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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,