The Valley Forge battle, as described in the NCO 1700, was a turning point in American history. Despite the challenging circumstances, Valley Forge is occasionally said to as the origin of the American military since the worn-out soldiers emerged with renewed energy and self-assurance as a skilled fighting power. The combat army in Valley Forge faced several difficulties even though Washington’s leadership helped to create an organized and unified force. The soldiers’ morale and professionalism would reach an all-time low due to the logistical challenges, which included unsuitable winter clothes and a food deficit. Poor supply-acquiring practices and diseases and sickness are the critical problems analyzed in this paper.
Valley Forge housed the Continental Army’s winter headquarters from 1777 to 1778 under the leadership of General George Washington. The damaged and defeated Continental Army proceeded northward through the snow-covered terrain in pursuit of a campsite during the winter of 1700 (Chandler, 2022). To keep watch over the city, General Washington picked Valley Forge, situated a few kilometers from Philadelphia. Based on a survey of the campgrounds, troops were residing in cramped, damp conditions without a conventional tent layout or sanitary procedures. Whenever an animal died, its flesh was taken out, and the carcass was left to decay where it lay. Furthermore, soldiers relieved themselves wherever they pleased, and sickness and disease decimated the Army.
Persistent acquisition concerns result in long-term challenges that significantly impact a group’s day-to-day operations. The mechanism through which Washington and his troops procured necessities like food and clothing was inadequate. Some of the men were without shoes, which caused severe damage to their feet (Starr, 2018). Additionally, there was a shortage of winter clothing and blankets, leading to the listing of nearly 4,000 soldiers as incapable of service (Chandler, 2022). By the conclusion of the winter, many Soldiers had died from illnesses and ailments. Poor hygiene in the encampment facilitated the spread of infections that caused the soldiers to defect. Therefore, the Army became weaker as a result of the disease-related deaths of soldiers and desertions.
It would have been very admirable at that time if General Washington had asked the American citizens and Congress for assistance in understanding the predicament of his soldiers. While asking for assistance is not a show of vulnerability, it does indicate that the leader cannot solely drive the decision-making cycle. Exceptional leaders also possess the mental toughness to face challenges head-on and overcome obstacles (Chandler, 2022). It would have been easier to organize and manage personnel, supplies, and various resources for the Revolutionary soldiers to deal with the issues they encountered at Valley Forge if they had hired a competent leader in maintenance functions. These proposed solutions would help General Washington control the challenges his troops underwent in the valley.
After implementing the suggested remedy, the Army would engage the public and Congress in many ways. The troops would strive to establish and preserve moral relationships with the people of America through the relationship-building strategy. Furthermore, these connections would have many positive effects and help the soldiers accomplish their professional objectives. General Washington would therefore find it easy to require steady supplies from the public. The strategies of legitimate requests and collaboration with Congress would greatly benefit Washington’s troops. This intervention would enable Congress to supply the Army with essential commodities such as foodstuffs and medicine to control the outbreak of sickness and diseases. Moreover, it is through Congress that the soldiers could earn better wages to sustain their families survival.
Chandler, J. (2022). The continental army and ‘military Europe’: Professionalism and restraint in the American war of independence. War in History, 29(2), 323-340.
Starr, K. (2018). Continental achievement: Roman Catholics in the United States. San Francisco, Ignatius Press.