Valley Forge

Led by General George Washington, the Continental army spent the winter of 1777-1778 in Valley Forge, a camp about 25 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The time spent here marks a real turning point in the Revolutionary War. The Continental army was sick, weary and close to defeat. Though they did not fight a battle here, the army faced off with horrible conditions and its own low morale. Although 2500 men were lost over the course of that winter, these courageous patriots continued to train with determined spirits to succeed. They emerged from the winter stronger and ready to fight. Today, Valley Forge is known as the birthplace of the American Army.

General Washington chose to set up camp here because it was close to the British, allowing him to watch them.

General Friedrich von Steuben is responsible for training these men through the harsh winter.

Families of soldiers would stay near the camp to help them through the winter. They acquired the nickname of “Camp Followers.”

Many soldiers survived off of “firecake,” a blend of flour and water.

Martha Washington joined General Washington in February and would bring clothing and food to soldiers.