The Valley Forge encampment became the Continental Army's first large-scale construction of living quarters. While no accurate account exists for the number of log huts built, experts estimate a range between 1,300 and 1,600 structures. Brigadier General Louis Lebègue de Presle Duportail selected grounds for the brigade encampments and planned the defenses. Afterwards, brigadier generals appointed officers from each regiment to mark out the precise spot for every officer and all enlisted men's huts. Despite commanders' attempts at standardization, the huts varied in terms of size, materials, and construction techniques. Military historian John B. B. Trussell Jr. writes that many squads "dug their floors almost two feet below ground level," to reduce wind exposure or the number of logs required for construction. In addition, some huts had thatched straw roofs, while others consisted of brush, canvas, or clapboards. In a letter to his wife Adrienne, Lafayette described the huts as "small barracks, which are scarcely more cheerful than dungeons. "