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Outer Line Defenses

Protecting the Encampment


Outer Line Defenses

Part of the Outer Line Defenses at Valley Forge

Photograph © 2008 Patricia A. Hickman

Arriving at Valley Forge on December 19, 1777, the Continental Army began making preparations for winter quarters. Though displeased by their recent defeats at Brandywine and Germantown, contrary to popular belief the army was not in low spirits when they marched into the area. Among the first tasks undertaken by the men was the construction of defensive works to protect the encampment. Facing south and southeast, the Outer Line Defenses were meant repel a British attack from Philadelphia. Consisting of earthworks and redoubts, these fortifications took advantage of Valley Forge's high terrain. As a contingency, a second line, the Inner Line Defenses, were built along the base of Mount Joy in the western section of the encampment.

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