Public Events and Commemorations 
for the W3R® during 2011

Links to Event Photo-Reports

Jan 10: Nicole Yancey named W3R®-US Ambassador to the French Community
Jan 27: Kim Burdick created a WRRR page on Facebook
Feb 05: Robert Selig spoke on the Battle of Princeton
Feb 24: Robert Selig spoke on African-Americans
        in the American Revolution
Mar 05: Tim McGrath spoke on Capt. John Barry at Cape Canaveral FL
Mar 11: French Alliance Collection was donated to the SAR Museum
Apr 16: Annual Meeting of the W3R®-US
May 01: Valley Forge Chapel commemorates the Treaty of Alliance
May 07: Siege and Battle of Pensacola Florida -- 230th anniversary
June 16: MA-RI Bicycle Route Exploration
June 18: The Marchers 200-mile trek starts in Providence RI
July 01: The WRRR Cycling Expedition starts the first leg of the route
July 02: Robert Selig spoke on International Aspects
. . . of the American Revolution.
July 14: (Bastille Day) Dedication of WRRR-NHT in Philadelphia,
. . . with W3R®-US banner presentation
Aug 11: Road to Freedom Day Dobbs Ferry NY, with cannon display.
Aug 27: Large Re-enactment Bolton CT, with W3R®-US banner presentation
Sept 03: Ice Cream Social Marcus Hook PA, with W3R®-US banner presentation
Sept 04: Lafayette Social Christiana DE, with W3R®-US banner presentation
Sept 09: Marchers' speak Perryville MD, with W3R®-US banner presentation
Sept 15: Laying a Wreath at the Arc de Triomphe Paris FRANCE
Sept 10: Alliance for Liberty: Military Encampment Mount Vernon VA
Sept 24: Morven exhibition Princeton NJ, with W3R®-US banner presentation
Sept 30: Dedicating two new interpretive exhibits in Baltimore MD
. . .with W3R®-US banner presentation
Oct 15: Dedicating a new interpretive exhibit in Port Tobacco MD
Oct 16-17: The start of Tench Tighlman's ride to inform Congress of the allied victory
Oct 18: Fall Board Meeting of the W3R®-US in Yorktown VA [no photos]
Oct 22: Memorial note for Damon Rodnac
Oct 24: The end of Tench Tighlman's ride to inform Congress
. . . of the allied victory

2011-01-10:   W3R®-US Chair Sallie deBarcza named Nicole Yancey to be the W3R®-US' Liaison with the French Community. Nicole has served as chair of the W3R®-VA, Recording Secretary for the W3R®-US, and chair of the Atlantic Committee, which is working with W3R affiliates in the U.S and France to develop commemorations, monuments, and interpretive markers for the naval component of French aid to the U.S. struggle for independence.

In 2008 Nicole was inducted into the French Legion of Honor in recognition for her decades-long service to France -- strengthening relations with the United States through working over twenty years with the French Consulate, coordinating the effort to provide a memorial at Yorktown, Virginia, listing the French soldiers and sailors killed in action as allies during the American Revolution, and making many contributions to the U.S. National Park Service, such as the American Revolution Bicentennial Committee.

The Comtesse Irasema de Pusy La Fayette Memorial Scholarship in the French/Francophone Studies graduate program was established at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, to honor the memory Irasema de Pusy La Fayette and her children Caroline and Arthur who died on January 23 in an auto accident near Paris. This scholarship will be awarded annually to support thesis or dissertation research of a graduate student who will travel to France to pursue his/her research project

To contribute, click [*] Other UL Lafayette Endowments
enter your donation, then check the boxes for "... new gift" and "Comtesse Irasema de Pusy La Fayette Memorial Scholarship"

Former Chair Kim Burdick Creates Facebook site for the W3R®-US

2011-01-27 An extensive [*] FaceBook page on the W3R®-US was created by Kim Burdick (2008-09 chair of the W3R®-US). Members of Facebook have added their own comments and photos. This site now has hundreds of photos of activities that the W3R®-US and its state chapters and affiliates have supported or coordinated during the past decade.

2011-02-05 (Saturday) Princeton NJ:   The Annual Meeting of the W3R®-NJ featured breakfast at the Nassau Club and a presentation "Where was the Battle of Princeton Really Fought?", by W3R Historian Robert A. Selig, PhD. He and the W3R®-NJ officers elected for 2011-2 are shown below.

