Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
History Quarterly Digital Archives

Source: October 1938 Volume 1 Number 5, Pages 2–6

Itinerary to the Valley Forge Encampment Officer's Quarters

Franklin L. Burns

Page 2

Itinerary map - officer's quarters Valley Forge encampment - April 11, 1937. (by S. Paul Teamer)

Page 3

1. Starting from the Tredyffrin-Easttown High School turn north on Cassatt Road, turn right on first crossroad (State Road) follow Trout Run from source at Neilley's down through ravine, over grade crossing Trenton cutoff, house to left Brig. Gen. Scott's quarters. #1 on map.

"Then home of Samuel Jones, now of Paul Freer. Gen. Charles Scott commanded brigade composed of Virginia and Pennsylvania troops to right of Wayne, outer line."

2. Turn left on Contention Lane, house on right near Chester Valley R. R. bridge, Brig. Gen. Woodford's quarters. #2 on map. (Then home of John Jones, now of Wm. McCullum. Gen. Wm. Woodford commanded brigade of Virginia troops to the right of Scott, outer line.)

3. Turn left on Swedesford Road to entrance to Chesterbrook farm, turn down long lane at right, to group of farm buildings, farm house Gen. Bradford's and later, Maj. Gen. Lee's quarters. #3 on map. (Then home of David Harvard, now estate of the late Col. Edward Cassatt. Gen. Thomas Bradford said by one authority to be Muster Master General, by another Commissary officer of prisoners. Major Gen. Chas. Lee, cynic, erratic, perfidious; ranked senior of all the major generals, but after Monmouth was dismissed from the army.)

4. Continue along drive, left turn, up the Valley Creek right turn past Mrs. Laird's mansion and out on public road (Parson Curries road) turn right, and northward to Yellow Springs Road, on which turn right and proceed eastward, Maj. Gen. Sterling's quarters on left, opposite farm buildings on the right. #4 on map. (Then home of Rev. Dr. William Currie and his son-in-law, Thomas Walker, then house being adapted for two families, now the property of Robert C. Ligget. Lord Sterling, a veteran of the French and Indian War, had married a daughter of Philip Livingston of New York and she had joined him here. Sterling had renounced his claims to a Scotch peerage, and commanded a division composed of Conway's Pennsylvania brigade and Duportail's Engineers, and a wing of the army.) Under the direction of Boyle Irwin many of the features of the Revolutionary period were retained in the restoration of this house.

5. Continue on Yellow Springs Road to west border of Senator Knox's estate, turn right on Wilson Road, cross Creek Bridge, Maj. Gen. Lafayette's quarters on the right. #5 on map. (Then home of Samuel Harvard, now of Harry Wilson. Marquis de Lafayette and his staff occupied two rooms, but not constantly.)

6. Continue on the Berwyn or Wilson Road to top of rise, turn left on private land. Brig. Gen. Dupontail's quarters on left. #6 on map. (Then home of John Harvard, now Pennsylvania University Farm. Count Louis Chevalier Duportail was in command of the Engineers on the west side of the Valley Creek near its mouth.) The original house is said to have been built in 1740, is represented on the lower floor by the dining room made by removing the partition between the old parlor and kitchen, and the bedrooms above. This is the house known to Duportail. The present house exhibits three distinct periods of early architecture.

7. Continue eastward on the private land to Baptist Road, turn left and continue to junction or dead end of the Yellow Springs road on which turn left. Brig. Gen. Knox's quarters farm house to left near creek. #7 on map. (Then home of Samuel Brown, now of late Senator Knox. Gen. Henry Knox was of Boston, commanded the artillery, and no relation to Senator Knox. His wife joined him here during the encampment.)

8. Turn right at east end of covered bridge, follow Creek Road, turn left and go over concrete bridge, Valley Forge, On west side of creek, left side of Nutt. Road, between private drive and P.O.S. of A. hall, marked by a corner column of ivy encrusted ivy masonry, supposed to have been Brig. Gen. McIntosh's quarters.

