Tag: Valley Forge

Posted on

This Week on Dispatches: David Price on Albigence Waldo and Valley Forge

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews historian, author, and JAR contributor David Price about the important diary of Albigence Waldo that provides important information about Valley Forge and the Continental army. New episodes of Dispatches are available for free every Saturday evening (Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, Amazon Music, and […]

by Editors
6
Posted on

Cato: A Tragedy: The Enduring Theatrical Mystery at Valley Forge

The Valley Forge winter of 1777-78 is an integral part of America’s national narrative.[1] For many citizens, the name “Valley Forge” relates both a physical and intellectual landscape, specific spatial geography in Pennsylvania and a certain emotional acreage representative of the enduring suffering many Americans embraced during the revolution. At the end of that challenging […]

by Shawn David McGhee
Posted on

Permanent Losses and New Gains During the 1778 Valley Forge Encampment

The traditional story of Valley Forge tells of an encampment where a weakened and stripped-down army of 11,000 men endured the hardships of a winter cantonment rife with depravations. Overcoming crippling deficiencies and benefitting from superb training by the first Inspector General of the United States, Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, the army got healthy and […]

by Gary Ecelbarger
Posted on

Father and Son: Patriots Who Gave Their All

William Mehls Dewees (1711-1777) The “Father” of this history is William M. Dewees. He was the son of William Dewees of Germantown (1680-1745), “the papermaker,” and Anna Christina (Mehls) Dewees (1690-1749).He was born at the new family home and paper mill in what is now Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. In 1735, he married Rachel Farmar (1712-1777), […]

by William H. J. Manthorpe, Jr.
2
Posted on

The First Four Days at Valley Forge

The following timeline narrative attempts to unite previously disjointed events and occurrences regarding the first four days of the Continental army’s six-month stay at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania. For clarification purposes, all references to “Valley Forge” are for the winter cantonment and not the iron forge on Valley Creek for which the encampment was named. Temperatures […]

by Gary Ecelbarger
3
Posted on

Governor Jonathan Trumbull, Who Supplied Washington’s Suffering Army . . . and the French

Jonathan Trumbull, Senior is the most important governor in Connecticut’s long history. This is not only because of the many key contributions he made as a patriotic leader to his beloved state of Connecticut during the American Revolution, but just as importantly, what he contributed to help ease the suffering of soldiers under Gen. George […]

by Damien Cregeau
Posted on

This Week on Dispatches: Michael C. Harris and Gary Ecelbarger on the Numerical Strength of Washington’s Army During the Philadelphia Campaign

On this week’s Dispatches, host Brady Crytzer interviews historians and JAR contributors Michael C. Harris and Gary Ecelbarger on their important work to better determine the numerical strength of the Continental Army during the 1777 Philadelphia Campaign. New episodes of Dispatches are available for free every Saturday evening (Eastern United States Time) on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, […]

by Editors
4
Posted on

The Numerical Strength of George Washington’s Army During the 1777 Philadelphia Campaign

Introduction Perhaps the most important facet for understanding and appreciating a military campaign is a solid grasp of the composition of the armies engaged in it; the quantity of troops shares equal importance to the identity and quality of them. The multitude of books and monographs dedicated to the 1777 Philadelphia campaign, whether in part […]

by Michael C. Harris and Gary Ecelbarger
Posted on

The Revolutionary War Service of James Noble

When old Revolutionary War soldiers applied for their military pensions in the first and second quarter of the nineteenth century, they generally reported the basic information of their service. Occasionally, a soldier provided detail of his service that highlighted their adventures and sufferings. One such soldier was Private James Noble, originally of Maryland. James Noble […]

by Michael J. F. Sheehan
3
Posted on

Native Americans at Valley Forge

At the Bethlehem Hospital near Valley Forge on November 21, 1777, John Ettwein visited a “Narragansett Indian in great distress about his soul, at the near approach of death.” On March 18, 1778, Ettwein noted the passage of a company of New England soldiers that included “a few Stockbridge Indians.” Ettwein was one of many […]

