This Week In Quartermaster History
sooner had General Washingtons bedraggled Continental Army moved into winter
quarters at Valley Forge, a week before Christmas, 1777, than the situation grew steadily
worse. In the days following, several inches of new snow fell, and the nearby Schuylkill
River froze to a depth of six inches. Regimental Quartermasters scoured the countryside
for material to help build "hutts," and foraged for enough food to keep the
animals alive. Still scarcity of most supplies threatened to undermine the patriot effort.
As the new year opened Quartermasters reported stores of blankets, shoes, and clothing virtually exhausted. And onJanuary 2d there were no more animals to slaughter. Up and down company streets the cry was heard, "No meat! No meat!" It would be many days before the crisis passed.
Not from legislation alone was the United States Army Quartermaster Corps born -- but from adversity, such as that experienced during the terrible winter at Valley forge.
Compiled by the
U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps Historian
Fort Lee, Virginia