After the American victory at Saratoga, British General Howe struck back by driving the patriots out of Philadelphia.
On DECEMBER 19, 1777, over 11,000 American soldiers set up camp at Valley Forge, just 25 miles outside Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, another 11,000 Americans were dying on British starving ships.
Soldiers at Valley Forge were from every State in the new union, some as young as 12 and others as old as 60.
Among them were Marquis de Lafayette and John Marshall, the future Chief Justice.
Though most were of European descent, some were African American and American Indian.
Lacking food and supplies, soldiers died at the rate of twelve per day.
Over 2,500 froze to death in bitter cold, or perished from hunger, typhoid, jaundice, dysentery, and pneumonia.
In addition, hundreds of horses perished in the freezing weather.
A Committee from Congress reported on the soldiers:
"Feet and legs froze till they became black, and it was often necessary to amputate them."
Of the wives and children who followed the army, mending clothes, doing laundry and scavenging for food, an estimated 500 died.
Two days before Christmas, George Washington wrote:
"We have this day no less than 2,873 men in camp unfit for duty because they are barefooted and otherwise naked."
Washington wrote "... that unless some great and capital change suddenly takes place ... this Army must inevitably ... starve, dissolve, or disperse, in order to obtain subsistence in the best manner they can."
Hessian Major Carl Leopold Baurmeister noted the only thing that kept the American army from disintegrating was their "spirit of liberty."
That "Spirit of Liberty" must be revived today and taken to D.C. in the spring.,.We must all be ready to make those sacrafices for our liberty and freedom and stand firm in the face of tyranny....
The "Spirit of Liberty" must be revived through prayer, action and money. Without prayer for wisdom, mercy and guidance from God our country will slip further and further into the sodom and Gomorrah activities. Pray day and night. Only God can get us out of this mess.
Yes, it can't be done without prayer..... a quickening of the holy spirit if you will, God help us all......
Thanks Twana. It's good to remind Patriots the cost of that "Spirit of Liberty" the Major was talking about.
that they stayed the course even suffering such adversity for several years to win the goal of our Nations freedoms to start the Republic only to see it degraded to this state of affairs is shameful and a curse to their memories.
Just my opinion