August 19, 2007

AMtY updates...

Greetings to all Patriots and Friends of AMTY, we wish you the joy of the day.

We have just passed another 1 yr Anniversary for the AMTY effort. It was a year ago, and it was 226 yrs ago, on the 18th of August, that the respective American and French Armies left the area of Philipsburg, New York, and headed south toward the eventual goal of Yorktown, Va. Apparently this march still lives on, and you are all the reason for that success. Again, we can only continue to thank you all for your continued support and cooperation. The web-site continues to be very active, much to my pleasant surprise.

As far as I can tell, some of the Marchers from our effort last year, will be in Philadelphia for a huge parade on Labor Day weekend. More info on that as I receive it. You may recall that while this parade was scheduled for last year, a torrential rain canceled the event. Thus, we get to try to do it again, this year......huzzah!!

I hope that all of you in the area can came out to say hello, and we wish you continued health and good fortune. Look for some further up-dates in the next couple of days......

Also, a number of us, including myself, will be attending the event at Mt. Vernon on the weekend of Sept. 29-30. I hope to be able to meet some of you for the first time, even though we have been corresponding for some time now. Please do think about stopping by and saying hello.....

I Remain,
At Your SErvice,
Richard Chair, AMTY
America's March to Yorktown

July 11, 2007

Willimantic presentation....

Greetings Patriots and Friends of AMtY, the joy of the day to you, and yours...

What a most pleasant evening just passed, at the Willimantic Public Library. The evening there was devoted to a presentation, by Keleigh Shumbo, with good help from daughter Dana, along with Marcher Dave Fagerberg. We were pleasantly reminded of Friends made, miles traversed, and tears shed, during last years America's March to Yorktown. As most of you may recall, Keleigh and children, after finding the March in Connecticut, joined with the marchers at Philipsburg, NY and stayed on the trail with them for approx 2 weeks or so, down to Philadelphia, Pa. This was a night of recollection of their experience with us.

Another pleasant surprise, it should be noted, was the arrival of Dr. Robert Selig, primary researcher of the Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Road. It was Dr. Selig's meticulous research that was of so much value to the AMtY organization in following the W3R from Newport, RI to Yorktown, Va.

Also, a most unexpected pleasant surprise was the arrival of Dr. Richard Deseauriers, as well. Doc Richard, as we called him, twice joined the marchers here in Connecticut on two very long and exhaustive days of march. You can read about Dr. Richard, Keleigh Shumbo and children, in the Daily Log section of the web site. Look at March Date, Wednesday, June 21, Day #5. Both joined with us initially on the March from Windham to Bolton, CT, known as Camps 4 & 5. I should add that Dr. Richard is past his 70th year, by some measure,(I can not tell) and in most excellent health. T'was almost like 'old home week' for the AMtY folks on hand.

The program was presented, questions answered, tea served. As we seperated and went off into the night, only the fond memories of those past experiences were brighter than the streetlamps that lit our way home......

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
Chair, AMtY

June 17, 2007

1st Anniversary of AMtY

Greetings all, this Father's Day, 2007.
It was just one year ago that the intrepid band of AMtY stalwarts (David, Rose, Mike, Dave, Richard) set out on an adventure to retrace the Wadhington-Rochambeau Army march from Newport, RI to Yorktown, Va.
You were all kind enough to follow the adventure through the use of this technology, some of you were of great assistance to us as we passed through your area. It is with some nostalgia that we look back, fondly, to just a year ago.....on this day, June 17th, 2006, the good folks of the Coast Guard Auxillary, District 1, were helping us do the water crossing, from Newport, to Providence, RI. What fun that was and you can see the pictures on the web site. Just go to Day 1 in the Gallery section. The rest of the day was spent at the RI State Capital and at a 'Gay Pride' festival (go to the web-site for more info on that, as well.....go to the Daily Logs, Day 1)
I was asked to present to the New York Society of the Cincinnati, just yesterday, a brief over-view of the event. In the 20 minutes alloted, I was able to get us from Newport, RI to Philipsburg (present day Greenberg) NY. T'was good to do the remembering.....
I must tell you something incredible... I have just now, this evening, checked the web stats for the web-site This is now June, 2007, a year after we started the journey, and 8 months since we finished the trek, and the web-site recorded more than 32,000 hits in May, 2007. To me, that is just incredible... I do not know where or why we are still getting that much activity, but we are pleased. The web-site will stay up for a number of years...and apparently it is still being resourced.
Our very best to you all, thanks for your continuing support of AMtY, and your continued interest in all we do....

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
Chair, AMtY

May 06, 2007

AMtY updates....

Greetings Patriots and Friends of AMtY, the joy of the day to you all.

Yesterday, Saturday, May 5th, a 'little' ceremony took place at Camp Fogarty, National Guard Camp, in E. Greenwich, RI. T'was the momentous return of the infamous W3R 'Baton' back to the folks in Rhode Island.

The story goes something like this..... (I say something because I do not have all the particulars, so feel free to make any corrections). At the beginning of the 225th Anniversary of the W3R Rhode Island activities, June 17th, 2006, a 'Baton' (tis a curious thing, quite blue stained maple wood, about 1 1/4" dia, maybe 18" long, with 16 fleur-de-lea along its circumference, all in all a handsome little thing) was presented to a re-enactment group, (2nd Cont.Dragoons, if I recall correctly) the purpose being that the baton would somehow make its way to Yorktown, via some ceremonial work at each of the Colonial borders, thru the collective W3R,or Boy Scouts. I am not quite privy as to how this was to all be carried out, but I think that was the plan. And apparently it went along well for awhile. I think that the redoubtable Roseanna Gorham was responsible for the 'baton' idea, and a good idea it was.

The 'Baton' did make its way to Philadelphia, without any help from the folks of AMtY, we had no idea where it was, nor did we see it again, for some 10 weeks after seeing it handed off in Providence, when it surfaced, sort of, in Philadelphia. There, it seems, it went amiss..... Apparently, it became stuck in the dark recesses of someone's closet, this person having it but not knowing quite what was to be done with it. Enter the energetic Ursala Reed, who managed to have the 'Baton' delivered to the AMtY (Rose, David, Mike and Dave) folks with instructions that they should carry it on to Yorktown. Thus we did..... I believe you can track all this in the on-line Daily Logs that Rose was writing as the March moved through the Philadelphia area....

So the Baton did go to Yorktown afterall, with AMtY, and now it was time to try to get it back to the good folks in RI. After some missed communications, we were finally able to set up a time, and place to hand-off the 'Baton' back to the folks it started with.

T'was a beautiful, spring morning yesterday. Thanks to the work of Roseanna Gorham, Gen. Bray (RI Natl. Guard Commander), Capt. John Tabor of Newport Artillery, and Richard Sheryka of the Kentish Guard, indeed a 'little' ceremony was accomplished. The 'Baton' was handed over the RI Militia authorities, in hopes that it is now in safe-keeping......

If any of you reading this are familiar with the good folks of the Southington CT. Rochambeau Commitee, or the Southington, Ct. Historical Society, please be so kind as to have them contact us here at AMtY. We would like to arrange a similar ceremony to return the beautiful flags that they persented to us to take to Yorktown. The flags were made, and signed by the Girl Scouts that made them, they have indeed made it to Yorktown. In fact they were also flying when we marched into Washington's Camp at Philipburg, NY, last July. Time to get them back home.....

We continue to enjoy your support of America's March to Yorktown, t'would have been difficult without you all. Be well, be safe, walk in History of your choosing...

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
Chair, 'AMtY'

April 23, 2007

AMtY happenings.......

Greetings all Patriots and Friends of America's March to Yorktown..

Ahh, the Spring has finally Sprung here in Connecticut. You can almost watch the Srping floweres leaping out the ground, growing by inches a day, noticeably. The sky is clear after the horrendous Nor'easter what hung around for days and days, the temps are warm and the birds are truly a'singing and a'courtin'.......

Just a few notes to keep you all in the loop. In the past week we were featured on a local radio morning program, WILI, 1400 AM on Wednesday morning. Wayne Norman, always a gracious host and a bit of a history buff, as well, put us at ease (myself, along with Irv Stanley and Ed Shapiro of the Andover, Ct., Historical Society) and kept up the banter for a full two hours.....

Then on Friday evening, I was asked to give a brief chat concerning the 'March', at the Columbia, Ct., Historical Society, with a meal included and a very interested audience......

All of this leads up to this past Sunday, when, with the kind help of the good folks at the Andover Historical Society, a number of us were encouraged to discuss the march, at length. David Holloway, Rose Morin and Mike Fitzgerald were on hand, as was I, to give presentations and answer questions from the interested audience. Serge Gabriel, of the CT. W3R was also on hand and gave a presentation of the French help during the AWI. The program lasted a couple of hours and was well attended, considering it was the first truly gorgeous day of Spring, perhaps some 40 people in attendence.

I noticed folks in the audience from Windham, Columbia, Bolton, East Hartford, Ct. Historical Societies..... all these folks had given of their time to help us along the road. If it weren't for the CT. Daughters of the American Revolution, and the Connecticut Historical Societies, t'would have been a much harder road. They were giving us help long before we finally caught the eye of other Organizations.... In fact, it was the local Historical Societies (CT., NY) that kept us going on the road........ Many thanks to you all.....

The program went very well, I suspect we will be able to tweak our presentations in the coming months as the offers to speak keep coming....

David Holloway called today to say that he, and Mike, were going to go to Washington, DC, to chat with a Senate Committee concerning the W3R. I understand that Kim Burdick will also be involved. Ursala Reed, our old friend from the Philadephia area,is also involved, I believe. Spread the word folks, and try to get there to see the Boys try to put the W3R on the NPS Map. David did not know what building, or Room they were going to, so if any of you can help with that let us know. I am sure they will know by the time they get there, but perhaps the info would be useful for those of you that want to be there and join them...... the hearing is on Thursday, at 2:00 PM.....(more to follow, perhaps)

I understand that the good folks of W3R Rhode Island, Roseanna Gorham and company, will be hosting 'AMtY', on Friday, May 4th, for a ceremony to complete the return of the infamous ' W3R Baton', back to Providence. Most of you should know about the 'Baton', if not, ask Ursala (grins)... the time and place have yet to be settled but we will let you know as soon as we find out. I expect that David, Rose, Mike and Richard will be in attendence there....

I also believe that some of us will be attending a W3R here in Connecticut on May 12th, more on that in the near future.......


I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
Chair, AMtY

April 11, 2007

Philadelphia Press conference......

Greetings again, Dear Patriots and Friends of AMtY......

May the joy of the day be with you, and yours, even if it is a Nor'easter!
I had an occasion to chat with David Holloway today and he has given me the following information to impart to you all......
There is a Press Conference, Scheduled to be held on Friday, April 13th, at Eleven of the Clock in the Morning, at the 1781 French Camp site at Phidelphia. I am informed that this site is at Schuykill (ain't that the infamous Surely-kill?) River area, near the intersection of Market St. and 30th Ave.....should any of you have an opportunity to attend, please do so. I expect that you will see David Holloway, Rose Morin, Mike Fitzgerald and Dave Fagerberg there. These are indeed the folks that had feet (and tires) on the ground, in that area, during the March... come say hello to some old (new?) friends. Look for a gathering of folks and in particular those wearing some funny clothes...!
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend, 'work' keeps calling me (being self-employed, you have to pay attention to those calls). I wish you all well and trust that while Spring may have not really sprung yet, perhaps winter will not arrive, again!!? Be well, be safe........

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
Chair, 'AMtY'

April 10, 2007

The AMtY Route is still in motion........

Greetings Patriots and Friends of AMty....

Tis a pleasure to be able to address you all once again. Most of us are still waiting for Spring, to spring!!
About a year ago, I was in the throes of charting the Northern Route of the Rochambeau/Washington route, with designs that we might soon be walking upon it. Of course, that is all history now, the March itself was completed, but the work is going on. Here is an update of upcoming activities that will involve the members of AMtY.....
Of course, most of you are aware of the National Leeadership Conference of the W3R, being held in Baltimore, Maryland, this Saturday. Members of the AMtY road gang (Rose, David, Mike and Dave) are expected to be there, perhaps as early as Friday to attend a news conference as well.
Here, in east-central Connecticut, an AMtY presentation on the experiences of the Marchers while on the March will be held in the Andover Elementary School Cafeteria, Sunday, April 22nd at One of the Clock in the Afternoon. The event has been noted locally, with many invites going out to area Historical Societies. I am told the response has been very postive. The school is located on Rt. 316, in Andover, Ct. The event is open to the public and all interested parties are invited. We expect Richard, Rose, David, Mike to be on hand. Also, Serge Gabriel will be on hand to present a short talk on the French committment to the American Revolution.
On Wednesday, April 18th, both Richard and David will be giving a chat on the Wayne Norman radio show, in Wyndham, Ct. (Camp #4) The show will run from 7-9:00 AM and can be heard on WILI Radio, 1420 on the AM dial.
As you can see, tis a busy month of April for the AMtY group. Now, I haven't taken a look at the statistics lately, but we know that just two months ago, the AMtY web-site was still receiving some 30,000 hits a month, that is incredible. Particularly since the actual walk has been over since October! Please be assured that, because of the excellent donations from our supporters, the web-site will remain on-line for some years to come.
If your group is having something of interest concerning the W3R, let us know and we will post it.
Wishing you all the best, with a fervent desire for Spring to appear.......

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
Chair, AMtY

November 19, 2006

November 15, 2006

November 15, 2006

Greetings to all,

At long last, I have arrived home after our long “March to Yorktown.”

After the ceremonies at Yorktown I drove north to Connecticut to unload my gear from Camp Martha - stopping along the way to visit family and friends.

When I arrived in Connecticut I was told that my company, Rogers Rangers ( was attending a reenactment in New Hampshire so I drove up for a few days to see them. While there I received a call from a production company in NYC telling me that I was selected to portray Gen.Guy Carleton in a film about Benedict Arnold the following weekend in Rhode Island. So, after returning to Connecticut to clean out “Martha” I drove up to Newport, RI to begin filming on the ship “Providence.”

It was ironic that the last thing I was to do this year was happening back in Newport, RI, the site where we began our ‘March to Yorktown,’ on June 17.

When we began this journey, and I think I can speak for all of us, we were pretty naive about the impact it would have on not only ourselves but the thousands of people along the way. We simply thought that we would be ‘just three amigos’ walking along the road -completely incognito-as if people did this sort of thing every day.

The impact on us was not only the physical and mental demands that we faced – such as
crawling out of the tent to bandage our feet each morning and tromping along the roads in 10 inches of driving cold rain—but also from the unexpected support and enthusiasm we encountered in town after town - day after day. What a boost to one’s spirit to find ‘cheerleaders’ along the worst of roads in the worst of weather, breakfast outside our tents and a warm meal at the end of a grueling days march.

The response from the general public was both surprising and very humbling.
I imagine the support and appreciation was due for a number of reasons – pride in one’s local history, an appreciation of someone making the effort, a release from the frustrations of our current conflict, to just old fashioned patriotism. Whatever the reason, people cried on our shoulders and welcomed us into their homes. Oftentimes it was difficult not to share in those tears.

So many things just seemed to work out for this endeavor. Without the many hours of effort from all of the various state W3R members our journey would certainly have been something much less—if not impossible. With the march, the W3R gained critical, positive recognition at a time it needed it most. A year before would have been too early, a year after, too late. It was a wonderful synergy.

There are so many people and groups I wish to thank such as the various state W3R members, the DAR and SAR, Scouts, marchers who joined us here and there, individuals and towns, Richard Swartwout and the rest of the March to Yorktown support group and
most importantly my fellow marchers, Rose, David and Dave for their dedication to making this dream come true. Thank you and Huzzah!

So many people, so many miles, so many wonderful memories for all of us to share. Thank you all for welcoming us into your towns and homes. We all made this march a success. We all made history together.

I remain,
Yr most humble and obedient servant,
Capt. Michael S. Fitzgerald
America’s March to Yorktown

October 26, 2006

March Date October 7, 2006 March Day 113

Good Day to all March to Yorktown Followers and Supporters ~

The wind and rain is relentless on this second day of the correctly predicted Nor'easter. Thunder rolls and lightning flashes in the early morning darkness.
Mike hints at postponing the day's march, hoping the men will agree but the soldiers will have none of it. Come hell or high water has arrived...and the time is now.

The soldiers prepare, dressing again in layers for warmth and topped with their oilcloths, thankful for the night's dry lodging and now dry clothing. The troops are transported to the Capitol at Williamsburg for today's starting point, and as we travel Francis Street in this quiet deserted town, we note many carriage headlights approaching our rear. We stop the carriages, the soldiers alight and stand in the pouring rain, in salute as the President's carriage entourage passes us by on their way to today's dedication of the new aircraft carrier in Newport News. Back into the carriages to the end of Francis Street for the start of today's march. We join hands in prayer for the last time.

The day's miles will be approximately 15, a difficult trek in the second day of storm conditions, but the army is determined to reach their goal as they set out on Pocahontas Trail of route 60. With Richard's arrival, the day's logistics with additional driver will be easier and the support carriage sets out to determine camp Martha's route and bring her forward to Yorktown.

Of all days to experience a glitch in directions, we find the army off course on busy route 199 instead of the Merrimac Trail of route 143. We confer at the side of the heavily travelled road with fast carriages speeding by, and decide that to correct this mile error, the army need be transported back. Half of the men board the small carriage, leaving the rest on the highway where a passing mistress and her children take pity on them and forwards the drenched men to the group at Merrimac Trail. The army begins again.

The support wagon now continues into Yorktown, finding the section of Water Street just that....flooded and closed to carriage traffic. We drive to higher ground and stop at the Visitors' Center where we chat with National Park Service Rangers John Short and Ted Fort. Word of the army's arrival here has preceeded us. Recent newspaper clippings have been posted and we are cordially given carte blanche to visit the Battlefield at any time.

Richard and Rose now take this opportunity to travel back to the Williamsburg Inn to fetch camp Martha forward to the French Trench Overlook on the York River. We pass the men, marching on course, soaked in the driving rain. One more carriage trip is fetch Richard's van forward from Francis Street in Williamsburg. All the while, the rain continues in sheets. Richard comments that this is the closest to being in a wave on land.

The army has now travelled route 238, passing the Yorktown Victory Center where they are given a musket salute, and continuing by the Riverwalk into the center of Yorktown. They take welcome refuge at York Hall on Main Street, a mere one quarter mile from our final destination. Here we are greeted by Cheryl Sanderman of York County Parks and Recreation who has arranged a wonderful welcome reception.

There is hot tea and coffee, sweets, smiles, handshakes and hugs. We are joined by Ursula and the Shumbos, and many photographs are taken before we are ushered into a reception room for formalities. We are officially welcomed and congratulated by Dan Smith, Superintendant of Colonial National Historic Parks, County Administrator James McReynolds, County Board of Supervisors Sheila Noll, Comte de Grasse Chapter DAR Nan Fogler, 96th District State Representative Melanie Rapp, York County Historical Museum Director Bonnier Karwac, and Parks and Recreation Supervisor David Meredith and his lovely wife "Sam". The four original marchers are each gifted with Victory at Yorktown posters, and the group is presented a framed Salute to the Military 1781-2006 poster and the commemorative Yorktown 225th medallion.

During this time, the rains have relented and the group now forms a line on Main Street facing southeast. This is the moment for which we have strived. Cadence is called and the final steps begin. Under the still dark skies, we march to the majestic Monument of Victory. We stand quietly, in reverance and gratitude, awed by the magnificence of our experience and remembering the great sacrifices given for the purpose of our free nation. Liberty surely did not come free. For a time, we are each lost in our thoughts as we walk the base of the monument and gaze at Lady Liberty.

The Yorktown Waterfront Tavern is our next refuge, (of course!) and here, across the street on the stretch of sandy beach, is our last ceremony. Richard has brought the 6th Connecticut's regimental pewter bowl, and we fill it with the bottle of Rochambeau wine given to us 113 days ago by Paul Graham at Waterman's Tavern, our first night's camp in Coventry, Connecticut. The bowl is passed....Richard, David, Rose, Mike and Dave all sip its contents...surely the best full, rich, red wine this writer has EVER tasted....round and round until empty. We have realized our dream.

Richard soon departs northward for home...David and Rose drive camp Martha to relatives in Poquoson, Dave and Mike return to Williamsburg motels. The day is done....the march is done. HUZZAH!! Nous sommes finis!!

Merci, Tout le monde...
Avec amour,

October 18, 2006

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 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,

October 16, 2006

March Date Thursday October 5, 2006 March Day 111

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David does not call reveille on this morning....Mike has requested to wake "on his own." Rose and David are the usual early risers and are dressed and waiting as the rest of the group emerges from the grist mill. It is a clear morning and still warm with temperatures in the 60's as we say goodbye to our hosts Debbie and Willy.

As we will be passing the Kent County Courthouse on our way to today's starting point, we bring camp Martha forward and leave her there for the day. The men are then transported to yesterday's finish on Stage Road, hands are joined for the daily prayer and they are off. Rose returns to the Courthouse area to prepare the day's provisions and take advantage of the local post, then intercepts the marchers.

The day has warmed up to 78 degrees...sunny for the most part. We are briefly visited by Stran Trout who has found the men walking on a most deserted stretch of dirt road....he is checking on their progress and brings a DVD gift of photos and maps.

As Rose waits in the parking area of a small local shop, she is approached by a mistress who has stopped here for provisions. This lady has seen the colorful marchers up the road and questions who, what, where, why? Her curiosity satisfied, she shops and drives away in her carriage. It is not until the men stop here for a brief rest and hope of procuring ice cream, that we learn from the shopkeeper of this mistress' generosity. She has quietly left a monetary donation with the be used for whatever the army will purchase here to ease their thirst or hunger as they march. And we never did learn her name or residence.

As the march progresses along route 746, we see our first sign for Williamsburg/Yorktown/Jamestown on the parallel highway where fast carriages seem to fly by the army. This is reassuring proof that our ultimate destination is within reach...spirits soar and there is a sudden spring in the men's step. There are no more complaints of sore feet. The day's march covers 15.5 miles and we return to the Courthouse to fetch Martha. By this late afternoon, the parking lot is almost empty of the day's carriages and we see a paper under the carriage windshield. Surely we have not received another violation ticket? No...not in this kind County. 'Tis a gift from Pam Crosby...a most kind letter of appreciation, CD and copies of the previous day's photographs . We continue to receive.

Martha is brought to our night's camp at Taono Upper County Park, prearranged by Stephanie Deal of James City County Parks and Recreation. This handsome park with large fire-placed shelter is deserted save for our presence. We find the Shumbo family has arrived...Keleigh and all four rejoin us for our entrance into Yorktown. Ursula Reed from Philadelphia arrives as our special guest and everyone settles in for an evening and meal before the fire. David and Rose detach Martha from George and travel to his cousin's home in Poquoson where his new clothing has been delivered. The camp is dark and quiet on their return....Damon asleep in her carriage, the rest of the group nestled in their beds under the shelter's roof.

We have but two more days of our long journey southward....we have heard from the locals that the weather prediction is not good. Some talk of a 'Nor-easter with heavy rains. A fitting ending for the army's long march? We retire, praying for clear skies.
A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Wednesday October 4, 2006 March Day 110

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

We wake in the dark 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,

October 11, 2006

March Date Tuesday October 3, 2006 March Day 109

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

6 AM reveille reveals that Travis is arrived and has safely slept among us. Perhaps this young lad's enlistment to the army will bring about a spring in the men's step - it certainly will his Dad's. Travis is outfitted in kit, shoulders his musket, and joins the group being transported to today's start at Hanovertown. The night's dew is turning to misty steam as the sun rises, and eventually the day is warm, dry, and gifted with a cloudless blue sky.

The march begins - three colours, one musket. As yesterday, many carriage drivers stop on this winding Old Church Road to briefly chat with the men. As the day progresses, our newcomer soon becomes an official member as he stops to apply patches of silver duct tape to strategic places on his feet! The country road intersects busy route 360 and the group stops at the West Store for a short break. Ice cream at 10 AM of the clock? Mais certainment! There is also a brief necessary stop at Bethlehem Presbyterian Church where the church ladies have gathered outside to view the passing spectacle. We noon in a shaded area on Glympse Lane where the mistress of the house stops her carriage to chat with the soldiers.

At the 11.8 mile mark, we cross the county line in Kent and the men continue marching the remaining 3.2 miles to Marengo Plantation where our night's camp has been arranged. Rose drives the carriage ahead and is met by Taylor Moore, local businessman, who presents a quick tour of his retreat property. This 600+ acres was originally a tobacco plantation with brick manor built in 1817. There are reconstructed slave quarters, steeplechase tower, large barns, smokehouse, and riverfront dock with boathouse....all situated on ninety mowed rolling acres overlooking the Pamunkey River. We are allowed full access to the house and facilities, complete with golf cart in which to tour the property. We drive back the 1/2 mile to the gate where the army is just arriving, and our host whisks us back for an inside tour of the manor.

We now return to Hanover Park for our daily fetching of Camp Martha forward to her new night's home. At the park, we are interviewed and photographed for the local weekly publication Mechanicsville News before David and Rose set out with the Washington rig for the plantation. They again stop at the West Store for a few provisions and chat with owner Chuck Fleet who states he has been hearing from the locals for a while that the army is heading his way, and he is delighted to have us in his shop. He donates a bottle of fine wine with his compliments.

Evening at camp consists of setting the tents and preparing our own dinner, for a change. We dine on grilled hot dogs served with Erick Nason's rich potato soup. We sit at the camp table with burning smudge pots and lanterns which can soon be extinguished as the bright waxing moon rises in the sky. Father and son retire early, Rose and David head for their bunks, and we leave Dave chatting on his communication device in the bright moonlight. Bonne nuit, tout le monde. A demain.

Avec amour,

October 10, 2006

March Date Monday October 2, 2006 March Day 108

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David attempts his usual 6 AM reveille, and receives a short chorus from the hounds in spite of his attempts to do so quietly. As the sky lightens, promising a splendid clear day, we can see Elizabeth at the kennels already tending to the dogs, and Bob similarly occupied with the horses. Bob takes us to visit the hounds, thirty-six in all, handsome, friendly and eager for attention. Bob can, and does call them each by name and each has their own personality. Wasn't it George Washington and Lord Fairfax who introduced fox hunting to America?

The army is ready to march and we travel by wagon to the center of Dawn again. Today's journey will cover 15.6 miles to the Hanovertown marker and we find the newly-erected Washington Rochambeau Route signs continuing through Hanover city. As promised, the day is hot with temperatures 75 degrees under a cloudless blue sky.

We have a pleasant diversion on the three mile section of busy route 2...David's brother John stops to visit on his way to Norfolk. He brings us boxes of pastries (groan), and the September 28 copies of "Soundoff", a Fort Meade publication of which we are the cover story. We all briefly visit the intriguing Kelley's Country Store/Museum, buy ice cream of course, photograph ourselves at the front, and John is too soon on his way.

As the men pass and are photographed at the Hanover Courthouse, we draw the attention of the staff of Hanover Tavern, directly across the street. We are greeted by Executive Director Sarah Smith who gives us an impromptu tour of this interesting building. According to Sarah, the main building was erected in 1791 but was the site of a tavern stop as early as 1733, and has undergone several transformations....public inn, stagecoach stop, post office, dance hall and now dinner theater. The group is photographed at the front of the tavern by Amanda, to be used in the next Hanover Tavern Foundation Newsletter.

The army now turns onto route 605. The road is shaded and cool as it winds through wood, is hot, sunny and flat as it borders field after field of soy bean. There is little carriage traffic on the road, but most drivers stop to chat briefly and some return to their homes to fetch cameras. One gentleman states "Got to take a picture for proof of what I saw. My family will thing I've been drinking!" One friendly little beagle comes out to greet us, and with tail happily wagging, follows the army for a distance. Perhaps we could attach a flag to that tail?

The men arrive at the day's destination - hot, tired and foot sore, feeling this third day in succession of extended marching. We photograph our arrival at Hanovertown Marker, located on a gravel road opposite soy fields and a short distance from the Pamunkey River. The marker reads that Hanovertown thrived in 1767, and by a small vote missed becoming the capital of Virginia. There are now but a few private homes and yellowing soy fields within sight.

The marchers board the wagon and we back-track to Hanover Courthouse Park, our night's camp as pre-arranged by Parks and Recreation Department Director Brad Ashley. The men march into this spacious park and are greeted by Brad, Devin Brown, Public Information Officer Tom Harris and New Kenty County District 4 Supervisor Stran Trout. Photos are taken, and after determining camp Martha's and the tents' locations, we return to Chase's End to fetch the camp forward. We bid fond adieu to Bob of the Caroline Hunt Club, our most gracious and generous host for the previous two nights...and to Lady Elizabeth, mistress of the house.

