Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route - Wikipedia
The role of Washington and Rochambeau March to Virginia in the history of the At meeting at Wethersfield, Connecticut, in May , George Washington met The need for French cooperation was obvious — Washington's army in the. Washington and Rochambeau meet in Connecticut the Comte de Rochambeau, to join the Continental Army near New York for an attack on the city. The surrender at Yorktown did not end the war, but it did break the back. Rochambeau and Washington decided to meet in Hartford, CT to plan the campaign between Rochambeau's Army in Newport, RI and Washington's headquarters in White Plains, NY. General George Washington and.
Very cheerful and healthy in appearance Three quarters of the Rhode Island regiment consists of negroes, and that regiment is the most neatly dressed, the best under arms, and the most precise in its maneuvres [sic].
But the attack on Sir Henry Clinton never materialized. While New York may have been their primary objective, the two generals always tried to keep their options open. In the same letter of June 13 in which Washington had reminded Rochambeau "that New York was looked upon by us as the only practicable object," he had also suggested that "should we be able to secure a naval superiority, we may perhaps find others more practicable and equally advisable.
Sufficient to provide transport and artillery for the French army, this fleet was not strong enough, nor intended to attack the British navy.
Washington and Rochambeau meet in Connecticut - May 21,
The only person who could provide that naval superiority was Admiral de Grasse who had sailed with a large fleet from France to the Caribbean in early with instructions to coordinate his naval activities with Washington and Rochambeau on the American mainland. On May 28, Rochambeau, who never liked the idea of attacking New York, wrote to de Grasse that "There are two points at which an offensive can be made against the enemy: Chesapeake and New York.
The southwesterly winds and the state of defense in Virginia will probably make you prefer the Chesapeake Bay, and it will be there where we think you may be able to render the greatest service In any case it is essential that you send, well in advance, a frigate to inform de Barras where you are to come and also General Washington.
When they learned from the fast frigate "Concorde" on August 14 that de Grasse was headed for the Chesapeake rather than to New York with all the ships and troops he had been able to gather, they quickly shifted gears.
Fortunately, the tactical situation in the south had changed as well. As Washington and Rochambeau huddled over maps at Wethersfield, Cornwallis was in Richmond, closely watched by Lafayette from the opposite bank of the James River.
Far from being able to offer battle, Lafayette's force, numbering about 4, men, was not strong enough to prevent Cornwallis from moving into Maryland or returning to the Carolinas if he chose to do so. For the next 10 weeks, Lafayette followed Cornwallis across Virginia, a constant thorn in his side, until the Englishman did exactly what Washington and Rochambeau would have wanted him to do.
In late June, Cornwallis had already briefly occupied Williamsburg, but on July 19 he began his march to Yorktown and Gloucester, where he started digging in on August 2. This was not known in Philipsburg on August 14 when the decision was made to march south-Lafayette's letter with the news only arrived on August A southern strategy was falling into place, and from now on the young Frenchman had only one task: Admiral de Grasse would only stay until October 15, and as Washington wrote in his diary, "Matters having now come to a crisis and a decisive plan to be determined on, I was obliged A few days later, on September 14, a group of 42 warriors from the Oneida and Tuscarora tribes passed through Trenton.
They were part of a unit under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Atayataghronghta, better known as Louis Cook, on their way to visit French minister de la Luzerne in Philadelphia to assure him of their friendship and their willingness to support France and the American colonies in their struggle against Britain. Atayataghronghta, who had served with the French in the Seven Years' War, had recently been awarded a lieutenant colonel's commission by the Second Continental Congress.
Once the decision had been made to march to Virginia, the army staffs had but four days to get ready for an enterprise whose real strategic objective had to be kept a secret as long as possible. Between August 14 and 18, when some 6, soldiers began their march southward, the staffs of both armies had a number of equally important tasks that needed to be tackled concurrently.
First, they had to prepare in all but the broadest outlines the logistics for the march. There was no time for route reconnaissance or pre-established supply depots-speed was of the essence. Second, they must spread a cover of secrecy and deception over the movements of the armies to hide their true destination as long as possible from the British in New York City. As long as Sir Henry Clinton believed that he was the objective of these troop movements, he would not send assistance to Lord Cornwallis in Virginia.
And lastly, their third objective was to establish a chain of observation posts on the New Jersey side of the Hudson from Sneeden's Landing to New Hempstead and New Bridge to Springfield as a first screen behind which the two main armies could cross New Jersey and to keep an eye on New York.
This task fell to Moses Hazen's Regiment and the New Jersey Regiment, about officers and men, who had been ferried across the Hudson at Dobbs Ferry ahead of the main armies. On August 18 the two armies headed south. The left column of the French army, artillery and military chest, left Philipsburg on the 18th; the right column i.
Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route
The Continental Army followed no formal marching order. Marching along the Hudson, the two armies converged on King's Ferry where they crossed over to Stony Point beginning on August Upon entering New Jersey, the Continental Army split into two columns and headed on parallel roads for Springfield and Chatham and ultimately for Trenton. On a third parallel farthest inland, the French forces, covered by three screens of Continental Army troops, marched for Trenton as well.
This separation of forces greatly reduced congestion and wear and tear on roadways built for oxcarts taking foodstuffs to the local market, accelerated the speed of these forces, and spread the burden of provisioning many thousands of men and their animals in the small towns of war-ravaged New Jersey.
As they marched south French officers consistently took advantage of the opportunities the march offered them to advance their knowledge of military and political events in America's struggle for independence and to see nature's wonders in the New World. The battlefields of Princeton, Trenton, Brandywine, Germantown, and Fort Mifflin as well as the recent winter encampments at Valley Forge and Morristown were visited by many officers.
Deception and secrecy had been vital for the success of the plan, and in both armies as few officers as possible were informed of the decision to march to Virginia.
Boats were built ostensibly for the purpose of crossing over to Staten Island from the New Jersey shore, ovens were built in Chatham, New Jersey, contracts for foodstuffs to be delivered in New Jersey were issued, letters were written and sent via the most dangerous route with the express intent that they be captured, and different rumors as to the purpose of the troop movement were spread.
Even though "some were indeed laughable enow'," as Washington's private secretary Jonathan Trumbull, Jr. Once Trenton was reached on September 2, there could no longer be any doubt that Cornwallis was the target of the campaign, and as the French marched through Philadelphia, the Freeman's Journal reported on September 5 that "the appearance of these troops far exceeds any thing of the kind seen on this continent, and presages the happiest success to the cause of America.
Yet, Yorktown still lay more than miles south. In the evening of September 5, Washington, his aides, and his entourage of about 70 officers and men as well Rochambeau and his aides-de-camp and entourage decided to spend the night in Chester, possibly in the Blue Anchor Tavern at Fourth and Market Streets and the Pennsylvania Arms almost across from the Court House on Market Street. Here they were surrounded by the troops of the First French Brigade who also reached Chester on September 5.
Washington, Rochambeau and their staffs hurried on to Head of Elk some 40 miles away in Maryland where most of the Continental Army was already encamped.
At Christiana they encountered the Second New York Regiment of some officers and men under Colonel Philip Van Cortlandt, which had just arrived from Stony Point, New York, with 30 flatboats "so large that it took a wagon and eight horses to draw them.
Revolutionary War - March to Yorktown
Washington had hoped to find enough vessels at Head of Elk to transport both armies to Yorktown, but only 12 sloops, 18 schooners, and a few dozen smaller vessels were waiting there. They were barely enough for most of the Continental Army, Rochambeau's grenadiers and chasseurs, and for the infantry of Lauzun's Legion, about 3, men in all. Anxious to visit his home at Mount Vernon en route to Yorktown, after a six-year absence, Washington and a small group of aides rode ahead and reached his estate on September 9; Rochambeau and his staff arrived the following day.
On September 12, the two commanders continued their journey, which ended with a visit to Admiral de Grasse on his flagship, the "Ville de Paris", on September The commanders were ready for the siege to begin, but their troops were still far behind. On September 11, Dr. James Thatcher of the Light Infantry set sail from Head of Elk for the Chesapeake on the "Glasgow" with four other officers and sixty men. The remainder of the troops, between 3, and 4, men, marched on to Baltimore where they arrived on September The next few days were spent in anxious anticipation of news from the south.
The outcome of the Battle off the Capes, which would also decide the fate of the land campaign, was anxiously awaited. News of de Grasse's victory reached Baltimore in the evening of September During the next few days the Continental Army re-embarked on the sloops and schooners and continued its sea journey to Virginia. The French considered these craft not seaworthy and continued their land march on September In the morning of September 18, the French columns reached Annapolis and over the next few days the infantry with their baggage and tents as well as the field artillery embarked on 15 vessels sent by de Grasse.
De Grasse's transports, which had sailed late in the afternoon of September 21, arrived at the mouth of the York River a day later.
The next day the fleet entered the James River and began to disembark at the mouth of College Creek Landing near Jamestown. In the process it had passed much of the "mosquito fleet" that was haphazardly carrying the Continental Army at whatever speed its vessels could sail to College Creek Landing opposite Williamsburg in the James River.
Unable to sail through the night, these smaller vessels landed at nightfall wherever they happened to be and continued the next morning. Three days later, on September 28, the two armies set out for and reached Yorktown. Concurrently, Lauzun's Legion, which had separated from the wagon train, took up siege positions at Gloucester Point across the river from Yorktown, where it was joined in early October by men French Line infantry who were doing duty as marines on de Grasse's vessels.
