Eighteen months after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Continental Army was on the ropes and the American Revolution was on the verge of being snuffed out. Battered, demoralized, and half-naked, 12,000 American troops marched into a small, poorly supplied encampment in British-occupied Pennsylvania to hunker down for the winter. They called the encampment Valley Forge.
Despite the terrible conditions and circumstances there, something happened at Valley Forge that would change the tide of the Revolutionary War, and the entire course of history.
My guest today is a co-author of a new book, entitled Valley Forge, about this historic crucible. His name is Bob Drury, and I last had him on the show to discuss his stellar book Lucky 666. Today he explains the dire obstacles General George Washington and the Continental Army were up against at the time of Valley Forge, from coming off a string of strategic defeats to weathering political infighting. He then offers a vivid description of the squalor soldiers lived in at Valley Forge, as well as a rundown of the common myths people have about this historical episode. We end our conversation discussing how the situation at Valley Forge got turned around, and why the men who survived this crucible ended up stronger because of it.
This show will give you some fresh insights and new appreciation for this pivotal event in American history.
- What was going on in the Revolutionary War that set the stage for Valley Forge
- Why were the American soldiers reeling at the end of 1777?
- The roar to get rid of Washington after a string of defeats
- The sad state of the soldiers as they went into the winter of 1777
- Some myths of the Valley Forge story
- The epic story of the Frenchman Lafayette
- How Washington dealt with the stinging defeats — both mentally/emotionally and tactically
- How the incomparable Baron von Steuben came to train the soldiers at Valley Forge
- The great improvement of the Continental Army and the ending of the Valley Forge saga
- How the soldiers’ experience at Valley Forge turned the tide of the war
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- My first episode with with Bob about his book Lucky 666
- Lafayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell
- American Honor — Creating the Nation’s Ideals During the Revolution
- Battle of Trenton
- Battle of Paoli
- The Self-Education of George Washington
- Marquis de Lafayette
- Washington praying at Valley Forge
- Baron von Steuben
Connect With Bob
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
Recorded on ClearCast.io
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The post Podcast #469: How Valley Forge Turned the Tide of the Revolutionary War appeared first on The Art of Manliness.