Day 4, Dec. 16, 1777 — Tents arrive and British soldiers captured at Gulph Mills

Sheilah Vance

General Washington leads his soldiers through the snow (19th century engraving)

On a cold and rainy December 16, 1777, the 11,000 soldiers in George Washington’s Continental Army at Gulph Mills and Rebel Hill had one solace — tents had arrived.  They had been exposed to the snow and cold since the army arrived at the Gulph on December 12, and they had sought shelter under the rocks and trees of Rebel Hill and Gulph Mills.  Food was still scarce because a food caravan headed towards them was delayed.

Once the tents arrived, General Washington’s orders for the day were short and sweet:

“GENERAL ORDERS Head. Quarters, at the Gulph, December 16, 1777.

Parole — . Countersigns — .

The tents are to be carried to the encampment of the troops, and pitched immediately.”

The day was not just one of pitching tents and trying to find comfort for some soldiers.  Apparently, a group…

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