In 1777- 1778 The Revolutionary War was at it’s peak. George Washington decided to camp at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania with the British and General Howe near by in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But troubles were yet to come because Winter has just begun. If I were at Valley Forge would I have quit or Re- Enlisted. The definition of “Quit” is to not Re- Enlist. Which is what I am not doing. I have decided to Re- Enlist because I’m an American, I’d rather die knowing I did my best to defend my country. Rather die knowing I could have done more, and I’m neede by George Washington.
During the winter of 1777 - 1778 the Patriots were in Valley Forge. Tons of soldiers suffered from disease, starvation, and frostbite. Most of them even died. The conditions were horrible for the soldiers and they were dying out. So would I have quit? I probably would have quit at Valley Forge.
“Poor food, hard lodging, cold weather, fatigue, nasty clothes, nasty cookery, vomit… why are we sent here to starve and freeze?”-Dr. Albigence Waldo “What we know today was not known in late December 1777, victory seemed a long way off; in fact for many, it seemed unlikely.” Had I been a soldier at Valley Forge, would I of given up? If I had the choice, I would have stayed, because of loyalty to our leaders and country, to stay a powerful nation, and for the freedom of me and the people of America.
Through December 1777 to June 1778, George Washington led the Continental Army through winter camp. The Continental Army was an army of Patriot soldiers who fought against Britain. The Patriots hated Britain for their taxes and laws. So they went off to war. There was just one problem, they did not know how bad the conditions were going to be. In the winter, Washington took his troops to Valley Forge, which was 18 miles from Philadelphia. At this time, Valley Forge was a difficult place to live for the Patriots. It was a struggle but if I were a Patriot in Valley Forge fighting for Washington’s Army, I wouldn’t quit. I won’t quit for three big reasons; yes I know there were a lot of sick soldiers but not as much as dying soldiers, another thing is the conditions were horrible, but there were many brave soldiers who stuck with it, and stayed with Washington, lastly I do not want to be a “summer soldier” because freedom is valuable so it is worth fighting for.
In the harsh, dreaded winter at Valley Forge, your enlistment has finally retired. But now there is a decision to be made. Will I stay and be loyal to the Continental Army. Or will I abandon and never look back at the Continental Army. The decision must be made. It would be so easy to leave and not have to deal with all the death. But it also would be hard because my freedom could rely on this decision and the Continental Army needs my help. Therefore, I choose to stay at Valley Forge, for there is a chance for me to not die of sickness because of the medical care, there is also patriotism, and people are willing to fight for our freedom.
I’m standing in the center of our camp at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The British are 20 miles away in Philadelphia. Men surround me, shivering, starving, and covered in their own vomit. I know I do not want to be a part of this madness. The winter of 1777-1778 has been rough enough already. I’ve been here for 8 months, and in 1 more month I can choose to re-enlist, or go home. My decision has already been made. Although George Washington is trying his best, his monotonous words will not be enough to keep me in this graveyard. I refuse to risk my health and in all likelihood die from the sickness and disease going around camp. I refuse to starve, be frigid, live in smolder-filled huts, and remain unclothed and unhealthy. I refuse to die under these circumstances. I am going to leave Valley Forge in one
I did not re-enlist because of brutal conditions, sickness, and very little food. I could not re-enlist because those three factors were essential to surviving a harsh winter during a very hard war. “ The devil is in it,” ( Waldo 151). Valley Forge was a brutal, sick, and starving winter camp. Some soldiers told me at camp that George Washington did not care for his soldiers. Other soldiers did not agree with this claim. Towards the end of camp, I started to believe the claim that our General did not care for us. On the very last days of camp, I had finally made my decision on whether to re-enlist or not. I decided that I was not going to re-enlist. It was not worth re-enlisting if George Washington could not keep his own soldiers alive.
