This Day in History
Washington at Valley Forge

Washington Arrives at Valley Forge
December 19, 1777

As a chapter in the military history of the American Revolution, Valley Forge was negligible. As a chapter in American story and legend, tradition and symbol, it contributed more than any other in the history of the war. The Washington whose memory still quickens the pulse of Americans is not so much the soldier who commanded at Yorktown or even the President who presided over the birth of the republic, but the General who somehow held together a neglected army, starving and desperate on the wintry hills of Valley Forge all through the bitter winter and spring of 1777-8. Luck, to be sure, played a part. General Howe had captured the American capital, Philadelphia - only twenty miles east of Valley Forge. When Washington and his troops arrived at Valley Forge on December 19, 1777, what they had to face was, luckily, not a powerful and well-equipped army, but lack of food, clothing, shoes, blankets, housing, and medical supplies to cope with the breakdown of the commissary and the threat of pneumonia, typhus and smallpox. When, in the late spring of ’78, Howe finally evacuated Philadelphia for New York, Washington was able to pursue him and at Monmouth Court House fight the British to a standstill. With that reversal of roles, with the American victory at Saratoga and with news of the French Alliance, the tide of the Revolutionary War turned.

December's Archived Features:

Saturday December 1, 2018
Sunday December 2, 2018
Monday December 3, 2018
Tuesday December 4, 2018
Wednesday December 5, 2018
Thursday December 6, 2018
Friday December 7, 2018
Saturday December 8, 2018
Sunday December 9, 2018
Monday December 10, 2018
Tuesday December 11, 2018
Wednesday December 12, 2018
Thursday December 13, 2018
Friday December 14, 2018
Saturday December 15, 2018
Sunday December 16, 2018
Monday December 17, 2018
Tuesday December 18, 2018



All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2018. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.