Is this really cold? What about Valley Forge?
I often ask myself when I am complaining inwardly about the cold, "Is this really cold? What about Valley Forge?"
I am usually wearing multiple layers of good modern materials designed to keep me warm, decent gloves, solid shoes, a scarf and a hat and coat. Back in the 18th century when the American Colonial Army sheltered in Valley Forge after the Battle of the Brandywine it was cold. Most of the men had threadbare clothing, often no shoes and little or no pay. That was cold, little to keep your spirits up and food was short as well. There was little organization in the army at that time and the whole defence of America almost came to an end. If only the British had realized how bad it was they would have pushed out from Philadelphia and easily ended the revolution.
So, complaining today, even though it has been forecast to be some of the coldest days in the past 9 years is no where near as bad as what the Colonial Army suffered. Which is probably why the site is a National Park, and we honor the men who suffered through those days and their leaders who managed to maintain their morale and keep them in camp when they could have returned home.
Maybe these photos of a previous winter will help you to imagine a little of that and keep your thoughts from becoming too complaining over the next few days. When it snows as heavily as in these photos, lots of people come out to play at the park, cross country skiing, sledding and simply getting out for a walk in the cold brisk weather. Stay safe and enjoy.
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