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September 30, 2006

March Date Wednesday September 27, 2006 March Day 103

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls the usual 6 AM reverille and he has an additional march member to awaken. Damon has returned from upstate New York, obviously having driven her carriage hard and fast, as she last left us at Fendall House in Alexandria but 3 days ago. She's chosen the perfect day to return as the day unfolds clear and cool. Our friend Lyn Padgett from Historic Fredericksburg Foundation arrives at our quiet hilltop camp with full breakfast for the troops. Lyn is beautiful, dressed in full period clothing and sets table with linens, fall leaves, Williamsburg pottery and candles. There is perfectly ripened melon, coffee, fresh ham and biscuits, cranberry and nut muffins. This lady has prepared this meal with careful aforethought and we are most grateful. She does not tarry, soon departs our company and wishes the men godspeed in today's march.

The men are transported by carriage to Peyton's Ordinary, sadly not longer in existence but marked by a commemorative plaque on the side of route 1. Our great General had stopped here on more than one occasion for rest and sustenance. This is the start point for today and the army will march 11.2 miles to St.George Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg.

After morning prayer, the army departs and Rose returns to camp to prepare the noon meal with which to later intercept the group. Reverand Cuthbert Mandell visits briefly and extends his warm wishes.

When the men are located on route 1, they are three miles out in a mere hour, apparently Lyn's breakfast has fueled them well. Dave jokingly complains that the crazy Frenchman in the front won't slow down. At this rate, they will make short work of today's miles.

En route, the army passes a shop with most unusual wares...large animal sculptures of various colours. A seven foot pink elephant...yes, pink....trumpets in the air and beckons Mike a dare, who without second thought, accepts. A true photo opportunity with his backside to the camera as David assists him in mounting the beast, then followed by one of solemnity with sword drawn and charging.

Another humorous incident finds Dave, at the rear of the column, approached by a civilian who comments "Yeah! We need another revolution, Man!" In Dave's softly-spoken sense of humor, he replies that this one will do just fine, thank you.

The men make short work of the day's miles, and we finish at St.George's, snagging a willing passer-by to photograph the group. As the day is still young, the group meanders the village searching for ....ice cream of course, and we find a very satisfying selection at Cards 'n Cones. We indulge in floats, shakes and cones, a quite leisurely and yummy lunch. We then proceed to Ferry Farm on the village outskirts, site of George Washington's boyhood home... acres of well-tended lawn surrounded by wood and period stockade fencing where our night's camp has been arranged.

We are greeted by Marti Stout who welcomes us and shows us the area in which to park camp Martha. Archeological excavation is in progress here attempting to locate the foundation of the original Washington house and there are workers and analysts about the farm and large brick visitor's center.

We fetch Martha from the Aquia Church and move her forward to her new "home" for the next two nights. We settle into Ferry Farm and set the tentage by late afternoon.
The group has planned to dine out in Fredericksburg this evening - a combined birthday celebration for Mike (9/26) and Rose (9/29). We remember that 9/29 is also Rob Reyes' birthday, a fellow Libra! We travel by carriage into the village and choose Claiborne's, a tavern of elegance and exquisite fare. As usual, we draw attention from the patrons and staff, answer many questions concerning the march, our origins and manner of dress. 'Tis a fine evening and we toast to our birthdays, success, and safety to date.

We return to camp to chat for a bit, relaxed in knowing we will not march on the morrow....a day to ourselves in this beautiful Virginia colony. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 28, 2006

1781, March Date, Thrusday, Sept. 28, Day 104

Ah, the Storm is A'gatherin'...........

Greetings Friends, Patriots all.....

Again, tis a tardy dispatch to you all. The lines of communication are getting longer, and the road grows more perilous the southward we go. Tis' been perhaps 10 days since our last dispatch to you.

I can report that all the troops are in good order, and humour, even if our shoes may have worn out. We find the leather to be tired, as are we. the exertion of a forced march beginning to be telling on the equipment. However, we travel as one mind, in pursuit of the prize, and that prize shall be Corny his'self.....

As I recall, I had sent a note saying that the Generals had left Mt. Vernon, on the 12th, and had arrived on the peninsula on the 15th, Sept. However, just a day before that, the Generals Washington and Rochambeau had arrived at Williamsburg and met up with Gen. Lafayette. Tis a good omen, we think........as they also learned that the British fleet had left the Chesapeake area, and that left Corny (British Gen. Cornwallis) on his own. tis perhaps but a large chess game, and we are the players, all.....

We also have heard that the French army that had marched overland, rather than embark at Head-of-Elk, were now meeting up with the rest of the troops at Annapolis. Some of those troops were delayed in moving more southward by the uncertain events of the French and British flee action off the Chesapeake. Well, tis mus be said, HUZZAH to the French fleet. Adm. de Grasse has carried the day and now the troops are starting to move from Annapolis, down to Williamsburg, via small boats supplied by the French. The ships are carrying both French and American soldiers to Williamsburg now, moving the entire army to the Virginias. That movement started on the 18th, Sept.

As it now stands, Corny is by himself and the British fleet has departed, leaving him no hope for rescue, at least not at the moment...

Also, on the 17th, it appears that both Washington, and Rochambeau met with Adm. de Grasse, aboard his flagship, the Ville de Paris. As best as we can tell, the good Admiral has yet to set his foot on land in North America. Seems he must be a tart of a salt that only trusts the sea under his foot, aye.....? But where would we be without that man and his fleet and his 3000 soldiers?

Ah, tis made the men happy a heart, for sure. The men in the camps are delighted to have a momentary rest, knowing that all is good in the world... the foods and siege guns have arrived here-abouts with the fleet of Adm. de Barris, and the Adm. de Grasse has run off the British Fleet. Now all we must needs to do is to keep to the southward and kick the bony arse of Corny........ah, the joy of it all. The talks about the campfires are animated, with joking, and playfulness....but under the eyes, there is steel.........

The Reville's continue to come early, and the army continues to march. We rest as we can, and try to spare the equipment, while all the while keeping it in good working order. Our minds are in Yorktown, our hearts are with our family and our feet are here, under us....... Tis, the drovers that must be at the job all of the day. They must kEep the caRriages in good order, and tend to the animals as well. Seems that they hardly rest at all, sometimes tis' easy just to be a marching soldier, with no responsibility but to put one foot in front of the other..... all day.

The dispatchers continue their feverish activity as I write this. They are coming and going, all day, all night. Tis a frightful pace it seems, all the coming and going, the trading for fresh horse, the men dashing about....the lamps and the fires low, the camps all a murmur....

We have heard that on the 21st, the last of the French troops left Annapolis, by ship. But many are still taking the overland route, we understand that some 1,500 horses, 800 men and some 220 or so wagons are on the overland trek.

We have just heard a report that Cornwallis tried to break out of the trap that seems to be encircling him and his Army....that happened on the 22nd, some 6 days ago. He tried to force the French Blockade, but failed. Perhaps we shall learn more of that manuveur, shortly, and I shall report as best I can.....we now nothing of that attempt but rumor.

And we are now hearing, just today, that the French and Ameican troops are dis-embarking from the ships, at Archer's Hope, at the mouth of College Creek, near Williamsburg. It has taken some two days for that to be accomplished. We think we must have some 16,000 troops all together now. Oh Corny, you will soon wish you were back in England and never heard of the Americas......!

As we all gather as much rumor, or truth, as we can, we are preparing to make a move against the British stronghold at the Village of York.

The good Generals Washington and Rochambeau have led us here, to the siege positions we now occupy. We have spent this day moving into seige position about the Town, and have had our first opportunity to see the defensive works, and the British forces there. The American Army is forming on the right, known as the position of honor. Tis been a long and arduos day, with much work, heavy work, having to be done. We are all tuckered but running on false energy it seems, with the excitement of the moment keeping our eyes open and out feet tapping. We now can see the forces all about and I shall endeavor, on the morow, to identify all the units that are assembled here. Tis very many I can tell you. Tis' the first time, perhaps since Saratoga, almost four years ago to the day, that we have seen overwhelming force on OUR side...... till the morrow.....soonest.

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
For AMtY
at Homestead Headquarters

March Date Tuesday September 26, 2006 March Day 102

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

On this very cool dark morning, David taps on Rose's door as she sleeps in her bunk in George. We join in a happy birthday reveille outside of Captain Mike's tent, complete with bones accompaniment. Sorry Mike, you've been allowed to sleep a bit later, but no day off yet.

Today's march of 10.5 miles will bring the troop into Aquia with the main route of travel along route 1. A three and a half mile route 637 outcrop onto the original King's Highway will again bring the ment onto route 1 with destination Old Aquia Episcopal Church. The men report very "hairy" conditions walking against very fast carriages that come within six inches of them with slowing. They purchase copies of the local Potomac News publication, a very handsome picture of the men as they carry the flags unfurled in the wind.

Photographs are taken at the Iwo Jima monument at the entrance of the Marine base Quantico and again at the impressive Christ Crucifix sculpture marking the first Catholic settlement in this area.

We arrive at the 1757 brick Aquia Episcopal church and are greeted by Denise LaBarre who addresses all of our needs for this night's camp. This is a lovely hill top setting with surrounding woods and adjacent old graveyard. Graffitti scars are clearly legible on the corner stones of this handsome church and we spend time reading the civil war and earlier inscriptions, and touring the skull and crossbone tombstones in the cemetery. We are given a personal tour of the church from historian Trudy and are even taken up into the church attic to read the 18th century graffitti and view the massive center wooden support. This beautiful church has survived the onslought of time and men and is still vital to the community today.

We have a bit of down time and Mike attempts to nap a bit in his tent. A birthday privilege? We have an occasional visitor but enjoy a quiet afternoon.
Dinner is at King Street Blues where the men indulge in racks of ribs, and Mike is treated for his birthday. Joyeux anniversaire, Michel!!

This night the group builds a campfire. 'Tis been a long long time since we've had the time, opportunity, energy - or the wood- to sit about and chat in front of the magical flames.
As we relax, the bodies overcome the spirits....we yawn and trail off to our beds. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Monday September 25, 2006 March Day 101

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Today's 6:30 of the clock reveille is a cool clear morning. Still in darkness, we prepare to leave this quiet wooded site, each of us yearning to spend more time here, but Martha is to be forwarded to Weems Botts museum for our night's camp with a scheduled stop at nearby Gunston Elementary School. We have a brief visit by Mike C on his way to work via motorcycle... (the sound of his V-star Yamaha brings a bit of nostalgia) and he bids the army safe travel.

We find Allison Mills promptly waiting at 8:30 of the clock at the Gunston School. This innovative school is equipped with high technology, and the soldiers are ushered into a small room off the library where they are interviewed by fourth grade teacher Rod Bowers. This is broadcasted live to all classroom monitors and gives the students a preliminary introduction to the marchers.

We are then brought to a great room where more than a hundred students file in and sit on the floor. The men explain our historical march and the questions begin. Hands shoot up and the eager faces show that these children are really into it! They question every detail of the soldiers' uniforms and the differences among them, are curious about the soldiers' food and colonial military way of life. 'Tis a joy to see their concentration and interaction. At this session, we also have a few supporters from yesterday's destination point at the river...there is Sally and Gerry Lyons of the Fairfax County History Commission and the lovely madame who proudly displayed the "76" flag outside her home. This has been a most rewarding presentation for the group, and we continue to receive as we depart. Allison gives us a donation for our horses' feed AND a batch of homemade brownies...stating the brownies are no big deal. Oh, yes.....they certainly are a big, most welcome gift.

We continue to bring camp Martha into Dumfries, leave her at the pretty gazebo/lawn area of the Weems-Botts museum and return the men to the river ferry starting point. Again, we are greeted by Sally and Gerry, and new visitors Tamra Harvie with her children Lewis and Carah, who have come to encourage the soldiers. Lewis is shy and clings to his mother's apron while Carah presents Mike with a large crock of Virginia peanuts. Mom presents a bottle of fine French Chardonnay. We pray to our Great Benefactor and the men begin.

The majority of today's travel will be along busy Jefferson Davis Highway but with only a total of 9.3 miles, which seems like a walk in the park to the men at this point. We are able to leave the busy road at route 637 and travel this outcrop of original King's Highway for approximately three miles, stopping at Rippon Lodge, a secluded eighteenth century estate located high on a hill with breath-taking views of the Potomac river.

During a brief rest stop, we have an unexpected visit from Sally who delivers bags-full of black walnuts for Mike. During our morning's departure at the river, we noted the plentiful nuts and hulls from this tree near her home. Mike commented on their value in dyeing period cloth and clothing, and she has now found us to deliver this gathered resource.... another example of the fine local villagers' support.

The army marches into Weems-Botts museum where we are greeted by David Born of the Prince William Historic Preservation Division, Claudia Smith of the museum's board of directors, and Lyn Padgett of Living History. A Potomac News photographer and reporter who has photographed and followed the men enroute continues to record the arrival until he is called away. Mike C of yesterday's march and this morning's visit, stops by to show us his "bigger than Ohio" blister on his heel, and to share a gill of rum.

Mike hears of a marine bar and restaurant in town, and we prepare for dinner. Now Mike is craving steak. David, is this contagious? The Globe and Laurel is a tavern type restaurant filled with military memorabilia and photographs. We have a terrific meal of french onion soup and prime-rib, then top it off with creme de glace at an establishment across the road. We then roll ourselves back to camp where Dave and Mike have set their tents on the lush lawn in front of the gazebo.

We are visitied by Claudia's Mom who lives nearby, and she presents slices of German chocolate cake to the men. She is astounded to learn that tomorrow is Mike's birthday and that this particular cake was his yearly birthday request as he was growing up.

It is not long before we each take to our beds on this cool crisp night. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 27, 2006

March Date Sunday September 24, 2006 March Day 100

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

The night has been warm and humid...shortly after reveille we have our first short sprinkle of rain. The morning continues overcast as the men are delivered back to the trail leading to Mount Vernon. We send a message to Durf McJoynt who plans to meet the army during today's route.

A marathon is in progress on the already well-travelled path and the men are enjoying the many passing joggers. Durf intercepts the group near the gates of Mount Vernon, excitedly takes his photographs and extends an invitation for this evening's annual supper by the Friends of Mount Vernon.

Today's route continues down Mount Vernon Memorial Parkway, past Washington's Grist Mill and onto busy route 1, and we have a light shower that lasts for some time. Destination is the Occaquan River, a total of 13.1 miles. The group maintains a goodly pace walking against the fast carriages and are happy to turn onto rural Old Cochester Road, about the half-way mark.

Rose has driven ahead and brings the small carriage to a stop at Pohick Church. While touring the graves here, she is approached by a bare-footed soldier dressed in small clothes. "Are you Rose?" he asks. This is Mike Cecere accompanied by Will Strollo of the 17th Virginia regiment, and they have come to meet and march with the troops. Apparently, there is much local excitement and news of the army's approach and route of march. As the men approach this historic church site, a small crowd gathers, among them is Marty Malin, journalist and photographer from a local publication. She shoots her photos as the crowd converses and tags along with the group for the afternoon.

Mike C (so as not to confuse with Captain Mike) and Will don their packs and set off with the marchers...Mike C still barefoot with his shoes in his pack. A bit down this shady narrow road, they stop briefly for Mike C to don his shoes and stockings....stockings without feet? He forgoes the stockings and continues to march. Young Will, with musket at the ready, does a fine job running interference with any oncoming carriages. More than one unsuspecting carriage driver is surprised by this sight on the road.

