The Causes Of Valley Forge

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Imagine living under brutal conditions in a rundown, secluded fort, far away from home and knowing that you could die at any minute. What would you do? During the winter of 1777 to 1778, George Washington’s Continental Army set up their post at Valley Forge, a military camp 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia. It was not big enough to be called a village - it only had a few fieldstone houses and a mill for forging iron. The Quaker farms in the area offered good food and support for Washington’s men, so they accepted. However, as the days went by, they realized that maybe that hadn’t been such a good idea. The soldiers in the Continental Army should have left Valley Forge because of death and illness, living conditions in camp (lack of food and clothing), and resentment towards Congress. Although Thomas Paine’s words of encouragement in the American Crisis were inspirational, this didn’t change the fact that the soldiers were suffering due to the extreme conditions in the camp. To begin, the soldiers should have left Valley Forge because there were many soldiers who began dying of death and illnesses that spread across camp. Noel F. Busch states that, “by February 1, 1778, 3,989 out of 8,000 soldiers were sick”, which was approximately 50% of the total population (Busch, 1974). According to researchers, the low estimate of soldiers who were dying in that year (1778) was 1,800 out of 8,000 people, which was roughly 1 person dead for every 2 soldiers (10%). Finally, at the end

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