|Patriot retreating from Quebec|
The winter of 1775 to 1776 was one of the most precarious for the war effort. Washington's ranks had swelled to over 10,000 regulars and militia, but this amount of men brought on terrible issues with logistics and management. The troops needed shelter, clothes, food and medical treatment, all of which were in short supply, but most of all, they needed training. Washington knew he could not rely on providence to save him and he quickly set to the task of whipping his men into shape.
Sanitation was an even bigger issue. Men would relieve themselves in close proximity to potable water sources, near the kitchens and generally wherever they could. Washington had his hands full. The first order of business was to straighten up the camp.Washington devised a plan that would solve all the issues of the camp. First and foremost - any man found with an STD would pay a fine for his medical care. On top of this, he would be required to work latrine duty until the condition cleared up. Any man caught with a prostitute in camp would be fined and forced to work the kitchens or laundry. Any man caught relieving himself in any other location than the latrine would be flogged publicly and made to work latrine duty for a week. This solved all the major issues as the money brought in from fees and fines was sufficient to help equip and feed the army. Health improved as would be expected.
Morale was further boosted by a little pamphlet called "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine. The little pamphlet summed up in plain language the patriot's reason for fighting and united the cause. With healthy soldiers and improved morale, Washington and the cause of liberty moved on toward freedom.