An unexpected visitor is stopped at the side of the road, a cooler full of iced drinks in the bed of his pick-up. This is Joe Chudzik of the Lorton Heritage Society and planner of the W3R project currently in progress on this Old Colchester Road.

Another unexpected visitor arrives via carriage and this is Gary O'Brien of the 1st Virginia regiment, returned for a second day of march. These three additional soldiers, with their easy and happy manner greatly buoy the spirits and step of the troops and the day's destination to the river crossing is soon reached.

The locals from nearby cottages and homes come out to greet the marchers and many photographs are taken, It is now two of the clock and Mike C and Will are brought back to their carriage. We bid them adieu as they return to their homes.
Gary joins the group as we turn back to visit Mount Vernon.

Three of the group's members have never seen our General's greatly-loved homestead and we will visit before the planned evening supper there. Our photographer Marty is still with us and it is she who speaks with the gate manager and arranges our passes into the estate. She soon departs our company, however, as she is scheduled to record the evening's event here. Our thanks to you, Marty.

For the next two hours, we roam this wonderful site, Washington's love and personal haven. We tour the rooms, each with its own guide....the formal dining room with its elaborate furnishings and resplendent table, his study with well-worn desk and "uncommon" chair, the family dining room with its shocking bright green walls, and the bedroom where this great man breathed his last. We are silent in reverence at his tomb, and Gary performs a present arms in tribute.

We return to the back side of the large house where Damon photographs the group, and as we are posed, a touring group of fifty + people each take turns.....yes, one by one.....being photographed with us. Their tour guide smiles and thanks us for our time. We have surely been mistaken for workers at Mount Vernon, as we are photographed often as we stroll about.

We exit the grounds at their closing hour, browse the gift shops here and then re-enter with the throng of six hundred or more Friends of Mount Vernon for a wonderful supper on the lawn overlooking the Potomac. An enormous tent has been set and the buffet includes barbeque chicken, jambalaya with rice and beans, salad, coleslaw, cold beer and beverages. We dine on the lawn under a spectacular show of nature - a rainbow and its mate elongates in the sky across the Potomac to the east, and simultaneously a brilliant red, pink and blue-clouded sunset unfolds over the great house of Mount Vernon to the west. This celestial display chills us with gratitude ...we are meant to be exactly where we are.

As we work our way to exit, we pass the great front porch and stop for a visit wilth the first First Lady Martha, who gives her army words of encouragement and elegantly extends her hand for David's kiss. We leave the grounds thanking Durf for this evening, and return by carriage to Alexandria to again fetch camp Martha forward to this night's camp at Pohick Bay Park. Gary still accompanies us and guides us to the large route 1 where the Washington rig is allowed to travel. As we say adieu, he quickly tosses a donation to be used toward our horses' feed....you've done too much, friend. It's been pleasure enough to have had your company and support.

It is dark when we reach our campsite but we spend the rest of the evening taking advantage of the shower and laundress facilities and planning the route of march for the morrow. We have a night visitor...Joe Chudzik has returned with ice, potatoes, mushrooms, ale and a bottle of fine wine. We are grateful for all of this man's kindnesses today. Mike and Dave sleep under the night sky, sans tents and the forest is quiet. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Saturday September 23, 2006 March Day 99

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls reveille at five of the morning clock as there is much to be done. We dress in our parade finest (which in some cases means a clean pair of socks or shirt), strike the tents, load the small carriage with the French regimental and W3R flags and symbolic lantern, move camp Martha out of the Fort's grounds to be parked onto the adjacent street, and travel back to Georgetown. We are pleased to have Damon Ferguson, again dressed as a camp follower, rejoin the group. As you remember, Damon was with us back at the Susquehanna River into White Marsh. At eight of the clock this morning, we will ceremoniously cross the Potomac on the Francis Scott Key Bridge into our last colony of Virginia!

We gather at the Francis Scott Key Park on the Georgetown side of the bridge and are joined by our dear friends and supporters....BJ Gerber, Pat & Robert Archer-Jacob, and Acquinetta Anderson. As we wait in the lighter than usual weekend traffic, Kevin Vincent and the Boy Scout troop arrives and the flags are distributed to the carriers. We are joined by members of the 1st Virginia regiment, splendid in their regimentals, muskets and accoutrements. We step out onto the bridge, and with police escort, march out of D.C., across the river and into Arlington Gateway Park.

We pledge our allegiance to the flag, many short speeches are given, and Kevin vividly describes the troop/wagons' crossing 225 years ago. The Flame of Freedom lantern is passed for the last time, a wonderful volley of musket fire is given by the 1st Virginia, and we feast on wonderful foods of ham, hard-cooked eggs, biscuits, French rolls, muffins, butter and jams, fruits, cider and coffee....complete with table linens and period tableware - all lovingly and generously prepared by the Living History Association of Arlington members John, Jane, Gema, Robin, Deedee and Isabel who have dressed in their period finest to support us and honor the past. Hats off and Huzzah to you all. And thanks to the 1st Virginia Regiment for the great hats (our home regmients will be envious!)

We say our goodbyes - (au revoir, mes amies, BJ, Pat et Robert, Acquinetta.....a Yorktown!), and the men begin the day's march on the foot path following the Potomac and George Washington Parkway, accompanied by Gary O'Brien of the 1st Virginia. As the men walk, Rose retrieves the small carriage back in Georgetown and is led by Isabel into Alexandria proper to the Lee Fendall House. As our proposed camp at Mount Vernon is no longer possible, this is to be the night's camp and this House at the corner of Washington and Oronoco Streets is actually the exact site of the troops' and wagon train's encampment. Our thanks to Jim McKay of the Alexandria Historical Site Division for arranging our stay here. We are greeted by Krista Lang who give us the key to the garden, and by Al "Durf" McJoynt, military historian who becomes our self-appointed guide and narrator. We photograph ourselves at the Historic marker and photograph the army's "drummer", Mike Olive who has followed the men on the path, wearing his lime green T-shirt and beating his Civil War era drum.

We proceed to Gadsby's Inn, where General Washington himself dined...again courtesy of Jim McKay and the city of Alexandria. We create a mild stir at the Inn, but feel at home in these surroundings. We are joined by Kevin Vincent and all partake of very satisfying fare.

Kevin goes out of his way to assist us in the day's logistics by bringing Rose and Damon back to Fort C.F.Smith to fetch camp Martha forward into Alexandria - no easy task as the Washington rig is not allowed on the parkway and Kevin is creative in the return route. Damon also takes this opportunity to fetch her small carriage.

During this time, the army continues to march toward Mount Vernon, and once Martha is settled at the Fendall House, Damon and Rose continue on to intercept the men. They are located on the pleasant but winding pedestrian/cycling trail. It is getting late, the day has been very hot, regimentals are soaked through with sweat, but the men continue their walk for another hour, now joined by Damon. At six thirty of the clock, and after sixteen plus miles from Georgetown, the men have had enough. Two miles out from Mount Vernon, tired, hungry and a bit sore of foot, the group is taken back to Fendall House for the night.

Walking amongst the men for today, Damon relates to Rose some of the adventures encountered on the trail. At one point, the trail crosses the landing strip of the Alexandria airport, and many people routinely gather at this spot to experience the landing aircraft a mere one hundred feet above their heads, an occurence every three to four minutes. The group gleefully describes this as quite a "rush". They also witness more than one cyclist collision on the busy trail - now, whose fault were these accidents...Mike's or Gary's?

'Tis been a long day, but the draw of Old Town Alexandria with its many taverns and night-life is strong. After sufficient rest and setting of the tents, the group heads for the lights of the town, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells. Dinner at the Fish Market restaurant/tavern is a delight, and we feast on seafood creations of chowders, clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, and.....Yes, even David foregoes steak and devours fried shrimp! We leisurely stroll the brick-paved walkpaths back to camp, enjoying the shops' windows and passers-by. Once again at Fendall House, the camp very shortly retires. Many thanks to all for making this a great day. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 26, 2006

March Date Friday September 22, 2006 March Day 98

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

'Tis another day of cool overcast weather and we sleep in a bit. We are to be fetched by 10 of the clock by Acquinetta for an hour's visit at Walter Reed Hospital, efficiently pre-arranged at our request by Pat Archer-Jacob. Our driver promptly picks us up on the main road outside the fort and is excited to be joining us for the day.

On familiar home ground, Acquinetta expertly delivers us to the hospital by winding through the long and scenic Rock Creek Park and we meet Pat and Robert outside the hospital. We are guided to the rehabilitation units and mingle with the men here who are hard at work with their various therapy regimens. Amidst technical and manual equipment, they are individually coached by their therapists. We speak with Eric, Angel, Bill, Ben and many other dedicated current soldiers who have been physically wounded in service to our country.

They work in restoring themselves to maximum function, some with IV's hanging and with still sutured or healing wounds. It is amazing to witness their high spirits, courage, and dedication... most are intent on returning to their military duties. It is an honor and a priviledge to shake these men's hands. We distribute the commemorative envelope mementos prepared by Rob Reyes. As our hour is quickly gone, the men thank us for visiting.....and continue to work.

The group lunches in the busy hospital cafeteria, and my table is joined by Sargent Benjamin from Nebraska. As he eats, he excitedly tells us of his plans for a thirty day visit home next month and of his growing faith despite his recent amputation.
All soldiers, past and present, are with us as we interact with Ben.

The remainder of the afternoon is spent locating the site of the Lycee Rochambeau in Bethesda where the marchers have been scheduled to speak. Here, International students are receiving their education in the French language. Pat, Robert and Rose in one car, Mike, Dave and David in another, occcupy the better part of an hour to reach this school and are a bit late for the presentation. But the students are ready and listen to the soldiers speak. Even as the dismissal bell rings with awaiting school buses in the yard, some eighty students remain in their seats intently listening to and questioning the men, until they are finally dismissed.

Acquinetta returns the group for our second night to Fort C.F.Smith and here she sees camp Martha for the first time. She is quite amazed at the camp's support capability. This infectiously energetic DAR lady is a delight to us all.

The group remains in camp this evening, some working on communications, others on maps and routes, others foraging the immediate area for pizza and bringing the remains back to camp.

There is a late night visit by Virginia W3R Kevin Vincent to review and correct the army's route and to plan tomorrow's border crossing ceremony into Virginia. As they sit in the muted light at the camp table, the rest of the group retires knowing that tomorrow will be a busy day. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Thursday September 21, 2006 March Day 97

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

The group sleeps in at Halcyon House..no reveille as we are at rest these two days in Georgetown. On entering the privy area of the basement studio, we find Dave sleeping peacefully behind a closed door from the studio proper and later learn that Dylan the hound's, playful and affectionate manner was not conducive to his good night's sleep.
We take advantage of the modern and elegant shower facilities and are soon picked up and whisked by BJ in her large carriage into downtown Washington. The day is cool and breezy and we are thankfully comfortable in our wool outergarments.

We are delighted to be joined by Ursula Reed who has travelled by train from Philadelphia to be with us today. Our hosts have arranged a personal tour of the Geography and Maps Division at the Library of Congress with cartographic historical specialist Patricia Van Ee. The marchers, along with Pat and Robert, Adele, Margaret, BJ, Acquinetta and Ursula are ushered into an immense cool, climate-controlled map room where our guide has displayed the original French maps of the march routes from 1781 and 1782, along with the illustrated book of each camp. The large map is covered with a plastic layer and we are allowed to touch this surface and trace our journey on this precious relic. Also on display in a clear case is an intricately carved powder horn depicting the surrender scene at Yorktown. Patricia informs us of the literally millions of maps that are stored here, and of the security and cataloguing measures that insure their safety.

Our tour is over much too soon but we continue throught the basement tunnel under the street and emerge in the Jefferson Building which houses the majority of Thomas Jefferson's personal library. We visit the Great Hall, the North, South, East and West Corridors, awed the grandeur, majestic ceilings and symbolisms. We are stopped, questioned, and photographed often. Again, too soon, it is time to move on.

We walk the few blocks to the Hart Senate Office building where we are scheduled to lunch in the Senate Dining Room, but first, there is security screening as we enter. Of course, Rose is wearing the same set of metal stays as at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and the alarms sound as she walks through the arch. Only this time, the security officers are not satisfied with the body "wand" and a female officer is summoned for a full - and I mean FULL - body pat-down. During all this, BJ is having her own security problems.....having parked her carriage, she enters the building through another entrance, sweetly and innocently carrying Mike's sword which she did not want to leave in the carriage. The group joins her as she is detained....the sargent at arms has been summoned and arrives with his "men in black" escorts. After much discussion and explanation, the sword is kept by the sargent for the duration of our stay. Our personal escort then is able to lead us to the dining room in the Capitol, via underground shuttle.

Outside the dining room, we breifly meet and are photographed with Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector. Bill Clark, a photographer from the Capitol Hill Newsletter "Roll Call" happens by and takes our story and photographs for this daily publication.

As the guests of Indiana Senator Richard Lugar ,we have a very pleasant lunch in the Senate Dining Room, seated at a far table under a beautiful stained glass window of George Washington, in the midst of our elected officials. Photographs are not allowed here, but we so want a picture of our table with General Washington splendidly displayed above us....we hope we did not jeapordize our waiter's employ as he attempted to accommodate us. We never did get that photo.

BJ has arranged a short meeting with Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas, a proponent of the W3R legislation, and we leave the ladies behind enjoying their just desserts, and are escorted to his office, again via underground shuttle. After a very brief wait and chatting with his staff, the senator arrives. We are each introduced and he pleasantly engages with us about the march, gives us the current status of the W3R senate bill, congratulates us and is photographed with the group. We also photograph him reading the article and front page photo of America's March to Yorktown in today's Washington Times.

Attempting to return to the Capitol building sans escort, we are "adopted" by guide Sally Goyea who personally volunteers to escort us through the Capitol. As we tour, we draw the attention of Vermont Senator James Jeffords, Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah, Virginia Senator John Warner, and Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert. Tourists in full colonial garb is not a daily occurence. We visit the Rotunda, the Old Superior Court Chamber and are even squirreled down a back circular stair to view "bullet holes" in the wall, allegedly fired by the British. We are each given Senate and House of Representative passes to the visitor's gallery for the One Hundred Ninth Congress. It is a wonderful sight-filled day and we soon find the time has slipped away. There is far too much to see in one short day.

We have a final visit to make before we leave the Hart Building....the office of the sargent at arms to retrieve Mike's sword. Brett Swanson, Deputy Assistant SAA Police Operation wishes us good fortune on our march, but the sword is not relinquished until we are outside of the building. We photograph the ceremonial passing of the sword from Brett to its owner.

We make our way to the Monocle, favorite watering hole of many officials and are treated to a round of spirits by patron Peter T. who states he is a "lateral" relative of George Washington, and wishes us well on our journey.

We say goodbye to Ursula as we leave her at the train station, and BJ delivers the group back to Halcyon House where we now move forward in the dark, bringing camp Martha to our night's camp at Fort C.F.Smith. This site has been arranged by Park manager Scott Deibler and we are greeted by Dave Farner who has waited beyond hours in the dark for our arrival. We are given every accommodation at this lush gardened Civil War Fort, and Martha is "berthed" in the drive near the main house. We seem to have it all, except level ground. In tents and bunks, we retire...listing about twenty degrees to the side. No matter....we adjust and sleep well again. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 23, 2006

March Date Wednesday September 20, 2006 March Day 96

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

It is a dark reveille but we all rise quickly with anticipation of our entry into Washington D.C. and Georgetown. The dawn arrives with the promise of a clear, cool and dry day. As we prepare, Rob Reyes pedals his bike up the long front drive of Bostwick House, eager to scout the day's route by cycling ahead of the men.

