Laidley family papers  1838-1886 (bulk 1838-1861)
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In December of 1777, after the Battle of White Marsh (or Edge Hill), the Continental Army, under General George Washington, encamped at Valley Forge, 20 miles north of Philadelphia. The army setup headquarters, defenses, and temporary troop barracks, in what was then commonly referred to as the "Great Valley." They stayed at Valley Forge from December 19, 1777, to June 19, 1778, and suffered a harsh winter, during which the army and the civilians in the area experienced food and clothing shortages. During the long winter, over 4,000 men became sick and as many as 2,000 died from disease and exposure. Because the Continental Congress refused to send more supplies to the camp, the soldiers relied on family and friends (mostly women) to provide nursing care, and to help clean and mend the troops' uniforms. While the Continental Army did not engage the British over the winter, the officers maintained their administrative duties (including disciplinary actions) and the troops practiced drills and battle formations. This orderly book documents their activities from January to February 1778.