Lock, Stock & Barrel Triggers History-loaded Weekend in Valley Forge
Symposium of Revolutionary War experts delves into world of the Continental Soldier

The saga of the American Revolutionary War is often told through lectures and textbooks, depicting tales of a heroic General Washington. But what of the common Revolutionary War soldiers? A history loaded weekend, March 25 - 27, in the Valley Forge area explores their epic struggle.

Noted historians, musicians and archaeologists will delve deeper into the lives of those who fought for the nation's independence on Saturday, March 26, at Lock, Stock & Barrel: The World of the Continental Soldier. The symposium, at the Crowne Plaza Valley Forge, will be preceded by a reception, Friday evening at Valley Forge National Historical Park, and followed by a living history program there on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The program begins with some background about the enemy. Make acquaintance with the British soldier at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, as Don N. Hagist talks about the men on the other side of the battlefield. Hagist will examine these career soldiers, many of whom enlisted after trying their hands at other trades, and reveal surprising stories about several of them.

At 10:45 a.m., chief historian of the Central Intelligence Agency, Dr. David Robarge, will unveil the espionage, covert action, counterintelligence and cryptanalysis used to overcome the British army's advantage in men and arms. During "Secrets of the Revolution," Robarge will demonstrate how several key military episodes hinged on the role of spies and disinformation.

Nancy K. Loane, Ed.D., and author of Following the Drum: Women at the Valley Forge Encampment, will give a fresh look at the often forgotten female revolutionaries at 1:30 p.m. Drawing from studies of journals, letters and diaries from the encampment, Loane will discuss the hundreds of women who endured it, including a 74-year-old assistant to Washington.

Other topics at the symposium, hosted by the Friends of Valley Forge Park, include recent archaeological discoveries at Valley Forge, Revolutionary War music and the Liberty Bell in peace and war. For a full schedule of events and presentations and registration instructions, please visit www.friendsofvalleyforge.org or www.nps.gov/vafo. The registration deadline is March 18. For visitor information about the Valley Forge area and affordable overnight accommodations, visit http://www.valleyforge.org.