite obelisk was erected in 1901by the Daughters of the Revolution. It marks the site of the only indentified grave at Valley Forge. That of Lieutenant John Waterman of Rhode Island who died on April 23, 1778
To the Soldiers of Washington's army who sleep in Valley Forge 1777 - 1778
Erected by the Daughters of the Revolution 1901
 
Quarters of
Brig. General Jedediah Huntington
National Battlefields