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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,
Rose