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March Date Wednesday October 4, 2006 March Day 110

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

We wake in the dark reveille...one can hear the distant hounds through the wood. We are still in hunt country. As we prepare for the day, Damon reappears, having spent the night in her carriage very close to, but not among us. Dave's directions again, eh?

The day becomes clear and sunny and we tarry a bit on this beautiful estate by taking a cart ride down to the banks of the wide Pamunkey River. The local hounds, five in all, saunter by with their noses to the ground, following the river bank ....they are unescorted and apparently familiar with the estate grounds. David, in the small carriage, fetches us to begin the day's march and we drive round about a copse of trees in the great field. Enough play, we are off.

Today's route will be the less travelled Old River Road of route 608, again winding along through forest with few dwellings passed and not too closely bordering the Pamunkey Indian reservation. En route, the army is greeted by the local militia (translate sheriff) who shakes each hand in turn and promises a flashing carriage escort along the busier New Kent Road route 249 which does not afford a shoulder area for walking.

True to his word, "Wakie" Howard Jr. assures the men's safety. The army stops at the elementary and middle schools in the town of New Kent. At recess, the children excitedly run to the fence enclosure to speak with the soldiers. We continue to the New Kent Courthouse where the locals have anticipated our arrival and have prepared a warm welcoming reception. Many photographs are taken, the marchers are introduced and given mementos by Stran Trout. Among those present from the New Kent County Complex are Board Supervisor Mark Hil, Executive Secretary Krista Jones and elected officials. Adiministrative Secretary Pam Crosby mingled and photographed often. (my personal thanks to Pam for allowing me acess to the communication carrier!) Refreshments are served and enjoyed, especially the grand red/white/blue decorated cake welcoming the marchers...and Herb Jones kindly donates to our horses' feed.

Our militia escort continues the length of New Kent Highway and we are left to carry on as we again turn onto rural Stage Road. The day's march is called to an end at the 14.5 mile mark, another day very much closer to Yorktown.

The troop is hungry and we drive via carriage to St.Peter's Church for nooning. The church and grounds are very beautiful and one can easily imagine George courting Martha here. If actually the site of their marriage....the controversy continues.

We return to Marengo to fetch camp Martha forward and spend a short leisure time enjoying the surroundings....Dave and Damon chat under the shade of a tree, David swims in the Pamunkey, Rose relaxes in the rope hammock at river's edge, and Mike and Travis make a short provision run. We proceed to Crump's Mill, home of our hosts for the evening, Debbie and Willy Downs. A reception party is in progress at this 19th century grist mill being lovingly restored by the owners. The handsome main house high on a hill overlooks a calm pond surrounded by wood and edged with a dock-surrounded boathouse...the water's overflow travels under the raised dirt road toward the mill which is bedecked with large American and Fleur-de-lis flags. A horseless carriage - the real thing - is the serving area for fine bottles of wine and small sustenance. There is a small crowd socializing and we partake of Brunswick stew, sandwiches, sweets and fruits. David talks through dinner to a captive audience gathered at the large mill stone and we have a very pleasant evening as the sun sets.

Martha is brought down from the above field and is parked at the edge of the pond. The guests have dispersed and in the darkness, this lovely setting is our own. Travis takes advantage of the shower facilities in the main house and is heard touring about the property in the golf cart...headlights blazing, down the paths and out to the point on the pond. Rose uses the boathouse hose for a very cold but refreshing bath, and Mike and Damon swim in the cool dark water. David and Rose sit at the boathouse watchng the full bright moon rise in the sky. There is extra time for leisure, as no tents will be set. The group will sleep in the mill tonight. We settle into our little paradise.....fortunate again. A demain.

Avec amour,