I was ill for much of the week of Independence Day, and while by July 4 I was recovering, I was still worn out. However, I still managed to get outside and paid homage to the men who fought for America’s independence two centuries ago. And in this case, it was homage to men known only to God.
George Washington’s army spent the winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge. Military encampments are difficult situations, and towards the end of the army’s stay an epidemic broke out. Men ill with fever were moved to a church a few miles away, and in some cases this makeshift hospital became their next to final destination. For some soldiers, their final destination was down the hill from the church, across the dirt road that ran along the ridge. Some of these men were never identified, and they were buried in a common grave.
Two centuries later that dirt road is Pennsylvania Route 23, the church has been replaced with a more modern building, and the burial place of the unknown soldiers is run by East Vincent Township. There is a gravel pull off on the eastbound side of the road, and the little cemetery has a metal fence and gate in front. I spent a few minutes there late in the day, paying my respects and taking photos.
A short walk across Route 23 and up Hill Church Road leads you to East Vincent UCC, site of the German Reformed church used as a hospital for Washington’s men. Aside from a nice cemetery with more Revolutionary War veterans, the view from the hilltop is very pretty. The photo below shows just one view. The church has a commanding view of the neighboring ridgeline, and I spent a few minutes here drinking in the scene.