#OnThisDay: 8 Valley Forge facts that will actually surprise you on this 245th anniversary

The encampment of the Continental Army at Valley Forge began 245 years ago today. We’re all familiar with the image of George Washington leading his troops across the frigid Delaware River. We know that it was a bitterly cold winter, but there are some interesting facts I hope to surprise you with today.

            1,700 to 2,000 soldiers died of disease at the six-month encampment.

            Food for the troops was scarce. The Oneida delegation, allies of the Patriots, arrived in May 1778 with white corn. Polly Cooper of the delegation instructed them on how to safely prepare the corn for consumption and stayed after most of her fellow Oneidans had left. She received a shawl from Martha Washington in thanks for her assistance.

            In December it went down to 6 degrees F., 12 degrees F. in January, 12 degrees F. in February, and 8 degrees F. in March.

            It was the last time United States soldiers served in a racially-integrated army until the Korean War in the 1950s.

            The volunteer drill master was Baron von Steubon, a Prussian military commander. The Prussian military drills and tactics he taught the troops were used by the United States military for the next 30 years.

            It is thought that 250 to 400 women were in the encampment, serving as cooks, nurses, laundresses, and menders of clothing.

            Mary Ludwig Hayes, a.k.a., Molly Pitcher, was at Valley Forge with her husband. She is remembered for jumping into service to help load a cannon at the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse after her husband was wounded.

            Hannah Till was an enslaved cook for George Washington at Valley Forge. She purchased her freedom a few years later and became a salaried cook.

            We hear a lot about our “forefathers” but not enough about our “foremothers!”


Since my last blog post

Look who’s reading my book! He must have found it on Amazon or in Harrisburg, NC at Second Look Books or Gift Innovations! It’s in short supply in Harrisburg until I get my next shipment. If you prefer an e-book, remember it’s available for e-book and in paperback from Amazon.

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas or whatever holidays you are celebrating.

I hope you enjoy time with family and friends.

Remember the suffering people of Ukraine.

I’ll see you again here at my blog on December 26 – the last Monday in 2022!

Janet

12 thoughts on “#OnThisDay: 8 Valley Forge facts that will actually surprise you on this 245th anniversary

  1. Another wonderful fact-filled article of tremendous historical significance. Very well written and quite interesting. War is the worst invention of humanity and a civil war is the bloodiest among them because nobody wins, everybody loses. But your style and your phrasing make the story relevant and vibrant and a pleasure to read. Hope you have a lovely Christmas with your friends and loved ones in peace, health and happiness. All the best Janet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Francis, for the compliments. I really appreciate your words. My sister and I drove six hours in the rain today returning from a long weekend/early Christmas with our brother’s family in Georgia. It had been five years since we’d all been together, plus we got to meet our great-niece’s fiance. We’re expecting a bitterly cold Christmas weekend over most of the US — all the way down to Florida. Lows here are predicted to be around 10 degrees F Saturday and Sunday mornings with highs below freezing. It’s also supposed to be windy — to the tune of 20-30 miles per hour. We’ll brave the cold to go to church on Saturday night and on Sunday morning. Other than that, we’ll be staying inside. I wish you a very Merry Christmas with your family and friends. All the best to you. Janet

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  3. Wow! It is going to be a cold, cold Christmas in the States! Stay warm and safe. And thank you very much! Wishing you, your sister and your family a very Happy Christmas and New Year, in health, peace and many blessings! All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas and New Year, too, from a very cold North Carolina. We’re doing fine, though, and plan to go the Christmas Eve candlelight service at our church tonight. It’s 24 degrees F. now at 1:45pm. That’s probably as warm as it will be today although the sun is shining. It’s a beautiful day! As long as our electricity stays on, I’ll be happy. This is our coldest Christmas since 1983 when it was 4 degrees. The wind has been awful, making it feel like 0 or below, Wind chills in the mountains in NC have been -30 degrees. I remember those days from going to college in Boone, but I don’t want to experience that again! LOL! Have a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with your family.

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  5. Thank you so much Janet! We’ve been watching the US weather reports on the tele and it looks very, very cold! On the contrary, here our weather has turned very warm, like 65 degrees F. and we’re walking around in shirt sleeves! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas day and beyond!

    Liked by 1 person

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