'Tis a quiet evening encamped at Hanover Park. Brad has arranged for individual "box lunch" dinners, prepared by the local ordinary Suzannes's, and a cooler of iced soft drinks. These are truly gourmet boxes of thick sandwiches, salads and desserts, and we sit, chat, and enjoy our fill . We are definitely the senior tour, walking and eating our way to Yorktown! An additional tent is set as we anticipate this night the arrival of Mike's son Travis from Langley Air Force Base. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Sunday October 1, 2006 March Day 107

Good Day to all March to Yorktown Followers and Supporters ~

Again, we have brought the rains. It comes in heavy intermittent showers throughout the night but ceases with the dawn. David makes the rounds as usual with reveille and is chourused quite loudly by the hounds' baying from their kennels. Everyone now is certainly awake! Damon emerges dressed in her civvies and takes her leave of the group - we'll miss this courageous lass who has kept step with the army these last four days. Bonne chance, Damon.

David, Mike and Dave are brought by carriage to route 2 and step off from Antioch Road. Rose returns to camp to prepare the day's provisions. Preparations at the farm for today's hunt is in progress in this early morning. Riders are handsome in their saddles and the horses are excited...soon horse and riders amidst the hounds are circling the main house and set off for the wood. Rose watches in fascination before setting off to intercept the men.

At less than a mile on route 2, the men have turned onto route 721, following the newly-placed Washington-Rochambeau route marker, the first of many throughout today's winding quiet roads. The marchers continue on Mattaponi and onto Old Stage Road where they are "found" by Herbert Collins, a most extraordinary gentleman waiting for the marchers' arrival at Green Falls - the oldest house, built 1711, in Caroline County.

Here, we experience an historical treat. Green Falls has been in Mr. Collins' family since 1787 and has been lovingly maintained in its original state. He gives us a grand tour and this is the first time that 4 seasoned reenactors are speechless. There are 650+ acres, the main house a tavern stop for Washington and Rochambeau, slave quarters a short distance from the house....but the furnishings and interior are the most impressive. Each room is filled with priceless period pieces of furniture, portraits, lamps, carpets and paintings. We stand on a carpet owned by Nellie Custis, view President Madison's carved four-poster bed, and on it goes... We spend the better part of an hour here and this gracious man invites us back to visit and to set our camp on the property any time we wish.

Sadly, it is time to move on. Old Stage Road continues to wind through wood, still bordering Mr. Collins' land and changing into dirt/gravel surface for almost a mile. As Rose waits at Burke's bridge over the Mattaponi River enjoying the quiet water and wood, Mr. Collins arrives in his pick-up wagon to present a video made earlier about Green Falls and its history - a treasure that will need to wait until our march is over, I'm afraid. The tour is not over....Mr. Collins takes Rose for a short walk to a community spring in the wood which was used by the Mattaponi indians, and is still used today. He related how he "worked" these fields as a child. At age 74, this remarkable man plans to restore his wood to open field as it was in the eighteenth century. "I promised Mama I'd keep and restore this place as it was, and she said I was only dreaming." He's true to his dream.

The day's march continues, and about the eight mile mark, we have an unexpected surprise. Our friend Gary O'Brien from the 1st Virginia has travelled hard by carriage to intercept and join the army for the day - great to see a familiar face and all hands are extended in welcome. Gary unfurls his l-a-r-g-e bright red regimental flag and the men are a quartet of colours as they step off again. Keep your feet on the ground, Gary, or you'll be on your way to Kansas.

The original army road turns and crosses route 2 - Richmond Road - more than a few times, a goodly pace is set, and the day's 18.1 miles, identical to yesterday's miles, is completed by about four of the clock when the large open field area which is the center of Dawn, is reached. David, dubbed the Crazy Frenchman, has finished the day almost a mile ahead of the rest of the army and goes in search of ice cream. No carrot needed on his flag, a cone will do.
Disappointed in finding no accommodating shops, he returns to the carriage. The army is now together and all board the wagon with a successful shop for la creme de glace. Gary is brought back to his carriage and we once again bid him adieu, knowing our paths will cross again.

As no suitable campsite has been procured for Dawn, we return to Chase's End Farm where we spend a delightful and relaxing evening with our host and hostess, Bob and Elizabeth. A short-lived rainstorm brings a perfect rainbow across the sky, and we all relax in the yard with a bit of spirits, watching another celestial spectacle - the splendid red sunset over the rolling fields. Bob displays his talents as chef, and we dine in their huntsmen's lodge on grilled steak (Be still, David's heart!), corn and terrific salad. No - not ice cream sundaes for dessert!
The men speak of their military service experiences, and Elizabeth too has truly served, solely managing this farm during Bob's tour in Iraq. This is an extraordinary group gathered here and we can feel the generated commeraderie, warmth and comfort.

The men are tired - as are our hosts from their day's hunt and chores. We night-cap, thank our hosts and head for our beds. A demain.

Avec amour,

October 09, 2006

March Date Saturday September 30, 2006 March Day 106

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

I'm sure everyone is awake before this morning's is c-o-l-d, and we dress very quickly. We later learn the temperature is forty degrees. The Washington rig is moved from the back of the farm to the front of Belvedere plantation near the main road, with high visibility but out of the way for this farm's busy opening day.

The army begins its more arduous march of 15.8 miles to Bowling Green, with main travel along route 2 but following many out-croppings of original army trail. There are many new Rochambeau trail signs enrout - Rozell Road, Woodford, Woodslane and Farmers Road. The day becomes warmer but there is still the edge of fall in the air and the sky is cloudy.

Rose returns to Belvedere after delivering the men to the starting point, tidies house, prepares the army's provisions and proceeds to intercept the men on the trail. Stopping at a local shop, she purchases copies of the local publication. The Free Lance Star has printed a front page portrait of the men at march. Because of this, the men are recognized by the locals. One gentleman who is fetching his roadside paper, glances at the men as they walk by his home, then double and triple-takes as he reads his paper. Another carriage driver calls out to the marchers, asking if he could purchase breakfast for them.

About three miles out, Rose is waiting with support when Erick Nason arrives, accompanied by wife Karin, in full kit, and daughter Samantha. This man is true to his word, and eagerly joins the marchers for the day.

The men today are unstoppable....a couple of brief rests and only a short lunch stop...they cover the entire route into Bowling Green Courthouse in less than six hours. While waiting for the men's arrival, Bob Ferrer of Chase's End Farm stops by and whisks Rose away to the farm, our site for tonight's camp. This is a handsome huntsman's farm - stately brick and columned porch home, well-furnished lodge with adjoining stable, field, paddocks, and hounds' kennels...the latter a good distance away from the house. Bob apologizes that he and wife Elizabeth will not be at the farm this evening due to prior committment, but he has arranged for our every comfort and for his brother-in-law Will Gravett to follow up with us later in the day.

Rose arrives back at the courthouse, but the army chooses to continue the additional 2.8 miles on route 2 where the turn-off to the Ferrer Farm is located. We say goodby to Eric who has certainly earned the amorous attentions of his Lady Karin. Total miles for today is 18.1 and 'tis but mid-afternoon. By carriage, we all proceed to Chase's End.

An elegant table has been set in the yard, laden with fine Bordeaux, a wheel of Frech brie under a silver dome, and accompanying crackers. The men rest on the lawn, partake of this fine welcoming snack and visit with Will. It is here and now that Mike walks head-first into a holly tree branch, sustaining a superficial but two-inch forehead laceration. 'Tis but a surface cut but the resulting ooze gives his face more character.

We all return to Belvedere, fetching camp Martha forward to Chase's End and there take advantage of the shower facilities in the main house, which our hosts have most graciously allowed us access to. Our last opportunity for such complete cleanliness was six days ago at the Gunston camp and we assure that the tub is scrubbed at our finish!

We all enjoy the horses as they curiously approach the fence, and we offer apples and sugar cubes. We engage in a never-ending game of fetch with Jack Russell "Reggie', whose mistress Terry has come to attend to both horses and army. With Will as our stand-in host, and in the handsome well-furnished lodge, we are seated at the long table and dine on fine roast beast, potatoes and superb wine. 'Tis a meal fit for a General! We chat and socialize in this comfortable room for quite some time.

The group is tired, clean, and well-fed as we reflect on this day....106 of our commemorative march. A demain.

Avec amour,

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,

October 9, 2006

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

This is to notify all you that America's March to Yorktown was completed as scheduled on October 7, 2006, approximately 2:00 PM of the clock. The marchers arrived at York Hall, Yorktown Virginia where we were received by local historical representatives and dignitaries. The march continued (in the second day of torrential rain of a nor'-easter) to the Yorktown Victory Monument where a present arms and a prayer of thanks was offered. I will not go into detail here, but will describe that day in the daily log.

Which brings me to ....the recent missing logs. We travelled through portions of Virginia for almost a week where no wireless signal could be detected, hence the logs have not been forthcoming. It was most frustrating, knowing that many people were counting on these notes to follow our progress. I have the logs...written in long-hand....and will be posting them during the next few days.

Thank you all for your patience. WE ARE HERE!!!!
Avec amour,

March Date Thursday September 28, 2006 March Day 104

Good Day to all March to Yorktown Followers and Supporters ~

A day of rest and David sleeps in. Il n'y a pas de reveille aujourd'hui. The morning is cool, breezy and clear and the early risers David, Rose and Damon walk from the farm to the local laundress so that David may have his now less-than-white regimental tended to...and to take advantage of the local breakfast tavern run by Mr.McDonald.

Mike sleeps in and actually smiles as he emerges from his tent - a wonderful night's rest is proclaimed!! It looks good on him. We are visited by Alma Withers, whom we missed on yesterday's arrival at Ferry Farm. She is most cordial, thanks us for our visit, and invites us to return anytime.

The day is ours and it is spent in various pursuits...visiting Fredericksburg Battlefield, the archeological dig here on Ferry Farm grounds, sitting in the sun working on communications and enjoying the well-tended gardens at the back of the visitor center. Here, Rose is fascinated by seeing cotton plants for the first time. They are waist-high, thickly-leaved reddish-green with golfball sized pods which burst into four sections of white fluffy elongated cotton "balls". One cannot help but think of the many souls who have spent hours at the back-breaking work of picking cotton.

David and Damon enjoy a very close game of checkers in the yard - seated at a painted barrel board and using pieces of sliced corn cob, and David retrieves his laundered regimental coat, pleased that he will present himself as the well-dressed French soldier at tonight's festivities.

Lyn Padgett of the Rappahannock Colonial Heritage Society has organized a bit of pomp and ceremony specifically for America's March To Yorktown and we prepare to put our best foot forward...literally. The group gathers on the far side of Chatham Bridge and are met by Jay Harrison, Director of Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, who is in full regimental with musket, and lovely Terry Rece. We march across the bridge and are joined by many members of the Rappahannock and Fredericksburg societies, all in their period best, and continue to the park/garden area adjacent to the historic Lewis store. A large dining fly has been set protecting a table laden with home-cooked foods, and a large cast iron pot steams over an open fire filled with soup...its aroma filling the evening air.

The marchers are welcomed by Mayor Tom Tomzak, Rappahannock Heritage Society President Sandra Piercy, Lyn Padgett and Jay Harrison. Mike introduces the marchers and we express our gratitude at our hosts' generosity. Ah...we feast again. The evening sky has grown progressively darker and the rains begin just as the dessert course is begun. There is a scramble to grab food, baskets and dishes, and everyone files into Lewis store to continue the festivities and talk of local history. Erick Nason of the 2nd South Carolina regiment vows to visit us at Belvedere tomorrow evening. Thanks to Damon who retrieved our carriage from the far side of the bridge earlier, we are spared the walk back in the rain. We return to Ferry Farm and enjoy the night's severe rain, thunder and lightening from the safety of the camp, thankful that the men are not currently marching. We hope for clear skies in the morning. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 30, 2006

March Date Wednesday September 27, 2006 March Day 103

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls the usual 6 AM reverille and he has an additional march member to awaken. Damon has returned from upstate New York, obviously having driven her carriage hard and fast, as she last left us at Fendall House in Alexandria but 3 days ago. She's chosen the perfect day to return as the day unfolds clear and cool. Our friend Lyn Padgett from Historic Fredericksburg Foundation arrives at our quiet hilltop camp with full breakfast for the troops. Lyn is beautiful, dressed in full period clothing and sets table with linens, fall leaves, Williamsburg pottery and candles. There is perfectly ripened melon, coffee, fresh ham and biscuits, cranberry and nut muffins. This lady has prepared this meal with careful aforethought and we are most grateful. She does not tarry, soon departs our company and wishes the men godspeed in today's march.

The men are transported by carriage to Peyton's Ordinary, sadly not longer in existence but marked by a commemorative plaque on the side of route 1. Our great General had stopped here on more than one occasion for rest and sustenance. This is the start point for today and the army will march 11.2 miles to St.George Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg.

After morning prayer, the army departs and Rose returns to camp to prepare the noon meal with which to later intercept the group. Reverand Cuthbert Mandell visits briefly and extends his warm wishes.

When the men are located on route 1, they are three miles out in a mere hour, apparently Lyn's breakfast has fueled them well. Dave jokingly complains that the crazy Frenchman in the front won't slow down. At this rate, they will make short work of today's miles.

En route, the army passes a shop with most unusual wares...large animal sculptures of various colours. A seven foot pink elephant...yes, pink....trumpets in the air and beckons Mike a dare, who without second thought, accepts. A true photo opportunity with his backside to the camera as David assists him in mounting the beast, then followed by one of solemnity with sword drawn and charging.

Another humorous incident finds Dave, at the rear of the column, approached by a civilian who comments "Yeah! We need another revolution, Man!" In Dave's softly-spoken sense of humor, he replies that this one will do just fine, thank you.

The men make short work of the day's miles, and we finish at St.George's, snagging a willing passer-by to photograph the group. As the day is still young, the group meanders the village searching for cream of course, and we find a very satisfying selection at Cards 'n Cones. We indulge in floats, shakes and cones, a quite leisurely and yummy lunch. We then proceed to Ferry Farm on the village outskirts, site of George Washington's boyhood home... acres of well-tended lawn surrounded by wood and period stockade fencing where our night's camp has been arranged.

We are greeted by Marti Stout who welcomes us and shows us the area in which to park camp Martha. Archeological excavation is in progress here attempting to locate the foundation of the original Washington house and there are workers and analysts about the farm and large brick visitor's center.

We fetch Martha from the Aquia Church and move her forward to her new "home" for the next two nights. We settle into Ferry Farm and set the tentage by late afternoon.
The group has planned to dine out in Fredericksburg this evening - a combined birthday celebration for Mike (9/26) and Rose (9/29). We remember that 9/29 is also Rob Reyes' birthday, a fellow Libra! We travel by carriage into the village and choose Claiborne's, a tavern of elegance and exquisite fare. As usual, we draw attention from the patrons and staff, answer many questions concerning the march, our origins and manner of dress. 'Tis a fine evening and we toast to our birthdays, success, and safety to date.

We return to camp to chat for a bit, relaxed in knowing we will not march on the morrow....a day to ourselves in this beautiful Virginia colony. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 28, 2006

March Date Tuesday September 26, 2006 March Day 102

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

On this very cool dark morning, David taps on Rose's door as she sleeps in her bunk in George. We join in a happy birthday reveille outside of Captain Mike's tent, complete with bones accompaniment. Sorry Mike, you've been allowed to sleep a bit later, but no day off yet.

Today's march of 10.5 miles will bring the troop into Aquia with the main route of travel along route 1. A three and a half mile route 637 outcrop onto the original King's Highway will again bring the ment onto route 1 with destination Old Aquia Episcopal Church. The men report very "hairy" conditions walking against very fast carriages that come within six inches of them with slowing. They purchase copies of the local Potomac News publication, a very handsome picture of the men as they carry the flags unfurled in the wind.

Photographs are taken at the Iwo Jima monument at the entrance of the Marine base Quantico and again at the impressive Christ Crucifix sculpture marking the first Catholic settlement in this area.

We arrive at the 1757 brick Aquia Episcopal church and are greeted by Denise LaBarre who addresses all of our needs for this night's camp. This is a lovely hill top setting with surrounding woods and adjacent old graveyard. Graffitti scars are clearly legible on the corner stones of this handsome church and we spend time reading the civil war and earlier inscriptions, and touring the skull and crossbone tombstones in the cemetery. We are given a personal tour of the church from historian Trudy and are even taken up into the church attic to read the 18th century graffitti and view the massive center wooden support. This beautiful church has survived the onslought of time and men and is still vital to the community today.

We have a bit of down time and Mike attempts to nap a bit in his tent. A birthday privilege? We have an occasional visitor but enjoy a quiet afternoon.
Dinner is at King Street Blues where the men indulge in racks of ribs, and Mike is treated for his birthday. Joyeux anniversaire, Michel!!

This night the group builds a campfire. 'Tis been a long long time since we've had the time, opportunity, energy - or the wood- to sit about and chat in front of the magical flames.
As we relax, the bodies overcome the spirits....we yawn and trail off to our beds. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Monday September 25, 2006 March Day 101

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Today's 6:30 of the clock reveille is a cool clear morning. Still in darkness, we prepare to leave this quiet wooded site, each of us yearning to spend more time here, but Martha is to be forwarded to Weems Botts museum for our night's camp with a scheduled stop at nearby Gunston Elementary School. We have a brief visit by Mike C on his way to work via motorcycle... (the sound of his V-star Yamaha brings a bit of nostalgia) and he bids the army safe travel.

We find Allison Mills promptly waiting at 8:30 of the clock at the Gunston School. This innovative school is equipped with high technology, and the soldiers are ushered into a small room off the library where they are interviewed by fourth grade teacher Rod Bowers. This is broadcasted live to all classroom monitors and gives the students a preliminary introduction to the marchers.

We are then brought to a great room where more than a hundred students file in and sit on the floor. The men explain our historical march and the questions begin. Hands shoot up and the eager faces show that these children are really into it! They question every detail of the soldiers' uniforms and the differences among them, are curious about the soldiers' food and colonial military way of life. 'Tis a joy to see their concentration and interaction. At this session, we also have a few supporters from yesterday's destination point at the river...there is Sally and Gerry Lyons of the Fairfax County History Commission and the lovely madame who proudly displayed the "76" flag outside her home. This has been a most rewarding presentation for the group, and we continue to receive as we depart. Allison gives us a donation for our horses' feed AND a batch of homemade brownies...stating the brownies are no big deal. Oh, yes.....they certainly are a big, most welcome gift.

We continue to bring camp Martha into Dumfries, leave her at the pretty gazebo/lawn area of the Weems-Botts museum and return the men to the river ferry starting point. Again, we are greeted by Sally and Gerry, and new visitors Tamra Harvie with her children Lewis and Carah, who have come to encourage the soldiers. Lewis is shy and clings to his mother's apron while Carah presents Mike with a large crock of Virginia peanuts. Mom presents a bottle of fine French Chardonnay. We pray to our Great Benefactor and the men begin.

The majority of today's travel will be along busy Jefferson Davis Highway but with only a total of 9.3 miles, which seems like a walk in the park to the men at this point. We are able to leave the busy road at route 637 and travel this outcrop of original King's Highway for approximately three miles, stopping at Rippon Lodge, a secluded eighteenth century estate located high on a hill with breath-taking views of the Potomac river.

During a brief rest stop, we have an unexpected visit from Sally who delivers bags-full of black walnuts for Mike. During our morning's departure at the river, we noted the plentiful nuts and hulls from this tree near her home. Mike commented on their value in dyeing period cloth and clothing, and she has now found us to deliver this gathered resource.... another example of the fine local villagers' support.

The army marches into Weems-Botts museum where we are greeted by David Born of the Prince William Historic Preservation Division, Claudia Smith of the museum's board of directors, and Lyn Padgett of Living History. A Potomac News photographer and reporter who has photographed and followed the men enroute continues to record the arrival until he is called away. Mike C of yesterday's march and this morning's visit, stops by to show us his "bigger than Ohio" blister on his heel, and to share a gill of rum.

Mike hears of a marine bar and restaurant in town, and we prepare for dinner. Now Mike is craving steak. David, is this contagious? The Globe and Laurel is a tavern type restaurant filled with military memorabilia and photographs. We have a terrific meal of french onion soup and prime-rib, then top it off with creme de glace at an establishment across the road. We then roll ourselves back to camp where Dave and Mike have set their tents on the lush lawn in front of the gazebo.

We are visitied by Claudia's Mom who lives nearby, and she presents slices of German chocolate cake to the men. She is astounded to learn that tomorrow is Mike's birthday and that this particular cake was his yearly birthday request as he was growing up.

It is not long before we each take to our beds on this cool crisp night. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 27, 2006

March Date Sunday September 24, 2006 March Day 100

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

The night has been warm and humid...shortly after reveille we have our first short sprinkle of rain. The morning continues overcast as the men are delivered back to the trail leading to Mount Vernon. We send a message to Durf McJoynt who plans to meet the army during today's route.

A marathon is in progress on the already well-travelled path and the men are enjoying the many passing joggers. Durf intercepts the group near the gates of Mount Vernon, excitedly takes his photographs and extends an invitation for this evening's annual supper by the Friends of Mount Vernon.

Today's route continues down Mount Vernon Memorial Parkway, past Washington's Grist Mill and onto busy route 1, and we have a light shower that lasts for some time. Destination is the Occaquan River, a total of 13.1 miles. The group maintains a goodly pace walking against the fast carriages and are happy to turn onto rural Old Cochester Road, about the half-way mark.

Rose has driven ahead and brings the small carriage to a stop at Pohick Church. While touring the graves here, she is approached by a bare-footed soldier dressed in small clothes. "Are you Rose?" he asks. This is Mike Cecere accompanied by Will Strollo of the 17th Virginia regiment, and they have come to meet and march with the troops. Apparently, there is much local excitement and news of the army's approach and route of march. As the men approach this historic church site, a small crowd gathers, among them is Marty Malin, journalist and photographer from a local publication. She shoots her photos as the crowd converses and tags along with the group for the afternoon.

Mike C (so as not to confuse with Captain Mike) and Will don their packs and set off with the marchers...Mike C still barefoot with his shoes in his pack. A bit down this shady narrow road, they stop briefly for Mike C to don his shoes and stockings....stockings without feet? He forgoes the stockings and continues to march. Young Will, with musket at the ready, does a fine job running interference with any oncoming carriages. More than one unsuspecting carriage driver is surprised by this sight on the road.

An unexpected visitor is stopped at the side of the road, a cooler full of iced drinks in the bed of his pick-up. This is Joe Chudzik of the Lorton Heritage Society and planner of the W3R project currently in progress on this Old Colchester Road.

Another unexpected visitor arrives via carriage and this is Gary O'Brien of the 1st Virginia regiment, returned for a second day of march. These three additional soldiers, with their easy and happy manner greatly buoy the spirits and step of the troops and the day's destination to the river crossing is soon reached.

The locals from nearby cottages and homes come out to greet the marchers and many photographs are taken, It is now two of the clock and Mike C and Will are brought back to their carriage. We bid them adieu as they return to their homes.
Gary joins the group as we turn back to visit Mount Vernon.

Three of the group's members have never seen our General's greatly-loved homestead and we will visit before the planned evening supper there. Our photographer Marty is still with us and it is she who speaks with the gate manager and arranges our passes into the estate. She soon departs our company, however, as she is scheduled to record the evening's event here. Our thanks to you, Marty.

For the next two hours, we roam this wonderful site, Washington's love and personal haven. We tour the rooms, each with its own guide....the formal dining room with its elaborate furnishings and resplendent table, his study with well-worn desk and "uncommon" chair, the family dining room with its shocking bright green walls, and the bedroom where this great man breathed his last. We are silent in reverence at his tomb, and Gary performs a present arms in tribute.

We return to the back side of the large house where Damon photographs the group, and as we are posed, a touring group of fifty + people each take turns.....yes, one by one.....being photographed with us. Their tour guide smiles and thanks us for our time. We have surely been mistaken for workers at Mount Vernon, as we are photographed often as we stroll about.

We exit the grounds at their closing hour, browse the gift shops here and then re-enter with the throng of six hundred or more Friends of Mount Vernon for a wonderful supper on the lawn overlooking the Potomac. An enormous tent has been set and the buffet includes barbeque chicken, jambalaya with rice and beans, salad, coleslaw, cold beer and beverages. We dine on the lawn under a spectacular show of nature - a rainbow and its mate elongates in the sky across the Potomac to the east, and simultaneously a brilliant red, pink and blue-clouded sunset unfolds over the great house of Mount Vernon to the west. This celestial display chills us with gratitude ...we are meant to be exactly where we are.

As we work our way to exit, we pass the great front porch and stop for a visit wilth the first First Lady Martha, who gives her army words of encouragement and elegantly extends her hand for David's kiss. We leave the grounds thanking Durf for this evening, and return by carriage to Alexandria to again fetch camp Martha forward to this night's camp at Pohick Bay Park. Gary still accompanies us and guides us to the large route 1 where the Washington rig is allowed to travel. As we say adieu, he quickly tosses a donation to be used toward our horses''ve done too much, friend. It's been pleasure enough to have had your company and support.

It is dark when we reach our campsite but we spend the rest of the evening taking advantage of the shower and laundress facilities and planning the route of march for the morrow. We have a night visitor...Joe Chudzik has returned with ice, potatoes, mushrooms, ale and a bottle of fine wine. We are grateful for all of this man's kindnesses today. Mike and Dave sleep under the night sky, sans tents and the forest is quiet. A demain.

Avec amour,

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,

September 26, 2006

March Date Friday September 22, 2006 March Day 98

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

'Tis another day of cool overcast weather and we sleep in a bit. We are to be fetched by 10 of the clock by Acquinetta for an hour's visit at Walter Reed Hospital, efficiently pre-arranged at our request by Pat Archer-Jacob. Our driver promptly picks us up on the main road outside the fort and is excited to be joining us for the day.

On familiar home ground, Acquinetta expertly delivers us to the hospital by winding through the long and scenic Rock Creek Park and we meet Pat and Robert outside the hospital. We are guided to the rehabilitation units and mingle with the men here who are hard at work with their various therapy regimens. Amidst technical and manual equipment, they are individually coached by their therapists. We speak with Eric, Angel, Bill, Ben and many other dedicated current soldiers who have been physically wounded in service to our country.

They work in restoring themselves to maximum function, some with IV's hanging and with still sutured or healing wounds. It is amazing to witness their high spirits, courage, and dedication... most are intent on returning to their military duties. It is an honor and a priviledge to shake these men's hands. We distribute the commemorative envelope mementos prepared by Rob Reyes. As our hour is quickly gone, the men thank us for visiting.....and continue to work.

The group lunches in the busy hospital cafeteria, and my table is joined by Sargent Benjamin from Nebraska. As he eats, he excitedly tells us of his plans for a thirty day visit home next month and of his growing faith despite his recent amputation.
All soldiers, past and present, are with us as we interact with Ben.

The remainder of the afternoon is spent locating the site of the Lycee Rochambeau in Bethesda where the marchers have been scheduled to speak. Here, International students are receiving their education in the French language. Pat, Robert and Rose in one car, Mike, Dave and David in another, occcupy the better part of an hour to reach this school and are a bit late for the presentation. But the students are ready and listen to the soldiers speak. Even as the dismissal bell rings with awaiting school buses in the yard, some eighty students remain in their seats intently listening to and questioning the men, until they are finally dismissed.

Acquinetta returns the group for our second night to Fort C.F.Smith and here she sees camp Martha for the first time. She is quite amazed at the camp's support capability. This infectiously energetic DAR lady is a delight to us all.

The group remains in camp this evening, some working on communications, others on maps and routes, others foraging the immediate area for pizza and bringing the remains back to camp.

There is a late night visit by Virginia W3R Kevin Vincent to review and correct the army's route and to plan tomorrow's border crossing ceremony into Virginia. As they sit in the muted light at the camp table, the rest of the group retires knowing that tomorrow will be a busy day. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Thursday September 21, 2006 March Day 97

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

The group sleeps in at Halcyon reveille as we are at rest these two days in Georgetown. On entering the privy area of the basement studio, we find Dave sleeping peacefully behind a closed door from the studio proper and later learn that Dylan the hound's, playful and affectionate manner was not conducive to his good night's sleep.
We take advantage of the modern and elegant shower facilities and are soon picked up and whisked by BJ in her large carriage into downtown Washington. The day is cool and breezy and we are thankfully comfortable in our wool outergarments.

We are delighted to be joined by Ursula Reed who has travelled by train from Philadelphia to be with us today. Our hosts have arranged a personal tour of the Geography and Maps Division at the Library of Congress with cartographic historical specialist Patricia Van Ee. The marchers, along with Pat and Robert, Adele, Margaret, BJ, Acquinetta and Ursula are ushered into an immense cool, climate-controlled map room where our guide has displayed the original French maps of the march routes from 1781 and 1782, along with the illustrated book of each camp. The large map is covered with a plastic layer and we are allowed to touch this surface and trace our journey on this precious relic. Also on display in a clear case is an intricately carved powder horn depicting the surrender scene at Yorktown. Patricia informs us of the literally millions of maps that are stored here, and of the security and cataloguing measures that insure their safety.

