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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,
Rose