On Guard!

illustration, candle, lantern, virtual march-in
Virtual March-In programming, December 14-19, 2020.

NPS Image / Gregory Purifoy

Welcome to Virtual March-In!

We are commemorating the 243rd anniversary of the arrival of the weary Continental Army to Valley Forge with a whole week of featured videos and activities like this one!

Standing Guard

Players will face a variety of challenges with On Guard! An Online Sentry Activity. Yet, you will not have to worry about snipers attempting to fire on your position, which did happen during the American Revolution.

On November 21, 1777, about a month before Valley Forge, General George Washington issued the following orders:

“The officers of the day report that Sentries from the picquets keep fires by them—This dangerous practice is absolutely forbidden; and all officers of guards are without fail to visit all their sentries between every relief, to see that they are alert, and keep no fires; and in cold and bad weather they are to relieve the sentries every hour—They are also to see that the sentries are well informed of their duty, and to instruct such as are deficient.”

While sentries could get cold at night, especially during the fall and winter, the light from fires would have blinded them, and made them a target for snipers. If the enemy could get past you, they could spy on the Continental Army, or even attack.

Fortunately, you do not have to worry about that here, but you must stay alert for other dangers. Will you be on guard?

outdoors, young male soldier, mud, snow, trees, musket

A revolution does not always involve fighting. Sometimes, the hardest part about a war is what happens in between the battles. In this activity, you are a soldier on sentry duty. As a sentry, you stand guard and control access to the Continental Army’s winter encampment at Valley Forge. You will meet lots of different people who want to enter. Some are part of the army. Others are civilians who do not serve in the army, but they often help in other ways.

Yet, not everyone is as they seem. Some people might be working for the British as a spy.

Will you keep the Continental Army safe? Or will you suspect the wrong person and accidentally keep the army from getting the help it needs?

How well will you perform your duty when you are cold, tired, and hungry?


Last updated: April 6, 2021

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