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National Memorial Arch stop on the auto tour. The arch was built in 1914 and was styled after a Roman arch.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

Valley Forge National Historical Park

1400 North Outer Line Drive King of Prussia, PA 19406
Park = 7-dusk. Visitor center hours vary by season - usually 9-5.
610-783-1099 1 day
July 2012 Summer, Fall, Spring
$0-9 King of Prussia Pennsylvania
Website Historical Historic Sites
First review
 
Valley Forge National Historical Park is a 3,500 acre park located about 30 minutes by car from Philadelphia. The site was the winter camp of the US Army during the Revolutionary War in 1777-1778. While Valley Forge is known for privation, it also marked the US Army’s transition into a more competent force.

In 1777 the British seized the US capital of Philadelphia. To keep an eye on them and block further advances, General Washington located his camp in Valley Forge, which was far enough from the British to avoid a surprise attack and had defensible high ground. In the Revolutionary War, active campaigning generally ceased in the winter due to lack of supplies and poor conditions. US forces built simple but adequate log huts for most soldiers. Washington and his staff occupied local homes. Contrary to legend it was not bitter cold that caused much suffering for soldiers but want of provisions and diseases. Thousands of Americans died or deserted. However, thanks to personal military training from a Prussian military officer, the US army became more effective.

Visiting Valley Forge was highly informative. The combination of two museums, an orientation film, a ranger demonstration of camp gear and weapons and insightful signage throughout imparted a rich perspective. To see the park well and at a relaxed pace, consider spending a day. If you have less time, visit the main museum to get oriented, take the auto tour and check out the Washington Headquarters area, which includes a great small museum, historical homes and huts. If you enjoy history or military affairs, this park is an excellent choice. One item to note is that in the past Valley Forge was home to industrial and mining plants and parts of the park are off limits to due to contamination.
Author:
guyonthego
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