Courtesy Dr. Gary Milan Collection

Many people in the thirteen Colonies had limited or no education. Being able to read and write was not always common, and spelling during the period was much more flexible than in later times. This hand-written letter from John Buss, a soldier who braved the hardships of Valley Forge, was sent to his father Stephan Buss. It offers a rare personal glimpse into life, during that terrible winter. Note that at some point the letter was folded in the shape of tri-cornered hat.