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. Please remember that spelling was not standard at the time. 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
This letter mentions "...we had a very hot ingagement..." which no doubt refers to the the Battle of Germantown which took place on October 4, 1777.
In regards to how they felt when they had to attack the British, you can be sure it was very difficult, as with any war. During the Revolution, you could be a patriot while your brother could be a Tory sympathizer. Take for example the situation of Benjamin Franklin. Mr. Franklin was one of the leaders for American Independence. His son, however, was a Governor of New Jersey on behalf of the King and very much a Tory. The ties between them were severed.
SAS, Courtesy The Valley Forge Historical Society