After Washington crossed the Delaware and won the battle at Trenton, more soldiers enlisted. They saw that Washington might have a chance of winning and they wanted to be part of that victory. But Washington’s challenges weren’t over. Valley Forge was a testing time.
- After the Battle of Trenton, Washington fought and lost two more battles against General Howe.
- As winter approached, the British troops went to Philadelphia. Washington needed a winter camp for his troops too.
- Washington’s men went to Valley Forge, which had once been an iron forge where men made horseshoes. Now it was just a hill by a river with a few farmhouses and trees nearby.
- His army marched to Valley Forge in the rain. They were cold, wet, and tired. Their clothing and shoes were worn out. They needed shelter. The men cut down trees and built some simple houses.
- It was a cold winter. The men had little to eat and they were cold. Their shoeless feet left blood in the snow.
- That winter, Washington repeatedly wrote to Congress in Philadelphia asking for food, clothing, and shoes. Congress sent some food, but not enough, and no clothing. Washington wondered if the men would survive until spring.
- Finally spring came. Washington had managed to keep his men together. They had become tougher and had spent time training. Their sacrifices had united them. During that winter, Washington stayed with the soldiers, even when other officers and generals returned to their homes. He suffered along with them. In return, they became very loyal to him.
- Enlist: join
- Iron forge: similar to a blacksmith’s shop, a place where iron tools and materials are made
Questions and Answers
Question: Why didn’t Congress send supplies more quickly?
Answer: Partly because they were lacking in money, but also because they weren’t on the front line. It was hard for them to imagine, sitting in their comfortable homes, the reality of the soldiers’ lives.
Watch a video about Valley Forge.
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Declan, Tobin. " Valley Forge – Revolutionary War ." American History for Kids, Aug 2019. Web. 24 Aug 2019. < https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/valley-forge/ >.
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Tobin, Declan. (2019). Valley Forge – Revolutionary War. American History for Kids. Retrieved from https://www.americanhistoryforkids.com/valley-forge/