Our tour is over much too soon but we continue throught the basement tunnel under the street and emerge in the Jefferson Building which houses the majority of Thomas Jefferson's personal library. We visit the Great Hall, the North, South, East and West Corridors, awed the grandeur, majestic ceilings and symbolisms. We are stopped, questioned, and photographed often. Again, too soon, it is time to move on.

We walk the few blocks to the Hart Senate Office building where we are scheduled to lunch in the Senate Dining Room, but first, there is security screening as we enter. Of course, Rose is wearing the same set of metal stays as at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and the alarms sound as she walks through the arch. Only this time, the security officers are not satisfied with the body "wand" and a female officer is summoned for a full - and I mean FULL - body pat-down. During all this, BJ is having her own security problems.....having parked her carriage, she enters the building through another entrance, sweetly and innocently carrying Mike's sword which she did not want to leave in the carriage. The group joins her as she is detained....the sargent at arms has been summoned and arrives with his "men in black" escorts. After much discussion and explanation, the sword is kept by the sargent for the duration of our stay. Our personal escort then is able to lead us to the dining room in the Capitol, via underground shuttle.

Outside the dining room, we breifly meet and are photographed with Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Spector. Bill Clark, a photographer from the Capitol Hill Newsletter "Roll Call" happens by and takes our story and photographs for this daily publication.

As the guests of Indiana Senator Richard Lugar ,we have a very pleasant lunch in the Senate Dining Room, seated at a far table under a beautiful stained glass window of George Washington, in the midst of our elected officials. Photographs are not allowed here, but we so want a picture of our table with General Washington splendidly displayed above us....we hope we did not jeapordize our waiter's employ as he attempted to accommodate us. We never did get that photo.

BJ has arranged a short meeting with Wyoming Senator Craig Thomas, a proponent of the W3R legislation, and we leave the ladies behind enjoying their just desserts, and are escorted to his office, again via underground shuttle. After a very brief wait and chatting with his staff, the senator arrives. We are each introduced and he pleasantly engages with us about the march, gives us the current status of the W3R senate bill, congratulates us and is photographed with the group. We also photograph him reading the article and front page photo of America's March to Yorktown in today's Washington Times.

Attempting to return to the Capitol building sans escort, we are "adopted" by guide Sally Goyea who personally volunteers to escort us through the Capitol. As we tour, we draw the attention of Vermont Senator James Jeffords, Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah, Virginia Senator John Warner, and Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert. Tourists in full colonial garb is not a daily occurence. We visit the Rotunda, the Old Superior Court Chamber and are even squirreled down a back circular stair to view "bullet holes" in the wall, allegedly fired by the British. We are each given Senate and House of Representative passes to the visitor's gallery for the One Hundred Ninth Congress. It is a wonderful sight-filled day and we soon find the time has slipped away. There is far too much to see in one short day.

We have a final visit to make before we leave the Hart Building....the office of the sargent at arms to retrieve Mike's sword. Brett Swanson, Deputy Assistant SAA Police Operation wishes us good fortune on our march, but the sword is not relinquished until we are outside of the building. We photograph the ceremonial passing of the sword from Brett to its owner.

We make our way to the Monocle, favorite watering hole of many officials and are treated to a round of spirits by patron Peter T. who states he is a "lateral" relative of George Washington, and wishes us well on our journey.

We say goodbye to Ursula as we leave her at the train station, and BJ delivers the group back to Halcyon House where we now move forward in the dark, bringing camp Martha to our night's camp at Fort C.F.Smith. This site has been arranged by Park manager Scott Deibler and we are greeted by Dave Farner who has waited beyond hours in the dark for our arrival. We are given every accommodation at this lush gardened Civil War Fort, and Martha is "berthed" in the drive near the main house. We seem to have it all, except level ground. In tents and bunks, we retire...listing about twenty degrees to the side. No matter....we adjust and sleep well again. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 23, 2006

March Date Wednesday September 20, 2006 March Day 96

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

It is a dark reveille but we all rise quickly with anticipation of our entry into Washington D.C. and Georgetown. The dawn arrives with the promise of a clear, cool and dry day. As we prepare, Rob Reyes pedals his bike up the long front drive of Bostwick House, eager to scout the day's route by cycling ahead of the men.

The army marches out of Bladensburg, crosses the bridge over the Anacostia River and into the D.C. line on Rhode Island Avenue. We are met by Gerry Gilmore (whom I incorrectly identified as the police/photographer at Bostwick in yesterday's apology) of the Department of Defrense, Public Affairs. We are all interviewed and photographed for their website article about the March. During this session with Gerry, a reception committee forms to ceremony our crossing into D.C.. There are previous friends Pat and Robert Archer-Jacobs and BJ Gerber, along with new friends Adele Bowyer who is D.C. DAR state regent, and Acquinetta Anderson of D.C. Benjamin Harrison Society of DAR and CAR. Short speeches are given and many photographs taken.

The army proceeds down Rhode Island Avenue and Rob returns for his carriage. As Rose enters the small carriage to run support, it is discovered that we have been the victims of a theft. During our brief ceremony, with the carriage a mere fifty feet away, someone has stolen a cup of silver coins and Dave's portable communication device (cell phone) from the carriage's interior.... from right under our noses. The coins are little loss, but Pat reports the incident to the local police and the communication device service is notified.

We continue the march, now turning onto Florida Avenue which winds along the old Boundary Road, stopping to photograph and visit the new park dedicated to Crispus Atticks. Next stop is Garnet Patterson Middle school where the group gives a short history presentation to a class of students.

Close to noon, Acquinetta now takes the men by carriage to Howard University for a pre-arranged luncheon, courtesy of Dean James Donaldson. It is a splendid time where we are all served delicious croissant sandwiches, fresh fruits and sweets. Among the near thirty people present are Virginia Williams, mother of mayor Tony Williams, all of our day's hosts and companions, a reporter from the Washington Times, and students from the university. Speeches of welcome and speeches of thanks are shared, and we too soon resume the day's march.

The next stop for rest comes at the site of the Old Stone House, oldest private small residence preserved in the heart of Georgetown on busy M Street, now an historic treasure and managed by the National Park Service. Pat and Robert Archer-Jacob were married in this garden some 22 years ago on September 30. As we rest here, we are again joined by Rob Reyes who has created commemorative envelopes depicting artist Couder's painting of the Siege of Yorktown, complete with period stamps and post-marked with today's date, town, and 225th Anniversary of the Yorktown campaign. We are each given this wonderful souvenir and are given a surplus to distribute during our morrow's scheduled visit at Walter Reed hospital.

With the day's march almost complete, we are now guided by BJ Gerber to Halcyon House, where we will camp the night. This is a 1786 brick home in the heart of Georgetown, built by Benjamin Stoddert, first secretary of the navy. We are given a complete tour of this impeccably maintained house and meet with John Dreyfus, reknowned sculptor and our host for tonight. We are also greeted by Dylan, his loveable but ever watchful ridge-back hound.

The men now continue the few blocks march to the Francis Scott Key bridge and Rob transports Rose back to the small carriage which was left (Locked!!) on Rhode Island Avenue on the outskirts of D.C. at the beginning of the day. The drive back to Halcyon House to the men occupies almost an hour and a half during the late day commuter traffic and the men are waiting, reclining on the walkpath as she arrives. This is definitely not the time to return to Bostwick for camp Martha!

We stroll down busy M Street to meet our hosts for dinner at Clydes, a popular and busy tavern for locals and visitors alike. We are seated at a long table and everyone orders salads. (David is the usual exception, and orders his much-loved steak.) There is Pat and Robert, BJ and George, and we are joined by Margaret MacKenzie who is vice president general of the National DAR. We all socialize and the night becomes late. We must still retrieve camp Martha at Bostwick in Bladensburg.

We walk back to Halcyon House and take the small carriage back the eleven miles, the city streets now manageable.

We speak briefly with Kathy and Brian Manicke, debate whether to take the camp forward tonight or sleep here until morning. The city traffic is the deciding factor and we head for Georgetown arriving at almost midnight. To deposit the rig into her space for the night, David (Merci, mon Dieu, it is not ME!), must bring her up a one-way street, stop the present night traffic while backing up through an electric wrought-iron gate with minimal side clearance. David is an experienced driver of his own rig, but even so, he makes several corrective attempts forward and back, clearing parked cars and the cement pillars. We guide him as much as possible but do not foresee the descending grade of the cement drive and Martha noisily scrapes bottom. The automatic heavy gates close when Martha's weight leaves the walk path, and Rose and Dave attempt to hold back the gates. There is a narrow scrape with the rear view mirror on one forehead!

Everyone breathes a sigh of relief as this ordeal ends. We soon head to our beds. Mike heads for the roof-top garden and lawn to fall asleep overlooking the city, Dave sets his bed in the sculptor's studio with Dylan in attendance, and Rose and David take to their usual beds in Martha and George...all thankful for our safe destination. Dormez bien.

Avec amour,

September 21, 2006

March Date Tuesday September 19, 2006 March Day 95

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Six AM reveille, the morning is warm and slightly overcast with bits of blue sky. The tents are struck, the men prepare for the day and we are again greeted by Pam Williams who has prepared a hot breakfast for us...scrambled eggs with ham, onion and peppers, biscuits with hand-churned butter, fresh melon slices and coffee. We thank our generous host, and take photographs on the steps of Belair mansion before returning by carriage to the start of today's march - Sacred Heart Chapel to Bostwick mansion in Bladensburg, a total of 13 1/2 miles. We join hands in prayer, and the men begin.

At little more than a mile on route 450, the men stop at Pius X Regional school where more than 200 students and their teachers file into the yard to welcome the marchers, listen to Mike's history lesson and present us with more than 60 handmade paper flags of various historical design.....liberty, Betsy Ross, union jack, pine tree, appeals to heaven and ONE white with yellow fleur-de-lis by "Emily."

A second stop is made at the Holy Trinity Episcopal school as Rose notices a crowd of royal-blue uniformed studens gathered on a small hillside at the entrance to this school. Although an unexpected stop, it proves to be most rewarding as the 200 + students are conducted into a fabulous rendition of "It's a Grand Old Flag." We leave the grounds buoyed by the students' interest and enthusiasm.

The remainder of the day's march is along busy and commercial Annapolis Road into Bladensburg. We have a short light rain shower but the sun emerges and the day is moderately hot, enough to shed regimentals for the afternoon. The army passes the original French camp, currently built up with a carriage-dealer business and a modern gold-mirrored office building.

As Rose waits ahead for the men, she is recognized (by apparel) and addressed by Diane Griffin, scout sent from the Bostwick House. She is friendly and energetic, watches as the men march past and then leads the smaller carriage to Bostwick where a small crowd has gathered. There is Pat McAuley whom the men chatted with in Annapolis, police photographer Gerry Gilmore, historian Chris Needham, caretaker Kathy Manicke, and Bladensburg mayor Walter James. We are all photographed entering the gated drive of this historic home, then again on the front steps.

The evening is spent retrieving Martha from Belair, resting tired feet, chatting with Kathy and her husband Brian, and dining on the remaining Shepard's Pie....thank you again, Pam!

There is much anticipation of tomorrow's journey into Georgetown, but we are all so tired, we will definitely sleep well. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Monday September 18, 2006 March Day 94

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Back to the 6 AM reveille - the early morning darkness gives way to another clear blue sky. The men prepare, getting back in the groove for this day's 13 1/2 miles to
Bowie, MD with French camp destination now the site of Sacred Heart Chapel. The group's campsite for tonight will be Belair mansion.

The army begins at St. Anne's, taking West Street out of the city proper. Unable to procure a ship, we now follow the wagon train by land, and turn onto Defense Highway away from the busy carriage road lined with large shops and onto this two-lane wood-lined and partially shaded road. The men are enjoying this walk and continue at a goodly pace. They receive many "thumbs up", recognition honks and even a "Good luck and thanks for doing this, men!" The day continues hot and sunny, the road a gradual incline for many miles.

As Defense Highway merges with route 3 into the city of Bowie, the road again becomes busy highway with heavy and fast carriage traffic, but the men use the flags to their advantage for visibility. En route, the men are visited briefly by Dave Smith, our Annapolis friend who portrayed Tench Tilghman, bidding them goodbye et bonne chance....and a brief visit also by brother John on his way home from DC, delivering left-behind socks from mistress Amy's laundry.

We reach the site of the French camp, site of Sacred Heart Chapel, situated atop a wooded hill, the Jesuit center of learning in the 1700's, and thriving plantation. We wander the graveyard but locate no revolutionary war graves. The march for today is over.

We proceed by carriage to Belair mansion, a stately brick museum with terraced rolling lawns and are greeted by Director Steve Patrick and Assistant Director Pam Williams. As we are told there are sprinkler heads in the lawn and garden, we all search carefully for a spot to erect the tents. We remember the rain inside the tents at Pompton!

Pam has an unexpected treat for us...she has a fully prepared dinner waiting....her famous shepard's pie complete with baby greens salad, biscuits and cornbread, pastried brie, walnut and cranberry pie and a pitcher of lemonade. The men set the camp table and chairs on the circular bricks at the center of the manicured garden, and as we dine, the first of the night's visitors arrive. We have representatives of the Governor Robert Bowie Chapter of the DAR, many locals with children and an SAR gentleman from Tennessee who sports four gold stars on his cap, each star representing five revolutionary ancestors.

The army socializes, is photographed and questioned until it begins to grow dark, and we are left alone at our camp. As it is still not yet late, the men leave for a short time to procure provisions for the camp's emptying larder while Rose stays behind tasking on the day's communications. While the men are away, she takes advantage of a high-placed water spigot at the back of the mansion, and enjoys a cold but invigorating bath in the darkness. This boon is shared with the men on their return.

We are grateful for David's french silver coin in replenishing our stores and the local shopkeepers are happy with the trade. With Martha's shelves filled, we bid each other a good night. A demain.
Avec amour,

September 19, 2006

March Date Sunday September 17,2006 March Day 92

I wake listening to the preparations of a very early riser. Mike is dressing in his finest and leaves the camp shortly to attend services at St.Anne's Episcopal Church. He walks through this quiet town, the click of his heels on the red brick road, enters the church and sits in the front pew. He is addressed by the pastor and presented to the congregation. He offers a few words about our mission, representing the living history of our country. During Communion, the pastor explains that the chalice currently in use was a gift from King William in the 1690's, and is the very vessel from which George Washington did sip wine in this house of worship at the time of his commission resignation. Mike leaves the service amidst wishes of good will and safe journey.

Mid-morning, the entire group gathers at the Fleet Reserve Club where we are met by brother John and family,and Mom Jean. We are the guests of the club for a fabulous breakfast buffet and we then take advantage of the view from the upper deck overlooking the waterfront....the domed and steepled skyline, the historic buildings, brick roads and walk paths, the distant Chesapeake Bay Bridge...all under a bright blue clear sky.

The army again strolls this area, now very often recognized by the locals as "those guys who are marching". A ten minute walk can and does occupy an hour or more.

We travel by carriage - in civilian clothes for the first time since August 18 - (we each comment on how strange we look to each other) to David's brother's home in Odenton, to relax for the rest of the day. We swim in the pool, engage Amy's services as laundress, communicate with friends and family back in the upper colonies, enjoy the twins' antics, visit with Mom Jean, share a hearty steak dinner, and eagerly devour Amy's chocolate iced cake that she magically transformed into an edible work of art.

We bid adieu to all, thanking this family for sharing their home and their love, allowing us some comfortable "down" time.

We return to camp Martha at the Carroll House, and by 9:30 we are all in our beds for a good night's sleep, the better to resume our march on the morrow. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Saturday September 16, 2006 March Date 92

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

The army is at a two day's rest here in Annapolis. The men sleep in without the regimen of preparing to march on this overcast day. I take an early morning stroll to the waterfront and find the army's portrait on the front page of the local publication, "The Capital", and purchase copies. There is much activity here with the open shops and ships in port, and I take advantage of the shower facilities usually reserved for the ships' crews. The harbormaster's assistant gladly accepts my "story" of marching to Yorktown, smiles and takes my gold coin to allow me entry.

Refreshed and nibbling on croissant, I return to the camp at the Carroll House to find the men dressed and eager to enter the city. I elect to remain at camp to work on communications.

The men spend the morning mingling with the locals and are guests at the "History Quest" headquarters for a time. They report an impromptu invitation to tour the museum-like home of Ann Jensen, a resident of Annapolis, author of Revolutionary War children's books, and descendent of a fallen soldier during the Battle of Long Island.

I am summoned from camp by BJ and George Gerber to join the group, along with Rob Reyes, at the Treaty of Paris restaurant for lunch as they review the planned events for our march in D.C. It is good to be with these friends once more.

For the rest of the day, the men enjoy the sights of this delightful city. They visit the Naval Academy, museum, chapel, and the impressive tomb of John Paul Jones. David literally runs into Alex K., a former Eagle scout of his from Connecticut, now a second year midshipman at the Naval Academy. The men eat ice cream while sitting on the docks, and draw much attention and questions from the passers-by. From brother John's connections, (retired navy) the men spend some time at the Fleet Reserve Club imbibing in a bit of spirits,and are told their money is not accepted there when it comes time to pay the tally.

I am fast asleep in my bunk and never hear them return. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 18, 2006

March Date Friday September 15, 2006 March Day 91

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

We wake this morning with the dawn reveille for this short six mile march into Annapolis. The rain has subsided and the day is overcast. Everything is soaked with the smell of wet wool prominent in the morning air, and the musket barrels are coated with light rust. With our morning prayer, we include a petition for sunshine.

The men set off down the small dirt - now muddy - road to resume the walk on Generals Highway. They are photographed at the Belvoir marker, an opportunity missed last night due to the darkness and the rain. In the fierce one lane commuter traffic, the men are given an occasional honk or wave from passing drivers.

Rose is sent about on errands - to seek a local cobbler known for his speedy repairs, to bring life back into Mike's well-worn period shoes, and to seek a laundress who can clean David's now wet and drooping white regimental. Inquiring of the locals, the well-known Spanish cobbler is located at a large "mall of Annapolis". He studies the shoes for a long moment before giving a slight nod indicating he will try and that I should return in the afternoon. I now inquire about and locate Zip's laundering and cleaning establishment. Here there are also many Spanish shopkeepers and I am told that David's coat will be ready today by 5 o'clock. Both cobbler and laundress demand payment in advance before performing their services. Word of the army's gold coin must have preceded us.

I find the army at the end of West Street at St.Anne's Episcopal church at the rotary entrace to the city of Annapolis. They are chatting with Glenn Campbell, Historian and with Patricia Blick, vice president of Preservation and Education.....both of the Historic Annapolis Foundation. We are all warmly welcomed and we proceed to Phillips Crab House on the wharf for a pre-arranged lunch. The men, looking handsome in their regimentals and carrying the many colours, draw much attention from the locals on their short journey down Main Street. We dine on delicious lump crab cakes and iced tea. David of course, is the exception with his usual cheeseburger.

Afterward, we stroll about the wharf area, are warmly greeted by Harbormaster Rick, and are guided to our campsite by our hosts. We will camp three nights at the Charles Carroll House, built in the 1720's and residence of the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. The original French camp is directly across the creek from this site. Camp Martha will be parked at the rear of the adjacent St.Mary's church and rectory parking lot, and the tents will be set near the water on the rolling lawn of the Carroll House.

As we are scheduled to participate in a commemorative service at 4 of the clock, we take leave of our hosts to ready ourselves. Upon returning to the small carriage, we find a ticket tariff for a meter expiration. Many coins had been deposited in this device but obviously we tarried too long. A $15 dollar charge is due and payable immediately or the tariff increases on a daily basis.

As we return to Martha, we leave Mike to fetch his shoes at the cobbler's shop. The remaining men fetch muskets and accoutrements and we work our way back to the city. Mike is in the parking lot wearing his period shoes and smiling....the sole holes and worn heels have been expertly repaired. Next we stop at the laundress for David's regimental... he had earlier sent a communication requesting a fetch time of 3:00 pm and was told it would be ready. After searching the shop, his coat is discovered untouched and uncleaned in the morrow's laundry bin. Disappointed at not looking his "suave" best, David takes the coat and we return to Annapolis.

We meet Patricia once more and walk to the grounds of St.John's College and gather at the French monument. We are joined by Glenn, Dave Smith in period clothing portraying Tench Tilghman, Lieutenant Patrick Ratier, French exchange officer, and several midshipmen from the Naval Academy looking crisp in their summer whites.

Glenn, Dave, David and Patrick each speak in turn, relating our countries' histories, involvement and support. David and Patrick together lay a beautiful fresh flower wreath at the base of the monument, remembering the French soldiers buried here.

Many photographs are taken and we note the Holloway family among those attending.
From almost the first moment that we gathered for this service, the rain began...first a fine drizzle, then a steady downpour. David feels a little better that his regimental was not cleaned earlier.

It is now time to fetch camp Martha forward from Belvoir. We drive the small carriage back and David drives the rig into Annapolis and expertly deposits her in the designated lot while Mike, Dave and Rose drive up the long winding road leading to the Belvoir House to give our thanks to Tim Fortney for allowing us to camp here. No one answers our calls at this 1700's brick mansion, but we stroll about these once beautiful grounds complete with terraced gardens, leave our token gift and note of thanks and leave for the city.

The group is all safely back at camp at the Carroll House, and we prepare for dinner. As we will be at leisure for the next two days, we treat ourselves to the Middleton Tavern, built in 1740 and host to early travelers George Washington and also Tench Tilghman on his way to Philadelphia with news of Cornwallis' surrender. How fitting a spot!

The proprietor and his assistants, however, must be experiencing a difficult night as the service did not seem to be up to this tavern's reputation and standards. We eventually dine on standard fare of beast and fish, and are satisfied. As we prepare to pay and leave this establishment, without a word from us, the proprietor acknowledges his less than superb attentions to us amd makes a large adjustment from our tally. The Middleton ~ fine tavern indeed.

It is a short walk from the waterfront to our beds, and we enjoy the sights and sounds of this naval academy city at play on a Friday night. We stroll the slight uphill on red-bricked sidewalks. The next two days are totally ours in this handsome historic city. A demain.
Avec amour,

March Date Thursday September 14, 2006 March Day 90

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Again....dark morning reveille with the rains beginning during the night. The marchers ready to leave Belmont. Oil cloths are donned as the sky is dark and ominous, promising a full day of wet travel. Martha is left behind and the men are transported by carriage to the start point of Waterloo - intersection of route 175 and Washington Boulevard. We join hands and pray, as is our custom and the men set off.

The army is a mere two miles out when Rose receives a call to fetch muskets and parade attire and accoutrements in anticipation of the army passing Fort Mead some six miles from the start of today's journey. After a quick trip back to Martha, the support carriage meets the group on the outskirts of Fort Mead territory with David's brother John and twins also in the group's attendance. Everyone is photographed, interviewed and videoed by the Fort Mead reporters for their base publication..... All in the rain.

Once past the main gate, the army once again trades regimentals and muskets for oil cloth and flags, and resumes the march....another five miles to John Holloway's home in Odenton, a respite from the rain and an opportunity for noon nourishment. Rose and John travel ahead in the small wagons and wait for the troop's arrival by visiting with Mom Jean, Amy and the girls. The men arrive, wet and already drained from the foul weather, but with still another eight miles travel for this day. Everyone takes sustenance, Mike sleeps in his chair at the table for a short spell and they return to the road with the heavens still pouring rain.

Brother John kindly runs "point" with Rose in his carriage, determining mileage and locating the Rising Sun Inn where the Anne Arundel Chapter DAR is planning a reception for the army, at approximately the 15 mile mark. After meeting with Sandy Anderson at the Inn and establishing the men's estimated time of arrival, John and Rose fetch camp Martha some 20+ miles back at Belmont and deposit her at his home in Odenton, that much closer to tonight's camp at Scott's Plantation at Belvoir, 18 miles from the start. Yes, the logistics are complicated and time consuming, especially with the day's getting shorter and John's assistance is greatly appreciated.

Rose finds the men at the Rising Sun Inn where they are being well received. The DAR has prepared a grand table of many cheeses, crackers, breads, fruits and beverages for the soldiers' brief passing, and the DAR members' warmth and admiration is exuded in this handsome building on Generals Highway. Long after the soldiers depart to finish the day's march, Rose lingers to chat and answer questions about the marchers and our journey. I feel that I am among friends and am wont to leave. Thank you all ~ Sandy, Joyce, Bill, Barabara and Ellen. Your love and concern will indeed keep our country's history alive.

The men have continued the day's march to our destination...Belvoir, 18 miles in alternating drizzle and pouring rain. We travel by carriage back to brother John's for a 21st century dinner of pizza and take advantage of the clothes dryer. When all is put right, the group proceeds with Martha to our night's camp. Now dark, one tent is set on the lower pasture for Mike. The ground is saturated, regimentals and oilcloths are drenched. From this remote camp, there are no traffic sounds, no artificial lighting, no other carriages on this dirt road.

We retire to our beds. 'Twas a long difficult day, the second in succession....and the troop has endured. A demain.
Avec amour,

March Date Wednesday September 13, 2006 March Day 89

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Another reveille in the morning darkness, and the troops prepare early by going to breakfast at the local Mickey D's. Rob Reyes arrives at the Fort to march with the men today, but before travelling to Camden Yards for the start of today's journey, we all view the museum's film of the Fort's bombardment by the British in the War of 1812, prompting the national anthem by lawyer Francis Scott Key. As the film ends, the audience is requested to stand, the large curtain is pulled back and our beautiful flag is shown flying over the Fort Walls as the anthem is sung. A fabulous and moving experience.

Rob, in hiking shorts and shoes sans socks, has strategically planted his bicycle en route and is carrying Washington's Headquarters flag - a dark blue background with 13 white stars throughout. At Camden Yards, we are brought up to the Stadium Authority Office to view a wall-sized map of the historic army camps and we also get an impressive birds' eye view of Oriole Park from the floor to ceiling windows. Back down in the Yards lot, David is interviewed by channel 13 television.

For this sixteen + mile day's march, the men now have a late start. The army begins....down Washington Street through "Pig Town" where they catch the attention of a local carriage's occupants. Two young ladies whose carriage sports the tags of "Porn Star" question the men's purpose. This interesting part of town also finds the marchers confronted by a questionable investment gentleman who presents them with four 1 million dollars bills. Shall we take the money and run?

At the Mount Clare museum house, 1760 home of Barrister Charles Carroll, we are joined by our avid supporter Ursula Reed, her long-time friend Laurie Gladstone with her canine babe Chloe Poopsie. We are all given a complimentary tour of this stately museum house before the army resumes its march on the railroad bed, the original army's road a mere thousand feet from this mansion's door. Rose, Ursula and Laurie travel the paved road by carriage and the men later report their train track encounters....much refuse and discarded trash, persons with altered levels of consciousness and other lost souls. They are happy to return to the original Gerogetown Road which is now present only in portions and make their main progress on Washington Boulevard until the entrance into the current Patapsco State Park.

Here the marchers travel a mile upriver to the army's original ford site. I'm sure the original Patapsco River crossing was not as comical as today's.

Rob is the first to cross, removes his shoes and bravely begins. Halfway across, he loses his footing on slippery rocks and plunges thigh-deep, briefly immersing his camera but making a quick recovery and ending on the opposite shore.

"Tough guy" Mike begins the second crossing, complete with shoes, gaitors, etc. He is successful and returns to guide David and Dave who have sat on the near bank watching skeptically all the while. These two remaining soldiers have removed all foot gear, and cautiously cross the river without incident. During one of Mike's crossings, he looses footing and is dunked, quickly retrieving his water current-travelling tricorne.

Unfortunately, that was not caught on any camera!

All are safely across and they begin the mile return to Washington Boulevard. The remainder of this overcast day is spent with the army marching another ten + miles to the Spurrier Tavern marker at the junction of route 175. The men later report a most enthusiastic family that they encounter in the town of Elkridge. Lori, Alex, Cooper and Owen G.are jumping with excitement at the army's passing and generously give their home-made chocolate chip and Berger cookies for the men's enjoyment.

Rose and Rob spend this time retrieving camp Martha from Fort McHenry and delivering her to Belmont Plantation, the arranged site for the night's camp. Rob is then transported back to his carriage where he leaves this day's march, and Rose locates the marchers at the Waterloo Camp marker where they are again being interviewed by a local publication's reporter. This original Waterloo campsite is an impossiblity for us, so the troop is transported back to Belmont via carriage. They are tired, hungry, and fading fast, but thankful for a small canopy erected on the back gardens of the Belmont estate. No need to set tents this night and the focus is on the evening meal.

As Rose prepares an easy and filling pasta dinner, we are visited briefly by David's brother John, bearer of mail, bread and encouragement. Among the posts received is a letter from Alex of Bergen County, New Jersey ( remember Alex popping up, waving and smiling everywhere along the police escort route?) with a hefty donation and clever caption pasted from Ben Franklin's mouth, reading "Le roi est bien heureux de votre progres." You are a wonderful constant supporter, Alex, and we are grateful. The horses can be well-fed again.