Page 4

8. (cont'd) #8 on map. (Then home of Joseph Mann (colored), now Riddle estate. Gen. Lachlan McIntosh commanded a brigade of nine skeleton regiments of North Carolina, situated on the northern slope of the rear hill, above the general headquarters. He succeeded Brig. Gen. Nash who was killed at Germantown.)

9. Continue west on Nutt Road to a short distance above the Valley Forge Methodist Church, turn to left one square to Irish Road, on which turn left one square and park. Maj. Gen. Von Steuben's quarters three minutes walk up hill to Colonial Springs. Two story-house detached, rear of high brick house. #9 on map. (Then Slab Side Tavern, now belonging to the Chas. E. Hires Company, Gen. Von Steuben was appointed Inspector General of the Continental Army.)

10. Turn left on road leading down to the Methodist Church, turn right on Nutt Rd., cross concrete bridge, turn left, one square on right Gen. Washington's headquarters. #10 on map. (Then the home of Isaac Potts, now belonging to State Park. Mrs. Washington joined the Commander-in-Chief during the encampment.)

11. Continue eastward on the Park Drive to the Bridgeport Road and cross Washington Lane or Camp Road, on the right Brig. Gen. Varnum's quarters. #11 on map. (Then home of David Stephens, now property of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Gen. Jas. M. Varnum commanded the Rhode Island brigade near the Scar redoubt.)

12. The left side between the Gatehouse and Memorial Church, site of the officers' huts, here quartered Brig. Gens. McDougall, Conway, Furman, and for a time Maj. Gen. Von Steuben. #12 on map. (Then land of David Stephens, now property of the Episcopal Church. Washington wrote to Richard Henry Lee:

"General Conway's merits as an officer, and his importance in this army, exist more in his own imagination than in reality.")

13. Beyond the Memorial Church, to the right, a lane leads down to Huntingdon's quarters. #13 on map. (Then home of Maurice Stephen, now property of State Park. Brig. Gen. Jed Huntingdon commanded the Connecticut brigade, inner line. The original building was demolished in 1812, the only original structure is part of the springhouse.)

14. Continue on the Bridgeport Road through Port Kennedy, pass the Presbyterian Church to first road to the right. Follow same to just above Trout Run, house well in on left Brig. Gen. Muhlenberg's quarters. #14 on map. (Then home of John Moore, now of Alexander Irwin. Gen. Peter Muhlenberg was an Episcopal rector who decided that now was the time to fight; he commanded a brigade of Virginia troops on the Extreme left of the outer line.)

Editor's Note: "Muhlenberg" is spelled in different ways by different authors; when searching, one should also look for the correct "Muhlenberg" spelling as well as variations like "Muhlenburg." Perhaps surprisingly, in Vol. 1, No. 2, p. 8, the name representation on an inner wall of the Memorial Arch at Valley Forge Park, Brig. Gen. Muhlenberg was reported, incorrectly, as Muhlenburg.

15. Continue on same road to Gulf Road, turn right on King of Prussia Road, cross bridge over run, on left Colonel Morgan's and Commissary General's quarters. #15 on map. (Then home of Mordecai Moore, now of Frank Croft. Col. Daniel Morgan was here only part of the time, since he commanded an out-post in Radnor Township. His troops were backwoodsmen from Virginia and Pennsylvania. He did not become a brigadier until 1780.)

16. Continue north on the King of Prussia Road to top of rise, turn left to Park Drive and left at Memorial Arch on Gulf Road to bridge over run. On the left facing run site Brig. Gen. Weedon's and Maj. Gen. DeKalb's quarters. #16 on map. (Then home of Abijah Stephens, now of John R. K. Scott "East Watch." Original house stood nearer the creek. Dubuyson, a French officer, occupied a cave in present yard. Gen. George Weedon resigned from the Continental Army when Congress promoted inferior officers over his head. He commanded a brigade composed of Virginia and Pennsylvania troops. Baron DeKalb commanded a division composed of Patterson's and Learned's Massachusetts brigades and was killed in the battle of Camden.)

17. Next turn from Gulf Road right on Richard Road, house on rise to left, "Mifflin House," site of Maj. Gen. Sullivan's quarters. #17 on map. (Then home of Thomas Waters, now property of John R. K. Scott. Original house stood nearer the creek. Gen. John Sullivan commanded Maxwell's New Jersey and McIntosh's North Carolina brigades and a wing of the army.)