The army marches out of Bladensburg, crosses the bridge over the Anacostia River and into the D.C. line on Rhode Island Avenue. We are met by Gerry Gilmore (whom I incorrectly identified as the police/photographer at Bostwick in yesterday's log...my apology) of the Department of Defrense, Public Affairs. We are all interviewed and photographed for their website www.defenselink.mil article about the March. During this session with Gerry, a reception committee forms to ceremony our crossing into D.C.. There are previous friends Pat and Robert Archer-Jacobs and BJ Gerber, along with new friends Adele Bowyer who is D.C. DAR state regent, and Acquinetta Anderson of D.C. Benjamin Harrison Society of DAR and CAR. Short speeches are given and many photographs taken.

The army proceeds down Rhode Island Avenue and Rob returns for his carriage. As Rose enters the small carriage to run support, it is discovered that we have been the victims of a theft. During our brief ceremony, with the carriage a mere fifty feet away, someone has stolen a cup of silver coins and Dave's portable communication device (cell phone) from the carriage's interior.... from right under our noses. The coins are little loss, but Pat reports the incident to the local police and the communication device service is notified.

We continue the march, now turning onto Florida Avenue which winds along the old Boundary Road, stopping to photograph and visit the new park dedicated to Crispus Atticks. Next stop is Garnet Patterson Middle school where the group gives a short history presentation to a class of students.

Close to noon, Acquinetta now takes the men by carriage to Howard University for a pre-arranged luncheon, courtesy of Dean James Donaldson. It is a splendid time where we are all served delicious croissant sandwiches, fresh fruits and sweets. Among the near thirty people present are Virginia Williams, mother of mayor Tony Williams, all of our day's hosts and companions, a reporter from the Washington Times, and students from the university. Speeches of welcome and speeches of thanks are shared, and we too soon resume the day's march.

The next stop for rest comes at the site of the Old Stone House, oldest private small residence preserved in the heart of Georgetown on busy M Street, now an historic treasure and managed by the National Park Service. Pat and Robert Archer-Jacob were married in this garden some 22 years ago on September 30. As we rest here, we are again joined by Rob Reyes who has created commemorative envelopes depicting artist Couder's painting of the Siege of Yorktown, complete with period stamps and post-marked with today's date, town, and 225th Anniversary of the Yorktown campaign. We are each given this wonderful souvenir and are given a surplus to distribute during our morrow's scheduled visit at Walter Reed hospital.

With the day's march almost complete, we are now guided by BJ Gerber to Halcyon House, where we will camp the night. This is a 1786 brick home in the heart of Georgetown, built by Benjamin Stoddert, first secretary of the navy. We are given a complete tour of this impeccably maintained house and meet with John Dreyfus, reknowned sculptor and our host for tonight. We are also greeted by Dylan, his loveable but ever watchful ridge-back hound.

The men now continue the few blocks march to the Francis Scott Key bridge and Rob transports Rose back to the small carriage which was left (Locked!!) on Rhode Island Avenue on the outskirts of D.C. at the beginning of the day. The drive back to Halcyon House to the men occupies almost an hour and a half during the late day commuter traffic and the men are waiting, reclining on the walkpath as she arrives. This is definitely not the time to return to Bostwick for camp Martha!

We stroll down busy M Street to meet our hosts for dinner at Clydes, a popular and busy tavern for locals and visitors alike. We are seated at a long table and everyone orders salads. (David is the usual exception, and orders his much-loved steak.) There is Pat and Robert, BJ and George, and we are joined by Margaret MacKenzie who is vice president general of the National DAR. We all socialize and the night becomes late. We must still retrieve camp Martha at Bostwick in Bladensburg.

We walk back to Halcyon House and take the small carriage back the eleven miles, the city streets now manageable.

We speak briefly with Kathy and Brian Manicke, debate whether to take the camp forward tonight or sleep here until morning. The city traffic is the deciding factor and we head for Georgetown arriving at almost midnight. To deposit the rig into her space for the night, David (Merci, mon Dieu, it is not ME!), must bring her up a one-way street, stop the present night traffic while backing up through an electric wrought-iron gate with minimal side clearance. David is an experienced driver of his own rig, but even so, he makes several corrective attempts forward and back, clearing parked cars and the cement pillars. We guide him as much as possible but do not foresee the descending grade of the cement drive and Martha noisily scrapes bottom. The automatic heavy gates close when Martha's weight leaves the walk path, and Rose and Dave attempt to hold back the gates. There is a narrow scrape with the rear view mirror on one forehead!

Everyone breathes a sigh of relief as this ordeal ends. We soon head to our beds. Mike heads for the roof-top garden and lawn to fall asleep overlooking the city, Dave sets his bed in the sculptor's studio with Dylan in attendance, and Rose and David take to their usual beds in Martha and George...all thankful for our safe destination. Dormez bien.

Avec amour,

September 21, 2006

March Date Tuesday September 19, 2006 March Day 95

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Six AM reveille, the morning is warm and slightly overcast with bits of blue sky. The tents are struck, the men prepare for the day and we are again greeted by Pam Williams who has prepared a hot breakfast for us...scrambled eggs with ham, onion and peppers, biscuits with hand-churned butter, fresh melon slices and coffee. We thank our generous host, and take photographs on the steps of Belair mansion before returning by carriage to the start of today's march - Sacred Heart Chapel to Bostwick mansion in Bladensburg, a total of 13 1/2 miles. We join hands in prayer, and the men begin.

At little more than a mile on route 450, the men stop at Pius X Regional school where more than 200 students and their teachers file into the yard to welcome the marchers, listen to Mike's history lesson and present us with more than 60 handmade paper flags of various historical design.....liberty, Betsy Ross, union jack, pine tree, appeals to heaven and ONE white with yellow fleur-de-lis by "Emily."

A second stop is made at the Holy Trinity Episcopal school as Rose notices a crowd of royal-blue uniformed studens gathered on a small hillside at the entrance to this school. Although an unexpected stop, it proves to be most rewarding as the 200 + students are conducted into a fabulous rendition of "It's a Grand Old Flag." We leave the grounds buoyed by the students' interest and enthusiasm.

The remainder of the day's march is along busy and commercial Annapolis Road into Bladensburg. We have a short light rain shower but the sun emerges and the day is moderately hot, enough to shed regimentals for the afternoon. The army passes the original French camp, currently built up with a carriage-dealer business and a modern gold-mirrored office building.

As Rose waits ahead for the men, she is recognized (by apparel) and addressed by Diane Griffin, scout sent from the Bostwick House. She is friendly and energetic, watches as the men march past and then leads the smaller carriage to Bostwick where a small crowd has gathered. There is Pat McAuley whom the men chatted with in Annapolis, police photographer Gerry Gilmore, historian Chris Needham, caretaker Kathy Manicke, and Bladensburg mayor Walter James. We are all photographed entering the gated drive of this historic home, then again on the front steps.

The evening is spent retrieving Martha from Belair, resting tired feet, chatting with Kathy and her husband Brian, and dining on the remaining Shepard's Pie....thank you again, Pam!

There is much anticipation of tomorrow's journey into Georgetown, but we are all so tired, we will definitely sleep well. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Monday September 18, 2006 March Day 94

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Back to the 6 AM reveille - the early morning darkness gives way to another clear blue sky. The men prepare, getting back in the groove for this day's 13 1/2 miles to
Bowie, MD with French camp destination now the site of Sacred Heart Chapel. The group's campsite for tonight will be Belair mansion.

The army begins at St. Anne's, taking West Street out of the city proper. Unable to procure a ship, we now follow the wagon train by land, and turn onto Defense Highway away from the busy carriage road lined with large shops and onto this two-lane wood-lined and partially shaded road. The men are enjoying this walk and continue at a goodly pace. They receive many "thumbs up", recognition honks and even a "Good luck and thanks for doing this, men!" The day continues hot and sunny, the road a gradual incline for many miles.

As Defense Highway merges with route 3 into the city of Bowie, the road again becomes busy highway with heavy and fast carriage traffic, but the men use the flags to their advantage for visibility. En route, the men are visited briefly by Dave Smith, our Annapolis friend who portrayed Tench Tilghman, bidding them goodbye et bonne chance....and a brief visit also by brother John on his way home from DC, delivering left-behind socks from mistress Amy's laundry.

We reach the site of the French camp, site of Sacred Heart Chapel, situated atop a wooded hill, the Jesuit center of learning in the 1700's, and thriving plantation. We wander the graveyard but locate no revolutionary war graves. The march for today is over.

We proceed by carriage to Belair mansion, a stately brick museum with terraced rolling lawns and are greeted by Director Steve Patrick and Assistant Director Pam Williams. As we are told there are sprinkler heads in the lawn and garden, we all search carefully for a spot to erect the tents. We remember the rain inside the tents at Pompton!

Pam has an unexpected treat for us...she has a fully prepared dinner waiting....her famous shepard's pie complete with baby greens salad, biscuits and cornbread, pastried brie, walnut and cranberry pie and a pitcher of lemonade. The men set the camp table and chairs on the circular bricks at the center of the manicured garden, and as we dine, the first of the night's visitors arrive. We have representatives of the Governor Robert Bowie Chapter of the DAR, many locals with children and an SAR gentleman from Tennessee who sports four gold stars on his cap, each star representing five revolutionary ancestors.

The army socializes, is photographed and questioned until it begins to grow dark, and we are left alone at our camp. As it is still not yet late, the men leave for a short time to procure provisions for the camp's emptying larder while Rose stays behind tasking on the day's communications. While the men are away, she takes advantage of a high-placed water spigot at the back of the mansion, and enjoys a cold but invigorating bath in the darkness. This boon is shared with the men on their return.

We are grateful for David's french silver coin in replenishing our stores and the local shopkeepers are happy with the trade. With Martha's shelves filled, we bid each other a good night. A demain.
Avec amour,

September 19, 2006

March Date Sunday September 17,2006 March Day 92

I wake listening to the preparations of a very early riser. Mike is dressing in his finest and leaves the camp shortly to attend services at St.Anne's Episcopal Church. He walks through this quiet town, the click of his heels on the red brick road, enters the church and sits in the front pew. He is addressed by the pastor and presented to the congregation. He offers a few words about our mission, representing the living history of our country. During Communion, the pastor explains that the chalice currently in use was a gift from King William in the 1690's, and is the very vessel from which George Washington did sip wine in this house of worship at the time of his commission resignation. Mike leaves the service amidst wishes of good will and safe journey.

Mid-morning, the entire group gathers at the Fleet Reserve Club where we are met by brother John and family,and Mom Jean. We are the guests of the club for a fabulous breakfast buffet and we then take advantage of the view from the upper deck overlooking the waterfront....the domed and steepled skyline, the historic buildings, brick roads and walk paths, the distant Chesapeake Bay Bridge...all under a bright blue clear sky.

The army again strolls this area, now very often recognized by the locals as "those guys who are marching". A ten minute walk can and does occupy an hour or more.

We travel by carriage - in civilian clothes for the first time since August 18 - (we each comment on how strange we look to each other) to David's brother's home in Odenton, to relax for the rest of the day. We swim in the pool, engage Amy's services as laundress, communicate with friends and family back in the upper colonies, enjoy the twins' antics, visit with Mom Jean, share a hearty steak dinner, and eagerly devour Amy's chocolate iced cake that she magically transformed into an edible work of art.

We bid adieu to all, thanking this family for sharing their home and their love, allowing us some comfortable "down" time.

We return to camp Martha at the Carroll House, and by 9:30 we are all in our beds for a good night's sleep, the better to resume our march on the morrow. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Saturday September 16, 2006 March Date 92

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

The army is at a two day's rest here in Annapolis. The men sleep in without the regimen of preparing to march on this overcast day. I take an early morning stroll to the waterfront and find the army's portrait on the front page of the local publication, "The Capital", and purchase copies. There is much activity here with the open shops and ships in port, and I take advantage of the shower facilities usually reserved for the ships' crews. The harbormaster's assistant gladly accepts my "story" of marching to Yorktown, smiles and takes my gold coin to allow me entry.

Refreshed and nibbling on croissant, I return to the camp at the Carroll House to find the men dressed and eager to enter the city. I elect to remain at camp to work on communications.

The men spend the morning mingling with the locals and are guests at the "History Quest" headquarters for a time. They report an impromptu invitation to tour the museum-like home of Ann Jensen, a resident of Annapolis, author of Revolutionary War children's books, and descendent of a fallen soldier during the Battle of Long Island.

I am summoned from camp by BJ and George Gerber to join the group, along with Rob Reyes, at the Treaty of Paris restaurant for lunch as they review the planned events for our march in D.C. It is good to be with these friends once more.

For the rest of the day, the men enjoy the sights of this delightful city. They visit the Naval Academy, museum, chapel, and the impressive tomb of John Paul Jones. David literally runs into Alex K., a former Eagle scout of his from Connecticut, now a second year midshipman at the Naval Academy. The men eat ice cream while sitting on the docks, and draw much attention and questions from the passers-by. From brother John's connections, (retired navy) the men spend some time at the Fleet Reserve Club imbibing in a bit of spirits,and are told their money is not accepted there when it comes time to pay the tally.

I am fast asleep in my bunk and never hear them return. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 18, 2006

March Date Friday September 15, 2006 March Day 91

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

We wake this morning with the dawn light...no reveille for this short six mile march into Annapolis. The rain has subsided and the day is overcast. Everything is soaked with the smell of wet wool prominent in the morning air, and the musket barrels are coated with light rust. With our morning prayer, we include a petition for sunshine.

The men set off down the small dirt - now muddy - road to resume the walk on Generals Highway. They are photographed at the Belvoir marker, an opportunity missed last night due to the darkness and the rain. In the fierce one lane commuter traffic, the men are given an occasional honk or wave from passing drivers.

Rose is sent about on errands - to seek a local cobbler known for his speedy repairs, to bring life back into Mike's well-worn period shoes, and to seek a laundress who can clean David's now wet and drooping white regimental. Inquiring of the locals, the well-known Spanish cobbler is located at a large "mall of Annapolis". He studies the shoes for a long moment before giving a slight nod indicating he will try and that I should return in the afternoon. I now inquire about and locate Zip's laundering and cleaning establishment. Here there are also many Spanish shopkeepers and I am told that David's coat will be ready today by 5 o'clock. Both cobbler and laundress demand payment in advance before performing their services. Word of the army's gold coin must have preceded us.

I find the army at the end of West Street at St.Anne's Episcopal church at the rotary entrace to the city of Annapolis. They are chatting with Glenn Campbell, Historian and with Patricia Blick, vice president of Preservation and Education.....both of the Historic Annapolis Foundation. We are all warmly welcomed and we proceed to Phillips Crab House on the wharf for a pre-arranged lunch. The men, looking handsome in their regimentals and carrying the many colours, draw much attention from the locals on their short journey down Main Street. We dine on delicious lump crab cakes and iced tea. David of course, is the exception with his usual cheeseburger.

Afterward, we stroll about the wharf area, are warmly greeted by Harbormaster Rick, and are guided to our campsite by our hosts. We will camp three nights at the Charles Carroll House, built in the 1720's and residence of the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. The original French camp is directly across the creek from this site. Camp Martha will be parked at the rear of the adjacent St.Mary's church and rectory parking lot, and the tents will be set near the water on the rolling lawn of the Carroll House.

