Valley Forge: The Transformation
Probably no place in history transformed our young Continental Army more than Valley Forge. No battle or major conflict was ever fought here, however from December 19th, 1777 until June 19th 1778, our young army along with it’s Commander General Washington faced a struggle with low moral, extreme winter hardship, lack of food, disease, and no pay to emerge as a fighting force intent on seeing the battle for independence through to it’s ultimate conclusion.
It led General Washington to state,”Naked and starving as they are we cannot enough admire the incomparable patience and fidelity of the soldiery.”
“Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter,
when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the
country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse
it.” The Crisis, by Thomas Paine.
Not all survived, many deserted and some froze or starved to death. Up until this time the young army had few if any solid victories, mostly they were retreating, hoping to gain an advantage somewhere or somehow where the enemy could be defeated.Hope ran eternal, that is about all they had, only problem is , you can’t eat Hope.
Solidly beaten and weary, they set about the task of building quarters for the winter. You have all heard the saying, we have a room for you, but you’ll have to make your own bed, well, they had to make their room also. Gathering the materials to construct housing during the harsh Pennsylvania winter had to be trying to the the soul.
The ground hog must have not seen his shadow, because by February the weather improved from horrible to just plain miserable. With the coming of spring, conditions improved, food and supplies became more readily available, and the plot to remove Washington from command dissipated, France had joined our cause and the troops become better trained and combat ready.
What brought about this transformation? Why did an army that was down and out, with no logical reason as to how they could continue on, much less fight and win over a more powerful and well trained British Army. How did they suddenly emerge into a force to be reckoned with?
They realized they were committed! The men and women who were there, (yes there were women there, providing aid and comfort to the soldiers,) they realized how much they had invested, there was no turning back. Once an individual or group of individuals totally commit to a cause,(and the cause is just) the Gods join in and it is just a matter of time until the goal in question is achieved. Sure there is still hardship and some will be injured or even killed, but if the cause is just , no one dies in vain. It is only when good men do nothing that the battle is lost.
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Gary has been a writer/ photographer for over 20 years, specializing in nature,landscapes and studying native cultures.Besides visiting most of the United States, he has traveled to such places as Egypt,the Canary Islands,much of the Caribbean. He has studied the Mayan Cultures in Central America, and the Australian Aboriginal way of life.Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in many different parts of the world!
He has published several books about the various cultures he has observed.
For more information and a link to his hard cover and Ebooks,and contact information: please check his website, http://www.journeysthrulife.com.
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Throughout man’s long history on earth,there has been one group of people who have carried the torch of liberty and freedom throughout the ages , from time immemorial until the present day. In these days their counsel is need more than ever.