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March Date, Saturday, August 19, Day 64

Historical Overview from Homestread Headquarters..

AUGUST 19, 1781

Greetings Friends

The Armies have left camp at Philipsburg, this day. Both the American and French Armies have mobilized and are on the move. Those of us with the French are heading back toward North Castle, (now Mt. Kisco) where we had camped the day before arriving at Philipsburg, some six weeks ago.

The Americans, or I should say, perhaps, half of them, have also mobilized and headed out of camp. A large remainder, along with the local militias, are being left behind, with General Heath in command. As we spoke of in my last dispatch to you, on the yesterday, maybe we are to be attacking the Brits, in New York, along two fronts, perhaps to divide and conquer?

T'was a day of many extremes. The reville' came earlier than usual, of course, it is now back to the road. Tis early and tis a foggy morning, heavy dew having fallen in the overnight. The tents were struck and stowed, the baggage train ordered up, the draft animals fed and watered early, certainly before the troops.

All the troops had to be accounted for before we began, rolls are called, company reports handed up, the Colors unfurled, the Musicians to strike the musick.......The Platoons, then the Companies, then the Regiments all eventually forming in line of march, and the word given.........'To the Front, March',

We are told that the French line of march will be different than the American line of March. Apparently, the Americans are heading for Verplank, via a route along the North (Hudson) River, perhaps for a crossing, We know not as nothing has been told to us........ the French line of march is along familiar ground, as I said.... we are going back to North Castle, where once we camped some fortnights ago... the French line of March is in two parts, with about half of the French troops traveling a different road but in the same general direction.

Also, on this day, early this morning, we heard that Louis-Alexander Berthier, set out from Pine's Bridge, with a column of field artillary (no seige guns in sight, why?). His column is mostly drawn by oxen, those huge, lumbering beasts of muscle, that take the army everywhere, it seems. This Column of artillary is being escorted by the French Hussar Cavalry of Lauzun's Legion.

Tis almighty Gawd heavy rain this late day and evening, and we hope to try to rest and be dry, perhaps will be better on the morrow.......no sign of the enemy....

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
For, 'AMtY'
www.marchtoyorktown.org