A second time-place-person portrait (July 4, 1776 appeared last year) concentrates on the 1777-1778 winter when the Continental Army was forced to hang on and stay alive in spite of all obstacles. Howe held Philadelphia; Washington was in low favor in many quarters; the Continentals were faced with establishing a military city (which eventually became a fortified camp), with cold, hunger, lack of equipment, sickness and with the inefficiency of the commissary generals, the quartermasters and even with being, seemingly, ignored by Congress. This blueprints the winter's moves and countermoves, the gestures and actualities of aid from foreigners, the problems of transportation, the general melding of trained units under Steuben, and, with the coming of Spring, the alliance with the French. This, from letters, diaries, contemporary accounts and documents, fills in the details of a time that tried -- and proved -- the ""ragged ones"". Notes, appendix material on Valley Forge as a national park, on sections from the Journals of the Continental Congress relating to the quartermaster general's department report, and sources.