As we are scheduled to participate in a commemorative service at 4 of the clock, we take leave of our hosts to ready ourselves. Upon returning to the small carriage, we find a ticket tariff for a meter expiration. Many coins had been deposited in this device but obviously we tarried too long. A $15 dollar charge is due and payable immediately or the tariff increases on a daily basis.

As we return to Martha, we leave Mike to fetch his shoes at the cobbler's shop. The remaining men fetch muskets and accoutrements and we work our way back to the city. Mike is in the parking lot wearing his period shoes and smiling....the sole holes and worn heels have been expertly repaired. Next we stop at the laundress for David's regimental... he had earlier sent a communication requesting a fetch time of 3:00 pm and was told it would be ready. After searching the shop, his coat is discovered untouched and uncleaned in the morrow's laundry bin. Disappointed at not looking his "suave" best, David takes the coat and we return to Annapolis.

We meet Patricia once more and walk to the grounds of St.John's College and gather at the French monument. We are joined by Glenn, Dave Smith in period clothing portraying Tench Tilghman, Lieutenant Patrick Ratier, French exchange officer, and several midshipmen from the Naval Academy looking crisp in their summer whites.

Glenn, Dave, David and Patrick each speak in turn, relating our countries' histories, involvement and support. David and Patrick together lay a beautiful fresh flower wreath at the base of the monument, remembering the French soldiers buried here.

Many photographs are taken and we note the Holloway family among those attending.
From almost the first moment that we gathered for this service, the rain began...first a fine drizzle, then a steady downpour. David feels a little better that his regimental was not cleaned earlier.

It is now time to fetch camp Martha forward from Belvoir. We drive the small carriage back and David drives the rig into Annapolis and expertly deposits her in the designated lot while Mike, Dave and Rose drive up the long winding road leading to the Belvoir House to give our thanks to Tim Fortney for allowing us to camp here. No one answers our calls at this 1700's brick mansion, but we stroll about these once beautiful grounds complete with terraced gardens, leave our token gift and note of thanks and leave for the city.

The group is all safely back at camp at the Carroll House, and we prepare for dinner. As we will be at leisure for the next two days, we treat ourselves to the Middleton Tavern, built in 1740 and host to early travelers George Washington and also Tench Tilghman on his way to Philadelphia with news of Cornwallis' surrender. How fitting a spot!

The proprietor and his assistants, however, must be experiencing a difficult night as the service did not seem to be up to this tavern's reputation and standards. We eventually dine on standard fare of beast and fish, and are satisfied. As we prepare to pay and leave this establishment, without a word from us, the proprietor acknowledges his less than superb attentions to us amd makes a large adjustment from our tally. The Middleton ~ fine tavern indeed.

It is a short walk from the waterfront to our beds, and we enjoy the sights and sounds of this naval academy city at play on a Friday night. We stroll the slight uphill on red-bricked sidewalks. The next two days are totally ours in this handsome historic city. A demain.
Avec amour,

March Date Thursday September 14, 2006 March Day 90

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Again....dark morning reveille with the rains beginning during the night. The marchers ready to leave Belmont. Oil cloths are donned as the sky is dark and ominous, promising a full day of wet travel. Martha is left behind and the men are transported by carriage to the start point of Waterloo - intersection of route 175 and Washington Boulevard. We join hands and pray, as is our custom and the men set off.

The army is a mere two miles out when Rose receives a call to fetch muskets and parade attire and accoutrements in anticipation of the army passing Fort Mead some six miles from the start of today's journey. After a quick trip back to Martha, the support carriage meets the group on the outskirts of Fort Mead territory with David's brother John and twins also in the group's attendance. Everyone is photographed, interviewed and videoed by the Fort Mead reporters for their base publication..... All in the rain.

Once past the main gate, the army once again trades regimentals and muskets for oil cloth and flags, and resumes the march....another five miles to John Holloway's home in Odenton, a respite from the rain and an opportunity for noon nourishment. Rose and John travel ahead in the small wagons and wait for the troop's arrival by visiting with Mom Jean, Amy and the girls. The men arrive, wet and already drained from the foul weather, but with still another eight miles travel for this day. Everyone takes sustenance, Mike sleeps in his chair at the table for a short spell and they return to the road with the heavens still pouring rain.

Brother John kindly runs "point" with Rose in his carriage, determining mileage and locating the Rising Sun Inn where the Anne Arundel Chapter DAR is planning a reception for the army, at approximately the 15 mile mark. After meeting with Sandy Anderson at the Inn and establishing the men's estimated time of arrival, John and Rose fetch camp Martha some 20+ miles back at Belmont and deposit her at his home in Odenton, that much closer to tonight's camp at Scott's Plantation at Belvoir, 18 miles from the start. Yes, the logistics are complicated and time consuming, especially with the day's getting shorter and John's assistance is greatly appreciated.

Rose finds the men at the Rising Sun Inn where they are being well received. The DAR has prepared a grand table of many cheeses, crackers, breads, fruits and beverages for the soldiers' brief passing, and the DAR members' warmth and admiration is exuded in this handsome building on Generals Highway. Long after the soldiers depart to finish the day's march, Rose lingers to chat and answer questions about the marchers and our journey. I feel that I am among friends and am wont to leave. Thank you all ~ Sandy, Joyce, Bill, Barabara and Ellen. Your love and concern will indeed keep our country's history alive.

The men have continued the day's march to our destination...Belvoir, 18 miles in alternating drizzle and pouring rain. We travel by carriage back to brother John's for a 21st century dinner of pizza and take advantage of the clothes dryer. When all is put right, the group proceeds with Martha to our night's camp. Now dark, one tent is set on the lower pasture for Mike. The ground is saturated, regimentals and oilcloths are drenched. From this remote camp, there are no traffic sounds, no artificial lighting, no other carriages on this dirt road.

We retire to our beds. 'Twas a long difficult day, the second in succession....and the troop has endured. A demain.
Avec amour,

March Date Wednesday September 13, 2006 March Day 89

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Another reveille in the morning darkness, and the troops prepare early by going to breakfast at the local Mickey D's. Rob Reyes arrives at the Fort to march with the men today, but before travelling to Camden Yards for the start of today's journey, we all view the museum's film of the Fort's bombardment by the British in the War of 1812, prompting the national anthem by lawyer Francis Scott Key. As the film ends, the audience is requested to stand, the large curtain is pulled back and our beautiful flag is shown flying over the Fort Walls as the anthem is sung. A fabulous and moving experience.

Rob, in hiking shorts and shoes sans socks, has strategically planted his bicycle en route and is carrying Washington's Headquarters flag - a dark blue background with 13 white stars throughout. At Camden Yards, we are brought up to the Stadium Authority Office to view a wall-sized map of the historic army camps and we also get an impressive birds' eye view of Oriole Park from the floor to ceiling windows. Back down in the Yards lot, David is interviewed by channel 13 television.

For this sixteen + mile day's march, the men now have a late start. The army begins....down Washington Street through "Pig Town" where they catch the attention of a local carriage's occupants. Two young ladies whose carriage sports the tags of "Porn Star" question the men's purpose. This interesting part of town also finds the marchers confronted by a questionable investment gentleman who presents them with four 1 million dollars bills. Shall we take the money and run?

At the Mount Clare museum house, 1760 home of Barrister Charles Carroll, we are joined by our avid supporter Ursula Reed, her long-time friend Laurie Gladstone with her canine babe Chloe Poopsie. We are all given a complimentary tour of this stately museum house before the army resumes its march on the railroad bed, the original army's road a mere thousand feet from this mansion's door. Rose, Ursula and Laurie travel the paved road by carriage and the men later report their train track encounters....much refuse and discarded trash, persons with altered levels of consciousness and other lost souls. They are happy to return to the original Gerogetown Road which is now present only in portions and make their main progress on Washington Boulevard until the entrance into the current Patapsco State Park.

Here the marchers travel a mile upriver to the army's original ford site. I'm sure the original Patapsco River crossing was not as comical as today's.

Rob is the first to cross, removes his shoes and bravely begins. Halfway across, he loses his footing on slippery rocks and plunges thigh-deep, briefly immersing his camera but making a quick recovery and ending on the opposite shore.

"Tough guy" Mike begins the second crossing, complete with shoes, gaitors, etc. He is successful and returns to guide David and Dave who have sat on the near bank watching skeptically all the while. These two remaining soldiers have removed all foot gear, and cautiously cross the river without incident. During one of Mike's crossings, he looses footing and is dunked, quickly retrieving his water current-travelling tricorne.

Unfortunately, that was not caught on any camera!

All are safely across and they begin the mile return to Washington Boulevard. The remainder of this overcast day is spent with the army marching another ten + miles to the Spurrier Tavern marker at the junction of route 175. The men later report a most enthusiastic family that they encounter in the town of Elkridge. Lori, Alex, Cooper and Owen G.are jumping with excitement at the army's passing and generously give their home-made chocolate chip and Berger cookies for the men's enjoyment.

Rose and Rob spend this time retrieving camp Martha from Fort McHenry and delivering her to Belmont Plantation, the arranged site for the night's camp. Rob is then transported back to his carriage where he leaves this day's march, and Rose locates the marchers at the Waterloo Camp marker where they are again being interviewed by a local publication's reporter. This original Waterloo campsite is an impossiblity for us, so the troop is transported back to Belmont via carriage. They are tired, hungry, and fading fast, but thankful for a small canopy erected on the back gardens of the Belmont estate. No need to set tents this night and the focus is on the evening meal.

As Rose prepares an easy and filling pasta dinner, we are visited briefly by David's brother John, bearer of mail, bread and encouragement. Among the posts received is a letter from Alex of Bergen County, New Jersey ( remember Alex popping up, waving and smiling everywhere along the police escort route?) with a hefty donation and clever caption pasted from Ben Franklin's mouth, reading "Le roi est bien heureux de votre progres." You are a wonderful constant supporter, Alex, and we are grateful. The horses can be well-fed again.

We enjoy the distant deer and David takes a late evening dip in a deserted pool. As he returns, the camp is indeed dark and quiet for the night. We have all taken to our beds after a long arduous day ..we are all asleep in minutes. Et tu, Rob? A demain.

Avec amour,

September 17, 2006

March Date, Sunday, Sept. 17th

Homestead Headquarters

Greetings all Friends and Patriots.......

Again, tis another tardy missive to be dispatched to you. We are over busy with moving along to the southward and now have a respite in the Town of Annapolis, in the Marylands. Tis a joy but to set a spell and try to catch up on all rumor and fact. The encryption code device has been giving us a bit of madness in this last week, but perhaps all is well now.

If memory serves, when last we wrote, on or about the 9th Sept., we had just heard of that turncoat bastard, Arnold, and his depredations at the Port of New London, and the Fort at Groton. The army has grumbled for some miles and days over that horrible event. The initial outrage has slowly, ever so slowly, turned to a seething rage, boiling just beneath the surface of the countinence of the men. It is talked of in low terms, and hateful language. Most of that not to be repeated here, lest it suffice, that action will not go un-answered.

So, while that event has steeled our resolve, we must needs to keep our feet movng to the southward, and thus we do. More dispatches have arrived in the camps, some we have heard of, some filled with rumor, some filled with dread, but southwards we go.

On or about Sept 6th, Washington arrived at Head of Elk, followed by the American Army, with the French army arriving two days later, on the 8th. Some 2,000 of the troops, half American, half French, embarked on boats there and were to be headed to Williamsburg. We are told that Lauzon's infantry, and companies of Chasseurs and Grenadiers took the water passage, with the rest of the army striking onward to Baltimore.

On the 9th Sept., the good Generals moved off to Washington's home at Mt. Vernon. Much to our surprise, we have learned that is not yet put to the torch. The General has not been there in some 7 years. General Rochambeau is a day behind Washington, and no doubt they will council there. We are informed (fact or fiction?), that the Generals have left Mt. Vernon, to continue on southward. All forces of the Universe seem to be converging in, on, or near the Chesapeake.

Apparently, on the 10th, de Barras arrived at Williamsburg, from Newport, with the siege guns and the food. Bless the food and ammo.........we would be naught without either. Also, the soldiers from Head of Elk, were told to wait at Annapolis, awaiting until the outcome of the de Grasse and Graves battle coud be determined

Now it seems that there are two British fleet operating in the area, leading to some confusuion in the telling about the camp fires. It seems that de Grasse, on Sept 12th established a blockade of the Chesapeake, that the fleet under British Admiral Graves did not, could not, or would not challenge. That was on the 13th Sept. It seems that de Grasse and Graves had been in a stalemated battle formation some days before that. Oh, the versions of this story are so many....... of course, the Generals were in a bit of a dither, not knowing just what was happening at seaward. Perhaps the entire army was in flux, as well, with the wondering of it all. None-the-less, tis' confirmed that the good Generals left Mt. Vernon, on this day, to continue their way to the southwards.

We have learned that the good Generals have reached the peninsula, just two days ago, on the 15th. We have also learned the de Grasse, and the fleet have also returned after turning back the British fleet.

The clouds are many, the storm gathers force, the winds are blowing.... the evening damps are falling as the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, tis a chill coming in the air... who shall have the favor? Until again, soonest.....

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout

March Date Tuesday September 12, 2006 March Day 88

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Ah...no morning reveille and we wake on our own with the morning light. Dave emerges from his tent to report the night near the water was quite cool and breezy. We each in turn visit the strong forceful shower at the Fort's maintenance headquarters and enjoy a leisurely camp-cooked breakfast of sausage and pancakes. We have important visitors this morning....David's brother John, wife Amy and fraternal 4 year old twins Jenna and Shannon come to visit from Odenton, Maryland, and accompanied by David's Mom Jean who is visiting for a few weeks from Wallingford, CT. It seems David is never far from his loving, supportive family. While David's relatives tour the Fort grounds, the men sit beside Martha, measuring waists, legs and other body parts to call a seamstress order for period clothing to replace rapidly deteriorating items. Mike looks sadly at his period shoes, knowing "something" must be done about them soon. (How about a burial?)

This afternoon, the group of Mike, David, Dave and Rose travels by carriage to Baltimore inner harbor to sight-see and rendezvous with a photographer from the Baltimore Sun. Most often, we are the sight to see, as area tourists frequently ask us to stop for portraits with them. We enter the museum office of the USS Constellation, moored in the harbor, where we are to meet our press agent, are given volunteer passes and board the ship, complimenteur. Mike, ever photogenic, is briefly the subject of the camera lens and we then tour this lovingly restored vessel at our leisure. From the upper deck to the captain's and crew's quarters, from sick-bay to the hold, we imagine life at sea intercepting slave ships and engaging in battle. As we disembark, we draw the attention of Bruce McKenzie, Senior Shipwright at the Constellation museum, who presents us each with a most unique souvenir... an original portion of the wooden hull complete with brass nails, necessarily replaced during the ship's restoration. We carry these relics back to camp, each of us stowing our treasure for safe-keeping.

Ursula Reed arrives from Philadelphia and greets us on our return to the Fort camp. We dress for dinner as we are to be the guests of BJ and George Gerber, Pat and Robert Archer-Jacob, and Rob Reyes, who has reserved a private room for dinner in a Fells Point establishment. We carriage-pool to this delightfully restored and vital historic area, streets lined with handsome period buildings and homes. We are photographed outside the London Coffee House where George Washington is known to have dined, tour the water inlet lined with present-day taverns and shops, and descend to the wine cellar room of the Admiral Fell's Inn. We dine extravagantly, the wine flows, Rob shares enlarged Rice and Brown period maps of the Baltimore encampments, and we are entertained by a period balladeer who leads us all in a rousing "Fathom the Bowl."