We enjoy the distant deer and David takes a late evening dip in a deserted pool. As he returns, the camp is indeed dark and quiet for the night. We have all taken to our beds after a long arduous day ..we are all asleep in minutes. Et tu, Rob? A demain.

Avec amour,

September 17, 2006

March Date Tuesday September 12, 2006 March Day 88

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~ morning reveille and we wake on our own with the morning light. Dave emerges from his tent to report the night near the water was quite cool and breezy. We each in turn visit the strong forceful shower at the Fort's maintenance headquarters and enjoy a leisurely camp-cooked breakfast of sausage and pancakes. We have important visitors this morning....David's brother John, wife Amy and fraternal 4 year old twins Jenna and Shannon come to visit from Odenton, Maryland, and accompanied by David's Mom Jean who is visiting for a few weeks from Wallingford, CT. It seems David is never far from his loving, supportive family. While David's relatives tour the Fort grounds, the men sit beside Martha, measuring waists, legs and other body parts to call a seamstress order for period clothing to replace rapidly deteriorating items. Mike looks sadly at his period shoes, knowing "something" must be done about them soon. (How about a burial?)

This afternoon, the group of Mike, David, Dave and Rose travels by carriage to Baltimore inner harbor to sight-see and rendezvous with a photographer from the Baltimore Sun. Most often, we are the sight to see, as area tourists frequently ask us to stop for portraits with them. We enter the museum office of the USS Constellation, moored in the harbor, where we are to meet our press agent, are given volunteer passes and board the ship, complimenteur. Mike, ever photogenic, is briefly the subject of the camera lens and we then tour this lovingly restored vessel at our leisure. From the upper deck to the captain's and crew's quarters, from sick-bay to the hold, we imagine life at sea intercepting slave ships and engaging in battle. As we disembark, we draw the attention of Bruce McKenzie, Senior Shipwright at the Constellation museum, who presents us each with a most unique souvenir... an original portion of the wooden hull complete with brass nails, necessarily replaced during the ship's restoration. We carry these relics back to camp, each of us stowing our treasure for safe-keeping.

Ursula Reed arrives from Philadelphia and greets us on our return to the Fort camp. We dress for dinner as we are to be the guests of BJ and George Gerber, Pat and Robert Archer-Jacob, and Rob Reyes, who has reserved a private room for dinner in a Fells Point establishment. We carriage-pool to this delightfully restored and vital historic area, streets lined with handsome period buildings and homes. We are photographed outside the London Coffee House where George Washington is known to have dined, tour the water inlet lined with present-day taverns and shops, and descend to the wine cellar room of the Admiral Fell's Inn. We dine extravagantly, the wine flows, Rob shares enlarged Rice and Brown period maps of the Baltimore encampments, and we are entertained by a period balladeer who leads us all in a rousing "Fathom the Bowl."

The evening is over much too quickly and we are transported back to the Fort by our gracious hosts, where they briefly tour our camp, impressed by the support capability of the Washington rig. 'Tis a late night as we take to our beds, but we are renewed by our friends' support and thankful for their generosity. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Monday September 11, 2006 March Day 87

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Reveille seems to be called in the night as the mornings become darker and darker. This morning also comes with a fine drizzle of rain as the army prepares for the day's trek into Baltimore, some 14 miles with destination Camden Yards, one of three sites of the original French army. With our morning prayer, we remember the souls who perished during this country's attack five years ago today.

The Washington rig is driven into White Marsh and left for the day at the Fire Department lot. We receive a call from Rob Reyes, Maryland Chair of the W3R, member of DC SAR, researcher and self-called "amateur" historian...he is heading our way. The men begin their march on route 7, and Rob arrives to whisk Rose away for a personal "scouting" tour by carriage of the roads into the city and beyond. And a whirlwind tour it is! We follow route 40 onto Fayette Street, stop at the Quaker Meeting house, oldest house in Baltimore, visit the original army camp now approximately six large blocks over the Harford Run stretching toward the inner harbor, round into the Mount Vernon district and the Washington monument, pass the Basilica of the Assumption, the Peabody Institute and zip into the Camden Yards, our army camp's destination for the marchers today. A fast visit to Fort McHenry where we meet National Park Service ranger Scott Sheads assures our pre-arranged night's camp at this famous historic site. Vince Vaise, Mke's original contact is not at hand, but has been most thorough.

After contacting the men who are just now emerging onto route 40, we continue scouting tomorrow's route to Waterloo....Rob all the while giving a running commentary on the events and sites of 1781. As we reverse our path and resume with the marchers, I am on information overload and have depleted my writing supplies that I carry. We find the army at the junction of route 40 and Fayette Street where Mike is supine on a parking lot side curb, fast asleep while the traffic whizzes by a mere six feet away. After everyone is rested, they resume the remaining two miles on foot that Rob and I have covered by carriage. We photograph at the Quaker Meeting House, pass the Shot Tower, turn on Front, Baltimore and Howard Streets and into Camden Yards. We are met by Nolan Rogers of the Maryland Stadium Authority, who is apologetic for the lack of reception by the city fathers.

The Ricciardi family heads for home, and as it is becoming late afternoon, the group proceeds by carriage to Fort McHenry...we again meet with Scott and now meet curator Anna von Lunz. We are given every consideration in meeting the camp's needs, including the most welcome shower facility at the maintenance headquarters.

David and Rose leave to fetch camp Martha still at the Firehouse in White Marsh while Dave and Mike are scheduled to speak at the Maryland DAR chapter house....they will be transported there by DAR carriage from the Fort.

By the time Martha is safely forwarded to Fort McHenry for a two night stay, the Fort is closed to the publick and we are given the secret combination for the gate entrance lock. We set the tents near the water on the large green expanse of well-kept lawn and proceed to a local sports bar for dinner. We were hoping to dine at Hull Street Blues as recommended by Scott, but no dinners are served on Mondays at this establishment, and David has that "gotta have meat" look in his eye. We are back at the Fort camp at dark when Mike and Dave return from the DAR engagement. They are ravenous and are quickly fed the remains of the crab gumbo still in our larder from our SAR friends feast at Jerusalem Mill. They are saved. It's not long before we all make for our beds, anticipating a day of leisure on the morrow.

A demain et avec amour,

September 16, 2006

March Date Sunday September 10, 2006 March Day 86

Good Day to all March To Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls reveille in the early morning darkness with a large fox eyeing him as he emerges from Martha. We again prepare for the day's march, 11 1/2 miles from the french camp Bush Town marching into White Marsh. Damon says her goodbyes, leaving the group to head north to visit friends, and vowing to return when the group enters Virginia.

The army is transported by carriage to the marker site and they begin. The entire day will keep them on this rural route 7, Philadelphia Road, and they start with and maintain a good pace, easlily covering six miles within two hours. It is amazing that any blister problems that the men experience are resolving in spite of the continued walking on asphalt. Under their stockings, are many strips and patches of silver duct tape!

As they pass Huber's, a large farmstand, Mike calls to the shopkeeper - "Can you spare a tomato for a hungry soldier?" She smiles, they cross the road, and soon are treated to snow cones and a bag of fruit and tomatoes. This is Val, and she is quite sympathetic to our cause.

It is near noon when the day's march is finished. The Rochambeau army marker is at the site of the local post office and adjacent to the actual field of encampment. The group "noons" here under the shade of a tree, and then returns to Jerusalem Mill where we will camp a second night. It is a beautiful sunny afternoon, and with a few hours to ourselves, we each spend time on different pursuits.....communication to the colonies, drawing water from the stream for laundry and interacting with the Mill's visitors. On site is Tim Jewell, our original contact for our accommodation here at this beautiful site.

When the Mill closes to the publick, we gather around the stone kitchen's existing fire, have a bountiful meal from last night's leavings and chat about our journey to date. Rose steals away to a secluded bend in the stream and enjoys a cool, cleansing dip. On returning the campfire, we find our scout family, the Ricciardi's from Bergen Countey have rejoined the march. They erect their tents to the rear of the lean-to and soon everyone is heading to their beds. 'Tis a pity we will be leaving this nature's refuge on the morrow. A demain.

Avec Amour,

September 14, 2006

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 avec amour,

September 13, 2006

March Date Friday September 8, 2006 March Day 84

Good day to all March To Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls reveille with a full white moon high in the sky as the red sunrise appears opposite over a fog-covered field. The scene is eerily beautiful.

Bentley Boyd and 9 year old son Truman, have arrived from Newport News during the night, and thinking the Hollingsworth House gate locked, happily slept there on the spot next to the cornfield. Bentley visited us back in Bristol, Pennsylvania and is author of Chester comix, an historic political comic book series, and he is currrently gathering information for an article for his local publication in Williamsburg, Virginia. Bentley is outfitted in period clothes and will march with the army today, replacing Mike Chuckta who left for his Connecticut home yesterday afternoon. Bentley and Truman are travelling north to cover the weekend's event in Brandywine.

The day's march begins.....out of the gate to just a portion of route 40 where the soldiers will take rural Old Philadelphia Road for most of today's journey. It is a pleasant road and the sun is shining as they progress some 14 miles from Elkton to Rogers Tavern in Perryville, Maryland.

Rose runs support with the smaller carriage, and after 4.5 miles, takes the young lad Truman into the wagon. He has done well in keeping step with these seasoned men. We drive ahead to the town of North East, a small village with a main street of colorful shops each bedecked with flowering plants. As we wait for the army, Truman and I walk the main road in search of a post to send our portrait "chip" to headquarters in Connecticut colony. We occasionally stop to admire the shops' merchandise, and when we arrive at the post, I discover that my envelope is empty. Sure that I have taken the wrong envelope from Martha's shelves, Truman and I walk back to the carriage. When the mistress of one shop calls to us to ask if the little boy had dropped a piece of toy that she discovered on the walk after we had passed, Truman and I look inquiringly at one another and tell this lady, "Thank you, but no." I did not correlate these two events, and that I would later regret.

We find the army well up the road and stop with them for our noon meal. Truman is rested and refreshed enough to resume marching, with little more than 4 miles to our destination. Mike has received a communication from Barbara Brown, commissioner of Parks and Recreation in Perryville, reporting that a group of supporters has gathered at the tavern and are anxiously awaiting their arrial We were informed that this reception was scheduled for two to four o'clock and it is now 1:30. Rose is requested to drive ahead to inform the gatherers of the the army's location and estimated time of arrival. Truman takes this opportunity to come along. A group of engineers is encountered building a new bridge on the main incoming road of this town, but hearing of the army's approach, the carriage is allowed to pass, and Officer Hackett waits at the site to facilitate the men's march.

Rogers Tavern is an historic beauty...a red two-story brick building nestled in a wooded area on the bank of the Susquehanna River, and is currently in the restoration process. The expectant crowd's numbers have dwindled a bit, but the enthusiasm for the army has not. As the men arrive, many portraits are taken and representatives from the Rising Sun Historical Preservation Society and Head of Elk DAR are splendid in their fine period dresses. Barbara has arranged for a complete dinner for the army to be provided by a local establishment. We chat with Sandy Anderson and look forward to our stop at the Rising Sun Inn in a week's time. We thank everyone for their kindness.

When the socializing ends, Bentley treats us all to a local treat of ice cream and we all leave to fetch Martha still stationed at the Hollingsworth House. Bentley and Truman bid us farewell as they continue their journey northward.

Martha and the smaller carriage now wind their ways toward the night's camp at the Susquehanna Lockhouse Museum. We cross the Susquehanna River Bridge,and are greeted by Betsy Keithley at the museum.

The men set their tents on the green lawn facing the lock and the large bridge, and we all share the wonderful bounty that Barbara has provided. Alan Weir with his Boy Scout troop 802 has arrived to camp for the night, and they also prepare a beef stew cooked over an open fire, much to the men's enjoyment.

It has been another busy and beautiful day. Merci, mon Dieu....Merci, tout le monde. A demain.

Avec Amour,

September 11, 2006

March Date Thursday September 7, 2006 March Day 83

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls reveille on this damp cool morning. As this late summer turns into autumn, the longer nights bring heavy dew and the men sleeping under the night sky are covered with dampness as they wake. The border crossing ceremony is scheduled here at the Iron Hill Museum for 9:30 AM and we do not hurry in our prepartions for the day. John Slack arrives with juice, hot chocolate for our chocolate lovers Dave and David, crosissants and donuts. Laura Lee brews a strong coffee in the museum. Many of our supporters from the previous evening and today's ceremony participants begin arriving.

The army is joined by 1st and 6th Maryland regiments Phil Shank and Bill Voigt, handsome in their military regimentals and carrying their muskets. The flags are readied and the Lamp of Liberty is lit. Ralph Nelson and Glenn Pusey conduct the cermony....the marchers are introduced, the W3R and french regimental flags are exchanged. The Lamp of Liberty is passed from Newark, DE mayor Vance Funk to Elkton, MD mayor Joseph Fisona. Kay Nelson, representing and splendid in her DAR decorations, addresses the crowd, and Ralph presents the March to Yorktown members with a monetary donation collected from our fellow diners the previous evening. Mike again expresses our gratitude for eveyone's support.

The day's march begins, now with six soldiers on the road - Mike, David, Dave, Mikey, Phil and Bill. 'Tis a short marcch, some 5.5 miles to historic Elk Landing in Elkton, Maryland. As the army approaches this city, they pass a clear sandy stream passing under the main road, and Mike files this away for a possible re-visit later in the day.

The group will have some much needed "down" time at our night's destination.

We arrive at Hollingsworth House, a work in progress restoration of the Elk Landing Foundation - a beautiful oasis on the upper Chesapeake....a large white homestead, red barn, rolling field surrounded by forest, small groves of trees, and the half ruins of a two-story tavern on which restoration will begin shortly. This site was a busy 18th century port of trade. We are greeted by Foundation president Kenneth Wilcox (Judge), who figuratively gives us the "key" to this little piece of heaven. The sun is shining, the fields are green and the sky is a gorgeous blue...this is entirely ours for the rest of the day.

We retrieve Martha from the Iron Hill museum and quickly return to our little paradise. Damp bedding is spread in the sun to dry, Mike travels to his little stream to swim and nap in the sun, we take cold wonderful showers outside, still set up from a recent previous encampment here, write posts to our families and rest from a whirlwind week. David, ever the handyman, putters about the rig tidying up and making small repairs.

We have few visitors at this remote spot, but Eric Mease of the Foundation stops by to chat, and Phil Shank and Bill Voigt recount the past weekend's festivities of the passing of the French army. Seems Elkton had its commemorative parade last weekend, with the Old Guard leading the procession. Because this was a week before our arrival, Phil and Bill reenacted the reenactors! During the course of the late afternoon, Dave is handed an envelope with a monetary donation from the Elk Landing Foundation. These few people who have given so much of themselves to keep this historic place alive are also giving to us in our passing.

Everyone is clean and rested and we drive to an outdoor smoked barbecue rib shack where we feast again. Mike groans and rubs his stomach.....perhaps when the march is over, you can diet? Back at the Hollingsworth house, Mike and Dave set their beds on the large tentage needed tonight as they will be protected from the heavy dew. We all sit in the darkness, watching the mist roll over the fields and the orange full moon rise in the sky. I'm sure our french allies 225 years ago did the same. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Wednesday September 6, 2006 March Day 82

Good day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls a very quiet reveille this morning, as all sleeping bodies are inside the Martha and George wagons. In the faint light of dawn, we can see that the rain and drizzle has stopped and the turbulent brown "river" in the park has greatly receded.

The men prepare for the day, tending to a few blisters that are the result of yesterday's wet march. The rains are a memory but the blisters are real and they are treated with the soldiers' secret remedy....duct tape. They swear by the silver strips that are applied to the affected area. What say you, Dr. Mark? After a light breakfast, the men begin, some 15.5 miles to Christiana, Delaware. They are joined by Ralph Nelson and the group looks splendid in their colorful regimentals and flying colours under the clear morning sky. No drab brown oil cloth garments today.

Kay Nelson stops by the Richardson Mill site, offering her services to help in any way. Although we are down to one support driver, the day will be manageable with Rose driving the small carriage as support and we will return for Martha at day's end.

The army follows Route 4 through Stanton, DE and at the junction of Routes 4 and 7, take a small footpath down to the Stanton-Christiana Road. Here they visit the Hale Byrnes House, a handsome period brick structure with the White Clay Creek flowing by in the back pasture. Rose waits for them here, speading clothing on the ground in the, gaitors and oil cloths still wet from yesterday's weather. They rest a short while here, anticipating the next treacherous part of today's journey. The next two miles of original army road is buried under the intersection of three multi-lane highways and the men must walk in the left breakdown lane going with the high speed traffic. There is no room to walk next to the slower speed lane. They also must wait for a break in the traffic and cross three lanes which merge with an I-95 exit in order to reach another footpath which will again take them to route 7 into Christiana.

Rose and Ralph drive ahead from Hale Byrnes House to the destination footpath where the men are scheduled to emerge, and we wait.....and wait. Those butterflies are back but for a much different reason today. Rose waits at the guardrail facing the speeding carriages, silently praying for the men's safe crossing. Ralph walks past the exit, against the oncoming carriages, crosses the southbound traffic and looks northward from the small grass median strip, hoping to catch a glimpse of the colours.

After what seems like an eternity, and at almost a half mile away, the top of the Bourbonnais becomes visible and it is on THIS side of the highway! Huzzah! They are safe! But Ralph is still on the median, looking for a break to make his dash back across. Thankfully, he uses patience in waiting for his break and makes haste when it arrives. The men laugh nervously, describe their highway experience as "tense" but appear unruffled from their past danger.
After a brief rest, they continue on the Old Baltimore Pike into the small villaqge of Christiana.

The army is met by Glen Pusey of the Pencader Heritage Area Association and by Ken Baumgardt, president of the Christiana Historical Society. Ken escorts the troops through the crossroads of Christiana with his musket and bayonet at the shoulder. They provide us with a most welcome lunch of our choice ( Ah..tuna salad grinders!) on the grounds of a local period home. The troop "noons" and there is always the chat of local history. After lunch, Ralph leaves us to proceed further to the site of Cooch's Bridge.

The army continues another six miles before reaching this site. An impressive monument with plaque and 4 cannon stands on the side of the road at Cooch mansion marking the Colonial and British battle with casualties from both sides buried in the countryside in unmarked graves. They are given a first floor tour of the great house, impeccably maintained in the Revolutionary era by descendant Thomas Cooch.

'Tis now but a mile's march to our night's camp - the Iron Hill Museum. Rose has arrived earlier and is greated by Laura Lee, curator of this small interesting collection of natural and historical artifacts. The grounds are lovely, complete with butterfly garden attracting busy tiny hummingbirds.

The marchers arrive, and after a short rest, prepare for dinner. We are to be the guests at the Blue and Gold Club at the University of Delaware, arranged by Glenn Pusey. Ralph arrives at the museum to escort us to the campus where are greeted by a goodly crowd of supporters. We sit at a long banquet table in a high-ceilinged and windowed dining room, interspersed among these kind people, getting to know each other and answering many questions. We feast on a buffet of salmon, chicken, eggplant parmigiana (Yes, David is eating this!), and roasted potatoes. Speeches are given and once again Mike expresses our gratitude for this group's generosity and care.

We return to our night's camp and the men once again sleep under the clear night sky. A demain.

Avec amour,

September 09, 2006

March Date Tuesday September 5, 2006 March Day 81

Good day to all March To Yorktown followers and supporters ~

We wake to a fine drizzle of rain with dark skies overhead. The marchers do not linger in rising, as they are rapidly becoming covered with a fine mist. We quickly prepare for and begin the day's 15 miles from Chester to Richardson's Mill in Wilmington, Delaware.

Rose and Ramona again take the small carriage, leaving Martha and George behind on the Widener campus, as the marchers take to the road on Route 13. The small town of Chester is entered and the sites of the Chester courthouse and Washington's staff headquarters are visited before the rains begin. They begin and do not stop the entire day. The marchers don their oilskins and continue with heads bowed and rain dripping from their tricornes.

At the 6 mile mark, after walking through more than a mile of Sunoco refinery on either side of the road in Marcus Hook, originally a Swedish settlement, the army stops and is received at the Robinson House for the state line crossing ceremony. They arrive drenched on the porch of this restored historical homestead and removed their soaked outer garments before entering the parlor. Light refreshements have been laid out and we all socialize with this welcoming group, which includes many supporters and local dignitaries... Delaware W3R Ralph Nelson and his lovely wife Kay, and Frank Ianni, Brett Saddler of Clayton Renaissance, Marcus Hook mayor George McClure, State Representative Wayne Smith, Carolyn Mercadante of the Claymont Historical Society, SAR and DAR representatives and many other supporters. The marchers are introduced, the flags are exchanged to each state's representative, short speeches are given and we are presented with the handsome Delaware W3R pin.

After this short reprieve, the army must again don their still sodden outer garments and resume the march, now accompanied by Ralph Nelson in his full rain suit, sans regimental. We have been invited to Major Frank Ianni's home, a few miles ahead, for lunch and a respite from the torrential rain. Ramona delivers Rose the 6 miles back to the Washington rig still at the Widener campus, to work on the late correspondence to the colonies. Ramona then continues to scout the route with the troops.

Within the hour, a call for assistance comes from the marchers. They have almost reached Major Ianni's home but are in a drenched and chilled condition. They have travelled many hills with major flooding, and the roadway is filled with water. The rain continues to fall and visibility is poor. The rain has soaked through their clothing and David describes certain parts of his anatomy as "floating." Many townsfolk estimate 6 inches of rainfall on this afternoon.

The Washington rig is taken to the Ianni homestead where the marchers await dry clothing. They are being well taken care of by lovely Carmella Ianni who has prepared a most handsome table of every imaginable foods. Most welcome is the crock of hot soup, held first for warmth before being consumed. We are given a tour of the Major's study and parlor, filled with military memorabilia from his successful career.

With dry and warm clothing, full bellies and renewed resolve, the marchers begin again. The rains continue but the intensity is lessening. Ralph accompanies Rose in Martha and the rig is delivered to our night's camp at Richardson's Mill, adjacent to picturesque Canby Park where the French army camped. The stream through the park is now a torrid small river from the day's rain, but Martha is parked on higher ground. Ramona has followed in the smaller carriage, and delivers Ralph to the marchers who are making their way through the city of Wilmington. They are saluted in passing by the Junior ROTC and then received by the Del-Mar-Va Boy Scout Council with Mayor James Baker present.

The army finally marches to the night's camp, still accompanied by an unrelenting drizzle, and feeling the tribulations of the day. There is no time for rest, as we are all expected at the Delaware Military Academy for a dinner reception. We redress in what remains of our dry clothing and take the small carriage to the Academy where we are received by Commander Bruce Shumway. We are presented a fine meal of roast pork, rice and vegetables, served impeccably by three young cadets, students at this military prep school, who also join us at table and engage in conversation with the marchers and their teachers. How refreshing to see these young men (and women, as this is a coed school) so dedicated to preparing for their chosen military careers.

We return to our camp, exhausted and grateful for the day's end. We will erect no tentage tonight, as the effort would be too great and the ground is saturated.... our beds will lie within Martha. The men take advantage of the laundress situated down the road and return with clean, dry clothing. In their absence, Rose again begins work on communication with the colonies, visited by a local militia to check on her safety. The Ricciardi family has apparently left for home in Bergen County. We five stand in the light drizzle and recount the day's happenings.....Mike, David, Dave, Rose and Mikey. We have survived this difficult march day... are warm, fed and dry, have made many new friends and look forward to the morrow's adventure.

A demain.
Avec Amour,

September 08, 2006

March Date Monday September 4, 2006 March Day 80

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David emerges from his bunk in Martha, Rose from her bunk in George, the remainder of our group returning one by one from the river campsite with their tentage to be stored once again. It is a beautiful clear day and the canvas is finally and completely dry. It is a mild shock to see Keleigh and Dana in their 21st century jeans - a realization that they and Zack will be leaving us for home later today. Zack continues to hold out to the last, still in his shirt and breeches.

The group prepares for another busy day arranged by our Philadelphia hosts. After a breakfast of fresh croissants, chocolate pastries (thanks to W3R John Loup), bagels, coffee & juice at the river's edge, we all board the river boat from Walnut Street. We are bound for Bartram's Garden and homestead, a beautiful stone estate with many hand-carved stones in the original masonry. The view of the Philadelphia skyline from this site on the opposite bank of the river is spectacular. It's remote location and surrounding countryside has maintained its historical appeal. After many photos are taken, the group engages in our ritual of daily prayer and then, under Captain Mike's command, the march resumes amidst much cheering and the beat of Zach Hutchins' drum. As the supporters file out of the Gardens, I catch sight of familiar mirror-blue that Lee Anderson I see at the edge of the crowd? On leave from Fort Mifflin? Have not seen him since he left our march in Plainville CT.

The marchers continue to Woodland Avenue and stop at the Blue Bell Tavern where a crowd of about 30 people have gathered. David, in his handsome white French Regimental and white gaitors never tires of "Bonjour, Madame" as he lightly brushes the ladies' hands. The march is to continue across Cobbs Creek into Darby and follow the Chester Pike through Delaware County into Chester...destination Washington Park in the heart of Widener University.

After the soldiers' departure from Bartram Gardens, the camp followers, Zack and our Philadelphia hosts return by water to the point of departure on the Schuylkill. As we present tokens of appreciation to our supporters, we are given a surprise departure gift also....Joe presents us the sign that was posted on the river bank. The sign-posts are removed and Rose, Keleigh, Dana and Zack carry this treasure back along the river trail to Martha.

Keleigh, Dana and Zack then gather their gear and are taken by Joe to Ursula's home where she will assure their train departure back to Connecticut. Au revoir, Shumbo family. I know that you will hold dear the many memories and friends you have made.

Leaving Martha behind, Rose and Ramona, from our scout family, take a smaller carriage, leave Philadelphia and find the marchers on the Old Chester Pike. They are being well tended to by Nancy and Don Van Kriecken, feasting on Nancy's sweet potato muffins, a Thomas Jefferson recipe, I am told. We continue in our carriage and the marchers continue their walk, total 13 miles from Philadelphia until we reach the night's camp at Widener University. Rose contacts Peter Seltzer who greets the camp followers at a removed parking area at the university's gymnasium. After the army arrives, we have many visitors in the early evening. Among them, Win Carroll, Ursula's brother Joe and his wife, and Ralph Nelson. We now face the logisitcs of retrieving the Washington rig and the remaining carriages in Philadelphia, and Don graciously offers to take us back to the city. Paul and his son are returned to their carriage on the Market Street bridge that they might return home, David and Rose retrieve Martha and Mike's carriage, Mike C to his own....all to this night's camp in Chester. Once re-assembled, we dine on the remains of our many fabulous foods, gratefully utilize the gymnasium's facilities for much-needed showers (when WAS the last time we showered?) and retire to our beds. Too exhausted to set tents and reasonably assured of a clear night, Mike and Dave sleep on the grass under the night sky. Merci, Mon Dieu. pour tous les cadeaux.

Avec Amour,

March Date Sunday September 3, 2006 March Day 79

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

David calls an early reveille on this overcast but rainless morning and the soggy camp is quickly taken down. Very damp and now moldy tentage is stored in Martha's hold. Our Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation friends again serve us a hearty breakfast of sausage and pancakes before we bid them our final adieu. Always the perfect hosts, they have assured that our bodies were well-fed while allowing us our pursuits in continuing our march. Photos are taken outside the headquarters and we say our goodbyes.

David does a superb job of jockeying Martha out of the adjacent lot and into the very narrow street lined with carriages on both sides before he joins the marchers at the day's start at the site of the Red Lion Inn. The men begin the day's journey, approximately 16 miles down the Bristol Pike onto the King's Highway, now Frankford Avenue, into Philadelphia. Martha and the smaller carriage will take the wider well-worn wagon roads of 95 and 76. Coming into Philadelphia, Rose takes a wrong turn, and a call to Joe Syrnik ( the same Joe "Ziernak' that I mispelled so badly!) brings a prompt rescue and he guides us through the busy streets to the night's camp on the Schuylkill River. Martha will be parked in a large empty lot of a condo complex still under construction, just across the train tracks from the newly developed recreational trail along the river. This trail with its small grassy area will be the night's camp for tentage. Joe and his friend Ken assist the camp followers in setting the camp, knowing the wet canvas will dry in the cool breeze of the river, which is brown and swollen from the recent rains of Ernesto.

Joe brings us notice to a large sign which has been erected in this camp area by Pennsylvania W3R, Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area, and Schuylkill Banks and Fairmount Park is a notice of the Revolutionay War Reenactors who are following the entire 600 mile route of the W3R, complete with sketch of the 27th camp at Philadelphia 1781 by Louis Berthier, aide to General Rochambeau. We are speechless, and thrilled.

Meanwhile, the army continues into the city, stopping at St.Mark's church where a banner is displayed welcoming the March to Yorktown reenactors. Being a Sunday, they humbly enter this house of worship and find themselves presented to the congregation and given a blessing by the pastor.

