If the winter of 2018 has left you cold and miserable, keep in mind what George Washington and his troops endured at Valley Forge 240 years ago, writes Joseph Stoltz for the Daily Beast.
During the American Revolutionary War, American spirits hit a low point during the harsh winter of 1777-78. With British troops warm, well-fed, and occupying Philadelphia, Washington and his 11,000 troops were encamped in crude log cabins at Valley Forge. They were cold, tired, beaten, hungry, sick, and without adequate food, clothing, and supplies.
Washington did his best to hold his troops together. He tried to secure food and supplies from the surrounding countryside. He met with his officers and asked them not to resign their commissions. He also wrote to Congress pleading for help in the form of aid and supplies.
By the spring of 1778, about one quarter of his troops had died and hundreds more did not reenlist or deserted.
Help did arrive, though, in the form of Prussian military leader Baron von Steuben and Benjamin Franklin, who was busy securing the American alliance with France.
Read more about George Washington at Valley Forge in the Daily Beast here.