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The Darkest Winter of the Revolutionary War and the Plot to Kidnap George Washington

William Hazelgrove

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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Geschichte


In the fall of 1779 George Washington took his 10,000 men into winter camp at Morristown, New Jersey after six long years of fighting. It would be a brutal winter of suffering, depression, starvation, betrayal, mutiny, treason and an attempt to kidnap George Washington by the British. By the spring only 8,000 men would be left in Morristown with less than two thirds fit for service. Books have cemented Valley Forge as one with Omaha Beach, the Death March of Bataan, and Washington crossing the Delaware. But the winter of Valley Forge was mild in comparison to other winters. Temperatures did not plummet to unheard levels and snowfall was normal. And the men were not starving on the scale that would later follow at Morristown. The winter of 1779 to 1780 was the worst in a century and would mark Washington’s darkest hour where he contemplated the army coming apart from lack of food and, money, six years of war, desertions, mutiny, the threat of a devastating attack by the British, and incredibly, a plot to kidnap him. And yet Morristown would mark a turning point. After a long winter of suffering, he was joined by Lafayette in May who promised Washington a second fleet of French support, leading to the final defeat of the British in 1783.

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