George Washington’s words in this letter represent a stirring plea for help at the darkest moment of the American Revolution. As few other documents do, this letter illustrates Valley Forge as an icon of American perseverance and resolve in the face of cruel fortune and overwhelming odds.
On May 12, 1814, Tennessee settler Isaac Stephens wrote to his uncle Henry Mackey in Virginia about the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama. In that battle on March 27, 1814, US Army and Tennessee militia troops under General Andrew Jackson defeated 1000 warriors from the Creek confederation, ending the Creek War of 1812–1814.
This copy of Washington’s orders for the Battle of Trenton, with a map of Trenton drawn on the back, belonged to Henry Knox, chief artillery officer, and was written in his own hand. Also presented here is Knox’s firsthand account of the battle, in a letter written to his wife Lucy on December 28.