When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few.
December 1, 1779 2nd Encampment at Morristown
While much in made of the harsh conditions at Valley Forge, the winter of 1779 was the harshest in the war. “A long and severe storm dumps feet of snow on the winter camp, and large snowdrifts on the roads prevents supplies of food entering camp. At one time it snowed the greater part of four days successively, and there fell nearly as many feet deep of snow, and here was the keystone of the arch of starvation. We were absolutely, literally starved. I do solemnly declare that I did not put a single morsel of victuals into my mouth for four days and as many nights, except a little black birch bark which I gnawed off a stick of wood, if that can be called victuals. I saw several of the men roast their old shoes and eat them, and I was afterwards informed by one of the officer’s waiters that some of the officers killed and ate a favorite little dog that belonged to them. If this was not “suffering,” I request to be informed what can pass under that name.” — Private Joseph Plumb Martin