According to The Revolutionary War Archives, “General Washington was a very strategic general. He chose Morristown for his winter encampment for several reasons.
“Washington knew he would have enough time to defend an attack on The Hudson Highlands or Philadelphia. In addition, the Watchung Mountains and swamplands provided additional protection from the British.”
The Jockey Hollow Encampment, in Morristown, NJ, was home to 12,000 soldiers from the Pennsylvania Brigade during the winter of 1779-1780.
The encampment sight proved to be strategically designed as well.
An article, written by Donald Moran, for the Sons of the American Revolution Journal, described the precise formation of Jockey Hollow encampment.
“The enlisted huts each housed 12 men and were laid out in rows of 8 and were 3-4 rows deep,” explained Moran.
He continued to add, “The officer’s huts were a bit larger and housed 1-4 officers, depending on their specific rank.”
“Washington set up his residence at the Ford Mansion, about 5 miles away from his troops.
The Commander-in-Chief’s Guards set up their camp about 75 yards from the Ford Mansion,” stated Moran.
Even dispersing the animals to ensure enough food, showed General Washington’s strategic and thoughtful planning.
Perhaps it was that strategic planning that proved the Jockey Hollow Encampment to be a successful resting stop for the winter.
According to Skylands.com, “Men lived on small portions of food and basically slept on the ground with perhaps a bit of straw underneath them. The winter was fierce and claimed the lives of about 100 solders.”
Following the brutal winter, The Pennsylvania Brigade left Jockey Hollow and headed towards Yorktown, Pennsylvania.
Skylands.com stated, “It was at the battle of Yorktown, where the Continental Army gained final advantage in the war.”
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