The episode is set in December 1777 Valley Forge the winter of despair. General Washington was in despair as he watched his army disintegrate. Conditions in the camp were horrendous. Forced to live in damp, crowded quarters, Washington's army of approximately 12,000 suffered from a lack of adequate clothing and food. Diseases such as typhoid, dysentery, typhus and pneumonia ran rampant. An estimated 2,000 died. Morale plummeted.
John Newland: (Opening narration) Around the lives of all great men, history weaved romantic and colorful stories, many are based on fact and some are pure imagination. There are many wonderful stories told about the man who for one terrible and momentous winter occupied this house. But none is so little known or awe inspiring as the events that took place here one evening. Our very existence as well as our future is largely dependant on that remarkable night of decision.
George Washington: (speaking to God) When will Spring ever come. Oh God, do I have the right to decide the fate of so many, of so much? Help me, help me.
Otumcas: Your God has come to your aid before, he will again. I am Otumcas, Chief of Shawnee.
George Washington: Otumcas.
Otumcas: Twenty two summers have come and gone since we met. Battle of Monongahela. I was leading a detachment to Virginia under the command of General Braddock.
George Washington: Yes of course July 17, 1755.
Otumcas: Red coat stood tall in sunlight like field of dry corn waiting for harvest time.
George Washington: Yes it was a slaughter. We lost half the British colonial army that day.
Otumcas: All British officiers in field fell, dead or wounded. All but you Washington.
George Washington: Yes I remember well.
Otumcas: Otumcas fired at Washington again and again, fifteen bullets at the heart, not one found it's mark. Has caused Otumcas much wonder.
George Washington: I was very fortunate that day
Otumcas: Not fortune, the great spirit protected Washington that day for good and great purpose.
George Washington: I wish I could believe that.
Otumcas: Believe it.