After reuniting with the camp followers, the marchers are received by the Historical Society of Frankford.. A goodly crowd has awaited our arrival and we catch glimpses of period clothing and patriotic colors as we enter the society building. Among those present are Historical Society president Debbie Klak, W3R Ursula Reed, Philadelphia historian Torben Zenk, W3R historian Bob Selig and DAR ladies Patty Coyne (in her festive red hat), Ann Patten and Rosemary Hogan. We are led in prayer by pastor Jon Clodfelter, each marcher is introduced, refreshments are served, and short speeches are given by our hosts and march members Mike and David. Our thanks to you all for supporting our country's history.

On the road again and with rising excitement, our colours prominent in the wind, the marchers enter the city proper...there is much acknowledgement and cheering from the townsfolk.....Huzzah! Bienvenue!. Horses are startled at this grand sight, carriages stop in their tracks and the marchers continue around the square at Independence Hall, down Market Street to the bridge and down to the River Bank encampment. Here there is only a short reprieve as we must ready ourselves to attend the evening mass at Old St.Joseph's Church - the same church where Washington, Rochambeau and LaFayette worshipped together. It is a beautiful, perfectly maintained historical building in the heart of the city and we are accompanied by Ursula, her Mom and Bob Selig. We proceed to the front pew, pray our thanks together, remembering our great leaders under this same roof.

Mike has a much too short visit with his son Travis, accompanied by his wife Tracie and daughter Lila, who have travelled from Virginia and must return this same night. Our Ricciardi scout family has returned and has set their camp alongside ours at the river. Paul Hutchins and his son Zach have rejoined us and Mike Chuckta, previous marcher from Monroe CT has found his way once again.

As the marchers return from mass, we are astounded at the sight awaiting us. It is near dark and the lamps along the river are lit, the extraordinarily modern glass Cira Center building across the water is majestically aglow from top to bottom in red, white and blue lighting, arranged for our benefit by Joe Syrnik. A fire-pit with welcoming campfire at the river's edge beckons (also by Joe!), a canopy protects tables laden with every imaginable food - coordinated and prepared by Sweetbriar ladies Celeste and Gloria, and many other talented cooks far too many for me to remember here, I regret. Iced local spirits are brought in by Torben Jenk and we meet his lovely - and patient- wife. This is a March to Yorktown, W3R, DAR, Historical Society, reenactor, supporters and many friends' celebration! We feast and drink, talking with many new and old friends. What a truly terrific day this has been for us all. The party gradually trickles down, into the early hour of the morning before we each and all retire to our beds. Ah, grand, hospitable city. Merci.

Avec Amour,

September 06, 2006

March Date Saturday September 2, 2006 March Day 78

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

This dawn slowly reveals our drenched encampment, with much fallen debris about from the surrounding trees during the night rains. The prediction is a full day of rain as Ernesto continues his assault. We will not march today.

A hearty breakfast of fruit, ham and eggs is served to us by our hosts at the Cultural Headquarters. The aroma is heavenly as we enter the warm, dry, handsome stone building where Harold and the lovely kitchen ladies have prepared this meal. We begin our day with thanks to our great Provider and providers.

As the official parade has been cancelled, we prepare to enter Philadelphia by carriage in order to scout the morrow's route and to visit the city sites where our forefathers convened. The rains continue as we join the many visitors in this beautiful historical city....all with parasols and sporting outer foul weather garments. The rain does not dampen the many spirits, present and past, here.

A few visitors are curious about our colonial appearance, and Zack is soon holding an informative conference in the middle of the Visitor's Center! Some also recognize us as the "marchers", and Steve S. from So. Carolina interviews and cam-cords our responses to his many questions. He enthusiastically offers an unsolicited donation to our march, and we wave to him on our tour of the city as our paths cross again.

We visit Independence Hall, where we must first pass security procedures, surely a reflection of the present times....... regimentals and waistcoats with their metal buttons are requested be removed, haversacks, tricornes, and other accoutrements are placed on the belted scanner. We pass through the "arch" and Rose fails repeatedly with alarms sounding at each step-through. With an embarrased smile, she is allowed to continue as the alarm focus is determined to be the metal supports in her "stays." We begin to transport ourselves to the present day of the Continental Congress, mentally engaging with the scene of the great men who gathered in this hallowed place. We then visit Franklin Court and marvel at this patriot's many accomplishments, for himself and his country. (Invented swim flippers at age 13?)

We are unable to tour the Military Museum, which, according to a National Park Service ranger, is closed due to a flooded basement and no present lighting. He is, however, willing to open it to us, to personally tour in the semi-dark building. This ranger, an associate of the Old Barracks rangers had planned to march in the official Philadelphia parade, but is hoping to join us on the morrow.

We make contact with, and meet Ursula Reed, Bob Selig, Torbin Jenk, and Joe Ziernak on the Market Street Bridge where we tour the Schuylkill Banks Park which will be our encampment tomorrow night, and review our route and schedule for tomorrow's entry into Philadelphia. Seems there is still much excitement and expectation for the "march" to enter the city on the morrow.

The group returns to Bristol, where our gracious hosts at the Cultural Center have prepared our dinner.... the fine local delicacy called Hoagie, which we have grown quite fond of. Ursula and her Mom visit our encampment, and take a willing Zack out to dinner with them at King George's II. Clothing is dried at the local laundress' facility and the marchers return to camp returning from various pursuits at the end of a busy day. Ernesto has relented and we retire to our beds. A demain.

Avec Amour,

September 05, 2006

March Date Friday September 1, 2006 March Day 77

Good day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Another fine day dawns at the Barracks, David calls reveille as usual at 6 AM, needing to enter the walls to rouse the main group asleep there. Seems that Zack, having shared the small barrack with Keleigh, Dave, Mike and Dana, has had the best night's sleep of them all.

Today's march will bring us over the bridge out of Trenton onto the Bristol Pike, leading to Bristol, NJ, a total of 12 miles. Weary riders from the south appear as we ready for the day, bringing an ominous warning of a great rain storm from that direction, and we are anxious to begin the miles.

The marchers set out for the Calhoun bridge which is too narrow for the Washington carriage. Martha must be taken onto a larger highway which is heavily tolled for this area...2 gold coins are exchanged on this alternate route in order to cross this small river and meet up with the army on the other side. The men continue at a goodly pace, thoughts of heavy rains spur them on while the clouds still hold.

They stop to rest at 2 houses which have been prepared for their passing by the Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation, are given cornbread and encouragement.
Joe S. encounters the group and gives a monetary donation.

Rose in Martha, and Keleigh and Dana in the smaller wagon, arrive at the Foundation Headquarters before the marchers, and hurriedly set camp as the sky grows darker.
The marchers arrive for the late noon meal and must soon depart for the remaining 7 miles to the site of the Red Lion Inn, further down this Bristol Pike to the County Line, the site of the original army encampment. A police escort for this trek is provided by Bristol Police Chief Arnold Porter.

The men return weary, hungry and wet from the intermittent rains and Mike reports that the morrow's entry march into Philadelphia has been cancelled due to a fellow named "Ernesto" who has been creating havoc in his travels from south to north. It is unknown how extensive his damage will be.

The group is greeted and fed by a most friendly group at this headquarters...Harold Michener has arranged for our accommodations and chef Angelo has prepared a wonderful feast of pasta and meatballs, fresh salad and strawberry shortcake. His cooking is his passion, as he states, and we are the fortunate recipients.

Mike, David and Rose stroll in the rain to the corner location on the Delaware River waterfront of Radcliffe Street, the King George II inn, the oldest continuing operating inn in the country, established in 1681. We are given a complimentary libation, tour and history of this beautiful inn by Maitre D' Michael R, and we interact with many of the patrons. Seems the King George sign was assaulted by musket fire in colonial times, and we happily offer to reenact that scene before we leave!

Bon soir, tout le monde.......may be wake refreshed and dry!!

Avec Amour,

September 04, 2006

March Date Thursday August 31, 2006 March Day 76

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

The day dawns overcast with low clouds but the forecast is rain and with possible sunshine for our day's journey from Princeton to Trenton, approximately 11 miles.

David calls a 6:00 am reveille and our little garden camp is taken down and stored in Martha's hold. We are joined by the Ricciardi family replete in their scout uniforms....Peter, Ramona and son Peter Paul were among the scouts that joined us back in Pompton and they have come back for more.

We all join hands and pray again for our safety and His guidance on the day's journey.
As the marchers begin on Stockton St, Route 206, Ramona, Keleigh and Rose take a smaller carriage and scout the day's road with destination at the Old Barracks in Trenton. We establish that the army will be able to pass safely and that the Washington rig is expected at the Barracks, complete with reserved parking just outside the barricade. We return to Martha at the Morven house and she is soon on the road.

First stop at the half-way point, is the Presbyterian Church of Laurenceville, known now as the town of Maidenhead, NJ. We are to meet Jean Hultgren of the W3R and DAR there for a noon meal and the troop is ahead of schedule. The camp followers find them at a local establishment across from the church, apparently taking advantage of the ease of the day's march. We also find Dana and Zack being interviewed by local Channel19, complete with cameraman and reporter!!

Jean arrives at the church across the street, accompanied by Bill Agress and his son of the Laurenceville Historical Society. Bill is in full kit, portraying Superior Court Justice Brearley and does a fine job in his interpretation. We tour the graveyard and are served a most satisfying lunch of a local British derived delicacy called "Hoagies" in the churchyard garden. Many portraits are taken and the troop begins the additional miles to the Barracks.

The marchers report that enroute, a most enthusiastic lady exits her home as they pass, waving the Betsy Ross flag and giving quite vocal encouragement. They oblige with hats off and bowed waists at this fine homestead. At the impressive Washington Monument on Brunswick Avenue, the marchers are met by the Old Barracks Fife and Drum Corps and are escorted with musick and our colours down Warren and LaFayette Streets into the gounds of the Old Barracks itself. The group and all accompaniers stand at attention as the Fife and Drum Corps continues entertaining. On the troops' dismissal, we are welcomed by Rich Patterson and given a tour of this well maintained facility dating from the French and Indian Wars. Zack can hardly contain his excitement, knowing he will be allowed to sleep in the barracks tonight.

We are visited by Tech Sgt Joe D. from McGuire Air Force Base, whose fortune it was to be a passerby when the entourage entered this city of Trenton. He was on his way to pick up his wife, with a newly purchased bottle of Hessian wine when he felt compelled to "detour" into the barracks. He presented this wine to Captain Mike, along with his best wishes and encouragement for the army's journey south.

As the troops rest and aquaint themselves with home for this night, Rich Patterson and his staff build a fire in the courtyard and prepare a beef stew for our dinner. This is accompanied by loaves of fine bread baked daily in the Barrack's outdoor ovens. We dine outdoors at a long wooden table set up near the now waning fire.

It has been a fine day.....the sun and many other blessings has shone upon us.

As the group chats about the day's events, it is relayed to me that the group stopped at a mural in progress on the side of a downtown building, about 2 blocks from the Barracks. Seems the artist was well at work on a painting of the Trenton Courthouse in the 18th century, depicting the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The mural included the backs of the colonial listeners as the document is being read, and our marchers stood on the blacktop, blending in with the painted figures, viewed from behind. Seems many portraits of this seredipitous scene were taken by the local followers, apparently none taken by our present group.

C'est dommage.

A demain.
Avec Amour,

September 01, 2006

March Date Wednesday August 30, 2006 March Day 75

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

A day to ourselves in this bustling college city of Princeton!! David takes the morning off from calling reveille and we all sleep a bit later on this fine drizzly restful day, tucked into the side lot of the Morven museum and gardens. The tents have been lined on a side lawn at the back of the museum, backed by a 6 foot high brick wall with a crescent white door entering into the main garden. The many flowering plants still bloom in this late summer, the pears are ripe and hanging on the many fruit trees and the bees become quite busy as the drizzle stops and the day is just overcast. This estate was built in 1775, home of Richard Stockton, NJ signer of the Declaration of Independence and it is both a privilege and a delight to be here.

David, of the growly tummy, is still first to rise and goes in search of a hearty hungry man's breakfast, returns satisfied and smiling. The majority of the troop takes advantage of shower facilities at the the university gymnasium and returns refreshed & ready to take on the day. Fellow reenactor Paul Hutchins and his lovely fiance Judy Jenkins again join us as we stroll the city street - still and probably forever in period clothing and regimentals - to Nassau Hall at Princeton University for a tour with Karen Woodbridge who is director of Community Relations.
David and Rose first stop at the Princeton Public library to meet couriers Aldona and Diane from Pequannock Library back in Pompton....our dear friend Rosemary has forwarded some much needed mail to us and has used her staff attending this library meeting for the "drop", AND has sent a bagfull of cheeses, bread, goodies, and of course photographs. Our friends continue to support us long after we have left their community. Bless you.

We rejoin the group at Nassau Hall and begin the tour. Such architectural magnificence and history..... we enter Nassau Hall with symmetricallly sized portraits of George Washington and King George at the far wall of the great Meeting Room, walk the worn, uneven brickway and stairs to the grounds outside leading to the Performing Arts Hall with its perfect acoustics, view each parlor and keeping room of the President's House and stand in humbled awe of the university Chapel with Tiffany stained glass windows of blue and red, a chapel used for every denomination of religion as needed. Karen points the site of the buried cannon at the center of the grounds, buried out of necessity due to multiple thefts over the years. This has been a wonderful opportunity and Karen has been most gracious.

As we stroll back to the museum, we are followed and portraited by Mike Mancuso, a photographer from the local publication Princeton Times. Our clothing still creates a stir. We also pose and our portraited on the front porch of the Morven with Director Martha. How wonderful is leisure time without the rain!

The group tours the battlefield on their own in the afternoon then returns to camp to prepare and dress for invitation by DAR member Dorothy Wordell and her husband Bill at their home in Princeton. Zack black-polishes and wears Mike's boots this evening and becomes transformed into a young gentleman.

Our hosts home is indeed lovely, spacious and elegant. We are ushered onto the back deck where we are served spirits et les hors d'oeuvres and we enjoy the grazing deer at lawn's edge and the visiting hummingbird still active at Dorothy's blooms in the approaching dusk. We are to have a different culinary delight this evening....Oriental fare of our every choice or desire which our hosts arrange to be brought right to their door. We feast and socialize......Zack of the magic boots is transformed into quite the conversationalist. Our hosts' neighbors visit and we have a wonderful time.

Our evening is over much too quickly and Bill and Dorothy deliver us back to camp. We say our adieus et merci beaucoups, and carry more friends in our hearts on our journey to Virginia. Merci aussi, mon Dieu....ce soir, nous sommes encore en surete avec Vous. A demain.

Avec Amour,

August 30, 2006

March Date Tuesday August 29, 2006 March Day 74

Good day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Another dawn of overcast skies promising more rain as David calls reveille to the camp. We are visited early by Portia Orton, who quietly and quickly brings coffee, breakfast foods and fruit to the group, and then is gone as quickly as she came. Such is her way, caring and efficient with minimal disturbance. Nancy also visits with homemade blueberry muffins. We must practice some restraint from all these goodies as the day's march is some 14 miles to Princeton.

As he promised, pastor Mueller of the Reformed church arrives to lead us in the daily blessing, but before we bow our heads and join hands, he relays the story of Palm Sundays at his historical church of this town....seems they have pony rides for the young through the existing graveyard each Palm Sunday. How novel an idea! If I were interred there, I would rejoice at such a use of my gravesite by the community.

The marchers are readied for the day and we are visited by a mother with her 2 young sons, each bearing small handmade Bourbonnais flags. The group departs down Millstone River Road, marching some 2+ miles against single-driver commuter traffic.

The route continues across a single lane bridge onto Canal Road where the marchers discover a parallel dirt lane following the much swollen river from the recent rains for a distance of 3 miles. They march this distance under the wet, bending trees, better able to envision the army's march 2 centuries ago.

Excitement increases as they approach the city of Princeton, and the group is expected and met by many local representatives. They participate in wreath-laying ceremonies at the Washington monument and army encampment sites.

Many pictures are taken as the commemoration occurs....Attending the wreath laying ceremonies Mathieu PETITJEAN, President of the American Society of the Souvenir Francais Jean LAREUSE, artist and creator of the Washington/Rochambeau ceramic plaque done in 1998 for the Souvenir Francais; his wife, Caroline LAREUSE, DAR member of Princeton Chapter and Rochambeau Chapter in Paris, also former Honorary Consul of France for NJ Wendy LANNING, Regent DAR; Jean HULTGREN, past regent DAR and responsible for placing the DAR stele for the March to Yorktown in 1981 during the Bicentennial.

Forgive me if I have excluded anyone, as I was not present at these ceremonies - instead at the Morven Museum camp for the evening tending to other chores. I have relied on others for this report.

When the group arrives at Morven Museum, we are greeted by Director Martha Wolf. We will park our "Washington Rig" of Martha and George in the adjacent lot of the museum, thankful for the next day's respite from marching.

We are visited by fellow reenactor and NJ resident Paul Hutchins...some may remember Paul for his portrayal of Benedict Arnold at the 225th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Saratoga.... a treat to see him again. With an evening to ourselves in such a delightful city, we are energized and proceed to go out on the town. We remain in period clothing as we stroll about, receiving quite positive reactions and inquiries from the locals. Our first stop is the Nassau Inn where an original 13 foot mural painted by Norman Rockwell in 1937 entitled "The Yankee Doodle Mural" is the focus of the Tap Room. As we unwind and with time to ourselves, the group diverses with various individual pursuits for dinner and to meet old friends in this lovely city. We return to camp at various times, thankful for no reveille in the morning. A demain.

Avec Amour, Rose

August 29, 2006

March Date Monday August 28, 2006 March Day 73

The rain during the night was incredibly intense with a sound like high winds coming through the farm fields, intermittent sleep for sure. The roosters, with their pen right alongside Martha began their crowing at the very first crack of dawn. It was quite entertaining to hear them attempt to out-crow each, let's all rise. This is surely reveille. Everyone has managed to keep dry in spite of the heavy night rains, and we all hope for a reprieve with just overcast skies.

The group prepares for today's journey, another 15 mile day from the farm to Millstone in Somerset county. The route takes us over Newman's Lane and Steel Gap Road, the high ground preferred by the original army. Martha's brake index surely needs to be increased as she takes the steep downgrades on the wet road poorly....there are those butterflies again! The troops do well, sans le pleine aujoud'hui, and Dana and Zack have rejoined the troop for a half day.

The group stops at the Van Veghten house, headquarters of the Somerset County Historical Society before continuing to the night's destination at Millstone Borough Hall. This small proud historic community welcomes us warmly, with visitors Mary Patrick, Mayor, Portia Orton who arranged our accommodations, Pastor Fred Mueller, Sally deBarcza of the NJ W3R, Tom D'Amico of the Cultural Heritage Commission, Kathy Faulkner and so many others. This community has arranged for our every comfort....from a wonderful dinner at the Church Memorial Hall, to shower facilities in their private homes. They bring us gifts of food and spirits, stories of local history and ancestry. We tour the Old Millstone Forge and the beautiful Reformed Church and Graveyard.

Tents are set on the lawn of the Borough Hall and we are given the "key" to the hall facilities. Our visitors leave as darkness approaches, and the group gathers to sit for a while, discussing our many blessings and new friends' kindnesses. Thank you, Nancy, for my wonderful shower and opening your home to me.
No rain tonight and we will all sleep well and contented. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Sunday August 27, 2006 March Day 72

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

This day is heavily overcast and the light rain begins as the camp stirs. Bedding from the pavillion is again stored in Martha and the group marvels at the number of deer who have gotten curiously close to the sleepers during the night.

I have been remiss in not acknowledging Barbara D. and daughter Libby's visit during the previous night's camp, dinner, and social time. Barbara presented Captain Mike with a bottle of Courvoisier brandy! No...not for breakfast, 'twill be stashed for our Yorktown arrival!

The marchers begin again from the Lucent/French army site with today's destination the English Farm or Bullion's Tavern in Liberty Corner, NJ., some 16.5 miles.
Dana and Zack do not march today due to developing blisters, best to be cautious to avoid further damage. Keleigh and Rose leave at the same time as the marchers for the daily route scout and will return for Martha when the farm destination is assured.
The rains hold for half the day's distance when the skies open and we are deluged. The remaining 8 miles are completed in the pouring rain, brown oilskins in use.
En route, Mike asks Ms. Mercedez driver if she would like her discarded trash back and is layed out in lavendar with language that could only come from a British tongue.

In spite of the weather, the night's campsite is delightful. Rose, with Martha, is greeted by Carol English who points out a few dry areas of portico, and screened porches where we may set our beds without being washed away. Martha is parked, tucked into the side of a small barn. This is a working farm, complete with corn fields, vegetable gardens, roosters & chickens, rabbits and pigs. Little has changed since the French army encamped here and Carol points out the adjacent field which remains uncultivated to this day.

The marchers arrive, soaked and chilled, and they rest on the portico of the carriage drive before changing into dry clothing. Dick Arnold arrives to visit and goes out of his way to lead some of the troops to a "laundromat" for obvious reason. They will be gone awhile and even though fresh corn and green beens have been procured from the farm stand for a later dinner, David cannot wait. If you haven't seen his picture on the site, David looks like he needs to run around in the shower to get wet, gets "growly" hungry at the end of the day's march and cannot wait another 2 hours to fill his empty tummy. We find a restaurant within walking distance, and David gleefully fills his void with a thick juicy steak....Argentinian beef to be exact. Ah...a satisfied soldier. We walk back to the farm in a thin drizzle of rain.

Keleigh prepares the fresh vegetables for the remainder of the group and we are visited by Anne McCauley of the DAR. She has tracked and found us from our first meeting at the Greene farm back in Ramapo from Suffern NY. She comes bearing home-made brownies, portrait mementos for each of the marchers, and continued good wishes.
Thank you, also have gone out of your way for us.

Darkness arrives as the group sits and talks of the day and the morrow. Our thanks again for another safe haven. A demain.

Avec amour, Rose

August 28, 2006

March Date Saturday August 26, 2006 March Day 71

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

We wake this morning to the sound of the rain again, but what is that strange s-s-s-s sound? The library lawn sprinklers have automatically turned on and 'tis indeed raining inside and out. Seems Zack and Dana have set up their tent atop one of those modern devices. Maureen and Rosemary scramble for the turn-off valve!

These same dedicated ladies provide us with bagels, danish, donuts, juice and coffee and we view their impressive Rochambeau march display in the front foyer of the library, carbing up for the day.

We set off for the day's journey, some 15 miles from these most accomodating townfolk of Pompton to the next town of Whippany NJ. We would truly like to take Rosemary and Maureen with us. Our police escort arrives about 4 miles down route 202 and is with us as we stop for a reception at the Doremus homestead, the site where General Washington commanded a stop for rest and refreshement for the troops. Thanks to Kathy Fisher of the Montville historic society and Dick Seabury of the Morris County Park Commission, we are all served the same period fare as 225 years ago - cider, bread, cheese, apples and peaches. Many photographs are taken and we are interviewed by the local publication Daily Record.

A second memorial stop is made at the Rockaway River bridge where our marchers place a wreath given by the Montville VFW chapter. The bronze marker notes that 2 of General Wahington's armies had crossed there and Frank Warholic of the VFW gave - in part - these words: "Today our heritage is being expressed by these reenactors of our Revolutionary War. They have walked, so to say, in the company of the spirits of the brave men who have walked before them. When freedom had to be fought for or abandoned, they chose to was Divine providence that all these men came together for the birth of America.....God bless our military old and new."

We complete the day's destination...the French camp currently the site of Lucent Technology Park on Whippany Road, and group camps for the night at Old Troy Park.
The Washington arrives at the park before the marchers, as is usual, and I busy myself with chores of hand laundry, mending and writing the logs of which you now read. (I have stopped kissing the ground on each arrival!) Of course behind these exceptional marchers, there is a definitely a woman.

Carrie Fellows of the Morris County Cultural and Heritage Affairs arrives at the park and waits for the marchers' arrival. She, the Seaburys and other wonderful giving folk have supplied our dinner - a burger & hotdog cookout, complete with all the fixins and desserts to tempt any sweet tooth. We have a great social time and it is dark when everyone departs and we prepare our beds. No tentage tonight, as the group chooses to sleep under the impressive pavillion that is a center attraction of this small serene park. Many deer curiously watch us from the edge of the wood.
We retire, thankful and grateful to all our new friends and supporters met along the road, and to our Great Provider who has kept us safe and in his care. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Friday August 25, 2006 March Day 70

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

A day of Pageantry!! The day begins with heavy overcast skies, certain for rain but only when it will begin? The tents are quickly taken down while still dry, and Sarah P. stops by during our chores and presents us with a donation... a quick gesture and she is on her way. The troops done full regimentals and the ladies are in their finest in preparation for the NY/NJ border crossing ceremony at Point Park, short walk from our night's camp on the green.

At 9 o'clock, we are police escorted to the park where approximately 100 people -
Veterans, Boy & Girls scouts, community officials and dignitaries are gathered under a quickly erected tent, and umbrellas are everywhere. Yes, it has begun to pour and we carry that unique smell of wet wool as we arrive. The pledge of allegiance is recited, the dignitaries speak in turn, the flags that we carry are exchanged by the scout troop representing the two states, Captain Mike speaks his words of appreciation and supports, mementos are presented to the reenactors, the Light of Freedom lantern is cermoniously passed from Suffern to Mahwah, and we accept the Bergen County Council Girl Scout banner to carry to Yorktown. The rain does not dampen anyone's spirit and many pictures are taken during this 45 minute ceremony. It is now after 10 AM and the 16 mile march to Pompton must begin.

We are provided with police escort and are accompanied by many citizens both on foot and by car....the rain continues. Along Ramapo Valley Road, 2 churches ring their steeple bells as we pass....Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church. I see Alex R., our enthusiastic supporter, waiving and smiling at almost every turn in the road. HOW does she do that?

Our first stop is at Continental Soldiers' Field near Ramapo college, a 20 minute stop again filled with locals taking many pictures. We begin again with our second destination being Sun Valley Farm owned by Carol and Dick Green. Here, Dick has cleared the woods from the main road down to his fields so that the troops may walk on the exact ground that the French soldiers had walked in 1781. Our hosts have also provided a luncheon reception with approximately 75 people attending.....fresh ham, biscuits, homemade jams, corncakes, cider and sweets.

Seems they also have arranged for the rain to stop. Thank you, Carol and Dick, and thank you to your guests who so generously contributed to our journey.

We set out for the remaining 12 miles to Pompton, noting that clumps of straw for directional markers have been tied to many of the sign posts on Route 202. Now that is some attention to detail!

The Washington arrives at Pequonnack Library in Pompton, our night's camp, about 45 minutes before the troops, and I find another reception waiting. Library director Rosemary Garwood has been anticipating our arrival, with historical society members and the mayor patiently waiting. I give the gathering a short "history" of our marchers, our backgrounds, and answering many questions of how we came to be, before we all exit the library and cheer the marchers as they approach. We are provided a fine fried chicken dinner and again interact with the locals of this friendly community. Later, we are taken by Rosemary and Maureen Brain to Spa 23 for showers, sauna and swim. All this has been arranged by Rosemary and her staff. Our every need was anticipated and they felt like old friends within minutes of our first arrival.

Tents were set on the grassy knoll at the side of the library building, with Rosemary herself camped inside for the night in case we needed her. We all retire to our beds after this full and busy day. No lullaby needed.

Avec Amour,

March Date Thursday August 24, 2006 March day 69

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Light rain showers begin during the early morning. From my bunk in "George", I awake expecting to hear a scramble for cover from the troops sleeping outside, but this does not happen. I lie listening to the quiet of the gentle rain, and realize that the group is protected by the large maple tree and continues to sleep on until the spectacular red sunrise of dawn appears over the Hudson's now far shore. The skies gradually clear and the troop readies themselves for the day's march from Stony Point to Suffern, a total of 14.5 miles.

The route takes us from the Stony Point site through Haverstraw, and towns of Ramapo, Pomona and Montabello. Our passing draws the attention of a photographer from the Journal News, and of a lady officer who stops Mike for "speeding", requesting personal credentials and identification. The day is sunny and hot after the night showers with many hills to be traversed and fast traffic on a 2 lane road.

Today, the marchers are carrying the Betsy Ross flag along with our customary Bourbonnais regiment flag, and many motorists respond with their horns and waves as they recognize the familiar red, white and blue colors.

Our night's camp is a small green adjacent to the Community Center in downtown Suffern and representative Elaine is present to welcome us. She has arranged for the facilities at the Community Center to be available throughout the night, and as the police station is within sight, our peace and safety is assured. Ken DeFerrari from the VFW visits and reviews tomorrow's planned ceremony for the border crossing into New Jersey. The tents are set and David displays the French regimental and W3R flags along the walkway between the tents and centered white looks spectacular. Rose prepares a quick dinner of pasta served in the gazebo and supplemented by a dessert gift of pastries from a no-name lady visitor.

