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March Date Tuesday August 29, 2006 March Day 74

Good day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Another dawn of overcast skies promising more rain as David calls reveille to the camp. We are visited early by Portia Orton, who quietly and quickly brings coffee, breakfast foods and fruit to the group, and then is gone as quickly as she came. Such is her way, caring and efficient with minimal disturbance. Nancy also visits with homemade blueberry muffins. We must practice some restraint from all these goodies as the day's march is some 14 miles to Princeton.

As he promised, pastor Mueller of the Reformed church arrives to lead us in the daily blessing, but before we bow our heads and join hands, he relays the story of Palm Sundays at his historical church of this town....seems they have pony rides for the young through the existing graveyard each Palm Sunday. How novel an idea! If I were interred there, I would rejoice at such a use of my gravesite by the community.

The marchers are readied for the day and we are visited by a mother with her 2 young sons, each bearing small handmade Bourbonnais flags. The group departs down Millstone River Road, marching some 2+ miles against single-driver commuter traffic.

The route continues across a single lane bridge onto Canal Road where the marchers discover a parallel dirt lane following the much swollen river from the recent rains for a distance of 3 miles. They march this distance under the wet, bending trees, better able to envision the army's march 2 centuries ago.

Excitement increases as they approach the city of Princeton, and the group is expected and met by many local representatives. They participate in wreath-laying ceremonies at the Washington monument and army encampment sites.

Many pictures are taken as the commemoration occurs....Attending the wreath laying ceremonies Mathieu PETITJEAN, President of the American Society of the Souvenir Francais Jean LAREUSE, artist and creator of the Washington/Rochambeau ceramic plaque done in 1998 for the Souvenir Francais; his wife, Caroline LAREUSE, DAR member of Princeton Chapter and Rochambeau Chapter in Paris, also former Honorary Consul of France for NJ Wendy LANNING, Regent DAR; Jean HULTGREN, past regent DAR and responsible for placing the DAR stele for the March to Yorktown in 1981 during the Bicentennial.

Forgive me if I have excluded anyone, as I was not present at these ceremonies - instead at the Morven Museum camp for the evening tending to other chores. I have relied on others for this report.

When the group arrives at Morven Museum, we are greeted by Director Martha Wolf. We will park our "Washington Rig" of Martha and George in the adjacent lot of the museum, thankful for the next day's respite from marching.

We are visited by fellow reenactor and NJ resident Paul Hutchins...some may remember Paul for his portrayal of Benedict Arnold at the 225th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Saratoga.... a treat to see him again. With an evening to ourselves in such a delightful city, we are energized and proceed to go out on the town. We remain in period clothing as we stroll about, receiving quite positive reactions and inquiries from the locals. Our first stop is the Nassau Inn where an original 13 foot mural painted by Norman Rockwell in 1937 entitled "The Yankee Doodle Mural" is the focus of the Tap Room. As we unwind and with time to ourselves, the group diverses with various individual pursuits for dinner and to meet old friends in this lovely city. We return to camp at various times, thankful for no reveille in the morning. A demain.

Avec Amour, Rose