One of the cool things about heading out East is the amount of history that is compressed in a relatively narrow area. After Brandywine, we decided to head over to Valley Forge. I'd never been to Brandywine before and it has been about 30 years since I've been to Valley Forge. I didn't expect the park to look all that different but still.
Pretty much every American is aware of what happened at Valley Forge. 1777 was not a particularly good year to the American cause. The Continental Army was pretty much on the run and needed a rest in order to regroup, rearm and re-equip. The winter of 1777 provided that opportunity and Valley Forge provided the spot.
Valley Forge was named for an iron forge on Valley Creek and provided an easily defendible spot for the Continental Army. It was positioned well to prevent further British raids on the interior of Pennsylvania but close enough to Philadelphia that they could keep on eye on the British Army. It was still far enough out that there wouldn't be any surprise attacks.
The area itself was higher than the surrounding area and provided good visibility while itself was bordered by a River and a pair of mountains, giving the British only one way into the camp.
Valley Forge became a Pennsylvania State Park in 1893 and was later turned into a Federal Park in 1976. In June of 1778, the American Army received word that the British were pulling out of Philadelphia and this caused the American Army to vacate Valley Forge but the time there provided the training to improve its chances in the War.
The Revolutionary War would end in 1783 with an American victory. As a result, we still spoke English but weren't a British Colony anymore.