National Geographic : 1963 Nov
Visitors to Valley Forge stroll in sun where barefoot soldiers limped in snow ERE in the bitter December of 1777, George Washington bivouacked 11,000 soldiers exhausted and discouraged by British victories. "Their Marches," the general wrote, "might be traced by the Blood from their feet...." Lashed by icy winds, the troops built log shelters and began a struggle for survival. By March, cold, hunger, disease, and desertion had left only 4,000 able troops. But in June a toughened, augmented Continental Army broke camp and took the offensive. Cannon and four-pound balls stand near a reconstructed blacksmith shop in Pennsylvania's Valley Forge State Park.