After Washington left Mount Vernon in 1775, he would not return again for over six years. Every year, during the long winter months when the fighting was at a standstill, the General asked Martha to join him at his winter encampment.
Every year she made the arduous journey to his camp, whether it was at Cambridge, Valley Forge, Philadelphia, Morristown, Newburgh, or elsewhere. She stayed with him for months at a time. In fact, during the period from April 1775 until December 1783 Martha Washington was with her husband for almost half the time he was away. The General regarded his wife’s presence as so essential to the cause that he sought reimbursement from Congress for her traveling expenses.
Smallpox was one of the most deadly enemies soldiers faced during wartime. With Martha spending time in camp she was also exposed to the disease. Despite the risk, Martha was very concerned about being inoculated and wasn't until 1776. After successfully weathering the inoculation, Martha could then travel to the soldiers’ camp without fear of contracting the disease. www.mountvernon.org Martha was truly on extraordinary woman.
Martha Washington at Valley Forge