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This is from a Black Walnut tree growing on the grounds of The Washington Memorial Chapel which were part of George Washington’s 1777-1778 winter encampment at Valley Forge .
A year before the encampment at Valley Forge, Washington’s army was on the precipices of disaster. A miracle was needed, and came in the form of the decisive victories at the two Battles of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton. Through 1777 things were arduously turning in the right direction for the continentals, but the continental line was far from the force it needed to be to assure eventual victory against one of the best trained and supplied armies in Europe.
The Americans were having their victories, most notably at Saratoga, and even their recent losses of the field at Brandywine and Germantown showed great improvement in their battle skills and cost the Red Coats dearly. True the Colonies had lost their largest city and capital, Philadelphia to British occupation, but they had held their ground at the battle at White Marsh repelling the British attack.
But Washington’s army was in want of many things and he needed to keep the occupiers of Philadelphia in check. The needs were simple to state but difficult to procure. Strategically Washington needed to stand his army between Philadelphia and the supplies of the land to the north and west. He needed to be close enough to the enemy to keep an eye on them, but far enough away to prevent a surprise attack or constant harassment, in a place that could be made easily defensible. He also needed a place large enough to accommodate his 12,000 men and over 500 camp followers plus any new recruits that may join them, with ample room for the training his soldiers still desperately needed. He needed to be close to farm supplies for his own troops. He needed to be in reasonable communications with York PA, now the seat of the Continental Congress. After listening to much advice he was persuaded that the area around the small industrial hamlet of Valley Forge would best serve these needs.
However Washington’s greater and more enduring need was to re-form the army itself. For want of such reforms could do more damage to the cause than any opposing army.
The difficulties, privations, and sufferings that took the lives of over 2000 of the men at Valley Forge are frequently and deservedly proclaimed and honored, but the most profound significance of this winter encampment is the transformation of Washington’s army of a here to for force of temporary militia, citizen soldiers to a formidable standing army poised to serve the duration of the war. To do this Washington had to address the chronic problems with supply, discipline, training and organization. All this needed to be done with the approval and support of congress -- an argumentative group not known for their cooperation and support. Congress had wanted a winter campaigned, and Washington gave them one -- Washington and the needs of his army against the indecision and misconceptions of the Continental Congress. The congress formed a Committee on Conference to visit the Valley Forge encampment and meet with Washington and his staff. The committee quickly reported back that things were indeed as dire as Washington had reported and support swung into place for the plans Washington and his staff had drawn up. Now members of congress were working shoulder to shoulder with the staff to implement the reforms. In the end and with the tireless aid of numerous talented men such as General Nathanael Green and Baron Von Steuben the colonial army emerged from Valley Forge a formidable military the likes of which the British had never expected to encounter and soon suffered for greatly at the Battle of Monmouth.
UNIQUE AND RARE
Nature gives each of these a unique design which I have the pleasure to reveal. Because of the source I can only make so many, so they will remain inherently rare. Hold some history in your hand and share it with friends and family.
To help you find items from specific historic sites I have put together these links.
Summerseat - - Home of two signers of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution and the “Financier of the Revolution” - and Washington’s Headquarters, December 1776.
Christ Church Burial Ground -- Final resting place of 5 signers of the Declaration of Independence, including Benjamin Franklin.
George Clymer -- One of only 6 men who signed both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.
Battle of Trenton (1st) - - The amazing first battle of the Ten Crucial Days that turned the revolutionary war back from certain defeat.
Battle of Princeton -- The third battle of the Ten Crucial Days that turned the revolutionary war back from certain defeat. The first recorded land battle of the US Marines.
Mercer Oak -- The famous 300 year old witness tree of the Battle of Princeton.
Thomas Paine -- Known as the “Father of the Revolution” for his writings leading to and during the American Revolution.
Valley Forge -- George Washington’s famous winter encampment where his troops became an Armey, capable of standing against the best Europe had to offer.
William Penn -- Founded the first colony to guarantee the right to a fair trial and freedom of religion - Pennsylvania. Founder and Planer of Philadelphia.
- Listed on Nov 29, 2013
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