Valley Forge (1777-1778)
The American Revolution would not have been successful without George Washington’s leadership throughout the brutal winter of 1777–1778 at Valley Forge. Low morale, a lack of supplies, and bad weather were just a few of the obstacles that Washington had to overcome as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.
After a series of setbacks in November and December 1777, Washington’s army tented up in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Soldiers endured bitter temperatures and food shortages during the harsh winter. But with the help of commanders like Baron von Steuben, the army was able to strengthen its fighting capability via increased training, discipline, and organization.
Washington’s tenacity and wise choices set the stage for future achievements. The Revolutionary War turned around in the spring of 1778, when the newly trained and inspired soldiers emerged. As a showcase for Washington’s leadership and the cost of independence, Valley Forge came to represent the tenacity and resolve of the American people. National Park Service rangers have preserved the area as a monument to the fortitude of the Continental Army and the establishment of the United States of America.