The evening is over much too quickly and we are transported back to the Fort by our gracious hosts, where they briefly tour our camp, impressed by the support capability of the Washington rig. 'Tis a late night as we take to our beds, but we are renewed by our friends' support and thankful for their generosity. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Monday September 11, 2006 March Day 87

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Reveille seems to be called in the night as the mornings become darker and darker. This morning also comes with a fine drizzle of rain as the army prepares for the day's trek into Baltimore, some 14 miles with destination Camden Yards, one of three sites of the original French army. With our morning prayer, we remember the souls who perished during this country's attack five years ago today.

The Washington rig is driven into White Marsh and left for the day at the Fire Department lot. We receive a call from Rob Reyes, Maryland Chair of the W3R, member of DC SAR, researcher and self-called "amateur" historian...he is heading our way. The men begin their march on route 7, and Rob arrives to whisk Rose away for a personal "scouting" tour by carriage of the roads into the city and beyond. And a whirlwind tour it is! We follow route 40 onto Fayette Street, stop at the Quaker Meeting house, oldest house in Baltimore, visit the original army camp now approximately six large blocks over the Harford Run stretching toward the inner harbor, round into the Mount Vernon district and the Washington monument, pass the Basilica of the Assumption, the Peabody Institute and zip into the Camden Yards, our army camp's destination for the marchers today. A fast visit to Fort McHenry where we meet National Park Service ranger Scott Sheads assures our pre-arranged night's camp at this famous historic site. Vince Vaise, Mke's original contact is not at hand, but has been most thorough.

After contacting the men who are just now emerging onto route 40, we continue scouting tomorrow's route to Waterloo....Rob all the while giving a running commentary on the events and sites of 1781. As we reverse our path and resume with the marchers, I am on information overload and have depleted my writing supplies that I carry. We find the army at the junction of route 40 and Fayette Street where Mike is supine on a parking lot side curb, fast asleep while the traffic whizzes by a mere six feet away. After everyone is rested, they resume the remaining two miles on foot that Rob and I have covered by carriage. We photograph at the Quaker Meeting House, pass the Shot Tower, turn on Front, Baltimore and Howard Streets and into Camden Yards. We are met by Nolan Rogers of the Maryland Stadium Authority, who is apologetic for the lack of reception by the city fathers.

The Ricciardi family heads for home, and as it is becoming late afternoon, the group proceeds by carriage to Fort McHenry...we again meet with Scott and now meet curator Anna von Lunz. We are given every consideration in meeting the camp's needs, including the most welcome shower facility at the maintenance headquarters.

David and Rose leave to fetch camp Martha still at the Firehouse in White Marsh while Dave and Mike are scheduled to speak at the Maryland DAR chapter house....they will be transported there by DAR carriage from the Fort.

By the time Martha is safely forwarded to Fort McHenry for a two night stay, the Fort is closed to the publick and we are given the secret combination for the gate entrance lock. We set the tents near the water on the large green expanse of well-kept lawn and proceed to a local sports bar for dinner. We were hoping to dine at Hull Street Blues as recommended by Scott, but no dinners are served on Mondays at this establishment, and David has that "gotta have meat" look in his eye. We are back at the Fort camp at dark when Mike and Dave return from the DAR engagement. They are ravenous and are quickly fed the remains of the crab gumbo still in our larder from our SAR friends feast at Jerusalem Mill. They are saved. It's not long before we all make for our beds, anticipating a day of leisure on the morrow.

A demain et avec amour,

September 16, 2006

March Date Sunday September 10, 2006 March Day 86

Good Day to all March To Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls reveille in the early morning darkness with a large fox eyeing him as he emerges from Martha. We again prepare for the day's march, 11 1/2 miles from the french camp Bush Town marching into White Marsh. Damon says her goodbyes, leaving the group to head north to visit friends, and vowing to return when the group enters Virginia.

The army is transported by carriage to the marker site and they begin. The entire day will keep them on this rural route 7, Philadelphia Road, and they start with and maintain a good pace, easlily covering six miles within two hours. It is amazing that any blister problems that the men experience are resolving in spite of the continued walking on asphalt. Under their stockings, are many strips and patches of silver duct tape!

As they pass Huber's, a large farmstand, Mike calls to the shopkeeper - "Can you spare a tomato for a hungry soldier?" She smiles, they cross the road, and soon are treated to snow cones and a bag of fruit and tomatoes. This is Val, and she is quite sympathetic to our cause.

It is near noon when the day's march is finished. The Rochambeau army marker is at the site of the local post office and adjacent to the actual field of encampment. The group "noons" here under the shade of a tree, and then returns to Jerusalem Mill where we will camp a second night. It is a beautiful sunny afternoon, and with a few hours to ourselves, we each spend time on different pursuits.....communication to the colonies, drawing water from the stream for laundry and interacting with the Mill's visitors. On site is Tim Jewell, our original contact for our accommodation here at this beautiful site.

When the Mill closes to the publick, we gather around the stone kitchen's existing fire, have a bountiful meal from last night's leavings and chat about our journey to date. Rose steals away to a secluded bend in the stream and enjoys a cool, cleansing dip. On returning the campfire, we find our scout family, the Ricciardi's from Bergen Countey have rejoined the march. They erect their tents to the rear of the lean-to and soon everyone is heading to their beds. 'Tis a pity we will be leaving this nature's refuge on the morrow. A demain.

Avec Amour,

September 14, 2006

March Date Saturday September 9, 2006 March Day 85

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls reveille approximately 45 minutes before the red sun rises across the Susquehanna, promising a clear, hot day. We are joined by another reenactor, Damon Ferguson from the Finger Lakes Region of New York, a French and Indian War friend of Dave Fagerberg's. She has travelled a great distance to march with the army this day, some 12 + miles from this river to Bushtown, Maryland. Alan and his scout troop will complete the numbers marching to the edge of this town.

As the men (and ladies) prepare for the day, Rose searches Martha's shelves for the missing portrait "chip".....finding none, the thought of the little boy's "piece of toy" returns and she is struck with dread. It must be one and the same. Captain Mike is informed of the need to return to the village of North East, and as the men move out, I drive the smaller carriage hard north again hoping to retrieve this vital portrait device.

I arrive quite some time before this shop keeper opens for the day, and I wait....and wait. Finally, the shop door opens at 10 of the clock and I hurriedly explain my purpose and the hope that this mistress still possesses the "toy". Yes.s.s!! She explains that she almost discarded this tiny article but a feeling of some import swept over her to keep it for a while longer. Soon, the chip is safely deposited at the post and I make haste to the south again to catch up with the army. I feel that Providence has again intervened.

The army is making good progress on the Pulaski highway, soon to resume route 7, Old Philadelphia Road at Aberdeen. The day has indeed become very hot, the marchers' faces are flushed, and they take water by the side of this busy four lane carriage road. Onto route 7, they are again on a rural road and as we stop to rest at an Industrial Park area, the workers come out to query, offer assistance and use of their privy.

The twelve mile journey is nearly complete but the support/scout carriage is unable to locate the town of Bush. The marchers load into the small carriage to determine the French camp location, and a mere half mile down route 7, the Rochambeau marker is disovered and we find the field of the encampment, now occupied by a goup of cows lazing in the shade of a copse of trees. The field has been mowed for our campsite by Bill Smithson of the SAR. Apparently, Bush Town no longer exists and the marchers are returned to complete this half mile by foot.

Once again at this field, we determine that the Washington rig would not cross the cattle grate without damage to her under-structure. An alternative camp would need to be established. As we ponder this turn of events, we are drawn by the sound of a babbling steam bordering the field and find a small footpath on the opposite side of the road, leading to a wider waist-deep stretch of gently flowing water, appropriate for a refreshing lunch spot. The troop noons and Mike takes the ultimate opportunity to partake of nature, strips to his scivs and dives. He is soon drying and napping in the sun. Rose and Damon doff shoes and socks and serenely wade about. Damon points out prints in the sand - a crane's prints here, a racoon's prints for dinner ablutions there.

After sufficient rest, it is decided to move our night's camp forward to Jerusalem Mill.
A message is sent to Bill Williamson to notify him of our change of camp..... he is busy preparing our night's dinner which, he states, he will gladly deliver to Jerusalem Mill.

By carriage, the group returns to the Susquehanna to fetch Martha and Damon's carriage. Mike leads the way past Bush Town and onward to the Mill, a living history and workshop state park. Although we are a day early for our arranged accommodations here, we are greeted by Chris Scovill who kindly allows us to nestle Martha down a long dirt drive beside their working stone house kitchen behind the main building. A log-sided, canvas-roofed lean-to stands in the wooded section not 100 feet from the structure, and the soldiers eye this, anticipating their shelter for the night. Another close babbling stream completes this little paradise.

As the group settles in, we are visited by Maryland SAR members Bill Smithson, who is state Vice Commander of the Colorguard, his son Christopher who is historian and Color Guard Adjutant, Dave Hoover who is state 3rd Vice President, and Bobby Ayres who is Colorguard Drummer and president of the Colonel Aquila Hall Chapter SAR. I am remiss in reporting that these gentlemen also visited with us on our arrival at the Susquehanna River, and, true to their word, have planned and prepared our dinner here tonight.

It is a feast! They have thought of everything.....even a moveable fire on which to cook fresh ears of corn. There is a crab gumbo, hot roast beast, white and sweet potatoes, fresh salad, venison sausage and cold spirits.....pecan and peach pie for dessert. We are fat and full again, thanks to our generous and thoughtful hosts. We merrily socialize...again, the review chat of local history. As darkness progresses, our hosts depart and we each retire to our beds. A wonderful day, another day closer to Yorktown. Thank you all for your gifts as we travel our road of history.

A demain....et avec amour,

September 13, 2006

March Date Friday September 8, 2006 March Day 84

Good day to all March To Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls reveille with a full white moon high in the sky as the red sunrise appears opposite over a fog-covered field. The scene is eerily beautiful.

Bentley Boyd and 9 year old son Truman, have arrived from Newport News during the night, and thinking the Hollingsworth House gate locked, happily slept there on the spot next to the cornfield. Bentley visited us back in Bristol, Pennsylvania and is author of Chester comix, an historic political comic book series, and he is currrently gathering information for an article for his local publication in Williamsburg, Virginia. Bentley is outfitted in period clothes and will march with the army today, replacing Mike Chuckta who left for his Connecticut home yesterday afternoon. Bentley and Truman are travelling north to cover the weekend's event in Brandywine.

The day's march begins.....out of the gate to just a portion of route 40 where the soldiers will take rural Old Philadelphia Road for most of today's journey. It is a pleasant road and the sun is shining as they progress some 14 miles from Elkton to Rogers Tavern in Perryville, Maryland.

Rose runs support with the smaller carriage, and after 4.5 miles, takes the young lad Truman into the wagon. He has done well in keeping step with these seasoned men. We drive ahead to the town of North East, a small village with a main street of colorful shops each bedecked with flowering plants. As we wait for the army, Truman and I walk the main road in search of a post to send our portrait "chip" to headquarters in Connecticut colony. We occasionally stop to admire the shops' merchandise, and when we arrive at the post, I discover that my envelope is empty. Sure that I have taken the wrong envelope from Martha's shelves, Truman and I walk back to the carriage. When the mistress of one shop calls to us to ask if the little boy had dropped a piece of toy that she discovered on the walk after we had passed, Truman and I look inquiringly at one another and tell this lady, "Thank you, but no." I did not correlate these two events, and that I would later regret.

We find the army well up the road and stop with them for our noon meal. Truman is rested and refreshed enough to resume marching, with little more than 4 miles to our destination. Mike has received a communication from Barbara Brown, commissioner of Parks and Recreation in Perryville, reporting that a group of supporters has gathered at the tavern and are anxiously awaiting their arrial We were informed that this reception was scheduled for two to four o'clock and it is now 1:30. Rose is requested to drive ahead to inform the gatherers of the the army's location and estimated time of arrival. Truman takes this opportunity to come along. A group of engineers is encountered building a new bridge on the main incoming road of this town, but hearing of the army's approach, the carriage is allowed to pass, and Officer Hackett waits at the site to facilitate the men's march.

Rogers Tavern is an historic beauty...a red two-story brick building nestled in a wooded area on the bank of the Susquehanna River, and is currently in the restoration process. The expectant crowd's numbers have dwindled a bit, but the enthusiasm for the army has not. As the men arrive, many portraits are taken and representatives from the Rising Sun Historical Preservation Society and Head of Elk DAR are splendid in their fine period dresses. Barbara has arranged for a complete dinner for the army to be provided by a local establishment. We chat with Sandy Anderson and look forward to our stop at the Rising Sun Inn in a week's time. We thank everyone for their kindness.

When the socializing ends, Bentley treats us all to a local treat of ice cream and we all leave to fetch Martha still stationed at the Hollingsworth House. Bentley and Truman bid us farewell as they continue their journey northward.

Martha and the smaller carriage now wind their ways toward the night's camp at the Susquehanna Lockhouse Museum. We cross the Susquehanna River Bridge,and are greeted by Betsy Keithley at the museum.

The men set their tents on the green lawn facing the lock and the large bridge, and we all share the wonderful bounty that Barbara has provided. Alan Weir with his Boy Scout troop 802 has arrived to camp for the night, and they also prepare a beef stew cooked over an open fire, much to the men's enjoyment.

It has been another busy and beautiful day. Merci, mon Dieu....Merci, tout le monde. A demain.

Avec Amour,

September 11, 2006

March Date Thursday September 7, 2006 March Day 83

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls reveille on this damp cool morning. As this late summer turns into autumn, the longer nights bring heavy dew and the men sleeping under the night sky are covered with dampness as they wake. The border crossing ceremony is scheduled here at the Iron Hill Museum for 9:30 AM and we do not hurry in our prepartions for the day. John Slack arrives with juice, hot chocolate for our chocolate lovers Dave and David, crosissants and donuts. Laura Lee brews a strong coffee in the museum. Many of our supporters from the previous evening and today's ceremony participants begin arriving.

The army is joined by 1st and 6th Maryland regiments Phil Shank and Bill Voigt, handsome in their military regimentals and carrying their muskets. The flags are readied and the Lamp of Liberty is lit. Ralph Nelson and Glenn Pusey conduct the cermony....the marchers are introduced, the W3R and french regimental flags are exchanged. The Lamp of Liberty is passed from Newark, DE mayor Vance Funk to Elkton, MD mayor Joseph Fisona. Kay Nelson, representing and splendid in her DAR decorations, addresses the crowd, and Ralph presents the March to Yorktown members with a monetary donation collected from our fellow diners the previous evening. Mike again expresses our gratitude for eveyone's support.

The day's march begins, now with six soldiers on the road - Mike, David, Dave, Mikey, Phil and Bill. 'Tis a short marcch, some 5.5 miles to historic Elk Landing in Elkton, Maryland. As the army approaches this city, they pass a clear sandy stream passing under the main road, and Mike files this away for a possible re-visit later in the day.

The group will have some much needed "down" time at our night's destination.

We arrive at Hollingsworth House, a work in progress restoration of the Elk Landing Foundation - a beautiful oasis on the upper Chesapeake....a large white homestead, red barn, rolling field surrounded by forest, small groves of trees, and the half ruins of a two-story tavern on which restoration will begin shortly. This site was a busy 18th century port of trade. We are greeted by Foundation president Kenneth Wilcox (Judge), who figuratively gives us the "key" to this little piece of heaven. The sun is shining, the fields are green and the sky is a gorgeous blue...this is entirely ours for the rest of the day.