Mike, David, Dave and Rose then are 8 oclock guests of a local live cable TV program with Mike St.Lawrence. Can this be? Are we really sitting under the bright lights being telecast with a professional interviewer? We have our 20 minutes on camera to explain our journey and purpose, all the while faced by a studio audience of Harley Davidson riders who are next on the interviewer's agenda. As we speak, we receive many thumbs-up gestures from the motorcycle group, many of whom are service and war veterans, indicating their approval of our effort for commemorating early American history.

As we return to our town green/gazebo camp, we reflect on our unique opportunity that has evolved.....walking this route, a reminder of 2 countries' unity for the goal of American freedom. Thank you all for supporting our attempt at re-living history.

Avec amour,

March Date Wednesday August 23, 2006 March Day 68

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

No reveille needed this morning .. the local crabbers arrive as is their custom, with the sunrise, to begin their day's work, and the excitement for crossing the Hudson is growing among the troops. John Bargo arrives with preparations complete for the ferry crossing. Martha is loaded with the tentage and the men are delivered to Captain "Twinkie" who is happy to ferry the men and children across the river to Stony Point. Another opportunity for gold coin, eh?

It is a fast efficient crossing, as the river is quite calm this fine sunny morning.... Lady Keleigh accompanies the troops and is delivered back to the wharf. Assured that the troops are safe on the far shore, Rose with the Washington rig and Keleigh with the smaller wagon, begin the trek over Bear Mountain. The ascent, descent, and curves are taken well by Martha but Rose attests again to the flock of stomach butterflies accompanying her.

We arrive at Willow Cove, a peaceful maina with little activity as most boats are moored dockside on this work day. No schooners or frigates in sight, but the men have debarked here, and manager Wayne gives us a golf-cart tour to choose a site for accommodating our camp for tonight.

The rest of the day is ours....some members leave to tour West Point, others nap, shop for provisions, jog for personal time alone, swim from the finger piers. We combine leftovers (what a horrid word for good provisions) for a satisfying melange dinner from our many gifts of food. The group chooses to sleep under the stars, spreading their beds under a large protective maple tree. Did I mention that the marina has wonderful HOT showers?

Avec amour,

August 25, 2006

March Date Tuesday August 22, 2006 March Day 67

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

We wake to the sounds of the early morning crabbers, dropping their crab pots into the river.....another day promising late summer sunshine. We do not march today, grateful for a day of rest beside this great river, and among many smiling faces. Are they anticipating more gold coin to be spent?

It is decided to spend some time scouting the morrow's land trail which will be taken by the Martha land carriage over the Bear Mountain bridge and road to Stony Point. Will the horses be able to safely navigate the grade and curve of the mountain while the men be ferried across? As we are departing camp, we are visited by Rose's friends Marion and George who have made the long journey from Florida Seminole area to visit family in New York. They are accompanied by daughter Michele and grandsons Christopher and Nicholas. It is a great fortune to be pleasantly surprised and reaquainted with old friends. And they generously donate to our fuel need for the horses.

As we proceed to scout, the scenery is spectacular from the top of Bear Mountain....the gleaming river below, pale blue sky with white cloud wisps above, and rolling green mountains as far as you can see. With caution and appropriate speed, Martha should have no problem navigating this road.

We pay a visit to Fort Montgomery on the west side of the Hudson and stand in awe at the remains of foundations and strategic planning of the buildings. We make our way down to the suspension foot-bridge, still in use today. Our scouting continues and we are able to procure a campsite for tomorrow evening after the river is crossed.

The group returns to Steamboat Wharf in King's Ferry, and as word of our presence has spread, we are visited by Terry C. and Delia D., who bear gifts of evening supper....home-cooked chicken, rice, vegetables and dessert pies. Interesting that Terry's last name translated from French means "gifts." Ah......les cadeaux delicieuses!!!!

John Bargo from Hudson Boating magazine visits, bringing details of tomorrow's river crossing..... the group tends to much-needed laundry..... we spend moments gazing at a star-filled sky. That's a WHAT travelling by above? A 'space station' ?
We retire, thankful for another day of gifts. A demain.

Avec amour,

March Date Monday August 21, 2006. March Day 66

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

Another beautiful late summer day dawns in this town of Yorktown Heights, New York. The group has enjoyed the Hunt's Tavern hospitality and the community friendship, but is anxious to break camp - our destination is Verplanck, the King's Ferry, some 14 miles to the west. To see the great North River, the Hudson will indeed be a welcome sight. We bid adieu to Madame Freyer and begin our march toward Peekskill.

Many locals acknowledge our passing, but most attentive is Brian Howard who prints a local publication for the citizens called the Journal News. He strikes up a lively conversation with Mike and sketches Mike's and Zack's pose at the Riverfront Green Park in Peekskill. This effectively draws a small crowd and when the purpose of our journey becomes known, we receive a generous donation from Armine H., his wife Renate, daughter Ingrid and grandson Spencer who are marketing in this town from Ossining. Seems they have emigrated from Heidelberg and are sympathetic to the American effort. They convey a great hope of victory to us all.

As we near King's Ferry, the excitement grows with each glimpse of the water in the distance. The remaining 3 miles is open country, without relief of shade, and very hot, but the fresh smell of the river becomes stronger with each step and finally we are at its bank, gazing at the small waves of grey/blue water and the green rising hills of both shores. It is too much....we are overcome. Waistcoats and gaitors, bodices and petticoats are shed. In britches and chemises, we plunge into the river. We are quite the site for the local inhabitants!

We camp here this night, and many people visit to satisfy their curiosity, or to share what little they have. With a few gold coin, we procure a delicacy of blue crabs from a grinning fish-monger. Our supper of steamed crab....exquisite.

We retire to our tents again with full bellies, our bodies cleansed by the river, and we fall to sleep listening to the lap of the waves against the wharf and thanking our Provider for this night. A demain.

Avec amour,

August 24, 2006

March Date Sunday August 20, 2006

March Day 65

Good Day to All March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

The rains have stopped by early morning and as the day's march consists of 8+ miles, the early risers delay reveille until 7 AM. As we will prepare to get underway during the next hour, perhaps the canvas will only be damp rather than dripping when the camp is struck. I catch glimpses of blue sky amid the clearing clouds. As the tents come down, we receive an early morning visitor - it is our energetic Frenchman Andre Ferrara from the American Society of Le Souveir Francais, come to take our pictures as we depart Mt.Kisko. We oblige him in front of the Rochambeau plaque on the hospital grounds, the plaque that Shirley Porter was responsible for having erected there and which Andre maintains. He has brought his lovely wife Armella and we all bow in French prayer offered by Andre. They bid us adieu et bonne chance, and the troops are off. The flags are flying proudly again.

Keleigh and Rose go on a scouting mission of the day's route to assure that the Washington rig can be maneuvered on the turns/curves/hills by such an inexperienced driver. One day on the road driving a 48 foot rig hardly makes me experienced!

An alternate road or two for Martha is found and after delivering me back to the Girls/Boys club, Keleigh departs as walker support vehicle.

Todays march brings the group through narrow winding country roads, past the picturesque Croton reservoir, with a stop at Hilltop Hanover Farm, invited by the historical society to view the remains of the American earthwork fortifications at Crow Hill.

We arrive at the night's camp at the original Hunt's Tavern, now the site of Freyer Florists in Yorktown Heights. Anna Freyer has most graciously welcomed us to use her land for our camp, visits us with daughter Darlene. (If course I kiss the ground as I turn off Martha's ignition.)

Again, the camp is set for the night, tents erected and as the group relaxes, we are visited by a very distinguished visitor. It is Shirley Porter and she carries with her a folder filled with souvenirs of our current march. Madame Shirley walked the French army route from Bedford NY to Mt.Kisko, ALONE, during the 1976 Bicentennial year, and she states, "I then went home and made dinner for my family." This is the same lady who is responsible for the Rochambeau plaque in Mt.Kisko. She and her pastor husband live in Mahopac NY and made a special trip to visit us. Of course we took pictures with the group. It is an honor to meet this lady.

Thanks to Tom Travis and Monica Doherty, the Yorktown Heights historical society has arranged a dinner feast for us at the Presbyterian church, all dishes prepared by the members - roast chicken, pasta, breads, pies. We meet the Town Supervisor - translate "mayor" Linda Cooper, and the group is given signed copies of the Nasty Affair at Pines Bridges by Allison Albee and edited by historical society member Monica Doherty.

We roll back to camp, only to have Anna Freyer, daughter Darlene, grandchildren Jamison, Hunter, Anna Alexa and William deliver a home-baked cake decorated with blue & red fruit as the American flag. Mike, you'll need to walk MORE!!!!

Until tomorrow.

Love, Rose

March Date August 19, 2006

March Day 64

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

And this is the day we have all anticipated....the march resumes from Odell House in Greenburgh to Mount Kisko NY, for 17 miles. David, Mike, Dave, Dana and Zack depart Odell House now with 2 flags fluttering in the breeze. David still carries the Bourbonnais regimental flag, purple and blue squares accented by a centered white cross, slightly repaired from the first half of our journey, but impressive nonetheless.

Dana now carries King Louis' flag, pure white with 3 golden fleur-de-lis in the upper corner, also with a centered white cross, given to us as we passed through Southington, CT and one of a group of flags made by the Girl Scouts which we continue to carry to Yorktown.

We continue the tradition of a departing prayer, in English and French, all convinced that a higher power than any of us combined, has so far ensured our safety and success. We step off in the late summer morning sunshine, the marchers handsome in their uniforms and determined in their mission. Rose drives the big rig for the first time and manages the hills and town traffic of White Plains accompanied by a flock of stomach butterflies. Keleigh drives smaller support absolutely determined that she will get lost.

Today's route is a back-track of the previous phase, bringing us past the Kensico Reservoir on our way into Armonk. This area was green, lush and picturesque when we last passed through here 6+ weeks for almost a mile along the shore, the mature trees have been savagely snapped off at various angles, victims of a wind storm (tornado?) during our absence. What would have been the consequences had the French army been passing through at the same time?

Arrangements have been made, thanks to Brian Skanes and Ken Novenstern, for the night's camp at the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Westchester (showers!), across the street from Westchester County hospital. Rose kisses the ground on arrival, first day of safely delivering the support rig. As we set camp, we are visited by Andre Ferrara, an Italian-born Frenchman avec un accent Francais, excited about our arrival and bearing gifts of wine, blackberry brandy, and stories of the American Society of Le Souvenir Francais. Seems a relative of his is responsible for the Rochambeau plaque placement at the front of the hospital grounds. John Stockbridge, President of the Bedford Historical Society also visits bearing fresh sweet corn to accompany our dinner feast arranged and delivered by Ken Novenstern and catered by Crabtree's Kittle House in Chappaqua.

We have truly been blessed.

The rains come about 8 o'clock and continues with heavy showers throughout the night, but we are safe, together, tummies full and surrounded with loving and caring people. Mon Dieu, merci bien pour tous les cadeaux aujourd'hui.

Avec Amour,


MARCH DAYS 62 and 63

Good Day to all March to Yorktown followers and supporters ~

It is with great pleasure that I resume our daily log relaying our experiences on the road to Yorktown Virginia, begun some 63 days ago when we first left Newport Rhode Island on June 17, 2006. The original marchers have spent the last 6 weeks tending to the homefires, family, and 21st century responsibilities, all the while preparing for this second phase of the journey.
I do hope you have enjoyed Richard's historical dialogue during the 6 week hiatus that the French and American troops have been encamped in New York, keeping your interests peaked until our return. But now, on with the March.....WE'RE B-A-C-K!!!

On these current dates, the marchers have regrouped from their respective homes to the Odell House in Greenburgh, NY, headquarters of General Rochambeau.
* Mike Fitzgerald, original marcher and second phase leader of the March, is from
Pittsburgh PA, spent the greater part of the past 6 weeks scouting & mapping the
up- coming route, too many hours on his computer and contacting dozens of
* David Holloway, original marcher, is from Wallingford CT and supplier of our
beloved George and Martha trailer/truck support rig.
* Dave Fagerberg, original marcher, is from Kansas City, Kansas
* Rose Morin, original support vehicle driver, is from Branford CT, is camp nurse,
cook, laundress, camp follower.
* Keleigh Shumbo with son Zack and daughter Dana from Windham CT, temporary
joiners for the next 2 weeks in capacities of additional support driver, marchers,
camp follower.

We arrive Odell house Thursday evening 8/17/06, exhausted from the preparations that have brought us to this point. We take these next 2 days to mentally transition our personnae from 21st to 18th century. This is a gradual process which begins as we set camp. The sight of the white canvas wedges, the flickering of the fire flames is just what we need to forget the usual trepidations of starting out on a 2 month journey
away from home, loved ones and our creature comforts.
Neighbors and previous visitors stopped by the camp to wish us well.

Friday morning of the 18th arrives with our "transitions" in progress, the morning damp but smelling woodsy-clean. Most of us have slept well but we learn of our first medical mishap. Seems yours truly (the camp nurse no less!) has tripped over the trailer hitch during the dark night while enroute to the ladies' room tree and is certain that a finger is fractured. Yep, after 2 hours at the White Plains Hospital, the xray confirms a fracture at the base of my left pinkie and after a somewhat brief but painful reduction, I am sent on my way with a plaster splint. My special thanks to town historian Frank Jazzo for delivering me to the hospital - he stopped by to re-welcome us to the Odell House - little did he know how MUCH he could assist us - and to Dr. Delamoro, orthopod at White Plains hospital for a superb job treating me. Dr.D. advised a 1 week, then 3 week follow-up but as I explained about the march, and no-can-do, he just shook his head in disbelief and wished me luck. How humbling an experience... I have prayed thanks that it was not any worse.

That evening, the group attended a reception/lecture at the Newburgh town hall by artist David Wagner, the very town hall where we bid everyone adieu 6 weeks prior. We recognized so many familiar faces as we were re-presented, received generous donations from historical society ladies Pauline and Janet from Dobbs Ferry, and gifts of crackers/cheese and fruit. Again, thanks to Frank Jazzo and the historical society for inviting us and officially wishing us well on our journey.

We all turn in, David and Mike sleeping under the stars...anticipating our first day of march on the morrow. Dormez-bien, tout le monde...a demain.

Avec amour,

August 18, 2006

The Troop re-assembles.....

Greetings all, Friends of America's March to Yorktown. Please be advised that the Troop is re-assembling, as I write this, to continue the actual 'March to Yorktown.

We met last evening for a last minute talk session to go over some details, wish each other well, and proceed with the re-create the entire 'March to Yorktown' for the first time since 1781. The schedule, and route, has been posted at You can go there and determine when the Troop will be in your area, they will be very appreciative of your support. Also, we will have posted CP numbers that will allow you to chat with the Troop, on the March, if that is required.

I have already received communication from some of you that seem to be sorely dissappointed in the posted schedule. You are encouraged to take that up, next week, after the Troop has passed the Hudson River. You should allow the Troop to get its leg under itself before you raise your flags of dissappointment. Remember, this is a small, grass roots effort, by Independent re-enactors, to re-create, for the very first time, the 1781 march to Yorktown, in its entirety. We are doing the best we can, being self-funded, (that means we have no financial support from any W3R Organization, or RevWar umbrella organization.....we are able to do this only because of the generosity of individuals, and ourselves, and with not much in the way of larger organizational, logistical or financial support.

Also, please remember that the Troop is really WALKING to Yorktown. This may still come as a surprise to some of you, but in fact, that is the case. This may also mean that the Troop is walking as much as 20 miles a day in some spots, and may not have the time, or energy, to do all that you expect, in your neighborhood. Should you disagree, please try walking with them for a day, of so......we are trying our very best to walk the Original Route, on this 225th Anniversary year, to the day, after the French/American army did so. In some cases we walk the French route, in some places we walk the American route....and those routes seem to be in dispute still, some 225 years later.........but we are indeed, walking the Route..........for the memories of those that went before us, for history, for you, America.....

The Troop will step off this Saturday, August 19th, going from Odell House, in Philipsburg, NY (now Greenburgh, NY) to New Castle, NY (now Mt. Kisco). A Daily log will be posted by the Troop, as was done on the March from Rhode Island to New York....and the Historical Overview, as you have read for the last 6 weeks, will also continue to be posted. Please enjoy, and support, our efforts. The Troop will be on the road for some 6-7 weeks, until arriving in Yorktown. Should they come to your area, please be so kind as to stop by and say hello, or wave a flag, or honk your horn...... tis a long ,after all, and it would be good for them to know that they are not doing it alone.

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
For. 'AMtY'

August 03, 2006

Greetings all, from America's.....

.......MARCH to Yorktown. It has become apparent to us, during this adventure, that a lot of you really don't know what we are doing, in spite of my best efforts to tell you. So, here is a brief recap, in 21st Century speak, of 'America's March to Yorktown'.

Some 8 months ago, a small, grass-roots, and independent effort was begun to consider the idea of 'ACTUALLY WALKING' the entire W3R (as it is now affectionally called). Frankly, we were interested in doing an Historic Trek and, as this is the 225th Anniversary of the Washington-Rochambeau March to Yorktown, we decided to do it. We thought of this idea some 6 years ago after doing a two-day trek, here in Connecticut, following the roads that the Connecticut Militia took to go to Cambridge, after the actions at Lexington and Concord.

After some e-mailing, we were able to see that the idea had merit, and support, with others willing to join with us in some sort of capacity.

It was decided that we would WALK THE ENTIRE ROUTE, FROM PROVIDENCE TO YORKTOWN. Yes, I said WALK, because some of you sem to think that we are just driving the route. (like some did 25 years ago) If that were the case we would have called it something else, like maybe, 'America Drives to Yorktown' or perhaps, 'Bussing the W3R, the Road Ahead', (grins).

Yes, inded, we are WALKING, and that is the do what has not been done, in it's entirety, since 1781.......walking all the way. As did the Army then, we do have a Baggage Train with us, (modern vehicles, of course, we could not find horse/wagon willing to go the whole way, or even part of the way for that matter).

Now, because we are ACTUALLY WALKING THE ROUTE, you must understand that we have limited time, available to us, to show up at an event you have planned. It is just not that easy, as we are moving approx. 15 miles a day, ON FOOT. We have worked with folks, so far, that are willing to amend their schedules a bit, so that we might be a part of what they want to do, in the way of celebrations. However, we do not have the luxury to go much out of our way, or out of our daily time schedule, to accomodate your requests, because WE ARE WALKING.... NOT DRIVING, NOT IN A BUS..... BUT WALKING TO YORKTOWN.

We absolutely do appreciate,and solicit all your enthusiasm, your help, your offers of assistance, as we can not do this without you, very easily.

Also, please keep in mind that WE ARE FOLLOWING THE 1781 ARMY SCHEDULE, AND ROUTE AS BEST WE CAN. This means we are slave to what they did, when they did it, and where they did it. This is an HISTORIC TREK, BASED ON THE FRENCH AND AMERICAN ARMY MOVEMENTS, DURING THE YORKTOWN CAMPAIGN.

Originally, the French Army moved from Newport/Providence, RI to Philipsburg (now Greenburgh, NY), from June 10th to July 6th. We have completed that part of the TREK, exactly 225 years to the day that the French did it in 1781. This means that we moved along on the same day as the army, camped on the same day as the army, as near to the original army camp site as we could logistically get, and arrived at each of our destinations (camps) exactly 225 years, to the day, after the Original marchers did it. Most of you have followed our adventure through the daily posts to and we thank you for that.

That web-site also shows our schedule, and will show the projected schedule, and routes, of the 2nd phase of the march, in the next fortnight or so.

When the French moved to New York, arriving July 6th, they met with General Washington and the Continentals there, staying some six seeks around New York, before moving toward Yorktown, on or about August 18th. Having completed the walking trek from Providence to Philipsburg, we are now in that 6 week camp time. We are engineering the route down south, we are repairing gear, we are fund raising and doing all those things that need to be done before we step off on Phase 2, from Philipsburg to Yorktown, on or aboput Aug. 18th. That will take approx. 6 weeks, and we expect to arrive at Yorktown on Oct. 1st. Why so long you ask????...because we are walking.

I hope that this missive will gently clear the air about 'America's March to Yorktown' and our efforts to complete this Historic Trek, while helping you all pay due respect to those that went before us....

In a day or so, we shall resume our historical commentary, concerning the times of 1781, the soldiers, the camps, the thoughts, the route, the weather and, of course, the military and political actions of the Yorktown Campaign. Should be quite the adventure.........Thanks so much for your support....

For 'AMtY',
I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout

July 11, 2006

March Date, Thursday, July 6th, Day 20

To Philipsburg, or bust........

Late reveille' this day. Tis to be a short final march to Odell House (Rochambeau's Headquaters) and Camp 14, at Philipsburg (Greenburgh, NY). Camp 13, at Smith Tavern, is secured and the baggage train moves off, to be in a carriage park a short distance from Headquarters. The troop steps off late, at one of the afternoon clock, with Frank as our guide, bringing us along the safe path.

We stop at Battle Whitney Park, scene of an overwhelming British victory just a few short years ago. We pass unmolested by the enemy, in fact it is safe enough to lunch here, and we do. Some of the locals are astounded to see us here and the tension is starting to grow.

We move off for the final two miles and arrive at the Odell House at approx. 3:30 of the afternoon clock. The carriage and baggage train is left at headquarters and we all move forward, on foot, another 1/2 mile or so, to Camp 14 at Philipsburg (Greenburg, NY). The camp is laid out on gently rolling hills, on high ground.

Huzzah, huzzah, huzzah>>>>>> almost anticlimatically, in fact. We are glad to be here, but the feelings are mixed, for sure. Perhaps it has not settled in yet, but indeed, we are here, Philipsburg, Day 20.....

We toast the end of this part of the March with the same bottle of Cognac that we started with back in Providence. A toast to the journey, our friends along the way, and to ourselves. We join hands, we are safe, we are home, we are We shall be joining forces with friends shortly, against the enemy, only the future, yet unwritten, will describe the path that may lay ahead.......

(final notes on Camp 14, Philipsburg.......the Camp 14 at Philipsburg now lies on ground that is the Sunnydale Golf Club, a private club, in fact. The club, is approx. 100 yrs old, and I supppose this is one way to maintain, and preserve America's Heritage, perhaps not the best way. There is a plaque on the Club House wall explaining that this is the location of the French Army Camp of 1781. After we had put the carriages in the park, we all walked the final distance together, through some woods path, over some side roads, and a final woods path to the camp........I suspect it was worth the price of admission, when lo and behold, five Colonial clothing clad folks walked out of the woods and onto the practice driving range tee, there. The looks on the club members faces will last a lifetime, their incredulity and amazement at the sight before We did go to a less conspicuous place to take our portraits....... Mike was quick enough to pick up a hand full of those little white balls we found in the woods, and passed them out as souveniers.......220 something miles and we get a little white ball as a prize.

The day was not over, the Washington Carriage had a broken wheel that needed repair.and the good people of Greenburgh were kind enough to have us march in a short parade, with all of our flags flying. We were joined by the local Boy Scout/Explorer troop, as well as by the Greenburgh Fire Department, and Town Dignitaries, and by Col. Jim Johnson, representing the W3R Organization. You might remember that we received, a fortnight ago, from the good folks in Southington (Marion), Ct., a number of Regimental Flags made by the Girl Scouts there. We mounted the flags on poles and had the Boy Scouts, and Explorer Scouts carry them in our litle parade (see portraits of the last day). The Greenburgh folks were also kind enough to serve us a cook-out dinner, and asked us to address a Representative Town Meeting, which we did. We spent the last night of this phase of the March to Yorktown, encamped at the Odell House, Rochambeau's Headquarters while at New York, in 1781.

The Original March, from Newport/Providence, RI to Philipsburg, NY happened just 225 years ago to the day that we did the same, using the French Army Schedule of 1781. The French left Providence on June 18th and arrived at Philipsburg on July 6th..we did the same. At that time, the French and American Armies met together around New York, and conducted operations against the British there, for some 6 weeks, before decamping for Yorktown, Va., on Aug. 18th, 1781. We will again follow the Army schedule and decamp Philipsburg on Aug. 18th. Until then we will be sending dispatches concerning combined operations around New York, on or about the day that they happened, some 225 years ago. Yorktown is the Goal, Victory is the plan.......this is the March, that Won a Battle, that Ended a War. Stay with us won't you........)

Oh yes, and thanks for your support of America's March to Yorktown.....

Richard Swartwout
Camp 14
Philipsburg, NY

July 10, 2006

March Date, Wednesday, July 5th, Day 19

The rain beats on.....and so does the troop.....

Oh wow, a terrific rest. Feel really great this morning. We have decided to walk part way to Camp 14, at Philipsburg, NY, on this day. This final leg is about 18 miles and the troop is restless, should we wait for the morrow, or do some today. We know of plans in the afternoon, tomorrow, by citizens of Philipsburg, that may steal time away tomorrow. The decision is to do perhaps half of the distance today, and of course, it forecasts rain, again.....we go anyway, rain or no...... to close now not to.

We are up at 6:30 of the morning clock, the troop is restless and for sure it is raining, lightly now. Yes, we shall try half the eighteen miles today, saving the last for the 6th. of July, due date at Camp 14, Philipsburg......the rain is coming harder now, &^&% with this rain, again, and again, and again. What a horrible day, muggy, humid and so, so wet. Horribe, horrible, horrible but good for ducks and plants....the rain, hard now, lashing, visibility poor.

We arrive back at the Hospital grounds, to the Washington-Rochambeau Stone there. In the pouring rain, we give the morning road blessing on the Book, and step-off... it is 8:35 of the morning clock and tis the eve of the last day of part one, the end of 225 miles or so, Providence, RI to Philipsburg, NY......

At the 2 mile break, I check the troop, they want to carry on, the same at the 4 mile break, ......long rumbles of thunder in the background beat a note on the day.

We pick up an escort from a local provost, just as the rain begins to taper off. We are 6 miles out from Smith Tavern, and the troop is hungry. We stop for break-fast at a local merchants country kitchen. We meet there a woman, who upon learning what we are doing, makes a sizable donation. we are stunned by the gift, unsolicited........thank you Barbara S., we are humbled by your generosity.....we finish the meal, and with the Provost on our heels, we take the 22 road toward Camp at Philipsburg. Along the way, we stop at the Timberledge School and give a presentation to the very youngun's there. The rain has quit, but not the troop. We continue on to the days destination, a wayfaring station along the 22 road, near the reservoir, near White Plains.

We sup again on left overs, the larder almost empty now, with enough but for one days travel on the morrow.

It will be a short final march tomorrow, mercifully, perhaps some 6 miles or so....we have forced marched for some 14 days out of the last 19. We are now in receipt of messages from our guide in Philipsburg. We move forward with him, and the carriages, to reconnoiter the path to Rochambeau's Headquarters at the Odell House, on the Ridge road. We are a bit wary as we pass ground that was contested for, just a few years ago, in the Battle of White Plains, a horrific American defeat. We advance carefully and locate the Odell house without incident. Thanks to our local guides, and hosts at Camp 14, Philipsburg, (Greenburgh, NY) Frank J. and Bob S., we now know the last miles of the road we must follow.

We retire to Camp at Smith Tavern to get ready for the final push on the morrow.....confident of the final approach, with a wary eye for the enemy.

The camp is in anticipation of the final push. Dinner is served out, the days spirit ration shared. The Baggage train is in order, all gear stowed and secured. We are not only close to the final camp, but also to the enemy, and are thankfull that the Count Lauzon is on our left flank. If we weren't so tired from the forced march, our nervous anticipation might have interfered with the evenings rest, In fact, it does not.......but the dreams are vivid..

Richard Swartwout
near Camp 13
Armonk, NY

March Date, Tuesday, July 4th, Day 18th

In camp at North Castle, 2 days...or......birthdays and celebrations

We awake in the morning to soldiers strewn about like so many used beer mugs. We tidy the yard, stow the gear, wish our hosts the very best of life. Tis truly was a night to remember, this July 4th eve, in North Castle. We must move on to other Camp ground for the next two days. I realize, unfortunately, that we have missed Gen. Rochambeau's Birthday, he is to be 281 years old, this July 1st past. We agree to toast him, albeit lately, in the evening time. Seems he is a bit old, aye??

Our hosts are also departing, for parts other than here, and we all hug, and wish the best about. We are moving to the Smith Tavern, in the town of Armonk, NY, with the good wishes of Sharon S., our host to be, there, from the North Castle Historical Society. They are holding a lunch repast there for us, and indeed we are in need of food to clear our minds and restore our energy.

We arrive at Smith Tavern, and there is a repast awaiting us. We indulge ourselves, much to our satisfaction. The meal is home cooked, again, and is terrific. Not sure we could eat again so quickly after last evenings feast, but we devour with gusto.

The Smith Tavern is a National Historic Site, and has 4 buildings in residence. The Original Tavern, a blacksmith shop, a school house and a Quaker Meeinghouse. The last 3 buildings are not original to the site, but they all compliment nicely. We tour the buildings, our host leaves, but not before allowing us to stay as long as we please. Tis good, for we surely did not want to go back to the Hospital carriage lot. We set camp for what will be a two day stay.

