June 15, 2008

Valley Forge National Historical Park, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Today we headed to Valley Forge National Historical Park which preserves the site and interprets the history of the Valley Forge encampment.
General George Washington led the main body of the Continental Army of approximately 12,000 which encamped here at Valley Forge from December 1777 to June 1778.
Cabins have been constructed to demonstrate the conditions under which the soldiers endured the winter at Valley Forge.
Interpreters are dressed in the garb of the day and display items used by the troops to survive the winter.
The National Memorial Arch is inscribed with Washington's tribute to his army:
"Naked and Starving as they are
We cannot enough admire
the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity
of the Soldiery."
General Knox' Quarters during the encampment is in the process of rehabilitation in preparation for future use.
The Knox Covered Bridge was built over Valley Creek in 1865. It is still used by over 2,000 vehicles per day and has a height clearance of only 10 feet.

General George Washington's headquarters during the encampment is open to the public. George's wife, Martha, lived with him here during the later months of the encampment.

Incredibly, George Washington's Headquarters wasn't declared a National Historic Landmark until 1972.

The house's interior contains many actual and recreated artifacts of the revolutionary period.

Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben served as inspector general of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

He is credited with teaching the army the essentials of military drills and discipline and wrote the standard United States drill manual which was used until the War of 1812.

The Washington Memorial Chapel was completed in 1917 and serves as a National Memorial to General Washington, as well as being an active Episcopal Parish.

The church features The National Patriots Bell Tower with its carillon of 58 tuned bronze bells, representing all states and U.S. territories.

Listen to the music of The National Patriots Bell Tower in the first portion of this video.
The entry hall to the church.
The interior of the church.

The ceiling of the church.

The church is surrounded by gardens and statues and also features its own thrift store.
To be continued...

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