Left to right: Treasurer Cathy Faulks, Dr. Selig, Chairman Sallie T. de Barcza,
Corresponding Secretary Thomas D'Amico, Recording Secretary Mary Swarbrick
[photo courtesy of G. Chernikova]

2011-02 The National Park Service published a summary of the four NPS / W3R®-US Strategic Planning Meetings held in 2010. This booklet provides concise draft statements of the
[*] Mission, Vision, Themes, and Objectives of the WRRR-NHT [PDF]

2011-02-24 (Thursday)   African American Soldiers in the American Revolution
by Dr. Robert A. Selig, historical consultant for the WRRR-NHT. from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at the Philadelphia Waterworks Interpretive Center. Many people with African ancestry fought for U.S. independence -- farmers and tradesman, slaves and freedmen, those who were born (and later died) in the U.S. and those who came (and died here in battle or left) as part of the French army under General Rochambeau. Sometimes welcomed into the ranks and sometimes expelled due to racial prejudice, they were a significant fraction of the Continental Army and played a significant role in feeding, clothing, and supplying that army. For details see the attached flyer [PDF]

2011-03-05 (Saturday) Cape Canaveral FL:  
The 228th anniversary of the Last Naval Battle of the American Revolution was commemorated with a parade involving 22 marching units, a speech by Tim McGrath, and the presentation of commemorative wreaths. McGrath (shown at left) is the author of a recently-published book, John Barry: an American Hero in the Age of Sail (Westholme Publishing). The commemoration was organized by the Brevard Chapter of the Florida Society, Sons of the American Revolution.
Tim McGrath [photos courtesy of L. Canavan]

HISTORY: On March 10, 1783, Capt. John Barry was in command of the 36-gun U.S. frigate Alliance guarding the Duc de Luzerne, whose cargo included 72,000 Spanish milled dollars (French foreign aid to the U.S. government). Two British frigates spotted and chased the American vessels. The 32-gun Alarm abandoned the chase after sighting an approaching French 64-gun ship-of-the-line, the Triton. The Alliance exchanged broadsides with the 28-gun Sybil, which broke off the engagement after suffering significant damage.

John Stinson (L) of the Florida Society SAR carried the French national flag of 1783.
Ralph Nelson (R) was parade commander and spoke briefly about the W3R®-US.

W3R®-US Member donates French Alliance Collection to the SAR  

2011-03-11 John Welsh of Olympia, Washington, donated to the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution his French Alliance Collection. The collection celebrates the French involvement in the American Revolution. Mostly French in origin, the collection consists of engravings, maps, letters, and medals. These pieces date from 1760 – 1820. A letter signed by Rochambeau, a letter signed by Louis XVI, and a late 18th century Order of St. Esprit Cross are highlights of the collection. Mr. Welsh, who often portrays French General Rochambeau, is a Director of the W3R®-US and a member of the SAR.

A large portion of the collection will be displayed in the Mary and James Craik Special Collections Room in the new SAR Genealogical Research Library. This special collections room is designed to exhibit the Dr. James Craik miniature and other significant SAR artifacts. It was named for the donors of the Dr. James Craik miniature done by Charles Willson Peale during the winter of Valley Forge. The new SAR library is located at 809 West Main St. in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information about the library see

March 30, 2011, was the Second Anniversary of the

Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route

as a National Historic Trail.

2011-03-31 (Thursday) at 7 PM in Charlottesville VA:  
Nicole Yancey, Honorary French Consul and chair of the W3R®-VA spoke to L'Alliance Française de Charlottesville (in French and English) on Tracing the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route in the Charlottesville Area. The talk -- on the third floor of the Municipal Arts Center, 1119 5th Street Ext. SW -- was followed by a wine and cheese reception.

2011-04-16 (Saturday) Princeton NJ:   The National Washington-Rochamebau Revolutionary Route Association, Inc., held its Eighth Annual Membership Meeting and Board of Directors Meeting at the Nassau Club. Dr. Robertt A. Selig gave a presentation on the Continental Army service of soldiers with African ancestry from Bunker Hill to Yorktown.
[photos courtesy of R. Nelson]

Sallie de Barcza and a W3R banner

Serge Gabriel (CT) and Joe DiBello (NPS)

Dr. Robert A.Selig and Lanny Patten (PA)

Jim Johnson (NY), Jean Hultgren (NJ), and Ursula Reed (PA)

Damon Rodnak and David Fagerberg (The Marchers)

2011-05-01: Valley Forge PA at 2 PM  
Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge commemorates every year the Treaty of Alliance with France and the troops who fell in combat. This year Lieutenant Colonel Jerome Guyon, a representative of the Ambassador of France, gave the address.

