Valley Forge: A Play in Three Acts

Valley Forge: A Play in Three Acts

Valley Forge: A Play in Three Acts

Valley Forge: A Play in Three Acts

Excerpt

SCENE ONE

SCENE: A bunk-house at Valley Forge in January, 1778. The building is of logs, long, low and windowless. At the right is an entrance door, at the left a stone fireplace. Between the two, bunks are built against the wall in double tiers, constructed entirely of saplings, about twelve in all. Logs are heaped at the fireplace and a few cut logs are used as seats. A wash stand also stands not far from the fire, built of hewn timber, and a table, similarly made, is placed not far from the center of the room. The bunks are filled, over the sapling bottoms, with straw and pine needles, covered with what blankets the men have. It is evening; some candles burn on the table, and about half the bunks are occupied. Three or four of the men still have mess- dishes in their hands, out of which they eat with pen knives, or try to eat, for the food this evening is inedible.--The clothes of the men are dirty, torn, patched, threadbare, and in many cases almost nonexistent. There are no uniforms. The boots are worn out--many feet are on the floor. Socks are undreamed-of. A shirt is a rarity. Many of those still dressed wear coarse cloth or sacking tied on their feet for shoes, some wrap their legs with cloths in the manner of Russian peasants. What clothes are still recognizable were once Colonial homespun, and retain vestiges of the Colonial style. But most of the cocks have fallen on the hats, and many wear coonskin or other furred caps. One or two are dressed Indian style, in buckskin. These are the better dressed of the company. Long muskets are stacked in the corners, with pendant powderhorns.

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