Valley Forge served as a 1777-78 encampment for General Washington's Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. After the Battle of White Marsh in December of 1777, Washington's troops moved out to find a camp for the winter, ending up in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The winter was brutal, killing over 2,500 soldiers from starvation, disease, and exposure before they moved out in February in 1778. While they were there, however, the Continental Army built living quarters for the soldiers and their families, training camps, and more now preserved at Valley Forge National Historical Park.
The park remembers the harsh conditions, the trials, and the perseverance of the soldiers and their families. Educating visitors daily, Valley Forge National Historical Park maintains restored and reconstructed buildings including a Visitor Center featuring exhibits and introductory films, Washington's Headquarters in an old colonial house, and the reconstructed log cabins in which the soldiers slept. There are also memorials to the soldiers and their brave leader, General Washington, including the functioning Episcopal Washington Memorial Chapel, World of Scouting Museum, and National Memorial Arch dedicated to the soldiers. On the arch is the inscription from George Washington, "Naked and Starving as they are we cannot enough admire the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery."
Visit the park and tour with a ranger for more in depth information or go on a self-guided tour through the trails and sites of history. You can even enjoy kayaking or canoeing, as well as horseback riding and picnicking within the park. Younger children may enjoy hands-on learning activities with costumed character guides and the knowledgeable rangers.