Next Book Club Pick: Following the Drum

Following the Drum: Women at the Valley Forge Encampment

If you haven’t yet participated in the Washington Crossing Historic Park book club, now is the perfect time to join!

The club is starting discussion of a new book at its next meeting on June 17 at 5:30 PM in the Visitor Center.

Book club meetings are led by park curator Kimberly McCarty. For the next few months, the club will discuss Following the Drum: Women at the Valley Forge Encampment by Nancy K. Loane.

Following the Drum tells the oft-forgotten story of women who spent the winter of 1777-78 with the Continental Army at Valley Forge.

Some women worked as the army’s washerwomen, nurses, cooks, and seamstresses. Other women of higher status traveled with Washington’s entourage and served the general as valued cooks, housekeepers, and laundresses.

“In the book, Nancy K. Loane describes not only the general role that women played but also identifies individuals and shares their personal stories,” explains McCarty, who selected the book. “The scope of the book reaches beyond the Valley Forge encampment to include examples from the entirety of the war – including the Trenton/Princeton campaign that followed the crossing.”

Participation in the park’s book club is free and open to all. Members provide their own books (it’s available for purchase in the Washington Crossing Historic Park gift shop).

The June 17 meeting will cover Chapters 1 through 3.