American Military History Through Stamps (1775-1913)

Winter Camp at Valley Forge

refer to caption
The 31-cent Washington Reviewing Army at Valley Forge souvenir sheet of five stamps was issued May 29, 1976.
refer to caption
The 2-cent Valley Forge stamp was issued May 26, 1928.

Naked and starving as they are
We cannot enough admire
The incomparable Patience and Fidelity
of the Soldiery

-George Washington at Valley Forge

From a strategic standpoint, Valley Forge was a good choice for Washington’s 1777-78 winter quarters because it was far enough from the British to halt the threat of surprise attacks but close enough to keep the British raiding and foraging parties out of the interior of Pennsylvania. Practically, however, the army was plagued by continuous shortages. Clothing was woefully insufficient, the army was ravaged by sickness and disease, and Congress was unable to provide relief. Amid such trying conditions Washington was purported to have sought strength in prayer. The army marched away from Valley Forge in pursuit of the British on June 19, 1778, when they received news that the British were leaving Philadelphia

The souvenir sheet was issued in 1976 and portrays an 1883 painting by William Trego entitled The March to Valley Forge.

The 2-cent stamp commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Continental Army’s encampment at Valley Forge. Issued on May 26, 1928, the stamp depicts, as legend has it, Washington kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge.