Today in History
December 19, 1777
Settling in for the Winter
George Washington settles his Continental Army troops, already suffering from malnourishment and fatigue from long marches, into Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, for the winter. For keeping British troops under control until the Americans could begin fighting again in the spring, the location of the winter encampment is brilliant. But Washington's 12,000 men are poorly clothed and are housed in damp, crowded quarters. Again and again Washington seeks help from Congress, but Congress is unable to provide any. The troops spend the winter building 2,000 log huts and training for future encounters. By June, 2000 are dead (primarily from influenza, typhus and dysentery) but the rest emerge, well drilled, to rout the British at the Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey.
Today's Feature History Article
Even as he endured the hardships of Valley Forge, George Washington faced another challenge: critics who questioned his fitness to lead
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