5-11 Valley Forge

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Valley Forge is on the Schuylkill River about 25 miles west of Philadelphia in Chester County, Pennsylvania.  General Washington chose Valley Forge for his winter quarters because it was defensible and strategically located to enable him to protect Congress, then in session at York, Pennsylvania, from a sudden British attack.  There were 12,000 men and women of the Continental Army in Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78.

Except for officers, the soldiers slept in six-foot square tents made of canvas.  The canvasses were weak and cracked and didn't provide a lot of protection from the cold snowy weather.  Some officers lived in nearby farmhouses or in huts built in the encampment.  The huts provided better shelter than the tents, but during the long winter they also started to fall apart and exposed the men to the cold.

Because the shelter did not protect the men from the cold and the wind, they became sick with fevers, pneumonia, diarrhea, and dysentery.  Many died of starvation and cold, and at no time were more than half of them fit for active service.

On June 19, 1778, Washington abandoned his camp at Valley Forge in order to pursue the British across New Jersey.


Valley Forge is in the state of

New York.
New Jersey.


The army at Valley Forge consisted of

5000 men and women.
100,000 men and women.
12,000 men and women.


The soldiers slept in

ragged tents.


Many men and women died of

gun shot wounds.
animal bites.
cold, starvation, and disease.


On June 19, 1778, Washington pursued the British in

New Jersey.
New York.
New Hampshire.



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