The #1 New York Times bestselling authors of The Heart of Everything That Is return with “a thorough, nuanced, and enthralling account” (The Wall Street Journal) about one of the most inspiring—and underappreciated—chapters in American history: the Continental Army’s six-month transformation in Valley Forge.
In December 1777, some 12,000 members of America’s Continental Army stagger into a small Pennsylvania encampment near British-occupied Philadelphia. Their commander in chief, George Washington, is at the lowest ebb of his military career. Yet, somehow, Washington, with a dedicated coterie of advisers, sets out to breathe new life into his military force. Against all odds, they manage to turn a bobtail army of citizen soldiers into a professional fighting force that will change the world forever.
Valley Forge is the story of how that metamorphosis occurred. Bestselling authors Bob Drury and Tom Clavin show us how this miracle was accomplished despite thousands of American soldiers succumbing to disease, starvation, and the elements. At the center of it all is George Washington as he fends off pernicious political conspiracies. The Valley Forge winter is his—and the revolution’s—last chance at redemption. And after six months in the camp, Washington fulfills his destiny, leading the Continental Army to a stunning victory in the Battle of Monmouth Court House.
Valley Forge is the riveting true story of a nascent United States toppling an empire. Using new and rarely seen contemporaneous documents—and drawing on a cast of iconic characters and remarkable moments that capture the innovation and energy that led to the birth of our nation—Drury and Clavin provide a “gripping, panoramic account” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) of the definitive account of this seminal and previously undervalued moment in the battle for American independence.
This gripping, panoramic account of the Continental Army's 1777 1778 winter encampment at Valley Forge charts, in lively language, the decisions that allowed the American Revolution to survive. George Washington's ragtag troops had fled the pursuing Redcoats to Pennsylvania, and the Continental Congress was sheltering in York, Pa., after the British occupied the revolutionary capital, Philadelphia. Vicious budgetary squabbles, corruption, and military rivalries proved almost as dangerous to Washington's army as the British. Judicious excerpts from the diaries of enlisted men and officers elucidating the squalid misery and deprivation at Valley Forge nearly waft off the page. But, Drury and Clavin recount, Washington turned the Revolution around. The battles, politics, and diplomacy that kept Washington's troops from faltering the Battle of the Brandywine and skillful handling of French volunteers are lucidly recounted. There are valuable insights, too, into the strategic thinking of British general William Howe and admiral Richard Howe, the aristocratic brothers charged with putting down the rebellion. As the authors sketch out the dizzying array of obstacles Washington faced, the reader gains an appreciation for the genuinely heroic role he played in the founding of the United States of America.