Valley Forge, on the Schuylkill River, SE Pa., NW of Philadelphia. There, during the American Revolution, the main camp of the Continental Army was established (Dec., 1777–June, 1778) under the command of Gen. George Washington. The winter was severe, food and clothing was inadequate, and illness and suffering pervaded the camp. The number of ragged and half-starved troops dwindled through desertion; the remaining men, about 11,000, talked of mutiny but were held together by their loyalty to Washington and to the patriotic cause. Two distinguished foreigners, French General Lafayette and Prussian General Steuben, shared the misery of the troops; Steuben drilled and organized the men, transforming the loose-jointed army into an integrated force. The site is included in Valley Forge National Historical Park (see National Parks and Monuments, table).
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