by Joseph Lee Boyle
Posted on

Memorial Day: Recovering the Service of William Tiller, American Soldier

Every now and then, one comes across a pension application of an old soldier that includes extraordinary detail. Occasionally the application includes a journal or memoir, as in the case of Connecticut’s Isaac Grant or Virginia’s William Tiller. Tiller’s journal is full of detail, but unfortunately few muster rolls for his regiment exist, making certain […]

by Michael J. F. Sheehan
Posted on

Supporting American Revolution History

Restrictions on travel and gather due to the coronavirus pandemic have had a significant impact on historic sites and institutions dedicated to the American Revolution. We asked our contributors to recommend sites and organizations for our readers to consider supporting. The list is in the order received. Brady J. Crytzer Historic Hanna’s Town, Greensburg, PA: […]

by Editors
1
Posted on

Tapping America’s Wealth to Fund the Revolution: Two Good Ideas that Went Awry

“Unless some great and capital change suddenly takes place,” Gen. George Washington wrote from Valley Forge on December 23, 1777,[1] to Henry Laurens, the recently-appointed president of the Continental Congress, “the Army must inevitably be reduced to one or the other of these three things. Starve—dissolve—or disperse, in order to obtain subsistence.” A week later, […]

by Tom Shachtman
11
Posted on

Worthy of Commemmoration

We recently ran an article about monuments commemorating the American Revolution. We asked our contributors: If you could commission a monument, what would you commemorate and where would it be located? They provided a wide range of worthy candidates. Nancy K. Loane On December 19, 1777, over 400 women—and an unknown number of children—struggled into […]

by Editors
1
Posted on

Contributor Question: What Scene Do You Wish Had been Depicted Accurately by an Artist?

We asked our contributors what seemed like a simple question: What scene from the American Revolution or the Founding Era (1765–1805, approximately) do you wish had been depicted accurately by an artist? Quite unintentionally, the wording was ambiguous. Some described scenes that they’d like to see an artist render, while others offered events that they […]

by Editors
Posted on

Valley Forge

Valley Forge by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2018) Americans refer to many of their nation’s most iconic events by simple reference. The Alamo. Pearl Harbor. The Fourth of July. They are etched in our collective memories and once invoked are still capable of unleashing emotion and memory. Valley Forge, […]

by Alec D. Rogers
1
Posted on

Revisiting the Prayer at Valley Forge

When George Washington died in 1799, partisan infighting and international crises threatened the survival of the American experiment. Many Americans believed in Washington’s unique ability to unite the country, and his death exacerbated national uncertainties. Enter Mason Locke Weems, whose contributions to Washington mythmaking dwarf those of any individual then or since. As national yearning […]

by Blake McGready
1
Posted on

The Battle of Valley Forge

The name Valley Forge evokes strong emotions and memories that are indelibly embedded on the collective American psyche with legendary stories of immense misery, starvation and suffering amidst great heroic patriotism and dedication. The hilly site outside of British-held Philadelphia served as the winter cantonment—one of seven such large-scale military facilities during the American Revolution—for […]

by Andrew A. Zellers-Frederick
8
Posted on

10 Quotes from Valley Forge

Being ten unexpected and edifying quotations from the third winter encampment. I – “We live uncommonly well for Camp…We have Milk and sugar in plenty…I have my hair powdered every day.…”Samuel Ward, Jr. to Phebe Ward, Valley Forge, 5 May 1778.[1]The letters of “Sammy” Ward, who had been married only a month when he came […]

by Nancy K. Loane
2
Posted on

An Elegant Dinner with General Washington at Valley Forge Headquarters

On the afternoon of April 5, 1778, four feisty women, accompanied by an escort, Israel Morris, boarded their coach in British-occupied Philadelphia and set out for a visit with General George Washington. The journey took the four friends—Elizabeth Drinker, Susanna Jones, Phebe Pemberton, and Mary Pleasants—twenty miles or so from Philadelphia to the Continental Army, […]

by Nancy K. Loane
4
Posted on

George Washington’s Favorite Play

Thanks to the porous state of the British lines around Philadelphia and the industry of General Washington’s secret agents, there is little doubt that American officers at Valley Forge were aware of the dramas that a British Army theater company known as Howe’s Strolling Players presented at the Southwark Theater during 1777-78. The Americans considered […]

by Thomas Fleming