We retrieve Martha from the Iron Hill museum and quickly return to our little paradise. Damp bedding is spread in the sun to dry, Mike travels to his little stream to swim and nap in the sun, we take cold wonderful showers outside, still set up from a recent previous encampment here, write posts to our families and rest from a whirlwind week. David, ever the handyman, putters about the rig tidying up and making small repairs.

We have few visitors at this remote spot, but Eric Mease of the Foundation stops by to chat, and Phil Shank and Bill Voigt recount the past weekend's festivities of the passing of the French army. Seems Elkton had its commemorative parade last weekend, with the Old Guard leading the procession. Because this was a week before our arrival, Phil and Bill reenacted the reenactors! During the course of the late afternoon, Dave is handed an envelope with a monetary donation from the Elk Landing Foundation. These few people who have given so much of themselves to keep this historic place alive are also giving to us in our passing.

Everyone is clean and rested and we drive to an outdoor smoked barbecue rib shack where we feast again. Mike groans and rubs his stomach.....perhaps when the march is over, you can diet? Back at the Hollingsworth house, Mike and Dave set their beds on the large porch....no tentage needed tonight as they will be protected from the heavy dew. We all sit in the darkness, watching the mist roll over the fields and the orange full moon rise in the sky. I'm sure our french allies 225 years ago did the same. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Wednesday September 6, 2006 March Day 82

Good day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls a very quiet reveille this morning, as all sleeping bodies are inside the Martha and George wagons. In the faint light of dawn, we can see that the rain and drizzle has stopped and the turbulent brown "river" in the park has greatly receded.

The men prepare for the day, tending to a few blisters that are the result of yesterday's wet march. The rains are a memory but the blisters are real and they are treated with the soldiers' secret remedy....duct tape. They swear by the silver strips that are applied to the affected area. What say you, Dr. Mark? After a light breakfast, the men begin, some 15.5 miles to Christiana, Delaware. They are joined by Ralph Nelson and the group looks splendid in their colorful regimentals and flying colours under the clear morning sky. No drab brown oil cloth garments today.

Kay Nelson stops by the Richardson Mill site, offering her services to help in any way. Although we are down to one support driver, the day will be manageable with Rose driving the small carriage as support and we will return for Martha at day's end.

The army follows Route 4 through Stanton, DE and at the junction of Routes 4 and 7, take a small footpath down to the Stanton-Christiana Road. Here they visit the Hale Byrnes House, a handsome period brick structure with the White Clay Creek flowing by in the back pasture. Rose waits for them here, speading clothing on the ground in the sun....shoes, gaitors and oil cloths still wet from yesterday's weather. They rest a short while here, anticipating the next treacherous part of today's journey. The next two miles of original army road is buried under the intersection of three multi-lane highways and the men must walk in the left breakdown lane going with the high speed traffic. There is no room to walk next to the slower speed lane. They also must wait for a break in the traffic and cross three lanes which merge with an I-95 exit in order to reach another footpath which will again take them to route 7 into Christiana.

Rose and Ralph drive ahead from Hale Byrnes House to the destination footpath where the men are scheduled to emerge, and we wait.....and wait. Those butterflies are back but for a much different reason today. Rose waits at the guardrail facing the speeding carriages, silently praying for the men's safe crossing. Ralph walks past the exit, against the oncoming carriages, crosses the southbound traffic and looks northward from the small grass median strip, hoping to catch a glimpse of the colours.

After what seems like an eternity, and at almost a half mile away, the top of the Bourbonnais becomes visible and it is on THIS side of the highway! Huzzah! They are safe! But Ralph is still on the median, looking for a break to make his dash back across. Thankfully, he uses patience in waiting for his break and makes haste when it arrives. The men laugh nervously, describe their highway experience as "tense" but appear unruffled from their past danger.
After a brief rest, they continue on the Old Baltimore Pike into the small villaqge of Christiana.

The army is met by Glen Pusey of the Pencader Heritage Area Association and by Ken Baumgardt, president of the Christiana Historical Society. Ken escorts the troops through the crossroads of Christiana with his musket and bayonet at the shoulder. They provide us with a most welcome lunch of our choice ( Ah..tuna salad grinders!) on the grounds of a local period home. The troop "noons" and there is always the chat of local history. After lunch, Ralph leaves us to proceed further to the site of Cooch's Bridge.

The army continues another six miles before reaching this site. An impressive monument with plaque and 4 cannon stands on the side of the road at Cooch mansion marking the Colonial and British battle with casualties from both sides buried in the countryside in unmarked graves. They are given a first floor tour of the great house, impeccably maintained in the Revolutionary era by descendant Thomas Cooch.

'Tis now but a mile's march to our night's camp - the Iron Hill Museum. Rose has arrived earlier and is greated by Laura Lee, curator of this small interesting collection of natural and historical artifacts. The grounds are lovely, complete with butterfly garden attracting busy tiny hummingbirds.

The marchers arrive, and after a short rest, prepare for dinner. We are to be the guests at the Blue and Gold Club at the University of Delaware, arranged by Glenn Pusey. Ralph arrives at the museum to escort us to the campus where are greeted by a goodly crowd of supporters. We sit at a long banquet table in a high-ceilinged and windowed dining room, interspersed among these kind people, getting to know each other and answering many questions. We feast on a buffet of salmon, chicken, eggplant parmigiana (Yes, David is eating this!), and roasted potatoes. Speeches are given and once again Mike expresses our gratitude for this group's generosity and care.

We return to our night's camp and the men once again sleep under the clear night sky. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 09, 2006

March Date, Saturday, Sept. 9, Day 85

Homestead Headquarters, Historic Overview

Greetings Friends......

Please excuse the tardy posts. I am trying my best to gather all the information that I can, from about the camps, and the fires, and to pass them along to you. It has been a trial, trying to put all of this in proper order, not only for you, but for ourselves. The stories are circulating like wildfire here, the evening fires are full of story and rumor, fact and perhaps not fact.....some wishful thinking perhaps has also been making a mark.

Tis hard, with the communications and messages going to and fro with much alacrity, to try to keep sense and order of it all. I can tell you that the last week has just been so fitful, and surprising, that I can barely contain myself. Let me put to paper all that I know, or have at least heard about the camps and the fires, thus...... I trust that these missives are actually getting to you all.

There is some concern that maybe you have not received all that has been disclosed, but the communication often takes so long. It all depends on the riders, and the sloops of sea, and of the stragglers in the camps, and of the reports from the spies. Indeed, we have spies, as does the enemy. You may recall Nathan Hale, the poor lad executed so severely, and quickly, by the British in New York. You may also recall that we did the same to Major Andre, just a year ago now, when we found him in league with Arnold, that bloody treacherous bastard....

I think, when last I wrote, (I have but only time to write one of these missives at a time, without the luxury of making a copy, so my poor memory will have to suffice, for the moment), that we were approaching Philadelphia.....it was about to be September, if memory serves correctly, the last I wrote was the last of August, just a day after my birthday..... I was able to celebrate that occasion, with the help of my tent mates, who managed to get a double, maybe triple rum ration, that day....my spirit still trembles at the memory of the morning following..... but we were able to keep walking, and the foul weather gave me a reprieve, of sorts......so, let me continue, enough of my life, tis the coming events that are so fretful....

We had learned that the French Admiral de Barras had left Newport, with the siege guns and much food and provisions, on Aug. 31 or there abouts, headed for the Chesapeake, or so it is reported.....and about the same time, the British Admiral Hood left New York to try to perhaps cause some havoc, and mischief, among the French, either in the Atlantic, or at Chesapeake. The players in this game or more than I can fathom, almost.

The army was at Trenton at that time, very close to Philadelphia, and still progressing southwards......

About the 2nd of September, we learned that the Americans passed through Philadelphia, but not without some theatre, and major upheaval. The Americans soldiers, it seems, were very distressed about the lack of pay and made it known, apparently, in no uncertain terms. The details that have come to this camp are fleeting and without color, at best. We are aware, of course, that the American currency is useles, at the momnent... all paper, no back-up, no value... even the merchants would rather sell to the British, to get the Sterling rather than the American paper. But, the rumor is that Robert Morris, Superintendent of Finances for the Continental Congress, was able to convince Gen. Rochambeau to 'lend' to the Congress so that the Soldiers might be paid. We saw much activity in Officer's Country that day, tis must have been what it was all about. We gather that the agreement must have been made, the rumor saying that Rochambeau advanced the Americans some $20,000, to pay the troops. I guess the troops were then satisfied as the Americans then continued on.

We have also learned that on, September 5th, (tis when we got the word, so, it probably happened a couple of days before, maybe on the 2nd) or there abouts, the French Admiral de Grasse disembarked some 4,800 troops from his fleet, into the Virginias, under the command of the French General Saint-Simon....these troops, we are led to believe, (or so the rumor goes) will be with Gen. Lafayette, and General Wayne...thank Gawd for the French, what would we be about, without their help? Still sitting in New York, I suppose, counting the British heads about that Town.

We have also learned that the additional French troops are thus...... about 1,800 infantry that are the normal complement of the infantry provided to help defend the ships, or de Grasses own, also....the Regiment d"Agenais, with two regimetns under the Comte d'Autichamp... the Regiment de Dillon of mostly Irish volunteers, under Count Arthur Dillon....the Regiment de Gatinais under Marquis de Rostaing.......the Regiment de Touraine under Vicomte de Pondeux....and finally, two companies of the Regiment d'artillarie de Metz...we understand that Saint-simon has placed his command under General Lafayette, temporarily....

....ah, just a moment.....another rumor has made it's way to my tent, via my tent mates.... bless these lads for the rum and the news. Clinton, in New York, is now sure that we are marching to the Virginias, and has sent a missive to Corny, indicating that fact... I may have told you this earlier.

Our own line of march passed through Philadelpis on Sept 3rd and 4th. We are with the French, you see, just a very small detachment of Light Infantry, being used as guides and messengers. Tis how it is that I am able to relay to you what we think, or see, or hear, what is about. We act as a go between for Washington and Rochambeau..... of course we seem to only find all of this information some days after it occurs....we are are not privy to the inner council.

In any event, the French, in two divisions, marched through Philadelphia on the 3rd and 4th, in crisp Uniform and Style. Much more resplendent than the Americans, and just as determined.

Hmmmm, just a day later, on the 5th, or there about, it seems (how can all of this be going on, almost at the same time, tis hard to fathom of to even keep straight in our minds), the army reached Chester. Washington and Rochambeau received news that day that the British fleet had not encountered de Grasse, and had gone on to New York. Tis made the Generals very happy ...as well as the entire army, indeed!

It now being Sept. 9th, we have also heard that Hood had returned, from New York, to the Chesapeake, immediatley, to engage de Grasse. For once, in all history of the sea, it seems that the French Navy was equal to the task. I must say, we had not much faith in the French Navy being able to fight with the British, tis had not done so with much success in the past. But this day, the Sun and the Gods must be smiling upon us. The French, outnumbering the British, have inflicted damge on the British fleet, and sent them back to New York..... the rumors say this happened on the 5th Sept. The battle, apparently, took place off the Chesapeake Capes.......and, with the good luck continuing, the fleet of de Barras was not involved and seems safe, yet....ah, the guns and the food, still on the way...

General Wasington reached Head of Elk, on the 6th, we are told, he being a bit ahead of the army. We now hear that Washington, and Rochambeau, a day behind Wshington, have left camps and are going to Mt. Vernon. We are told that Washington has not been home in some seven years, or since he took comand of the Army, in 1775, at Cambridge........tis seems so long, long ago.....bless the man, bless them both....

........another alarm in the camp, tis a moment, I beg...

Oh, Gawd-damm it, gawd-damn it......tis that bastard Arnold. Was I not just mentioning his name but a few moments ago? Tis must be a curse to speak his name as he seems to appear whenever tis done... it seems, just a few days ago, the bloody bastard turncoat was in charge of a small British fleet off the Connecticut Coast. In fact, he sailed into his old hometown of the Port of New London....the reports are not clear, and so emotional, that the entire army is in uproar....we cannot believe what we have heard, we refuse to believe what we have heard, it just can't be true.......the story is thus.......the British were hard pressed to stamp out was was thought to be a piracy network in New London, probaly American privateers hoping to do their duty, and make a profit. Well, Arnold has burned the Town of New London to the ground......to the gawd-damn ground, every building in the Town...... to the ground.

But that pales to the extreme when I tell you the rest....gawd-damn it.. Across from New London, in the Town of Groton, is the local militia Fort Griswold. Of course, the Militia had been called out when the fleet was noticed in the morning... as New London was burning, a futile defense was attemped, but being vastly outnumbered the militia quickly moved across the river to the safety of the Fort. The British force, overwhelming in numbers, turned its attention to the Fort, and asked the Commander, Ledyard, to surrender. He refused........and a day of black infamy insued, for both the Americans and the British. I can barely control myself, the bastards.....

A battle, of course, with the British forcing the Fort. The defense was galant, if under-manned. A third or more of the Militia were wounded in the conflict, and finally the Fort was surrendered. As Ledyard turned his sword to his British commander counterpart, the man took the sword and ran it through the heart and soul of Ledyard, killing him on the spot. The British troops then bayonetted the remaining wounded, killing almost all of them, others were captured and probably taken to the infamous Prison ships in New York. Tis hard to believe that the British would be so cruel....tis not a day that the British will remember with honor, but t'will be a day that we will remember, forever... forever.......

We can only wait, and pray, for the chance to do the same.....beware Corny, we are coming after your ass and you better put on a steel coat......as for you, Arnold, tis best you never put your feet on American ground, ever again, you pig sucking son-of-a-bitchin' traiterous turncoat. Tis just what we needed to inspire the troops to kill the friggin' lot of you.....

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
Homestead Headquarters
For, 'AMtY'

March Date Tuesday September 5, 2006 March Day 81

Good day to all March To Yorktown followers and supporters ~

We wake to a fine drizzle of rain with dark skies overhead. The marchers do not linger in rising, as they are rapidly becoming covered with a fine mist. We quickly prepare for and begin the day's 15 miles from Chester to Richardson's Mill in Wilmington, Delaware.

Rose and Ramona again take the small carriage, leaving Martha and George behind on the Widener campus, as the marchers take to the road on Route 13. The small town of Chester is entered and the sites of the Chester courthouse and Washington's staff headquarters are visited before the rains begin. They begin and do not stop the entire day. The marchers don their oilskins and continue with heads bowed and rain dripping from their tricornes.

At the 6 mile mark, after walking through more than a mile of Sunoco refinery on either side of the road in Marcus Hook, originally a Swedish settlement, the army stops and is received at the Robinson House for the state line crossing ceremony. They arrive drenched on the porch of this restored historical homestead and removed their soaked outer garments before entering the parlor. Light refreshements have been laid out and we all socialize with this welcoming group, which includes many supporters and local dignitaries... Delaware W3R Ralph Nelson and his lovely wife Kay, and Frank Ianni, Brett Saddler of Clayton Renaissance, Marcus Hook mayor George McClure, State Representative Wayne Smith, Carolyn Mercadante of the Claymont Historical Society, SAR and DAR representatives and many other supporters. The marchers are introduced, the flags are exchanged to each state's representative, short speeches are given and we are presented with the handsome Delaware W3R pin.