Winter of 1777, Valley Forge was a refuge for many soldiers like me. After retreating from Howe’s army, General Washington along with the half the Continental army had set up base for three months. The small camp with few necessities was 18 miles away from Pennsylvania. The camp was a snow covered area, with small wood lodges that were not ventilated, no meat, low food supply, tattered clothes and shoes, and injuries from walking. Consider being surrounded with all of theses atrocious circumstances, then ask yourself, would you stay at Valley Forge? My decision was not to stay because of the illness and death rate, the harsh weather and living conditions, and major lack of vital supplies.
Would you leave Valley Forge, I wouldn't. People were sick, but still those who left were cowards. There are many reasons to stay, for example, the illness and death chart, it states that only 50% of people became ill. (document A) As an estimate, 3,989 out of 8,000 people were sick in 1778. Only 1,800 died, that is not very many to die of illness. Another reason to stay would be in the essay by Thomas Paine. It calls those who quit “The summer soldier and the sunshine warrior” , this was because they could not handle the winter, they could only last the summer. It also says “Tyranny, like hell,” this is because leaving is like giving up on your country. ( document D) In the diary
The third reason I will re-enlist is that the congress will help. We were talking to the congress maybe about clothes and maybe even food (Powell 149). I don’t know why they want to help now. They didn’t want to earlier. This reason is causing me to re-enlist because we would get more help and maybe even clothes. “We have experienced little less than a famine in camp,” Washington wrote to Patrick Henry the following February.
It’s the winter of 1777 and 1778, George Washington and the Continental Army have set up their winter camp at Valley Forge. It’s freezing, we have little meat, and food is terrible. Men have to sleep on the cold hard ground of their huts, that are full of smoke from the fire. Some no longer have shoes, almost blinded from the smoke, and nasty clothes all because of the freezing winter air (Waldo, 151). Everyday, men are leaving, dying, and getting sick. The question is: Do I re-enlist or do I quit? Do I stay and fight with the army or do I go home to my aging mother and my family that I miss dearly? I am choosing to re-enlist, because the Army needs as much help as possible, things were beginning to get better, and there is George Washington
In the winter of 1777 and 1778, George Washington and thousands of soldiers were in Valley Forge, a winter camp outside of Philadelphia. Where there was disease and terrible living conditions. I would stay because even though soldiers were sick, not a lot were dying, Washington was getting help from the congressional committee, and I would definitely not be a summer soldier, because freedom is actually worth fighting for.
On “Feb. 1, 1778, 3989 people were sick so they are going to leave so more food for us.(Bush 154). If people leave, that mean that we get more food. We also have “huts” to live in.(background). We can be warm instead of freezing in the winter night. We also have chimneys and a fireplace in the huts.(background). We have even more warmth in the huts. We at least survived the winter, the hardest time of the year.(background). The winter is the harshest time of the year and we obviously survived through the winter. This is causing me to re-enlist because there are good conditions in the camp.There are some great conditions at the camp so that is why I am staying.
At Valley Forge I can smell the stench of the nasty cooking and hear the angry soldiers crying out that there is more meat. Members of the Congress didn’t trust in General Washington. There is a soldier that has worn out shoes, his legs are bare and half naked. Soldiers were healthy but started to grow sick. Deciding not to re-enlist is a choice I made because of the lack of trust, living conditions, illness at Valley Forge.
As a photographer, all I crave is to capture the essence of each improbable moment. I take various photos of Canadian soldiers that enrolled into the war and Indian enlistees. But the horrendous experience of having to witness the trenches carves an image into your head, like being drawn on a canvas into your brain but instead of a paintbrush a rigid razor. Not even a photo can embark sufficiently on the trauma of trenches that I have to experience almost everyday. It was a hellhole, for some Passchendaele for others where they mark there ground to the gateway of heaven. The nights are cold and wet, rapid wind sweeps the rain across no mans land. The wind penetrates the polyester fibers through my light army green sweater with preposterous ease and every drop of