Historic Valley Forge

How did it feel for the soldiers at Valley Forge?

Q.How did it feel for the soldiers at Valley Forge?
Salvatore Mule, New Jersey, Fifth Grade, Age 10

A.It is difficult to generalize about how they felt, but here is a poem written by a man from New York in 1778:

Dear Polly when once that the Wars are all o'er
I return to your Arms and will leave you no more
Since you and my Country, are threatened with chains
I'll fight while life has...(illegible)...your Freedom to gain.

Before the soldiers arrived at Valley Forge, this letter from William Duncan was written to his wife. Spelling was not standard at the time, and this letter is shown with words spelled the way Mr. Duncan wrote them. This document is part of the Archival Collection of The Valley Forge Historical Society:

Bucks County
October the 7, 1777

My dear Rebecah, this comes with love to you and my sewwt Children nanse

Gives me a grate dale of truble to hear that the war contenues so very poorly

we had a very hot ingagment. it began a Saturday at 6 in the morning and to the after noon in w[hich] C[a]pt[ain] Cox and Hugh Merica was killed.

Mr lindenburgh was wonded through the shoulder but not deadly

We are all in good health thank God for it

in the first Schrimage we had at the white Horse I was not very well but was not hurt

I left the Company and staid in a house 2 days

in that I got very well and has been since

I sent my stock and buckle and nee buckles by Mr leman as was likely to be lost out of my pocket

please Remember me to Nancey Shippund and all friends no more at present

but Remains as before your Loving husband to death

William Duncan

The "hot ingagement" was the Battle of Germantown which took place a few days previous, on October 4, 1777.

Conditions at Valley Forge were fairly harsh and the soldiers lacked adequate food, clothing and other provosions. General Washington recognized the dedication of his soldiers enduring these adverse conditions.