The Encampment at Valley Forge
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Sir William Howe and his troops landed in Chesapeake Bay
General George Washington's Troops in bad shape
German General Baron von Steuben arrives to train Patriots
Sir William wanted to capture Philadelphia, the patriot capital, so he landed about 17,000 of his finest troops at the head of Chesapeake Bay. To oppose them, General George Washington marched his 12,000 troops from New Jersey.
George Washington's troops were in bad shape. Many were freezing, and many did not even have clothes or shoes. They also barely had food, all they ate was "firecake", which was flour and water mixed, they would also occasionally get meat or bread. Many soldiers died from wounds, that could not be treated. Unsanitary and crowded conditions led to diseases and more soldiers to die. Over 2,000 died from disease.
Former General Baron von Steuben arrives in Valley Forge to train the Patriots how to stand in formation, fire guns, and become soldiers. He worked directly with the soldiers, and his presence helped improve the army during the harsh winter and they also became a more efficient and effective army that could fight the British, because of him. On June 19, 1778, the Continental Army left Valley Forge in pursuit of the British who were moving north to New York.
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