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March Date Friday October 6, 2006 March Day 112

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Despite our prayers, the winds and heavy rains begin during the night. Damon, again dressed in her civvies, taps on Rose's door in the early morning darkness. Ready for the road home, Damon is saying her goodbyes to the group. And again, I realize how much I will miss this courageous soft-spoken lass with the easy smile.

The men grimly prepare for the day knowing it will be a difficult march in the first day of this predicted two-day nor'easter. Their clothing is in layers for warmth, outer layer of oil cloth, knowing from experience that this too will eventually soak through. Only the men will march today - the Shumbos, accompanied by Ursula, will drive Dave's small carriage for the day's duration.

Rose transports the men to today's starting point on Rochambeau Drive at the outskirts of York County....talk is of the sixteen + miles they must cover and setting camp this night on the Williamsburg green....this, our next to last day of reaching our final destination. In the carriage, avoiding the rain until the last moment, we join hands and pray for the men's safety and stamina. The day's journey begins, the men's steps quicken, the colours wave in the wet wind. The support wagon moves ahead a few miles and awaits the men's passing. They do not stop and one can see the determination in their step and on their faces.

As the army passes the Williamsburg Historical Inn/visitor's welcoming center, they see two lone people waving to them in support. Temporary refuge is taken in the warm, dry lobby and we learn that Wanda Viera, desk manager (and tavern wench in Colonial Williamsburg's night life!) is sympathetic to the army's cause. She sends Russell Husted in search of hot chocolate and the group is soon warming their innards with hot tea and chocolate. Wanda hears the group discussing possible alternatives for tonight's camp - no one is looking forward to setting canvas in this storm - and offers rooms at the inn for pittance payment. We vow to return at day's end, even if we need to sell the horses!

Rested and warmed, the men continue on busy route 60, turn onto Lafayette, then North Henry toward the main historical road of Duke of Gloucester. Here we are met by additional supporters - Bentley Boyd and son Truman, and Ron Carnegie who portrays George Washington and is our liason here at Williamsburg. Our ranks swell as we are joined by Ursula and the Shumbos, and we proceed to march the length of this pedestrian way, finishing at the Capitol building. Many photographs are taken by and of the group, and by passing tourists. It is obvious to them that something special is happening here.

We are greeted by Richard Josey, Manager of Actor Interpretors who personnally escorts and accommodates us at the Shield's Tavern with warm sustenance. The group occupies an entire room on the second floor of this tavern, consuming warm cider and tea, gumbo and chowder, feeling "saved." Spirits are high as we realize there is but one more day's march....and as they say, come hell or high water. ... The latter being a distinct possibility.

Priority now is the men's lodging. Ursula and the Shumbos have taken lodging at a local motel, and the marchers return by carriage to the Williamsburg Inn where Wanda presents us to her manager Louis Blanco. No horses need be sold....Mr. Blanco donates two dry warm rooms (with showers!) at his inn free of charge. Dave cannot wait for his room at the inn and leaves with the Shumbos for shower and warmth. David, Mike, Travis and Rose now travel, still in the pouring rain, the day's route back to Toano to fetch camp Martha forward (for the last time?). The remainder of the afternoon is spent getting warm and dry.

It is during this "down" time that we receive a most unexpected, but most welcomed, visitor. Richard Swartwout has travelled for many hours from Connecticut colony, alone, through darkness and rain, to be among the group again as we enter Yorktown on the morrow. He reports that after more than one sleepless night, he felt compelled to come. This is definitely a cause celebre. Mike, Dave and Travis have gone for evening sustenance with Ursula, Keleigh and the Shumbo children, so David, Rose and Richard - all of the 6th Connecticut Regiment - dine together adult style at the Angus Grille. There are spirits in our glasses and in our hearts. We feast on steak, ribs and shrimp - and toast to our dream that has come true.

It is not a late hour as we retire to our beds, almost two months since the soldiers have slept in one. Richard turns into his self-contained van...Rose turns into her bunk in George...the pelting rain on the thin roof a percussion lullabye. A demain.

Avec amour,