Burgoyne’s surrender has greater implications. The French, who had been secretlyaiding the Americans, now believe that the colonists could actually win the war againstthe British. As the result, they sign an alliance with the Americans and openly join thefight.
The Winter of 1778 - Valley Forge
Washington and his Continental Army are extremely low of food and supplies. Theynow must fight the elements of nature in order to stay alive at a winter camp at ValleyForge, Pennsylvania.
More than 2,000 American soldiers die, yet not one soldier deserts Washington’sArmy.
Washington describes the conditions in a letter to a friend, this way:
“To see the men without clothes to cover their nakedness, without blanketsto lie upon…without shoes…and submitting without a murmur, is a proof of patience and obedience which in my opinion can scarcely be paralleled.”
Washington gets help from foreign military experts.
Prussian Captain, Friedreich von Steuben arrives in the winter of 1778, to lendhis assistance in training American troops.
From France, the Marquis de Lafayette gives similar help to the new Americans.
With professional military assistance, the Continental Army is transformed into aneffective fighting force.
The British move southward
After Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga, the British begin to shift their operations to theSouth.
December 29, 1778 – The British capture Savannah, GeorgiaMay 1780 – Generals Henry Clinton and Charles Cornwallis capture Charleston,South Carolina.Early 1781 – Cornwallis sets his sights on Virginia.
He leads an army of 7,500 mento Yorktown, where he expects to link up with General Clinton and his men.
The armies of Lafayette and Washington move south towards Yorktown.www.mirwin.weebly.comPage 2 of 3