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.”

Below are profiles of some of the aides-de-camp that served during the Valley Forge encampment.

Tench Tilghman

Lt Col. John Laurens

Dr. James McHenry

Lt Col. Richard Kidder Meade

Lt Col. John Fitzgerald

Lt Col. Robert Hanson Harrison

Lt Col. Alexander Hamilton

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