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March Date, Wednesday, July 5th, Day 19

The rain beats on.....and so does the troop.....

Oh wow, a terrific rest. Feel really great this morning. We have decided to walk part way to Camp 14, at Philipsburg, NY, on this day. This final leg is about 18 miles and the troop is restless, should we wait for the morrow, or do some today. We know of plans in the afternoon, tomorrow, by citizens of Philipsburg, that may steal time away tomorrow. The decision is to do perhaps half of the distance today, and of course, it forecasts rain, again.....we go anyway, rain or no...... to close now not to.

We are up at 6:30 of the morning clock, the troop is restless and for sure it is raining, lightly now. Yes, we shall try half the eighteen miles today, saving the last for the 6th. of July, due date at Camp 14, Philipsburg......the rain is coming harder now, &^&% with this rain, again, and again, and again. What a horrible day, muggy, humid and so, so wet. Horribe, horrible, horrible but good for ducks and plants....the rain, hard now, lashing, visibility poor.

We arrive back at the Hospital grounds, to the Washington-Rochambeau Stone there. In the pouring rain, we give the morning road blessing on the Book, and step-off... it is 8:35 of the morning clock and tis the eve of the last day of part one, the end of 225 miles or so, Providence, RI to Philipsburg, NY......

At the 2 mile break, I check the troop, they want to carry on, the same at the 4 mile break, ......long rumbles of thunder in the background beat a note on the day.

We pick up an escort from a local provost, just as the rain begins to taper off. We are 6 miles out from Smith Tavern, and the troop is hungry. We stop for break-fast at a local merchants country kitchen. We meet there a woman, who upon learning what we are doing, makes a sizable donation. we are stunned by the gift, unsolicited........thank you Barbara S., we are humbled by your generosity.....we finish the meal, and with the Provost on our heels, we take the 22 road toward Camp at Philipsburg. Along the way, we stop at the Timberledge School and give a presentation to the very youngun's there. The rain has quit, but not the troop. We continue on to the days destination, a wayfaring station along the 22 road, near the reservoir, near White Plains.

We sup again on left overs, the larder almost empty now, with enough but for one days travel on the morrow.

It will be a short final march tomorrow, mercifully, perhaps some 6 miles or so....we have forced marched for some 14 days out of the last 19. We are now in receipt of messages from our guide in Philipsburg. We move forward with him, and the carriages, to reconnoiter the path to Rochambeau's Headquarters at the Odell House, on the Ridge road. We are a bit wary as we pass ground that was contested for, just a few years ago, in the Battle of White Plains, a horrific American defeat. We advance carefully and locate the Odell house without incident. Thanks to our local guides, and hosts at Camp 14, Philipsburg, (Greenburgh, NY) Frank J. and Bob S., we now know the last miles of the road we must follow.

We retire to Camp at Smith Tavern to get ready for the final push on the morrow.....confident of the final approach, with a wary eye for the enemy.

The camp is in anticipation of the final push. Dinner is served out, the days spirit ration shared. The Baggage train is in order, all gear stowed and secured. We are not only close to the final camp, but also to the enemy, and are thankfull that the Count Lauzon is on our left flank. If we weren't so tired from the forced march, our nervous anticipation might have interfered with the evenings rest, In fact, it does not.......but the dreams are vivid..

Richard Swartwout
near Camp 13
Armonk, NY
www.marchtoyorktown.org