Pressed for time, Washington decided to open the siege on September He was without much of Colonel Lamb's artillery. Two 9-inch howitzers and many of the gun carriages were on the sloop "Nancy"-stuck on a sandbank.
The sloop had to be partially unloaded to free her, and it took until the first days of October until the American artillery was assembled before Yorktown. The empty French wagon train, which had set out from Annapolis on September 21, finally reached Williamsburg on October 6.
The completion of the Second Parallel was blocked by a portion of the British outer works-two detached earthen forts called Redoubts 9 and 10, located yards in advance of the British inner defense line on the extreme right of the siege line.
They passed through the present Stewart Street to High Street, and west along this to the "junction" Hoyle Tavernwhere they took the road to the left, Cranston Street then called the Monkey Town road that went to Knightsville then Monkeytown.
Rochambeau himself left with the first division the Bourbonnais Regiment and arrived at the second camp site in Coventry in the evening of June 18 at a place known as Waterman's Tavern. The route between Providence and Coventry generally followed the alignment of Broadway in Providence to Olneyville, then Route 14 to the eastern side of the Scituate Reservoir.
The original road is submerged in the reservoir but picks up again as Old Plainfield Pike in Scituate. West of Route in Fosterthe march route resumes following Route 14 into Coventry to the second camp.
Its NRHP nomination document recorded that "the road retains its narrow, hilly, winding character, and for most of its length, the characteristic borders of stone walls remain in place. They arrived in the evening of June 20 at the fourth camp in Windham by the Shetucket Riverjust west of Windham Center. Most of Routes 14A and 14 have lost their 18th-century visual character, but several short road segments remain preserved.
Some of these road segments have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One such segment is Old Canterbury Road in western Plainfield which was bypassed by state highway construction in the s; it preserves some of the features of the original roadway, including the low stone walls lining the road.
The designated portion of the route also includes a 1,foot section of modern Route 14A east of the eastern end of Old Canterbury Road that maintains visual continuity of Old Canterbury Road.
Another segment that was preserved as a result of being bypassed by the state highway is Manship Road and a portion of Barstow Road between Manship Road and Route 14 in Canterbury, located midway between Canterbury Center and the village of Westminster.George Washington's Officers: Mary Sudman Donovan interview
A segment of Route 14 east of Scotland Center has also been recognized as a preserved section of the march route. The designated segment runs from Miller Road to the top of a hill, about feet east of Route 97known locally as Palmer Road. The low stone walls remain in place on both sides of this road segment, described by the French as "a narrow, steep, and stony road".
Yet another road segment between the 3rd and 4th camps is Scotland Road in Windham, from Back Road to a point about feet east of Ballahamack Road. This portion, also listed on the National Register, was one of the less difficult, according to the French.
The road is now mostly modern in appearance, but the expansive views of the surrounding landscape contribute to the visual historical significance of the site, in addition to the preserved stone walls. Bolton[ edit ] The French army continued its march through Connecticut on June They went from the camp at Windham past the village of Willimanticroughly following modern Route 14 and Route They proceeded through Columbia and Andover towards the fifth camp site in Bolton. The march route proceeded along Route 66 then Route 6 until roughly the northwest corner of Andover.
The army's fifth camp was located in Bolton Center, but the original road leading there has been unused since the late 19th century and has been overgrown by forest. East Hartford[ edit ] The four divisions had been traveling a day apart.
They rested for three nights in East Hartford, necessitating additional camp sites in the same vicinity. Route 6 is a state highway trunk line route, and the surrounding area is heavily urbanized and has lost most of its historic character. However, two sections of the road have been bypassed in Andover and Bolton and remain relatively preserved in their 18th century appearance.
A segment of Hutchinson Road between Route 6 and Henderson Road retains the stone walls and mature trees along the side of the road, as well as the expansive views of open fields towards the Hop River. This road segment is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Daniel White Tavern was built in and used by French officers, and it still stands along this road segment.
North of Henderson Road, Hutchinson Road has modern development and no longer has the visual continuity of the southern part of the road. Bailey Road originally connected Route 6 with Brandy Street in Bolton, but the portion west of the Andover-Bolton town line has since been overgrown and is no longer passable by motor vehicles.
A remnant of Bailey Road in Bolton still exists as an unpaved footpath and still retains the characteristic stone walls, as well as two original stone culverts. It, too, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route
Farmington[ edit ] The first division of Rochambeau's army crossed the Connecticut River by ferry on June 25 into Hartfordwith the other divisions following in one-day intervals as before.
From there, they traveled along Farmington Avenue through West Hartford until Farmingtonthe site of the seventh camp. The camp site was located toward the south end of the town center village.