After this short reprieve, the army must again don their still sodden outer garments and resume the march, now accompanied by Ralph Nelson in his full rain suit, sans regimental. We have been invited to Major Frank Ianni's home, a few miles ahead, for lunch and a respite from the torrential rain. Ramona delivers Rose the 6 miles back to the Washington rig still at the Widener campus, to work on the late correspondence to the colonies. Ramona then continues to scout the route with the troops.

Within the hour, a call for assistance comes from the marchers. They have almost reached Major Ianni's home but are in a drenched and chilled condition. They have travelled many hills with major flooding, and the roadway is filled with water. The rain continues to fall and visibility is poor. The rain has soaked through their clothing and David describes certain parts of his anatomy as "floating." Many townsfolk estimate 6 inches of rainfall on this afternoon.

The Washington rig is taken to the Ianni homestead where the marchers await dry clothing. They are being well taken care of by lovely Carmella Ianni who has prepared a most handsome table of every imaginable foods. Most welcome is the crock of hot soup, held first for warmth before being consumed. We are given a tour of the Major's study and parlor, filled with military memorabilia from his successful career.

With dry and warm clothing, full bellies and renewed resolve, the marchers begin again. The rains continue but the intensity is lessening. Ralph accompanies Rose in Martha and the rig is delivered to our night's camp at Richardson's Mill, adjacent to picturesque Canby Park where the French army camped. The stream through the park is now a torrid small river from the day's rain, but Martha is parked on higher ground. Ramona has followed in the smaller carriage, and delivers Ralph to the marchers who are making their way through the city of Wilmington. They are saluted in passing by the Junior ROTC and then received by the Del-Mar-Va Boy Scout Council with Mayor James Baker present.

The army finally marches to the night's camp, still accompanied by an unrelenting drizzle, and feeling the tribulations of the day. There is no time for rest, as we are all expected at the Delaware Military Academy for a dinner reception. We redress in what remains of our dry clothing and take the small carriage to the Academy where we are received by Commander Bruce Shumway. We are presented a fine meal of roast pork, rice and vegetables, served impeccably by three young cadets, students at this military prep school, who also join us at table and engage in conversation with the marchers and their teachers. How refreshing to see these young men (and women, as this is a coed school) so dedicated to preparing for their chosen military careers.

We return to our camp, exhausted and grateful for the day's end. We will erect no tentage tonight, as the effort would be too great and the ground is saturated.... our beds will lie within Martha. The men take advantage of the laundress situated down the road and return with clean, dry clothing. In their absence, Rose again begins work on communication with the colonies, visited by a local militia to check on her safety. The Ricciardi family has apparently left for home in Bergen County. We five stand in the light drizzle and recount the day's happenings.....Mike, David, Dave, Rose and Mikey. We have survived this difficult march day... are warm, fed and dry, have made many new friends and look forward to the morrow's adventure.

A demain.
Avec Amour,

September 08, 2006

March Date Monday September 4, 2006 March Day 80

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David emerges from his bunk in Martha, Rose from her bunk in George, the remainder of our group returning one by one from the river campsite with their tentage to be stored once again. It is a beautiful clear day and the canvas is finally and completely dry. It is a mild shock to see Keleigh and Dana in their 21st century jeans - a realization that they and Zack will be leaving us for home later today. Zack continues to hold out to the last, still in his shirt and breeches.

The group prepares for another busy day arranged by our Philadelphia hosts. After a breakfast of fresh croissants, chocolate pastries (thanks to W3R John Loup), bagels, coffee & juice at the river's edge, we all board the river boat from Walnut Street. We are bound for Bartram's Garden and homestead, a beautiful stone estate with many hand-carved stones in the original masonry. The view of the Philadelphia skyline from this site on the opposite bank of the river is spectacular. It's remote location and surrounding countryside has maintained its historical appeal. After many photos are taken, the group engages in our ritual of daily prayer and then, under Captain Mike's command, the march resumes amidst much cheering and the beat of Zach Hutchins' drum. As the supporters file out of the Gardens, I catch sight of familiar mirror-blue sunglasses....is that Lee Anderson I see at the edge of the crowd? On leave from Fort Mifflin? Have not seen him since he left our march in Plainville CT.

The marchers continue to Woodland Avenue and stop at the Blue Bell Tavern where a crowd of about 30 people have gathered. David, in his handsome white French Regimental and white gaitors never tires of "Bonjour, Madame" as he lightly brushes the ladies' hands. The march is to continue across Cobbs Creek into Darby and follow the Chester Pike through Delaware County into Chester...destination Washington Park in the heart of Widener University.

After the soldiers' departure from Bartram Gardens, the camp followers, Zack and our Philadelphia hosts return by water to the point of departure on the Schuylkill. As we present tokens of appreciation to our supporters, we are given a surprise departure gift also....Joe presents us the sign that was posted on the river bank. The sign-posts are removed and Rose, Keleigh, Dana and Zack carry this treasure back along the river trail to Martha.

Keleigh, Dana and Zack then gather their gear and are taken by Joe to Ursula's home where she will assure their train departure back to Connecticut. Au revoir, Shumbo family. I know that you will hold dear the many memories and friends you have made.

Leaving Martha behind, Rose and Ramona, from our scout family, take a smaller carriage, leave Philadelphia and find the marchers on the Old Chester Pike. They are being well tended to by Nancy and Don Van Kriecken, feasting on Nancy's sweet potato muffins, a Thomas Jefferson recipe, I am told. We continue in our carriage and the marchers continue their walk, total 13 miles from Philadelphia until we reach the night's camp at Widener University. Rose contacts Peter Seltzer who greets the camp followers at a removed parking area at the university's gymnasium. After the army arrives, we have many visitors in the early evening. Among them, Win Carroll, Ursula's brother Joe and his wife, and Ralph Nelson. We now face the logisitcs of retrieving the Washington rig and the remaining carriages in Philadelphia, and Don graciously offers to take us back to the city. Paul and his son are returned to their carriage on the Market Street bridge that they might return home, David and Rose retrieve Martha and Mike's carriage, Mike C to his own....all to this night's camp in Chester. Once re-assembled, we dine on the remains of our many fabulous foods, gratefully utilize the gymnasium's facilities for much-needed showers (when WAS the last time we showered?) and retire to our beds. Too exhausted to set tents and reasonably assured of a clear night, Mike and Dave sleep on the grass under the night sky. Merci, Mon Dieu. pour tous les cadeaux.

Avec Amour,

March Date Sunday September 3, 2006 March Day 79

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls an early reveille on this overcast but rainless morning and the soggy camp is quickly taken down. Very damp and now moldy tentage is stored in Martha's hold. Our Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation friends again serve us a hearty breakfast of sausage and pancakes before we bid them our final adieu. Always the perfect hosts, they have assured that our bodies were well-fed while allowing us our pursuits in continuing our march. Photos are taken outside the headquarters and we say our goodbyes.

David does a superb job of jockeying Martha out of the adjacent lot and into the very narrow street lined with carriages on both sides before he joins the marchers at the day's start at the site of the Red Lion Inn. The men begin the day's journey, approximately 16 miles down the Bristol Pike onto the King's Highway, now Frankford Avenue, into Philadelphia. Martha and the smaller carriage will take the wider well-worn wagon roads of 95 and 76. Coming into Philadelphia, Rose takes a wrong turn, and a call to Joe Syrnik ( the same Joe "Ziernak' that I mispelled so badly!) brings a prompt rescue and he guides us through the busy streets to the night's camp on the Schuylkill River. Martha will be parked in a large empty lot of a condo complex still under construction, just across the train tracks from the newly developed recreational trail along the river. This trail with its small grassy area will be the night's camp for tentage. Joe and his friend Ken assist the camp followers in setting the camp, knowing the wet canvas will dry in the cool breeze of the river, which is brown and swollen from the recent rains of Ernesto.

Joe brings us notice to a large sign which has been erected in this camp area by Pennsylvania W3R, Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area, and Schuylkill Banks and Fairmount Park Commission....it is a notice of the Revolutionay War Reenactors who are following the entire 600 mile route of the W3R, complete with sketch of the 27th camp at Philadelphia 1781 by Louis Berthier, aide to General Rochambeau. We are speechless, and thrilled.

Meanwhile, the army continues into the city, stopping at St.Mark's church where a banner is displayed welcoming the March to Yorktown reenactors. Being a Sunday, they humbly enter this house of worship and find themselves presented to the congregation and given a blessing by the pastor.

After reuniting with the camp followers, the marchers are received by the Historical Society of Frankford.. A goodly crowd has awaited our arrival and we catch glimpses of period clothing and patriotic colors as we enter the society building. Among those present are Historical Society president Debbie Klak, W3R Ursula Reed, Philadelphia historian Torben Zenk, W3R historian Bob Selig and DAR ladies Patty Coyne (in her festive red hat), Ann Patten and Rosemary Hogan. We are led in prayer by pastor Jon Clodfelter, each marcher is introduced, refreshments are served, and short speeches are given by our hosts and march members Mike and David. Our thanks to you all for supporting our country's history.

On the road again and with rising excitement, our colours prominent in the wind, the marchers enter the city proper...there is much acknowledgement and cheering from the townsfolk.....Huzzah! Bienvenue!. Horses are startled at this grand sight, carriages stop in their tracks and the marchers continue around the square at Independence Hall, down Market Street to the bridge and down to the River Bank encampment. Here there is only a short reprieve as we must ready ourselves to attend the evening mass at Old St.Joseph's Church - the same church where Washington, Rochambeau and LaFayette worshipped together. It is a beautiful, perfectly maintained historical building in the heart of the city and we are accompanied by Ursula, her Mom and Bob Selig. We proceed to the front pew, pray our thanks together, remembering our great leaders under this same roof.

Mike has a much too short visit with his son Travis, accompanied by his wife Tracie and daughter Lila, who have travelled from Virginia and must return this same night. Our Ricciardi scout family has returned and has set their camp alongside ours at the river. Paul Hutchins and his son Zach have rejoined us and Mike Chuckta, previous marcher from Monroe CT has found his way once again.

As the marchers return from mass, we are astounded at the sight awaiting us. It is near dark and the lamps along the river are lit, the extraordinarily modern glass Cira Center building across the water is majestically aglow from top to bottom in red, white and blue lighting, arranged for our benefit by Joe Syrnik. A fire-pit with welcoming campfire at the river's edge beckons (also by Joe!), a canopy protects tables laden with every imaginable food - coordinated and prepared by Sweetbriar ladies Celeste and Gloria, and many other talented cooks far too many for me to remember here, I regret. Iced local spirits are brought in by Torben Jenk and we meet his lovely - and patient- wife. This is a March to Yorktown, W3R, DAR, Historical Society, reenactor, supporters and many friends' celebration! We feast and drink, talking with many new and old friends. What a truly terrific day this has been for us all. The party gradually trickles down, into the early hour of the morning before we each and all retire to our beds. Ah, Philadelphia....you grand, hospitable city. Merci.

Avec Amour,

September 07, 2006

1781, March Date, thursday, Sept. 7th, Day

Historic Overview

Greetings Friends........

I have but only a few moments to tell you of what we are. Tis been a gruelling week since last I wrote to you. We have passed some point that no longer considers an attack at New York Town. We moved into Pennsylvania the day after I last wrote to you, and have much intelligence, laced with rumor......hmmmm, perhaps it is rumor laced with intelligence, to share with you all. No matter, tis one thing seems to be the truth, we are marching on a southward track, no matter what our destination may be.

Our spy network has been abuzz with information, right or wrong, but these are some of the stories here in the Camps. Oh yes, the camps are rife with, story, adventure, danger, rumors and some small fact. It seems, if the information is correct, that the British Commander in New York, Gen. Clinton, has deduced that we are going to Yorktown. In fact, he has sent a missive to Corny, at Yorktown, telling him that we are heading toward him, but, that he should not worry as the British Fleet will be on hand shortly, to take him out of danger. Clinton is also sending some reinforcements as well, to buck-up the British spirit. Meanwhile, we march on........

On the 25th of August, or thereabouts, maybe later, de Barras left Newport, Rhode Island, and took the French Siege guns with him, heading for the Chesapeake. He also has ships loaded to the gunnels, we hear, with food stuffs. He had eight ships of the line, four frigates and six transports in his fleet. On that day we were in Pompton, New Jersey, marching on........

A fortnight or so ago, as previously reported to you, the British Admiral Hood, had gone to find the French fleet, and de Grasse, in the Chesapeake, but the French were not there. Hood then continued on to New York. That was about August 26th. The army was in Whippany, marching on.......

General Washington learned of this activity on the 27th, Aug. The army was at Liberty Corner, and marching southwards.... On the same day, Washington and Rochambeau learned that Adm. Hood ( a very rapid turn around indeed for the fleet, perhaops it was a day later)was now leaving New York with his fleet, and is acccmpanied by Admiral Graves and his small squadron of ships, as well...seems the sea pot may be stating to boil anytime now......we are still moving to the south....

On 28th August, we understand that Clinton learned of Adm. de Barras's departure from Newport, as well as the fact that the French/American Army was now passing toward Trenton......some of the dates are a bit mixed up in my mind and in the story telling in the camps, about the fires. I know the timing is close but perhaps not truly accurate, we could be hearing the stories as changed in the telling. Maybe the fleets are on the move a bit earlier than we know, or perhaps a day or so later....... however, we do know this, the fleets are on the move....as are we, going to the south......

The fleets continue to sail, the army continues to march, to what magnificient end, we know not.....

On August 30th, or thereabouts, we learn that Admiral de Grasse has finally anchored at the Chesapeake. He has some 28 ships at his command and is anchored in a line from Cape Henry, and extending across the mouth of the Chesapeake, at least that is the rumor. Oh joy, oh joy, the camp is alive with a spirit as yet unseen. The men are alive with eagerness, tis' hard to hold them in line, on the march, they are eager horses at the bit, seems to me.... the spirit is indeed racing trough the troops.....

On the 31st of August, much more activity is noticed in Officer Country, but it now seems that the rumors come into the camps shortly after the messages, and we can only hope, only wish, hopefully believe that what we we are hearing, is truth..... Gawd, the excitement of the moment is almost overwhelming, as we sit about the fires, scheming our battle plans, courting our courage, hoping for victory, to strike at those damned lobster backs, hard... also this day we know that Washington and Rochambeau have decided to go to Head-of-Elk, in Penns Colony. More news of the British, it seems that Cornwallis has sent a note to Clinton, informing him of the French fleet arrival in the Chesapeake. Gawd, would we just love to see the look on both of the bastards faces now!.......and we march on, southward....

The camp is being called to asssembly, will write again soonest as we are expecting to take a rest in Philadelphia, shortly, perhaps for a day or so........

I Remain,
At Your SErvice,
Richard Swartwout
Homestead Headquarters
For, 'AMtY'

September 06, 2006

March Date Saturday September 2, 2006 March Day 78

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

This dawn slowly reveals our drenched encampment, with much fallen debris about from the surrounding trees during the night rains. The prediction is a full day of rain as Ernesto continues his assault. We will not march today.

A hearty breakfast of fruit, ham and eggs is served to us by our hosts at the Cultural Headquarters. The aroma is heavenly as we enter the warm, dry, handsome stone building where Harold and the lovely kitchen ladies have prepared this meal. We begin our day with thanks to our great Provider and providers.

As the official parade has been cancelled, we prepare to enter Philadelphia by carriage in order to scout the morrow's route and to visit the city sites where our forefathers convened. The rains continue as we join the many visitors in this beautiful historical city....all with parasols and sporting outer foul weather garments. The rain does not dampen the many spirits, present and past, here.