18. Continue on Richard Road west to dead end, turn left on Thomas Road and at bridge over run, on right, across meadow, Brig. Gen. Potter's quarters.

Page 5

18. (cont'd) #18 on map. (Then home of Jacob Walker, now part of Brookmead Farm, Gen. James Potter commanded a brigade of Pennsylvania militia, and was stationed part of the time near the old Newtown Square.)

19. Brig. Gen. Poor's quarters near the road on right. #19 on map. (Then the home of Benjamin Jones, now of Nathan Walker. Gen. Enoch Poor commanded a brigade made up of New Hampshire and New York troops to the left of Wayne's Division, outer line.

20. Proceed and turn, right at dead end and westward on Walker Road over run bridge, to right Brig. Gen. Pulaski's quarters. #20 on map. (Then home of Margaret Beaver, now of Frank Thompson, Gen. Pulaski was a Pole in command of a foreign legion. He died in the assault on Savannah.

"Liberty shrieked when Pulaski fell."

At the above place Devault Beaver shot the soldier milking his cow.)

1. On the left Brig. Gen. Wayne's quarters #21 on map. (Then the home of Joseph Walker, now the property of Wm. M. Anderson, Gen. Anthony Wayne commanded a division of Pennsylvania troops on the outer line. His command was seldom stationary, since he made raids in New Jersey and elsewhere, bringing in beef on the hoof.

22. Will follow #23.

23. Continue on road to dead end on Baptist Road, turn left and south to Swedesford Road, turn left at New Centerville, to old Eagle or West Valley Road, turn left and go to Valley Friend's meeting. Maj. Gen. Green's quarters #23 on map-- down lane on left at New Centerville past the graveyard. (Then home of Isaac Walker, "Rehebeth," now of Charles Walker. House remodeled in which part of the original is incorporated. Gen. Nathaniel Green commanded Muhlenberg's and Weedon's brigades of Virginia troops, also the center or reserve of the Army. As a commander, he ranked in history only second to Washington. His wife resided here during the encampment.)

22. Northward on a line with Old Eagle Road, some distance in from the road, approach by lane, opposite the gable end of a barn; can be seen, the site of Maj. Gen. Thomas Mifflin's quarters #22 on map. (Then home of Thomas Godfrey, tenant, Thomas Waters, owner. The confusion and derangement of the Quartermaster's Dept. while filled by Gen. Thomas Mifflin was the source of perpetual embarrassment to Washington. That officer, however capable of doing his duty, was hardly ever at hand. His resignation, and the appointment of Gen. Nathaniel Green to fill the office, was to the great satisfaction of the army.)

Mileage - about 24; actual time, not including long stops - about 3 hours.

Special features - Except the officers huts, all quarters, as far as known were in stout stone-walled houses, and the majority where the "Thee and thou" of the Quaker were spoken.

Seven of the quarters overlook the East Valley Creek, twelve overlook the Trout Run. At least three are outside the line of sentinels, Scott, Woodford, and Muhlenberg.

Other remarkable features are the wide extent of the actual encampment, yet capable of being concentrated in all its strength of a chain of almost impregnable positions; the wonderful system of outposts, taking advantage of natural positions of defense; the realisation that here was not a camp in which the army lay idle but one that was intensely active in training for the actual contest. History books written by New Englanders have led us to believe that Pennsylvania was altogether lax in raising troops, but here we see Pennsylvanians actually filling up the depleted brigades of Virginia, while maintain three prime brigades of their own, besides cavalry and artillery. Pennsylvania militia became increasingly numerous and well-drilled under Potter, Reed, Lacy, Armstrong, and others.

Itinerary manuscript - Franklin L. Burns
Itinerary map - S. Paul Teamer

Page 6

Lafayette Quarters Valley Forge encampment 1777-78, today 1938 - Wilson property on Wilson Road at River Dee


Page last updated: 2012-03-30 at 14:24 EST
Copyright © 2006-2012 Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society. All rights reserved.
Permission is given to make copies for personal use only.
All other uses require written permission of the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society.