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March Date Friday September 29, 2006 March Day 105

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David taps on George's door and says "Happy Birthday, Rose" - it's 7 AM and I've pulled birthday privilege allowing an extra hour of sleep before reveille. The day is dawning clear and beautiful as last night's storm has moved northward, and today's march will be a pleasant trek of only 7.5 miles from Fredericksburg along the Tidewater Trail to Belvedere Plantation. This is the site of the French troops', wagons' and cattle encampment and is still massive fields today.

Before we depart, Pat and Robert from D.C. call with a happy birthday duet for Rose (Merci, mon chers amies!) and we are visited by Melanie Healey-Marquis, an archeology lab analyst here at Ferry Farm, who brings a gift for the army. Individual packs of trail mix and a handmade good luck card complete with fleur-de-lis, prepared by her son's cub scout troop of which she is den mother. She told us that the boys wanted to do something for the soldiers. Rest assured, boys, the soldiers will love this mix, loaded with M&M's!

The army is transported to St.George's church and begins the day's journey. Barely a mile out, they are photographed for the Free Lance Star, flags handsome in the breeze. They report friendly carriage drivers with many waves of support. At a goodly pace, they make short work of the day, and about a mile before Belvedere Plantation, we pass our first road marker proclaiming Yorktown. We reach the plantation, currently a busy working farm which is making ready for their autumn festival opening the next day, and the men (forever little boys grown up) cannot resist climbing aboard the enormous hay-bale caterpillar at the farm's entrance. We are greeted by Don Fulks who gives us carte-blanche to park camp Martha wherever we wish.

We return to Ferry Farm and fetch the camp forward, travelling the same route the men travelled earlier by foot. Back at Belvedere, there are many workers about preparing for their publick opening. There are piles of pumpkins and gourds, fields of mums, stacks of haybales, wagon, tractors and scarecrows. There are children's activities here that cover acres of ground....low-balance beams, pens of chickens, rabbits, goats and pigs, rope swings in the barn, rope ladders in the yard, a through-the-mountain slide, hayrides, mini-tractor racing, pot-belly pig racing, haybale maze and an eight acre, six-foot high maize maze. We play like children in this wonderland all to ourselves, spend close to an hour trekking the corn maze - as if the men have not walked enough for today! There is also a reenactors dream.. rows of pristine porta-johns!! Another birthday communication arrives for Rose....the lovely Acquinetta from D.C. relays her best wishes. And another, from friend Marion last seen in the Hudson river area, and from friend Doreen last seen at Hunt's Tavern in New York. Thank you all for remembering.

As we rest at the camp table, Eric Nason of the 2nd South Carolina regiment visits as pormised, bearing a most delicious potato soup with biscuits and home-made fruit turnovers. Eric plans to join the marchers on the morrow. Rose prepares these fabulous gifts and we dine as the sun sets over the fields.

We are visited by Judy Fulks, matriarch of this farm, who discusses its history and invites us the main house, built in 1770 for a personal tour. Here, the dining room is the piece de resistance, with semi-domed ceiling and gorgeous furnishings. We thank Judy for her hospitality, for allowing us to play as children, and wish her and her family a most prosperous season.

It is not long before we head for our beds. A demain.

Avec amour,
Rose