During General George Washington’s eight years of leading the Continental army, the winter at Valley Forge was the most perilous.
On December 19, 1777, the Continental army arrives at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. Their winter quarters would become famous for extreme hardship and misery. Supplies were already exhausted, food was scarce and typhus overwhelmed them. 2,500 soldiers will die; another 2,000 will desert.
“These are the times that try men’s souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
— Thomas Paine, The Crisis.
“Under all those disadvantages no men ever show more spirit or
prudence than ours. In my opinion nothing but virtue has kept
our army together through this campaign.”
— Colonel John Brooks, letter written from Valley Forge, January 5, 1778
They were willing to live free or die.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you even willing to take a Stand?
“Posterity! You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.”
— John Quincy Adams, Letter to Abigail Adams, April 26, 1777
Painting by Arnold Friberg PRAYER AT VALLEY FORGE