A few visitors are curious about our colonial appearance, and Zack is soon holding an informative conference in the middle of the Visitor's Center! Some also recognize us as the "marchers", and Steve S. from So. Carolina interviews and cam-cords our responses to his many questions. He enthusiastically offers an unsolicited donation to our march, and we wave to him on our tour of the city as our paths cross again.

We visit Independence Hall, where we must first pass security procedures, surely a reflection of the present times....... regimentals and waistcoats with their metal buttons are requested be removed, haversacks, tricornes, and other accoutrements are placed on the belted scanner. We pass through the "arch" and Rose fails repeatedly with alarms sounding at each step-through. With an embarrased smile, she is allowed to continue as the alarm focus is determined to be the metal supports in her "stays." We begin to transport ourselves to the present day of the Continental Congress, mentally engaging with the scene of the great men who gathered in this hallowed place. We then visit Franklin Court and marvel at this patriot's many accomplishments, for himself and his country. (Invented swim flippers at age 13?)

We are unable to tour the Military Museum, which, according to a National Park Service ranger, is closed due to a flooded basement and no present lighting. He is, however, willing to open it to us, to personally tour in the semi-dark building. This ranger, an associate of the Old Barracks rangers had planned to march in the official Philadelphia parade, but is hoping to join us on the morrow.

We make contact with, and meet Ursula Reed, Bob Selig, Torbin Jenk, and Joe Ziernak on the Market Street Bridge where we tour the Schuylkill Banks Park which will be our encampment tomorrow night, and review our route and schedule for tomorrow's entry into Philadelphia. Seems there is still much excitement and expectation for the "march" to enter the city on the morrow.

The group returns to Bristol, where our gracious hosts at the Cultural Center have prepared our dinner.... the fine local delicacy called Hoagie, which we have grown quite fond of. Ursula and her Mom visit our encampment, and take a willing Zack out to dinner with them at King George's II. Clothing is dried at the local laundress' facility and the marchers return to camp returning from various pursuits at the end of a busy day. Ernesto has relented and we retire to our beds. A demain.

Avec Amour,

September 05, 2006

March Date Friday September 1, 2006 March Day 77

Good day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Another fine day dawns at the Barracks, David calls reveille as usual at 6 AM, needing to enter the walls to rouse the main group asleep there. Seems that Zack, having shared the small barrack with Keleigh, Dave, Mike and Dana, has had the best night's sleep of them all.

Today's march will bring us over the bridge out of Trenton onto the Bristol Pike, leading to Bristol, NJ, a total of 12 miles. Weary riders from the south appear as we ready for the day, bringing an ominous warning of a great rain storm from that direction, and we are anxious to begin the miles.

The marchers set out for the Calhoun bridge which is too narrow for the Washington carriage. Martha must be taken onto a larger highway which is heavily tolled for this area...2 gold coins are exchanged on this alternate route in order to cross this small river and meet up with the army on the other side. The men continue at a goodly pace, thoughts of heavy rains spur them on while the clouds still hold.

They stop to rest at 2 houses which have been prepared for their passing by the Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation, are given cornbread and encouragement.
Joe S. encounters the group and gives a monetary donation.

Rose in Martha, and Keleigh and Dana in the smaller wagon, arrive at the Foundation Headquarters before the marchers, and hurriedly set camp as the sky grows darker.
The marchers arrive for the late noon meal and must soon depart for the remaining 7 miles to the site of the Red Lion Inn, further down this Bristol Pike to the County Line, the site of the original army encampment. A police escort for this trek is provided by Bristol Police Chief Arnold Porter.

The men return weary, hungry and wet from the intermittent rains and Mike reports that the morrow's entry march into Philadelphia has been cancelled due to a fellow named "Ernesto" who has been creating havoc in his travels from south to north. It is unknown how extensive his damage will be.

The group is greeted and fed by a most friendly group at this headquarters...Harold Michener has arranged for our accommodations and chef Angelo has prepared a wonderful feast of pasta and meatballs, fresh salad and strawberry shortcake. His cooking is his passion, as he states, and we are the fortunate recipients.

Mike, David and Rose stroll in the rain to the corner location on the Delaware River waterfront of Radcliffe Street, the King George II inn, the oldest continuing operating inn in the country, established in 1681. We are given a complimentary libation, tour and history of this beautiful inn by Maitre D' Michael R, and we interact with many of the patrons. Seems the King George sign was assaulted by musket fire in colonial times, and we happily offer to reenact that scene before we leave!

Bon soir, tout le monde.......may be wake refreshed and dry!!

Avec Amour,

September 04, 2006

March Date Thursday August 31, 2006 March Day 76

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

The day dawns overcast with low clouds but the forecast is good....no rain and with possible sunshine for our day's journey from Princeton to Trenton, approximately 11 miles.

David calls a 6:00 am reveille and our little garden camp is taken down and stored in Martha's hold. We are joined by the Ricciardi family replete in their scout uniforms....Peter, Ramona and son Peter Paul were among the scouts that joined us back in Pompton and they have come back for more.

We all join hands and pray again for our safety and His guidance on the day's journey.
As the marchers begin on Stockton St, Route 206, Ramona, Keleigh and Rose take a smaller carriage and scout the day's road with destination at the Old Barracks in Trenton. We establish that the army will be able to pass safely and that the Washington rig is expected at the Barracks, complete with reserved parking just outside the barricade. We return to Martha at the Morven house and she is soon on the road.

First stop at the half-way point, is the Presbyterian Church of Laurenceville, known now as the town of Maidenhead, NJ. We are to meet Jean Hultgren of the W3R and DAR there for a noon meal and the troop is ahead of schedule. The camp followers find them at a local establishment across from the church, apparently taking advantage of the ease of the day's march. We also find Dana and Zack being interviewed by local Channel19, complete with cameraman and reporter!!

Jean arrives at the church across the street, accompanied by Bill Agress and his son of the Laurenceville Historical Society. Bill is in full kit, portraying Superior Court Justice Brearley and does a fine job in his interpretation. We tour the graveyard and are served a most satisfying lunch of a local British derived delicacy called "Hoagies" in the churchyard garden. Many portraits are taken and the troop begins the additional miles to the Barracks.

The marchers report that enroute, a most enthusiastic lady exits her home as they pass, waving the Betsy Ross flag and giving quite vocal encouragement. They oblige with hats off and bowed waists at this fine homestead. At the impressive Washington Monument on Brunswick Avenue, the marchers are met by the Old Barracks Fife and Drum Corps and are escorted with musick and our colours down Warren and LaFayette Streets into the gounds of the Old Barracks itself. The group and all accompaniers stand at attention as the Fife and Drum Corps continues entertaining. On the troops' dismissal, we are welcomed by Rich Patterson and given a tour of this well maintained facility dating from the French and Indian Wars. Zack can hardly contain his excitement, knowing he will be allowed to sleep in the barracks tonight.

We are visited by Tech Sgt Joe D. from McGuire Air Force Base, whose fortune it was to be a passerby when the entourage entered this city of Trenton. He was on his way to pick up his wife, with a newly purchased bottle of Hessian wine when he felt compelled to "detour" into the barracks. He presented this wine to Captain Mike, along with his best wishes and encouragement for the army's journey south.

As the troops rest and aquaint themselves with home for this night, Rich Patterson and his staff build a fire in the courtyard and prepare a beef stew for our dinner. This is accompanied by loaves of fine bread baked daily in the Barrack's outdoor ovens. We dine outdoors at a long wooden table set up near the now waning fire.

It has been a fine day.....the sun and many other blessings has shone upon us.

As the group chats about the day's events, it is relayed to me that the group stopped at a mural in progress on the side of a downtown building, about 2 blocks from the Barracks. Seems the artist was well at work on a painting of the Trenton Courthouse in the 18th century, depicting the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The mural included the backs of the colonial listeners as the document is being read, and our marchers stood on the blacktop, blending in with the painted figures, viewed from behind. Seems many portraits of this seredipitous scene were taken by the local followers, apparently none taken by our present group.

C'est dommage.

A demain.
Avec Amour,

September 01, 2006

1781, March Date, Friday, Sept. 1, Day 77

Greetings all, Friends...

Please excuse the delay in this missive to you. You see, all has changed so very much in the days since last I wrote. In fact, dispatches were not sent for some very important reasons, as you shall soon learn. The secrecy of the thing is all consuming.

When last we spoke, I was telling you that we had just crossed the Hudson. Most of us thought that perhaps we would be setting up for an attack against the British, here in New York. Even more so, after we learned that the Generals Washington and Rochambeau had visited the Fort at West Point.... down here in the rank and file, we thought it t'would be headquarters for the much awaited action. Messengers were to be seen, coming and going, with much alacrity. Officer's Country had become a beehive of activity, with not much word filtering down to the troops..... until now that is.

Of course, by now, even we were aware that something 'else' must have been brewing for some time now, but we know not how long. For weeks the French army had marched from Newport/Providence, RI, through Connecticut, and into New York. The French met up with General Washington and the Continentals, as well as a large force of Militia, at New Castle, NY. You may recall that we camped in that vicinity for some six weeks before moving out to take a place in the line, against the British positions at the Town of New York. At least that is what WE thought was going on......

But every day brought more marching........yet not all added up just quite right. You may remember, the Bakers were sent about to build the bread ovens about New York town, for the provisionong of the troops. Then there was the rumor that General Washington had sent a mesage to Admiral de Barras, at Newport, for him to join with Admiral de Grasse, at the Chesapeake. We thought that perhaps de Barras, de Grasse, Wayne and Lafayette would give Corny (Gen. Cornwallis) a good spot of trouble, in the Virginias, while we would attack Clinton, here in New York. You may also recall that the Map makers, and some Engineers, under Duportail, had been sent South? Much to our consternation......Geez, the Brits were here, in New York, weren't they? Well, that was then, some days ago..

On the 28th of August, Washington sent a strong force of Light Infantry toward Staten Island, however not much came of it. That same force was then sent to Sandy Hook, but again not much came of it.... that was two days ago, on the 30th of August. As we look back on all of that now, we now know that was a 'feint'. Tis' only wanting the British to think that we would attack them there.

But, all that time, the army (we) were marching AWAY from New York. We went through, and camped at Pompton, then Whippany, then at Bullion's Tavern, and then at Somerset Court House. Yesterday we were at Princeton, and today will be Trenton, all in the Jerseys. We gather that this march will take us through Philadelphia in the next day or so, at the General's command. For sure, New York is no longer the center of our attention.

We now think, as the rumor has finally come through the army, that Admiral de Barras, has taken the SEIGE guns, from Newport to the south, we suspect, going to the Chesapeake. Indeed, that is where he was asked to go. We never saw the seige guns about New York, now we know why. And we have yet to stop marching, more and more to the south, and it is now certain, that we shall meet with the Seige guns about the Virginias, probably at wherever Corny is encamped. That will probably be either Yorktown or Gloucester, we will not know for any certainlty until we get there.

This has all been a secret, even some of the Officers were not aware of the plan that Washington and Rochambeau had come up with. It now looks like we shall take the Gawd awful, long, hot walk, for some hundreds of miles, to the Virginias, here in the heat of the waning summer. I can't believe that they think we are able to do this....... not only do they think we can do it, they are convinced of it.

The army is absolutely aglow with anticipation. The length of the march, the suspected fruit at the end, has us firm in step and molded with purpose. Tis anything to get us on the move, to get us into the fight, any fight....my God, how long we have been awaiting.....

So, here we have it..... the French navy, with fleets under the Command of Admirals de Grasse and De Barrasapparently are on the way to the Chesapeake, as I write. The army, too, is on the way, also in that direction. Tis more activity in Officers Country, and dispatches are coming and going......will write more as we learn the truth of the matter......soonest.

Oh, just one more note, a quick word from the camp.....it seems our spys have noted that a British fleet, of 14 war ships, under Admiral Hood, had, a fortnight ago, gone to the Chesapeake, to engage Admiral de Grasse, and the French fleet. It seems he found nothing and has headed North to New york..... where can de Grasse be?

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
At Homestead Headquarters,
For, 'AMtY'

March Date Wednesday August 30, 2006 March Day 75

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

A day to ourselves in this bustling college city of Princeton!! David takes the morning off from calling reveille and we all sleep a bit later on this fine drizzly restful day, tucked into the side lot of the Morven museum and gardens. The tents have been lined on a side lawn at the back of the museum, backed by a 6 foot high brick wall with a crescent white door entering into the main garden. The many flowering plants still bloom in this late summer, the pears are ripe and hanging on the many fruit trees and the bees become quite busy as the drizzle stops and the day is just overcast. This estate was built in 1775, home of Richard Stockton, NJ signer of the Declaration of Independence and it is both a privilege and a delight to be here.

David, of the growly tummy, is still first to rise and goes in search of a hearty hungry man's breakfast, returns satisfied and smiling. The majority of the troop takes advantage of shower facilities at the the university gymnasium and returns refreshed & ready to take on the day. Fellow reenactor Paul Hutchins and his lovely fiance Judy Jenkins again join us as we stroll the city street - still and probably forever in period clothing and regimentals - to Nassau Hall at Princeton University for a tour with Karen Woodbridge who is director of Community Relations.
David and Rose first stop at the Princeton Public library to meet couriers Aldona and Diane from Pequannock Library back in Pompton....our dear friend Rosemary has forwarded some much needed mail to us and has used her staff attending this library meeting for the "drop", AND has sent a bagfull of cheeses, bread, goodies, and of course photographs. Our friends continue to support us long after we have left their community. Bless you.

We rejoin the group at Nassau Hall and begin the tour. Such architectural magnificence and history..... we enter Nassau Hall with symmetricallly sized portraits of George Washington and King George at the far wall of the great Meeting Room, walk the worn, uneven brickway and stairs to the grounds outside leading to the Performing Arts Hall with its perfect acoustics, view each parlor and keeping room of the President's House and stand in humbled awe of the university Chapel with Tiffany stained glass windows of blue and red, a chapel used for every denomination of religion as needed. Karen points the site of the buried cannon at the center of the grounds, buried out of necessity due to multiple thefts over the years. This has been a wonderful opportunity and Karen has been most gracious.

As we stroll back to the museum, we are followed and portraited by Mike Mancuso, a photographer from the local publication Princeton Times. Our clothing still creates a stir. We also pose and our portraited on the front porch of the Morven with Director Martha. How wonderful is leisure time without the rain!

The group tours the battlefield on their own in the afternoon then returns to camp to prepare and dress for dinner....an invitation by DAR member Dorothy Wordell and her husband Bill at their home in Princeton. Zack black-polishes and wears Mike's boots this evening and becomes transformed into a young gentleman.

Our hosts home is indeed lovely, spacious and elegant. We are ushered onto the back deck where we are served spirits et les hors d'oeuvres and we enjoy the grazing deer at lawn's edge and the visiting hummingbird still active at Dorothy's blooms in the approaching dusk. We are to have a different culinary delight this evening....Oriental fare of our every choice or desire which our hosts arrange to be brought right to their door. We feast and socialize......Zack of the magic boots is transformed into quite the conversationalist. Our hosts' neighbors visit and we have a wonderful time.

Our evening is over much too quickly and Bill and Dorothy deliver us back to camp. We say our adieus et merci beaucoups, and carry more friends in our hearts on our journey to Virginia. Merci aussi, mon Dieu....ce soir, nous sommes encore en surete avec Vous. A demain.

Avec Amour,