General Washington's Aides-de-Camp
At Valley Forge, General Washington was assisted by a staff of seven aides-de-camp. The aides were relatively younger men, who were hard-working, well-educated, and capable of writing large quantities of paperwork. They became an extremely close-knit group whom Washington relied upon implicitly, and were termed his “military family.” Several of the aides later held key positions within the Continental Army and the early government of the United States. Some of their names may be recognized today, while others have virtually been forgotten. Nevertheless, their contributions during a crucial time in American history were significant. Noted historian and editor of the 38 volume “Writings of Washington,” John C. Fitzpatrick, described Washington’s aides-de-camp as “the most remarkable group of young men to be found in the history of the United States.”
Did You Know?
Precision marching was the key to victory on the 18th century battlefield. Inspector General Baron von Steuben made marching the central element of his training program at Valley Forge. By May the army was able to stay in formation while advancing and retreating over all types of ground.