Revolutionary Experience from the Diary of Albigence Waldo, Surgeon at Valley Forge, 1777

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The Continental Army and revolutionary experience portrayed individuals’ sheer determination and will power under a very difficult unimaginable situation. The ever-vigilant General George Washington and his soldiers, already exhausted from battles, long marches, and persistent scarce supplies, arrived at Valley Forge on the winter of 1777. A severe winter weather that caused an extensive illness and suffering amongst the troops. Considering the area was strategically located; however, the land topography was a challenge for its logistical support to flow. Albigence Waldo, the revolutionary surgeon kept journals of his compelling experience during revolutionary war on this treacherous weather. He described the great hardships endured by the inadequately equipped Continental Army throughout the long winter. Seemingly endless, this war campaign caused tremendous miseries all along. Dozen men were forced to share and cramped at log hut with dirt floors and an improvised cloth rags to serve as doors. Disease was so prevalent and water has to be fetched from Schuylkill River and nearby creeks where the soldiers and their animals have also used for other purposes such as bathing and defecating. As clearly described, the encampment claimed hundreds of soldiers’ lives. The death toll put a blow on their strength and morale. In retrospect, what emerged from this great ordeal was stronger; more disciplined Continental Army the British had ever encountered. An army that had finally undertaken an uncommon but strict training regimen and was now prepared to meet its enemy at all cost. Dr Waldo’s experience was undeniably an account of survival of the fittest; a test of one’s self to survive under the hardest circumstances. It is a misery that happened in Valley Forge, a place where thousands of soldiers endured hunger, disease, and bitter cold. Against all odds they struggled through adversity to fight for what they all strongly believe in and advocating for---their freedom...
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