The day is again a hazy, humid, lazy day, hot, hot, hot...... alomst overbearing. We read, and wash clothes, and wash carriages, wash ourselves, anything to be near the tube of cold water. Generally, the day passes in mindless duty. We remember to toast the Gen. Rochambeau ..... and ourselves (of course). It turns out to be a true rest day indeed, with none to disturb us.... the rest is complete... the afternoon slides into evening. We have been told that the Quaker Meetinghouse may be haunted..... we may have something to say about that. Mike C. is approaching the house when he is startled by a flash of light, Mike F. on the inside of the building, reports the same. It seems it is a bit indefineable, but something definitely happens. We have no remedy for the siting and decide, indeed, it is a spirit, mischievous perhaps, but not dangerous. Evening slides into night, perhaps a most enchanted one, we shall see..... night slides into slumber and I retire early to await the morrow......the troop is still about, but quiet.

Happy Birthday America.......

Richard Swartwout
Smith Tavern
near Camp 13,
North Castle, NY

July 07, 2006

March Date, Monday, July 3rd, Day 17

Greetings all and the best of tidings to you and yours....

The immigration service arrives, or, serendipity at its best.....

......awakening in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is one of those special moments, uninterrupted by civilization, most delightful. Tis overcast again, but cooler. The night's rest entirely delightful except when interrupted by the occasional loud screeching of some animal. We are all thinking bear, big cat, or the monster under the bed, but, in fact, it is apparently a Peacock, (yes peacock , much to our know of those big birds with all the tail feathers) Seems there are some being grown by a local resident and they sound off in the much for under the bed monsters.

We know that the days travel is to be a short walk, perhaps 7 miles or so, through some of the priciest real estate in America. We are moving from Camp 12 at Bedford, NY to Camp 13 at North Castle, NY.

Most of the days travel is over an improved road, but not a paved one, for a change. The is the Old Guard Hill Rd., and we pass it along the way. We also pass a really nifty, turn of the last century style Clock Tower, out here in almost wilderness. What an imposing, almost impossible, but mind altering sight it is. Tis at the corner of the Succobone road. Geez, my jaw just drops. Tis not big, (30 ft tall maybe, 4-5 ft. square at the top) nor imposing or any such thing, just in a place so incongrous as to make you stop and wonder. I suppose that was the wonderful. We just portrait away to our delighted hearts content.

As we continue to travel we see many of the local inhabitants and the estate workers. For the most part we are ignored, but the workers are obviously concerned at our passing. I am thinking they must suspect that we are the immigration service, perhaps. Boy, they just can't take their eyes off of us. Tis almost unsettling...

The going is steady, the manors and estates are beautiful, and before long we arrive at Mt Kisco (North Castle, New Castle, etc) A hospital now sits atop what was the French Camp, and a plaqued stone marks the spot where Washington rode out to meet with Rochambeau, from his Camp at Philipsburg.

Sharon S., of the North Castle Historical Society, has made arrangements for us to stay upon the Original Camp grounds, now occupied by the Hospital, or the park across the way. It is just not possible to stay at the park, so we have opted for the Hospital grounds, with the help of John, Michael and Eric. They show us a spot where we might be comfortable, but just before that happens, another lightning bolt of serendipity knocks our socks off. It happens something like I alight from the carriage in front of the hospital, dressed in my days uniform, this Gal drives by, stops, and starts shooting all the questions, you know: who,what, where, when, why, how and WHY again...... her name is Carol E., of Chappaqua, and her Dad, Bill, is a real 'Rev War nut' I tell her what we are up to, and that perhaps we may need a camp ground for he evening. We trade names and communication codes and she departs. We go to the oven that is the hospital carriage park... we are able to catch up on some wash, and to dry the clothes, lay them on the black groud, tis dry in but minutes, truly..... but, camping on this ground may be more difficult that imagined, due to the intense heat... think fry pan, then, think fry pan again, hot, hot, hot.......she is so interested we must needs to have her pull over in order that other carriages may pass....hmmmm, she mutters, (even so that I might hear her), you can set camp at my homestead... OH, heart be still says I to myself..... well, we go to the carriage lot, do the laundry, (remember the laundry?), and I call Carol...perhaps she might be so kind as to let our representatives come by to see if our carriage might be able to negotiate the terrain...they come back, the report is favorable and we decamp the hospital lot..... I call Eric, thank him for his support..(in fact, the hospital is on Original French Camp grounds).........and we are on our way.

We pass a past President's house on the way, and find ourselves wending our way down a sleepy back road to the Camp for the evening.

Tis' another one of those serendipitous moments that seem to have so gleefully followed us along on this journey...30 seconds either way and we would have just been ships passing in the night. What a night it turns out to be..!!!!

We find the spirits table and are being served as we exit the carriages. The place is almost raucus with anticipation, of new friends found, of like mindedness........ the local paper is summoned, reports given on the status of the Arm, portraits taken, tis' not even dinner yet.....when dinner is called, 12 people set about the table and descend with toasts, and huzzahs, to the offerings......we introduce ourselves and find the Patron of the clan, Bill, with daughter Carol and husband Bob, and children and friends as well as us.... the wine gods are well pleased with the offerings (as we discover the next morning) The conversation is lively, with even a young French lad in attendence, to give us thanks and to share experiences. It goes on to the late hours, and we are then convinced that a night Musket fire, on the Eve of the Fourth July, is a wonderful idea. We form the Company and the insuing blast into the countrside is enough to help usher in the Holiday........ a late fire, with chairs about, finally finds us winding down, our energies satiated, and the blessing of sleep to soothe the edges.........we are done, all of us, thankfully.... What is that sound I hear, methinks, must be my eyelids slamming shut......!

Richard Swartwout
For 'AMtY'
near Camp 13, North Castle
Chappaqua, NY

July 05, 2006

March date, Sunday, July 2nd, Day 16

Greetings AMtY friends, the joy of the day to you all....

Troop movement from Ridgebury, Ct. (Camp 11) to Bedford, NY, (Camp 12).

Last evening we all agreed to a Six of the Clock in the Morning Reville, and to be on the move by 7:00 of the Clock. This Camp #11, now a publick golf course owed by the Town of Ridgefield, will have some early starters I am sure. ..and they do not dissappoint. Shortly after Revellie' the players are arriving. They do a pretty good job of ignoring our 'tin town', so intent are they on the coming battle of stick and little ball. We fold, stow, lift, rearrange and are out of camp by 6:55 of the Clock. A guinea then walks by and scolds me, I suppose. Probably for watching her trying to seduce herself in a chrome bumper (tis too funny). A rabbit then bolts by, the place alive. The golf oasis is good for the local wildlife, assuming they don't chemical the grass too much...

We move the camp out of the Artillery Park hill, the troop already going down route. We pass the Brigade of the American Revolution encampment about 1/2 mile down the road, passing uphill from it. It looks surreal, nestled there in the hay field, early in the morning, with smoke from the cook fires already roiling into the air. The sight is dear to our eyes and hearts, and visually, it is no longer the 21st Century.

The Army road twists and turns down to the 116 road, and then heads to New York, which we enter some 3 1/2 miles from Camp 12. We find a spot to rest the baggage train and grab a breakfast. We enter a road block by the local North Salem constabulatory, checking for contraband, or spies, I gather.......... we pass unmolested. The oficers seem to be astounded by the idea of this venture and portraits are quickly taken..... we have no hay for the horses and I must quickly scour the country side for such a hay yet and at 8 miles from Camp 12, I stop to await the arrival of the troop.

The wait is long, too long and I fear that something has come undone. I ask Rose to take the smaller carriage and go in search of the troop. She does so and when she does not return in 10 minutes, I get really concerned. WE now have no communications available to us, only a growing anxiety. I water some of the local fauna while I wait, nervous....... The possible scenarios run through my mind: lost (OK), injury (not good), worse (worse)... I sit and wait, getting impatient.....finally she returns with the troop in tow....fortunately having only taken a wrong turn...... all is again well with the world. We lunch and move on........

Tis pretty uneventful for the rest of the afternoon, now that we have our bearings back. We arrive at Bedford in mid afternoon, an expensive looking town, well manicured with manored estates, lots of brick, a couple of churches there, and a nice Town Green.... this will be Camp 12, should we find a place to stay. So, looking for a camp I stop in a local merchant's house and inquire. They are nice enough to direct us to a Town park, but it is inadequate for our needs. Rose goes on a scout and locates the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, and they are very enthusiastic about our staying there. Still the troop has not arrived yet and I am anxious, but, as it turns out, they have stopped a bit short of the Town Green and are awaiting me......we collect ourselves and go off to Ward Pound Ridge. This place is awesomely beautiful, 2000 acres, with wildlife and streams, and oddly enough, practically empty at the moment. That is hard to fathom, considering it is a Holiday Weekend. Where is everyone? But, in the end, who cares, it is all ours, anywhere we want.. thanks to Ranger Rick and his Staff, we are most warmly received. This is a Westchester County Park and is remarkable in its size and diversity......

We bring in the Washington, into a grove, with tables and a latrine area. There are no showers, but as is pointed out to us, there is a rapidly running stream about 75 yards away. Tis not very long before the troop is in the water, trying to remember that we must give Rose equal time.......reluctantly we move to the Camp, Rose to the stream...... Oh MY GAwd, how good this is. Cool, running, refreshing, and we are all clean agian. WE spot deer on the path to the stream and take portraits. The opportunity to bathe has been few and far between and our buckets have had to buckets tonight lads, yahoo!!!!!

We sup with a melange of foods left in the baggage train, delights of clams on the half-shell, some left over beef stew, sausage and meatballs, some chicken surprise, all of it unaccountably delicious.

Ranger Rick says a black bear has been spotted in the park, so , keep our eyes open. We can only hope to see it........ but never do.

The air, cooler now and refreshing, is deep within us as we become one with our surroundings. Some late night chat and beverage, in the dark of the forest, with only our fire as a beacon in the night, sends us all off to rest.....idyllic in thought and in nature, the good hand of Providence has again taken us in it's sure grip......

Richard Swartwout
For, 'AMtY'
near Camp 12
Bedford, NY

July 03, 2006

March Date, Saturday, July 1st, Day 15

Ceremonial day, we move to Camp at Ridgefield (Camp 11)

Well, I arise early. The troop is still under and I wait a bit before yelling Reveille'. We are to be a part of the Town Ceremonials, and we must have the Camp down early. A 6:15 we are stirring and the Scout camp is abuzz....

We are back on the March this day for 16 miles, with a late start. We must go to Ridgebury, the last camp on the w3r trail in Connecticut. But for this morning, duty awaits. We have agreed to do the ceremonials at 10:00 of the Clock in the Morning. This is a remarking of the stay of the French Cavalry, under Lauzon, on this date in 1781. Richard O., our host is the master of ceremonies.

The camp is stowed, we set out the sutlery in the hope of enhancing our coffers as we approach New York........ the ceremony goes smoothly, and we are joined by the 2nd Horse, with Major Arena Commanding. They are resplendent in full regalia, Blue Regimentals sitting ahorse. Their appearance draws ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd.. We look a pitiful, but proud site as we form Company in front, and lead them to the ceremonial stone.....

The ceremony proceeds, the Flags are raised, the Anthem sung (beautifully), we fire a musket volley, and retire to the shade as the Horse follows..the politicians all take equal opportunities, and we take the moment to send the troop back to the Camp at Newtown, to step off. We keep the sutlery open, and engage the publick for a short while thereafter........

We finally take our leave of Monroe, and look to the route to locate the troop, and we find them some miles out, ready for lunch. Because of the late start of the day, this will be a long march (16 miles) and we will arrive late in the evening, at Ridgebury, where we have as yet, no Camp arranged.

The boys are stopped along the way, to say hello to a WW II Veteran, and they do so.........

They are also found by a local newspaper and the word again, is apparently starting to spread. We needle our way through the Towns of Danbury and Ridgefield, now searching for a camp for the evening. The Brigade of the American Revolution is having an encampment just down route from the original French Camp and I stop in to see if we may be welcome there. After a fashion, it is agreed that we might stay in the parking lot, which is OK with me. However, looking at the entrance, it is decided that we will not be able to manuveur the Washington (some 50' long) into the parking lot. At the last moment I stop in at the Ridgefield Country Club, A Publick golf course in town, and they agree to let us stay the night in their lot. Tis a great place, atop the artillery hill, with a sky full of stars and a mixed mileau of food offerings. It has been a long day and a long march for the troop. Sarah, from Rogers Rangers stops in to say hello...... Mike C. has joined us this day, and manages a 4-5 mile stretch this day, before taking some time off. He decides he will stay a couple of days and we agree. The pace is hard, and it may take a while for him to get up to speed, but he is game, and willing, as are we......

I spot a couple of shooting stars as we gather at the days end, 'tis sack time methinks, and I am off......

Richard Swartwout
For, AMtY
at Camp 11
Ridgefield, Ct

March Date, Friday, June 30th, Day 14

It's all about the boys..........

Greetings friends of AMty. Perhaps this missive shall be sent before my computer is invaded by an online greeting card, and my work obliterated............remind me to never buy from them, this is the second time........

Tis a lazy early morning here at Camp in Monroe (FYI....... the French army did not camp at Monroe, but the Cavalry, under Lauzon. The folks in Monroe asked us to help them celebrate, and we agreed). We are in the process of several camp duties, but mostly to relax, refresh and renew. We are set about cleaning muskets, chatting with folks about the Yorktown March, etc. Rose tends to mending tears and reattaching buttons.

I, David, and Rose leave Monroe for the short trip back to Newtown for an eleven of the clock ceremony of the Rochambeau Plaque unveiling/dedication on the grounds of the Hawley School.
Again, many dignitaries are in attendance, and our line is extended b Lt. Johnson of the Horse Guard...... short speeches are delivered, and we gladly fire a 3-musket salute. Vive la France et le Comte de Rochambeau et ton armee!!! We are engaged in a chat with Ellie B. who presents us with commemorative patches by Southbury Boy Scout Troop 162 and a monetary donation. Merci, tous-le-monde.

Back on the Monroe Green, Gordon reappears, all remember Gordon, for sure, from a couple of my last dispatches. He has brought with him a copy, a boxed set really, of the Rice & Brown Volumns concerning the Rochambeau March, including copies of Original Documents as well as a terrific map done by the French Engineers. What a treasure and hard to find these days.

He also spends some time re-telling his march of 1976, all the organizing it took, the huge budget (some $40,000 in 1976). We think, here we are, the We Five (apologies to the group of the same name) and a budget of $2500.

After Gordon departs, we tour the Masonic Lodge from an invitation by Past Master, Gary D. I recall being in their lodge some 8 years ago.

Later in the afternoon, we are preparing for an arrival in camp of three troops of Cub and Boy Scouts. They will be camping on the Green with us for tonight. So, we are almost overcome by the frenetic energy of the boys. I wonder if I was like that, but my Mother asures me that, indeed, it was so. We set up out sutlery so that we might sell some artifacts to help finance this endeavor, and it is well received by the good folks of Monroe. Indeed, our sutlery time is well spent thanks to the interest and support of the Monroe citizens.......

The scouts arrive and the camp is in full force. We manage to again light the Town's Christmas Tree, and light off our own campfire. We sup on the promised pizza and spirits. Geez, I am surprised that there has been no 'hard cider'. Much publick comes out to stroll about the tree-lit green, visit our camp and chat about our reenactment of this wonderful historical event. And visitor is Pauline Z. from Woodbridge, accompanied by her spouse Dick and other family members Jim, Pam, Grace and Jack. Pauline greets us like family and we realize she is the sister of Doctor Richard, our daily walker of 3 days from East Longmeadow, retired oral surgeon who smoked our boys up the hill toward Bolton.....remember Doctor Richard???

The townsfolk and even further travelers like Pauline have made our day.

I have agreed to give a presentaion to the Scouts, concerning the Rochambeau March, as well as an overview of the Yorktown Campaign. So. later in the evening, we gather at the campfire, and chat Revolution.......... frankly, to my surprise, it goes pretty well, and seems well received. We are satisfied as well, and as soon as all comunication channels are open, we intend to share the portraits of the evening. Tis' not long after, that we call it a night, a most pleasent day in the Count Lauzon's Camp, in Monroe. On the morrow we shall need to return to Newtown to disembark again, on the trail of the Army.

Richard Swartwout
For, 'AMtY'
in Monroe
near Camp 10

March Date, Thursday, July 29, Day 13

Regrettably, we have been without communication with HQ for some days as we pass into the Tory Zone. Communication links have been interrupted for days, and we are just now able to file a number of past dispatches. I can't believe we actually pay for such crappy service, America......... now, off my soap box and onto the dispatches.......

Establishing Camp on the Monroe Green, or.......
Dave Departs and the tree dies.....

The Troop is scheduled to rest these two days. We are alert at 7:00 of the Clock in the Morning. Major Janice A., Commanding the 2nd Horse, supplies a brief repast to help us energize the move from Newtown to Monroe. We gather around the 'joe', chat up a storm, horses are being cared for, the troop is rising, dressing, breaking camp. We will remove the headquarters to the Monroe Town Green, for the next two days.

We bid goodbye to our friends at 2nd Horse. Please accept our most kind gratitude for your hospitality.

The troop arrives at Monroe at nine of the clock in the morning, Thursday and is met by Richard O. He is our host here. He has worked hard to make our stay here comfortable. In short order, we know it to be so. Meals come unbidden, other facilities as well.

Dave, our companion for the past fortnight, has been called to Fort Niagra, on the western frontier. We do expect that he will rejoin us down route.

After a quick tour of the local environs, we set camp. The Green has an Episcopal and Congregational Church, Town Offices and a Masonic Lodge surrounding. We set the Baggage Carriages and set camp, glad to be at rest for 2 days. Tents go up, dining fly too, and a firepit is dug. We get out the fire sets, pots and kindling. "All we need now," says Mike...."is some firewood." A couple of minutes later, not 5 minutes for sure, Mike hears a loud CRACCKK, as a tree not 50 yards from us, crashes into to the road. Eureka, Huzzah!!! The tree has missed a carriage, Mike runs to assure the occupant's safety. She is shook up, screaming..."it fell in front of car!" Mike shouts, "Firewood, firewood!!" We need to be careful what we wish for, but the universe has replied. After the death of the tree, we secure a wheelbarrow and forage the wood. Campfire for the night has been assured. Rose manages to get some laundry done.....

Mike C , a former member of the 6th Connecticut, checks in and offers to bring dinner. Wow, what a dinner it was! With salamagundi (salad), clams on the half shell, followed by a pasta creation with shrimp, scallop, clam and squid in a sauce divine. His Lady Maggie stops by and is good to see her as well....

We've powered up the town's Christmas tree much to our own delight. The town seems not to notice, the lamps and the lodge and the houses of worship are all lit up. 'Tis truly a delightful scene here.

Fire is glowing, troop is at rest, the town warm in offering. We chat, and succumb to the pull of the night. Yes, camp 10...home for 2 days.

Richard Swartwout
at Camp #10
Monrie, Ct.
June 29th

July 02, 2006

March Date, Wednesday, June 28th, Day 12

Greetings Friends of Amty........ I would ask that you share our dispatches with any and all that have an interest. You can sign up to receive these directly. you can also sign off at any time, as is your wish....

March Date, Wednesday, June 28th, Day 12

Moving rom Breakneck,(camp 9) to Newton (camp 10) or.......moving from girls showers to horse stalls???

This seemingly endless storm, on our tail for some days now, continues to test our fortitude and our supply of dry clothing. Awake for reveille at 6:00 am, perhaps we should have moved a bit sooner. It starts to rain at 6:15 as we are hustling to take down the tents and stow gear before it really gets soaked. Actually, we do pretty well, only suffering a mild soaking of the equipment and ourselves. We issue oil cloths to the troops and drive to Rochambeau statue, off Artillery Road in Midlebury. It is now a water deluge, how can it possibly be raining like this, heavy rain and a soaked atmosphere.... We park near by the statue and trek the 50 yr trail, through the woods. The rain is almost overpowering. We honor the statue, take quick portraits and scurry, like the drowned rats we are beginning to feel like, back to the carriages.

Moving up the road in the blinding rain, we find the point at which we finished yesterday. The troop disembarks, and starts off on the mach to Newtown, and Camp 10. Rain or not, we are going....We immediately miss a turn and are estranged from the route, it is a bit before the troops discover their mistake, but we all know the road we are on, and the route will conjoin about 3 miles down route and they are but very short distance apart. Tis our first miss, and we blame it on the rain, falling NOT gently on the plain.

Drats........some one has stopped the troop and questioned them. He knows we are not on the right place, how can this be??? What route ae you guys following???? He goes away grumbling. Geez, who knew anyone was actually out here watching us?? Go figure........ he finds me in the baggage train (Camp Martha), a bit later, down route. He is still thinking we are lost and going the wrong way, even though by now, we are back on course. He finally calms down and we can chat, being Masonic brothers, as we quickly learn. His name is Gordon, and he did a large portion of this March back in 1776. He still knows the route like tha back of his hand. IN 1776, he has 60 people doing the March with a budget of $40,000. We have a budget of $2,500 and a group of 5, 30 years later. His group goes from Providence to Verplank, NY, and then a couple of years later, they continue on to Princeton, NJ.. That is far as they are able to go. We part friends, in the rain, and continue our seperate ways, I think.......

We take a quick break at 3 miles, another at 5 miles, and lunch at 9 miles. We have come through Middlebury, Southbury and are moving west into Sandy Hook. We pass over the Housatonic River and just touch on Lake Zoar. Sandy Hook is a picturesque village center, and I rest the team at the 84 road underpass, awaiting the troop. We move in Newtown, Camp 10 territory. The troop catches up and refreshes, and prepares for the last push to Camp 10. We have been invited for the evening, at the 2nd Company Governor's Horse Guard (Ct) military reservation

The baggage train arives, shortly before the troop, and who is that I see getting out of his carriage, but Gordon Oh no, I think, what have we done wrong now. But Gordon is smiling, the rain has stopped, the troop is here, and Gordon wants to chat and share memories and momentos. What at nice start to the evening.........thank you Gordon. He gifts us with artifacts from the 1776 March and we are stunned and delighted, finally humbled and honored.......How kind thou art, my Brother. WE invite him to join with us, in Camp, on Friday and he readily agrees. He will share with us his signed copies of the Brown & Rice books, printed in 1972, detailing the French reports of the Armies March to Yorktown.....We look forward to his visit then, from such rough beginnings to a warm and growing friendship.....

We receive a warm welcome at the 2nd Horse, park the baggage train, and get ready for a dinner out, this evening. It is in honor of David's 33rd Wedding anniversary, with his family to be in attendence. We discover the Horse Stall shower and quickly make ourselves presentable......The stable, earthy, smelling of horse, distinctive, vibrant, leather, hay..a distinctive melange' of aroma..truly farmlike and comforting.

We go to dinner in full dress Regimentals, quite the sight for the locals I can tell you. Rose is in satin red. Dinner is fine and we repair to the Tavern for refreshments and the company of some of the local Ladies. Perhap we should return here someday soon.......returning to Camp 10, we recap the day, have a night-cap, offer an evening toast, and hit the hay......Camp 10 indeed.

Richard Swartwout
For, 'AMtY'
Camp 10
Newtown, Ct.

June 28, 2006

March Date June 27th, Tuesday, Day 11

Marching from Camp 8 at Marion, Ct (Barnes Tavern ---Southington, Ct) to Camp 10 at Breakneck, at Middlebury, Ct.

Greetings AMtY Friends, I trust all is well and the joy of the day to you.....

We are leaving the good park at Panthorn, this am, in Southington (Marion) and going to Breakneck.....again, reveille' at Six of the Clock in the Morning. This was indeed a good home for the evening, hot water in the waterclosets, and the krppes flush, nor had we ever seen the like... I am just recalling that we have been given a video cam by one of the local cable companies but none of us has the time, or techno to be able to operate it. Tis a shame really...... any volunteers out there. We only have aout 550 miles to go!!!!!!

So, we arise early, as is our want. We think we must leave by seven of the clock in the morning, this day, and we almost do it. We move off at 7:05 only to be flanked by the Southington Rochambeau Committee. We were intending to take a side road to the Southington Hill (big momma, you know...perhaps we could sneak up on it). The hill is a 10% grade for almost a mile and a half, the longest in this here Colony of Connecticut. As we round the corner we are met by the SR Comm. Now, Linda R., of this committee, had come out to the camp at Panthorn, last evening, with ice for us. (That is always acceptable, by the way).

Keith J., the local Postmaster of Marion station, came out with his child, and made a donation as well. Many thanks to you both. There is a 'rochambeau camped here' sign on the 322 road just acros from the Post Office.

So, here we are, going out to see if we can sneak up this mountain somehow, and lo behold, the SR Comm. awaits. Ambushing us as we come around th corner of School St, heading west. There is plethora of French Regimental Flags being carried, and many greetings of warmth and affection. We are ataken back with most pleasant surprise. Mike suggests that perhaps we may take the flags o Yorktown with us, and after there, return them to the committee. We shall portrait ourselves with them there. All are in gleel assertion, and before we step-off again, we are treated to the French Naional Anthem as sung by the young Master Daniel Dietz, (in perfect French, a language he does not know), sure to be a favorite in King Louis's Court. This is a wonderful moment of comradeship and support and our many heartfelt thanks to the SR Comm. folks: Bert, Carl, Vicki, Charles, Kirk, Dan, Ellie, Brian and Linda. WE offer the good book blessin and all join hands on the Book, including the Committee. And off again, with marvelous houghts, yet interrupted again but shortly up the road as we are presented with commemortive shirts....the giving is not stopping and we are mildly embarased by the riches received, again......

Finally under way to the big Momma Mtn., the troop heads out and I go about 3/4 of the way to the top, stopping so that they might refresh before reaching the peak. And it is about this time I see a kindly. older woman, grandmotherly sit-down-and-eat pancakes-with-me type, churning up the hill. We wave to each other and she tells me he boys are on the way. Do you climb this hill every day, I ask. She says, when she can, and since she is 65, it is getting harder all the time, and off she goes. Some minutes later, the boys chug, marveling in amazement at the woman who had come up behind them, chatted with them while they were all walking Big Momma, and then proceeded to walk away from them, uphill, leaving them in her dust.......look out for Grnm Road Warrior in your neighborhood.

We enter the center of Waterbury, a beautiful Green surounded by the Captains of industry. While snug, and picturesque, the place did not seem warm and friendly and move through it to a bit further down the road

Stephen Shaw joins with us there and continues with us to the camp at we are 4 walking today, and it is early afternoon. We pass under the 8 road and move along. We move into Middlebury and onto the really bicycle path that the Town offers. We have no camp plans and are figuring we will find a road side spot. but upon arrival, and within two hours, we have a camp next to the Town Hall, and showers offered at the Westover School (private school of girls, but we saw nary a one, it being after hours when they let us in.) This may be the most picturesque Town Center in America, at least it gets my vote. We are surrounded by wonderful early style architecture and others styles equally appealing. This place is unabashedly gorgeous. Some of the local papers show up, for story and pics. We finally set the camp and sit for dinner. Tis another Good Nurse offering from Rose, a very tasty beef stew, soft on the chew, long on the savor......

The remarkable turn around in the camp, from roadside to Town Hall was accomplished with the help of Catherrine P., of the DAR, Betty P. of the Park and Rec Dept., and Steve L. and Larry O. at Westover School. thanks so very much folks for your support of AMtY.

We really appreciated the late showers. Tis a daily ritual so sorely missed when not one of those games that America loves, we were about to vote someone off the march, or at least 50 yards, before they were saved that humiliation by the hot water spicket........

After the late showers and a fini to the vino, we bid the day adieu and head for the beds, again wondering at our luck......morning seems to come to soon, and the evenings too, are .......can we be possibly be approaching Camp 10, Newtown, already??? Indeed, we are.........until the morrow

For AMtY
Moving to Camp 10

March Date, Monday June 26th, Day 10

Greetings Friends of AMtY, the joy of the day to you.

It is early morning here in Farmington, and we awake in the yard of Corbett Manor. At least we try to awake, tis a bit difficult to struggle up from the wine induced sleep, methinks. But we struggle on, duty calls... (grins)

Tis another in a recent line of overcast and dreary days in the Connecticut Valley. We quickly gather the carriages and repair to Post Office Square to do our morning ablutions, have a break-fast, and await the arrival of the days troop. We are to be joined again by Dr. Richard, as well as KeLeigh, Zack, Olivia and Caleb. I am sure that we will have portraits of all posted in the Gallery, soon.

At 7:15 of the Clock in the Morning, we place our hands on the Good Book, and the troop departs, going to camp #8, at Marion, Ct. It is indeed another oppressive weather day. While the troop moves off, Rose goes back to Corbett Manor to offer thanks for our delightful sojourn there, and to offer apologies for our rather rapid departure from there in the morning.

