THIS IS AN ESSAY ARGUING WHY SOLDIERS AT VALLEY FORGE SHOULD HAVE STOPPED FIGHTING. THIS ESSAY DESCRIBES THE HARDSHIPS AND SHOWS THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE WAR. HOMEWORKPLEASE IS NOT TRYING TO MAKE YOU AGREE WITH US. THIS WAS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.
Valley Forge: Would You Have Quit? (Yes)
Sick soldiers, small huts, poor ventilation, and vomiting. These are only some of the poor conditions at the American Revolution winter camp known as Valley Forge. The harsh environment that Valley Forge provided caused many soldiers to quit. If I were a soldier at Valley Forge, I also would have quit because of the rapid increase of deaths, the severe atmosphere, and the doubt of whether or not it was worth staying.
Death was definitely a problem at Valley Forge. For example, in February of 1778, there were eight thousand soldiers at Valley Forge (Doc A). Out of those eight thousand soldiers, half of them were sick. In fact, the low estimate of American soldiers who died was 1,800 soldiers (Doc A). This shows how difficult it was to survive at Valley Forge. One doctor, named Dr. Albigence Waldo, wrote journal entries about his experience there. He describes how sick the soldiers and he is, stating that he “vomits half his time” (Doc C). By reading Waldo’s entries, it can be concluded that some of the deaths were because of the poor living conditions.
The living conditions at Valley Forge were far from being ideal. Soldiers slept in log huts with no windows and extremely poor ventilation (BE). Dr. Waldo wrote, “my skin and eyes are almost spoiled with continual smoke” (Doc C). He also mentions how the food is poor, the weather’s cold, the clothes and cookery are nasty, and he feels exhausted (Doc C). Based on this description, it would seem wise to quit. George Washington, the man who led the Continental Army, realized this. In fact, soldiers would cry through the camp “No meat! No meat!” That is why Washington presented the army to the Congressional Committee to show them that they need better food, training, and living conditions (Doc B). However, at this time, some soldiers doubted Washington’s leadership. The total uncertainty of staying at Valley Forge also would have encouraged soldiers to quit.
“…the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph”-Thomas Paine (Doc D). This quote, written by the author Thomas Paine, was what George Washington read to his soldiers. It was to boost the soldier’s morale, but did it really work. Paine obviously hinted that the war would be difficult, which was a great reason to quit. Also, Dr. Waldo himself couldn’t handle the conditions and was having trouble taking care of himself, when he’s supposed to be taking care of other people too (Doc C). He also says that men had no shoes and no meat, which hints that it would not be reasonable to stay. Finally, with so many deaths and harsh living conditions, it just wouldn’t be worth staying.
Death, poor living conditions, and uncertainty sum up the main cons of staying at Valley Forge. However, quitting because of these reasons doesn’t necessarily make one “unpatriotic.” These reasons simply answer the question: If you were at Valley Forge, would you have quit?