October 6, 2010 – Washington Crossing / Fort Mifflin / Valley Forge
Can you say “Anachronism” ? Don’t worry about it if you can’t, but in case you don’t know the term, this is a prime example. The setting is Fort Mifflin November 10 – 15, 1777 the fort is under attack from the British by land and by sea. The soldiers in this fort held the British Navy and supply ships back from the Delaware, allowing Washington and his troops to draw back to safety in preparation for the next battle. While this is all happening, Delta Airlines flies overhead transporting travelers to Philadelphia International Airport on the south end of the fort. We also drove up to Washington Crossing Historical site in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania. We skipped all the sites at the park and headed straight for the restrooms as it had been quite a drive to get there. In typical New England Fashion, the bathrooms are only open 10 – 4 on Saturdays and Sunday when the park officers are on site. Since the town did not have any place to go, not even a coffee shop, we looked at the river a couple buildings and a descriptive plaque and headed full steam for Philadelphia where we found a Dennys, good coffee and needless to say the ever coveted restroom. Oh, what a relief it is!
After leaving Denny’s, Fort Mifflin, and Washington Crossing in our rear view mirror, it was our duty to terrorize Valley Forge, (Well Sarah’s duty anyway, she can’t help it, she is ten.) Valley Forge is a cool place, they have working wood / mud huts to see, an interpretive center, an old rock train station, and of course the home used by George Washington for his headquarters during the winter stay at the fort. Here he did the planning over winter, and recruiting in the spring for the 1778 campaign. So we saw three important sites in the Revolutionary war today, all worth going to. We thought Fort Mifflin was the most fun to visit, but though we saw little we thought it was important to stand on the banks of the Delaware where Washington and his men made the historic crossing. It was interesting to see Valley Forge where all the troops wintered over and 2,000 were lost to disease, many more left as their commitments expired. George Washington, in spite of this, is able to build a bigger and stronger army than what existed before under the training and Leadership of Fredrick Von Steuben. Another interesting note, is Washington’s courage was not all he had, but he had generosity, and always took the high road. Neither Von Steuben nor Washington took money for their services, they only required fees for supplies, and Washington made sure that when they stayed on the property at Valley Forge, the property owner was compensated for the normal rent of the day. Washington also ordered that captured soldiers were treated with kindness as humans. He gained the trust of the Haitian soldiers. The captured Haitian soldiers were so taken with Washington, that 23% settled here permanently, many more went home and got their families. My conclusion is Washinton was a stand up guy who believed in his God, the cause of the colonies, and freedom of man kind, and deserves all the respect that this nation has bestowed upon him, before the educational ideas changed in the 1920s. Many pictures we have show his commitment to God and Man.
You can find these in the dirt around the Philly airport
An Armada trying to stop Washington’s Army. Nothing Fort Mifflin could not handle
We know what they ate at Valley Forge
One needs some type of spirit to survive.