The weather, a constant source of concern gives it all today, moments of sun, rain, wind, sun, heat, humidity and all not in any particular order that I can be oblidged to make sense of. And the rate of walk seems to be very slow today, can it be the wine still making its mischief, perhaps the rapid traffic all about us, or the low pressure storm front..probably a chaotic mix of all three, delivered at random and at the will of the Great Architect of the Universe....... Oh, great master, relieve us of this burden.

Well, not just yet as we certainly have not even crossed the Colony of Connecticut, yet. We take a break at the 2 mile mark to check on the younguns, and it is here that I meet with Charles Motes of the Town of Southington Health Department, coming out of the local coffee cafe. We chat a bit and it is then that I learn he has an official capacity. He enquires as to where we might be staying and I can only answer by the side of the road in Marion, somewhere. He suggests that he will make a call to the parks dept.

We break for lunch 9 miles out from Farmington, a long stay, and the weather finally seems to moderate, thank you Lord..... We are the junction of the 10 road and the 120 road..... The kids still seem energetic but that does not translate to the troop, camp is quiet, the troop eating, then rain, then sun... tis not over yet I fear.

We move off, on the 10 road and I set aside the road, awaiting the arrival of the troop. We have been doing this, the carriages moving in front of the troop, waiting for them to reach, and then refreshing them. I wait,....and wait....and wait, no troop. I grab the communication gear and walk back a 1/2 mile or so, fearing the worst on this busy road........the bell rings and the troop is located, already at our destination. They were directed by the locals ( Richard 'Jiggi' Egidio of the Southington Parks and Rec Dept) to another version of the Rochambeau march roadway. I gather up the carriage and meet them further down the road, we are allowed, by the Town of Southington, to stay at Panthorn Park. Very nicely cared for, quiet, peaceful.

We take a meal, offered by KeLeigh, earlier in the day. She has left us with a Chicken Pot Pie, and an Apple pie, we warm both over a campfire, only our second fire of the trip so far......the food is homecooked, and delicious. KeLeigh is a home cooking kind of Gal as well as home schooling her children..... thanks KeLeigh, perhaps we meet again soon.......She, the Children and Dr. Richard have been returned to their carriages, and the troop is on its own for the evening. Dr. Richard, I hazard to guess, is our 'unofficial liason' with the French Community here in New England. Doc., you have been terrific, thanks for all you taught us, about hiking and aging with grace, strength and dignity, our thoughts are with you.......

We have been met at the park by the Town Historian, Carl Sokolowski,and Linda Reilly of the local Rochambeau Committee. They shall see us off in the morning. Luis Jones of the Boy Scouts, has presented us with flags, one the French Tri-color (current flag) and a W3R Banner, that we shall carry along wih us, as we progess down-route. We were at the beginnning ceremonies in Rhode Island back on the 17th June, not knowing we were going to end up as the 'Official Carriers' of these Boy Scout momentos.....finally, after what truly became a longer day than it had any right to do, we close the camp.........tired, perhaps really exhausted and sleep is the order of the evening.........zzzzzzzz!

For 'AMtY'
Camp 8
Marion., Ct

June 25, 2006

March Date, Sunday, June 25th, 9th Day

Moving from Camp 6 at East Hartford, to Camp 7 at Farmington, Ct, in the Connecticut River Valley.........

Ah, the joy of a rainy day to you all. Grab the bateaus, troops, the river is definitely on the rise.... tis' early here in the valley at Hartford, and the first order of business is to reassemble the troop, and prepare for the crossing.

Mike and Dave are still in camp at Ticonderoga and we trust they at least, are dry. We also are sending wishes for good and long happy life to Master Kevin Sherman, and Mistress Luisa Craige who have married, but only yesterday, in the Camp at Ticonderoga. We wish you joy...............

It is bleary, this day, on the banks of the great Connecticut River, this morning. Rain is either furious or steady, with no let-up. Oil skins are issued to the troops, the gaiters have been freshly painted to help guard against wetness. Tis' the best we can do. The troops are at the ready and the guides/scouts are willing to help us navigate the River and to put us on the correct road going from Hartford to camp at Farmington.....adieu Bill and Betty (she of the fast carriage), and many thanks for your kindnesses.

Our constant night-in-gale, Nurse Rose, shares a French blessing and the troop is off. The crossing is accomplished in quick time, a bridge having been erected for the purpose.

The land west of the River is expectd to be relatively flat for many miles, and it is so as we travel through Hartford, West Hartford and Farmington. A mile or so out we are joined by Surgeon Richard, who had been with us just a couple of days ago, going from Windham to Bolton. Tis good and comforting to have him again with us. His fast horse was able to catch us in Hartford and he walks again the route of his forefathers.

The rain is unrelenting, pouring from the heavens. Tis more rain than the good earth can absorb, surely. Comes and goes, comes and goes, with lashing force.........the temperatures at least are cool, and the walking seems to go very well. At the west end of West Hartford, we finally stop for refreshment, the troops are really quite fresh and certainly up beat. Tis' a water treatment place, and we treat the water as best we can, and just down the road a sign that blares the following warning.....GEESE CROSSING! Only in our America......

The terrain is easy walking, the weather, while pouring rain, is cool and the troop is taking the distance in stride. At 8 miles out we cross into Farmington, we are still on the 4 road west, and come to the junction of the 10 road, going south. The good General Rochambeau shall be staying at the local Inn, the Elm Tree Inn, I believe. We have just passed it before the junction of the 4 & 10 roads. The engineers have found good ground for the first days camp in Farmington, and we halt the troop at Post Office Square, on the 10 road, going south in Farmington, at 1:00 of the Clock in the Afternoon.....12.3 miles from the camp at East Hartford.......

We are welcomed by Portia Corbett, and family, to their home, with a kindness that we are finding all along the this grand is 3:00 of the Clock in the Afternoon and we shall soon be setting camp........

......More to follow, perhaps on the morow. Tis the first time, since this campaign began, that we have been able to file a dispatch, in real time. The communications seem to be geting better.....

Tis the morrow and I am taking an opportunity to extend this post before sending a new dispatch for the next adventure. Earlier in the evening (Sunday) we were visited by Vincent, the father of the clan of angels that has been following, supporting, and marching with us these past few days. His enthusiasm is infectious, even if we are practicaly drowning in our shoes out here today. Our soothsayer seems to think that this weather will stay this way, apparently we have displeased some entiry above. Arrangements are made to accept more troops on the morrow for the leg from Marion to Breakneck....that being done, messages dispatched, gear stowed and the good Doctor Richard returned to his carraige, we rest for only a moment...........

Happily, as I ponder the camp ground at Camp #7, one of the town's representatives does offer us a place to camp that would turn out to be infinitely more suitable for us, perhaps for Royalty even...Tim and Portia Corbett, and family have opened the doors of their home to us, as well as the hearth, the wine cellar, and their hearts. After a tour of the home, and meeting the children, we are treated to a fine dinner of pork and fish, vegetables in season, delightful conversation and a fine wine being offered from the cellar. Again, long in the lamp, we find we must traverse our way to the door yard (not as easy as it sounds,given the consumption of beverage) and our quarters for the evening.......mercifully, another really terrific day as been met, friends made, acquaintances acknowledged, history well I lay in my rack, the day only plays for a short time as my mind shutters itself for the rest until morning.......

Richard Swartwout
at Camp 7
Farmington, Ct.
Day 9

March Date, Saturday, June 24th, 8th Day

The joy to you all, friends of AMtY.

Yesterday, at East Hartford, while at Camp #6, we did a ceremonial for a RevWar soldier that had died in 1777, while returning home. Apparently he died of the Pox. It was noted that he had answered the Lexington Alarm, in 1775. We should have some pics of that for you in a couple of days. His name was Herman Baker...........

This day, Saturday, dawns as we are all at our respective homesteads, checking on the local sentiment concerning the French Army movement through Connecticut. We can only imagine the reaction of the folks along the route. So, they are on the stoop of the home, and lo and behold, they can see the dust raising for miles, along the horizon. Perhaps they can hear the military drums approaching. Into a clearing comes the Officer Corps of the French Army,with the good General Rochambeau following a distance behind the advance troops, resplendent in a uniform that is not familiar to the local inhabitants. Nor are these soldiers giving commands, or talking in a language that is familiar to us, and, to top it all off, they apparently are all CATHOLICS!! We, of course, are more modest Congregational Church goers. So, we now have a foreign army, French speaking, going through the neighborhood. It seems to take days for the Army to pass, and it does,one Regiment a day, traveling the same road, staying in the same camp area. It will takes approximately 5 days for the French to pass, some five thousand Officers and men, with asorted baggage train, wagons, artillery, horses, etc. It causes some concern, but, the word traveling about is that they have come to help in the fight againt King George. Well, a cautious welcome is put forth, and becomes more animated as the French are buying local produce, procuring horse and wagon, food stuffs....... the military bands are playing in the evening, to the delight not only of the soldiers, put to the local populace as we. The Ladies of he towns are all aglow, as are the Soldiers. Tis' a real mutual admiration society. The French are not as cunning as the local mechants, who make a windfall in the selling of needed merchandise, and it is some days before they learn how to conduct business with the locals. Until then they are paying premium for everything. But good for the economy, in any event.

The silver follows the French, as do the pockets, and hearts of the Americans.
It is time to start planning the crossing of the great Connecticut River, and the engineers and scouts are called. We re-assemble for the crossing...the Army shall leave on the morrow.....all is silent in the camp, a raging rain storm thunders in and ravages the camp, the ground is getting soggy,.....the engineeers huddle til late in the lamp.......tomorrow, tomorow........

Richard Swartwout
at Camp 6
Ease Hartford, Ct.
For, 'AMtY'

June 24, 2006

March Date 7, Friday, June 23rd, Camp at East Hartford

Greetings Friends of AMtY.....

Tis another earlier rising for me on this morning, however, I am able to use our communication device and we receive our dispatches....before breakfast. This day, both Mike and Dave must proceed with all haste to the Fort at Ticonderoga, in New York.....we have a scheduled ceremonial with the Mayor of East Hartford at a site, with plaque, commemorating the passing of the French Army, 225 years ago, this day.....

.......again, it is the dog days of summer here in the Connecticut River Valley, but two months early it seems.......we attend the ceremonial, and Mike and Dave depart.....the remaining troop, David, Rose and myself gather at the grave of a RevWar soldier, on the grounds of the Pratt and Whitney industial complex, to render honors to that fallen soldier. We offer a Present Arms and a Mourn Firelocks, and hope that he knows his death was not in vain. We are surprised, and pleased, to learn that the P&W folks have been taking very good care of this grave site for some years, on their own. I can attest that they are doing a terrific job of it.....

.....we then repair to lunch, courtesy of the DAR and the East Hartford Historical Society...after lunch we set up at the Raymond Library, a free publick library in East Hartford, to chat with folks and to set up our traveling store, (one of the ways we are financing this campaign, as the good General Rochambeau, and his box of Silver, are not with us)....

The weather is changing rapidly, and a storm front is moving in. We gather up the store, pack, and disperse to our seperate homesteads for the day and evening in order to check on the crops, see the family, attend domestic duties, and rest. We shall reassemble at East Hartford, the Greak River Park, to commence the journey, Sunday, June 25th, at 7:30 of the Clock in the Morning....

Richard Swrtwout
For, 'AMtY'
Camp 6
East Harford
Friday June 23rd

March Date 6, Bolton to East Hartford, Ct

Greetings Friends of AMtY.........

Tis a beautiful morning here on the high ground at Bolton, Ct., Camp #5....we awake to what seems to be a promise of a beautiful day. I am up early, as is my want, it seems, lately. I am awaking earlier than usual for some reason but does not seem disagreeable.......some of the troops are sleeping a bit later this am, yesterdays 18 mile effort starting to take its toll, I gather...David is still going along well, Mike is having a bit of hamstring trouble and Dave a bit of a blister problem, but none are debilitated yet. Again, Hans, Pam, Sue and the rest of the Bolton Historical Society come thru with an early hearty breakfast at 7:00 of the Clock in the Morning. We are under way at 7:30 and todays walk should be a mild grade down to the Connecticut River and its Valley.....We put our hands on the Bible, a tradition we started at the beginning of the march, to pray for a safe journey through the day that awaits......and step off follows quickly. The troop puts on their Regimentals for the first time in days as we think perhaps the day will be cool and dry, as it seems now....they look terrific. But not two miles down the raod, the temperature and humidity change and the coats come off. Seems the effort is hard this morning, the weather not co-operating, the troop tired from yesterdays forced march, the late night conspire to rob the troop of its energy this day. We encounter Seth Johnson, and his young boys, Corbett and Luke, at the Faith Baptist Church on the 44 road, moving toward Manchester, his conversation is good and he gives 4 gallons of waer, as well as ringing the Church Bell as the troop passes ( I really like this Bell Ringing Idea, how can we get that to happen all down the route?), that would really be terrific, aye?.........

.......shortly thereafter we meet Mark, and then the energetic Sue of the Manchester Historical Society. They are really happy to meet and chat, offer liquid refreshment, and support all the way through the Manchester town...... they point out some RevWar graves along the way and moments are given in respect. We have been doing this all down the route.....

......Betty and Bill Knose, of the East Hartford Historical Society, meet us about lunch time, and have their refreshment team up and running. The French Army took two days rest in East Hartford, before crossing the great Connecticut River, and we shall do the starts to rain, mercifully, we think, but the day is a pot-boiler of steam heat, sun, rain, haze, and general low barometer uncomfortable feeling. The troop appears to be dragging a bit and tis' well understood......... they are not hungry, that concerns me, but they are taking liquids. I chat with
east Hartford Police Officer Paul Sulzicki for a spell, he is a history fan and we discuss the Yorktown Campaign.....I go to the Commerce Center very near the River and await the arrival of the troop, While doiing so I am finally able to post the first 3 reports to headquarters, as seen on this list .........

Betty and Bill have made arrangements for the troop to stay at East Hartford's Martin Park, beautiful grounds but all we can see is the wading pool, and we eventually go in, to dispel the ugliness of the day....ah, relief at last.... the park holds a soccer field as well and what with the World Cup going on, there seems to be a thriving soccer community here.......Nurse Rose offers up a pasta dinner in hopes of reviving the carb level of the troop....and, then, much to our delight, we are given copies of the Willimantic Chronicle, where we were featued on the Front Page for two consecutive days... but, we do not stay up late this night.....

Richard Swartwout
For, 'AMtY'
Camp 6
East Hartford

March Date 5, Moving from Camp 4 to Camp 5.....

Greetings to all friends of AMtY....

Morning comes early as usual, it just seems earlier than usual, must be the accumulating miles. David and Janet Haines are kind enough to fill us full of breakfast foods and beverages. We break camp just as the Shumbo family arrives, (remember them?). they are on time (7:15am) and ready to go. After a small negotiation we agree to have the children come with us, and indeed, they are ready and excited, they are Dana and Zack..... their Mom, KeLeigh, homes schools these two sharpshooters and they are at once engaging, and charming........ my heart warms to them and their excitement. Mom offers to do our laundry while we are on the road and promises to actually exchange the kids for the laundry (grins). We agree...... laughing. We were a bit skeptical at first, but they prove to be even more than they promised, and good soldiers as well. Off we go, on a beautiful day, bright, clear, sunny, no humidity on this day, it having been a close friend the last couple of days........

Shortly out, about a mile and a half I am interviewed by Wayne Norman, of WILI Radio, in Willimantic. The interview lasts some ten minutes and was quite the fun. We need to get fuel for the horse and wagons (gas/trucks) and we top off....while doing that we are flagged down by Dr. Richard, who not only wants to march along with us, but also makes a sizeable donation to AMtY, thanks doc. He joins us there, and actually spends the rest of the journey with us to Camp 5, in Bolton, some distance away.. we are traveling through the back roads of Tolland, New London and Hartford counties, we travel through a part of the towns of Windham, Willimantic, Lebanon, Columbia, Andover, Coventry and Bolton...... another break for a short spell allows a reporter for the Willimantic Chronicle to catch up with us and more pics and conversation follow....we move along and stop by Columbia Lake where we are visited by another group of WWII and Korean War Veterans....Marines and Sea-bees, our own group has a Marine and A Seabee on the March. the kids and the Doc are still with us and doing well, certainly much better than I expected.

.....we arrive at Andover, for lunch, about 2:30 or so, and are greeted by a wonderful site. Some 200 folks are waiting for us at the Congregational Church. with a hearty lunch. As soon as the marchers could be seen, they started ringing the Church Bell and that was really awesome,and very heartwarming... Local dignataries joined with us, Pam Sawyer (Ct. Minority House Whip), the 1st Selectman David Rhinelander and wife Anne. Also Serge Gabriel of the W3R, Mary Donoghue of the same, and Irv Stanley of the local W3R commitee, all on hand to greet us, as well as countless others. And our very own Bag-Piper, Mr. Cassella (I think, my apologies, I seem to have lost that note.) He was kind enough to go the last 4 miles with us, up to Bolton, finally,,,terrific to say the least. Some 50 of the folks assembled, joined with us for the walk, down route, to the marker unveiling ceremony, about another 1 1/2 miles from the Church . The ceremonies were brief but complete and we needed to get on with the walk as we had not yet reached Camp #5, another 3 miles or so down route. Dana and Zack were picked up by Mom, and the promised exchange of Laundry was accomplished......we get the duds, she gets the kids, they were really great and we were sad to see them leave, but, perhaps they can join with us again on another day.

......we leave Andover, stopping only briefly for quick liquid refreshment at the marker for the Camp in Andover that was part of the return trail of the French Army as it made its wasy back to Boston, in 1782..........

A short way to go now, but the steepest hill now awaits the troop, and Dr. Richard (did I tell you he is 77 yrs young?) still with us. Apparently he has hiked all over the world and he teaches us some really good fact, he is first up Steel's Crossing hill, a remarkable achievement...we had eaten the late lunch in Andover, shared with the 200 townspeople, but the troops are still hungry......... Pam Sawyer, my local State Rep (geez, she will always get my vote after this), pulls up with a care package left over from the lunch, just as we reach Camp #5, she has Diane Grenier with her, another one of the most active Senior Citizens that I know....we survey the beautiful Connecticut countryside from the hill that is Camp #5, affording a view of many miles.......and finally, almost lazily, we get to the Bolton Town Hall, our headquarters for the evening. Hans Depold and wife Sue, have organized an impromptu BBQ, and that combined with the care package from Pam, gives us all a full stomach...we are joined by the 1st Selectman of Bolton and perhaps 14 of us set to the meal, on the green, no bugs, nice breeze, we are through moving for the is approx. 5:30, ten hours of walking, and they have covered some 18 miles, the longest day yet.

But the day is not ended yet, the Bolton Vol. Fire Dept. is good enough to keep the station open for us so that we may all have a shower, Sue Depold taked Nurse Rose home to shower there, and we reassemble, a bit later in the evening, to collect our thoughts and try to get ready for another day. The troops, are buzzed from the day, perhaps overtired and over stimulated, and we stay up later than expected..... of course, perhaps the last surprise of the day is the re-arrival of the Shumbo Family..(remember them?) KeLeigh and 4 children, includng Dana and Zack........"hey", she says, "you guys like Ice Cream? We brought the fixin's for Ice Cream Sundaies if you would like" If you would like I say to myself, get out of the way girl>>.... who are these angels, anyway.........we need to recruit more like them, for sure.. I set up a last ditch effort to up-link this report, but fail..... to tired, can't think, time to call it quits for a day.......

For, 'AMtY'
Camp #5 Bolton

June 23, 2006

March Date #4, Tuesday, June 20th

Greetings Friends of Amty.

The troop is setting out early today, they are headed for the 'hump' we are calling it, going from Camp #3 in Plainfield, to Camp #4 in Windham, Conn. Again they shall follow the 14 road, through Plainfield, Canterbury, Scotland and into Windham, at the Shetucket River.......

After the morning repast, and the good book words, the troop steps off going due east on the 14 road. The baggage train is left behind briefly, in order to instruct the students of Plainfield in the Military arts and a brief explanation of this 'particular expedition', as the good General Rochambeau called it.... after addressing approx. 150 students and teachers, we move along the same road to find the troop.. They are already some 6 miles out when we catch them and offer a succor of water and mild meals, they again are sans Regimentals and the pace is noticably quicker, they must be getting their 'marching legs'..........the weather seems to have lessened into something more tolerable, the temps are cooler and a good breeze seems to be with us. They have set off at 7:25 this morning

The first major break is in Scotland, atop the highest hill there, at Farmer Charles.........we converse a bit, talking of the tough time for the farmer then (and now)......I manage to leave my dispatch case there, but it shall catch up with me soon, perhaps in a couple of days... the troop is moving much more quickly than anticipated an I must alert the good folks down route as to these developments....we pass the Huntington Homestead in Scotland, home of arguably the very first President of the United States...but not to tary, we move along, with a lunch break scheduled for a bit later....right after we have reached the summit of the last hill (mountain, seems like to me, and I am not walking). Tis a moment to find a spot for the troop to have refreshment safely, at Windham Pond. I see the finest of Red Barns, south of the 14 road. Tis but an alluring piece of ground, so tantalizing that I can not resist. I search out the proprietor, with the help of Janet, the grounds person, and inquire as to availability of the Gazebo for lunch for the troop. In true New Englan pineapple fashion, she quickly agrees. The troop arrives and we set a long spell, enjoying the serenity of such a natural painting. Many thanks to the Innkeepers, David and Elmina, for your kindness......

But we can't tarry to long and too soon we are off to Camp #4, in Windham. As we arrive in the small Village of Windham, we are met by a group of the Towns people, led by Bev York of the Textile Museum ( a veteran of the New England Wagon Train of '76') offering the very best of wishes for the success of our campaign........we repair to the home of Innkeeper David Haines and wife Janet, for the evening. We are visited by many from the Town, while there, and have a moment to share a repast with the Innkeeper, mostly of chicken and some rice, with beverage supplied. Several of the local Anglicans come about to appear at this Catholic Army of French men, and women.......

The local radio station, WILI, has been on board for awhile and it seems that 'buzz' is starting to rise....the locals are as fascinated by us as we are by them. Capt. Mike, of the Southern Army cooks a dinner (get OUT of my kitchen), and much conversation again insues, much to our delight... it is here that we meet the Schumbo Family and more on them in a later dispatch...

Evening falls, and so do we, after 13.2 miles over the Connecticut Eastern hump, arriving at Camp #4, Shetucket River, Windham, Ct. at approx. 4:00 of the Clock in the Afternoon......

For, 'AMtY'
Camp #4
Windham, CT

March Date #3, June 19th, Monday

Greetings Friends of AMtY.

We have an early rise this morning at Camp 2, in Coventry, we must arrive at Camp #3 in Plainfield, in the Colony of Connecticut before the sun sets.....early breakfast, courtesy of Innkeeper Graham, gives us a good foundation for the travels of the day. It is hot very early, again, no breeze to speak of, and the troop decides to travel sans Regimentals, with my most hearty endorsement. Camp is packed, picked clean and ready to go. We say words over the good book, as is our habit upon leaving the safety of the camp. The troop does not seem to impress the barnyard animals that we pass, and the heat is very much.....while out on advance picket with the bagage train, I come across Young Julie, walking picket on Waterman's Hill road.....she announces our arrival to her Mother, and the alarm has been struck. They travel with us as guides for a short while and then point the way to us.......we are 3 miles out from Waterman's. We travel through the country side, following the #14 road, 3 more miles to the Connecticut border.....We travel through Rice City, RI, and shortly thereafter enter Oneco, Conn. at 11:00 am, 8.5 miles from the Tavern.

While we wait for the toop to catch up to the baggage train, (yeah I know, this is backward, but thats how we are doing it) we stop at the Sterling Memorial School and give a presentation to approx. 200 students and teachers there........

We move onto Plainfield, Conn. were Dan Rizer stops by to ask if we need, we are fine we say, just waiting for the Army to catch us up........

We arrive at Plainfield Cental School, courtesy of Jerri Davis and Russ Hart, and camp there for the evening, we will giving a presentation to approx. 150 students the next morning. Lee Anderson is called back by headquarters and must leave immediately. We take him by fastest carriage, to his own, and he is off in the early evening, perhaps to be with us again down route is a 16 mile walk today and we arrive at 4:30 of the clock in the Afternoon. The school has the showers opened for us, and Principal Davis shares his stash of Cherry Popsicles with us (this man knows how to make friends and influence people) (grins)...........after having to return Lee back to his Carriage, I arrive back a Camp #3, tired, and still dirty.....I would rather go to bed and I something like 2:00 of the Clock in the Morning Comes a knock, knock, knocking at my door..I bolt awake (no this is NOT Edgar Allen Poe), a light flashes my eyes and the voice says,"Sir, I am investigating reports of folks camping, with tents on school grounds' "Well Officer" I said, "those reports are correct" After much questioning, and answering, he decided that perhaps homeland security was still indeed safe for the populace (hm, we had set up the camp, on school grounds, at 4:00 of the Clock in the Afternoon, afterall...........and well, all is well that ends well...night falls again or is it morning now?????

For, 'AMtY'

March Date #2, Sunday, June 18th

Greetings Friends, please excuse the very tardy action report, it has been difficult communicatiing with head quarters for the last couple of days as we travelled through rural Rhode Island and Connecticut. We last sent message that we were leaving Andover, Ct. to assemble in the Town of Providence, and there to move the troop west toward New York. Indeed, the troop did rendevous as planned and has been on the move the past 5 days, as I write this to you...all the last preparations were made and the troops have assembled, at 8:35 am for the blessing and a toast to our good success. That finally accomplished, the troops step off at 9:20.. of the Clock in the Morning. The Troops, David Holloway, Mike Fitzgerald, David Fagenberg, Lee Anderson, are accompanied by the baggage train being drovered by Rose Morin and Richard Swartwout.

The baggage train immediately goes the wrong way and by the time we get turned ariound, (much to our chagrin) the troop has moved substantially up the road. We see them with Lydia, who stopped to ask, what's up.....a short time later, young Christian stops by, on Scituate Road, with his Dad to offer succor to the troop, which was well recieved. It is hot, in the 90's, and humid, the troop is in Regimentals, much to my displeasure, but they are determined. so be it.....the first Lunch break is 5.2 miles out, at the 'Shepard of the Valley United Methodist Church'. The lawn is dark and green, with some tree cover, for shade. The troop feasts on tuna and bread, with liquid refereshment.......I am in serious trouble as I have rubbed Martha against a pole and damaged the night curtain. The General is not very happy about that, I can assure you,.... krap-o-la!

We move along, shortly after being visited by Master Paul Graham, of Waterman's Tavern, our destination for the evening. The day is unbearably unrelenting, hot/humid, hot/humid..did I say it was hot/ Lunch shoes are removed, inspect feet for blisters, dry out the clothing in the sun.....we have two more water stops.and arrive at the Kent Dam, while there two members of the 2nd Rhode Island stop to chat, and take a pic...they decline to join with us and that seem pretty smart, me thinks........

At 3:30 of the Clock in the Afternoon we arrive at Waterman's Tavern, (Camp #2, Providence being Camp #1), after 13.2 miles of travel.the troop is well received, by the Graham's, and friends. They are pretty tapped out and tis time to try to refresh them as best we can...

Some time later, they are on their feet and taking nourishment, and remarkably seeming not much worse for wear, it seems. The Innkeeper offers a repast of beef and vegetables, with seasonal salad, well received. Later, in the evening, we share some Grand Manier, supplied by the toop, the Innkeeper offers French Country Ale (smooth and wheaty), and the earnest good talk begins. a tour of the Tavern is offered and accepted, and Lady Rebecca finally has a moment to join with us (two small children, Young Henry and Elizabeth of the good smile keeping her extremely busy). The Lady, dark and mysterious, yet alluring was good company........we shall miss them all....the Innkeeper gifted us with a bottle of Newport Rochambeau French Red Table Wine, which we decided to open upon arrival at Yorktown,.....Bon Jour Innkepper, you are in our fond thoughts......blessing to you and yours. until again.....

For 'Amty'
Camp #2,
Coventry, Rhode Island

June 18, 2006

The March Begins

Bon Jour...........

Greetings friends of AMtY, the joy of the day to you. It has been a very interesting day of extremes here in Rhode Island, to kick off the March to Yorktown.

We started the day in Connecticut, drove into Providence, took the ferry to Newport, and met there with members of the USCG Auxilary who were kind enough to help us symbolically recreate the Crossing of Narragansett Bay by the French Troops, starting June 10th, 1781. The weather was glorious, the Bay calm, the folks friendly and helpful. What a terrific day is was becoming.

We then traveled, by carriage, from the Conley's Dock, to the Rhode Island State House, perhaps one of the most beautiful public buildings in the country. There we were part of ceremonial work to remark the efforts of General Rochambeau, with assorted dignitaries and Friends in History. The weather started to turn close, and humid, with rain in the offing in the near distant future. Many thanks to the folks in Rhode Island for their untiring efforts to promote the French Army, Rochambeau and their contribution to the Revolutionary War effort. Tomorrow, at approx. 8:30 of the Clock in the Morning, we shall be stepping off on the March to Yorktown. We will assemble at the intersection of Routes 5 & 12, Adieu.........