Laying a wreath at the French monument at Valley Forge
[photo courtesy of G. Chernikova]

History: Representatives of the French and American governments signed a Treaty of Amity and Commerce and a Treaty of Alliance on February 6, 1778. When word of the Alliance and its ratification by the Continental Congress reached Valley Forge in early May 1778; General George Washington issued the following General Order:
It having pleased the Almighty Ruler of the universe to defend the course of the United States, and finally raise up a powerful friend among the princes of the earth, to establish our Liberty and Independence upon a lasting foundation, it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the Divine goodness, and celebrating the important event which we owe to His Divine interposition.

2011-05-07 (Saturday) Pensacola FL:   The 230th anniversary of the Siege and Battle of Pensacola was commemorated at 9 AM at Fort George in downtown Pensacola (Palafox and La Rua Streets). There was a speaker, wreath-laying by descendants of Revolutionary War patriots, and a musket salute. To avoid a conflict with the centennial celebration of U.S. naval aviation the Pensacola Historical Society moved the date of its historical re-enactment of the Battle of Pensacola to June 3rd and 4th.

Spanish Field Marshall Bernardo de Galvez commanded a force of several Spanish regiments and a French brigade. This siege and battle took place over nine weeks. The climactic moment came on May 8, 1781, when Spanish fire blew up the powder magazine in the Queen's Redoubt Following the battle the French units joined the Caribbean French fleet under Admiral deGrasse, which sailed north to participate in the siege and victory at Yorktown VA.
History of the siege [Little Town Mart]
History of the siege [Explore Southern History]

2011-05-15 to 19 (Sunday to Thursday) Abingdon VA: The 13th National Trails System Conference, organized by the Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS). See The PNTS website

2011-05-29 (Sunday) at 2PM in Saint Louis MO:
The Committee for the Battle of Fort San Carlos is sponsoring a public presentation on French Colonialism in the St. Louis MO area in 1780 and before, by Meredith Hawkins, Principal Investigator for the Archaeological Research Center. at the Missouri History Museum, located at Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, with plenty of free parking.
Further Information on battle and commemoration [PDF]

2011-06-04 to 05: Nationwide! National Trails Day is an opportunity to hold a public "fresh-air" event along or near the WRRR-NHT:
  • Take a Scout group on a hike along a safe-to-walk section of the trail or a nearby rural road.

  • Organize a group bike ride from one French campsite to the next and back (round trip 28 miles or 47 km).

  • Hire a small tour boat to follow the water route from Trenton to Philadelphia, Philadelphia to Wilmington, Elkton to Annapolis, or other segments along the way to Jamestown VA.

  • Have a family picnic in a park near the route and discuss how your picnic differs from the lunch stops experienced by French and U.S. soldiers as they marched south in the summer of 1781 -- both in terms of the food, the sanitation, and the reasons for being here for lunch rather than at home.

2011-06-04 to 05 (Friday and Saturday) Pensacola FL: The Pensacola Historical Society is hosting a Friday lecture by Hector Diaz -- a noted re-enactor and educator -- and a Saturday re-enactment of the Siege and Battle of Pensacola.
The website has no information about the location ot times of the lecture and re-enactment, so call Jim McMillen, Living History Coordinator, at (850)-595-5985, ext. 112.

2011-06-16 to 18 (Friday-Saturday) Boston MA to Providence RI:  
The MA-RI Bicycle Route Exploration Team is working in partnership with the WRRR Cycling Expedition (see below) -- to scout several historical sites and existing bicycling routes on or near the historic W3R route between Boston and Providence. Our goal is to produce bicycle trail cue sheets with directions to and descriptions of nearby WRRR-related historic sites.
For Massachusetts we selected a route that included several existing bicycle trails near the WRRR-NHT in the Boston-to-Providence corridor.

On June 16 -- due to inclement weather -- we did not ride the initial section starting from the Long Wharf in Boston to Roxbury and we did not ride final section along the Blackstone River Bikeway from Franklin MA into Pawtucket and Providence RI. We biked the central section along the SW Corridor bikeway and then Washington St to Dedham and parallel streets to King Philip Regional HS in Wrentham MA
Bike Track for June 16
On June 17 we participated in Bike Friday in Government Square and distributed informational flyers about the W3R®-US and Bill Poindexter's full-trail ride, which starts on July 1.

For Rhode Island we selected a route that includes several existing bicycle trails near the WRRR-NHT in the Newport-to-Providence corridor. Due to time constraints we did not ride the section from Newport to Bristol.

After the Bike Friday event we transported the bicycles through intermittent rain showers to Bristol RI and rode the East Bay Bike Path 14.5 miles north to India Point Park in Providence, with a short side trip (not shown in the track) into Colts Neck State park to see the Coggeshall Farm, which is operated as an 18th-century homestead. The East Bay Trail is essentially flat except at the northern end. There are many fine views of the bay. The northern end is very industrial.
Bike Track for June 17 Then we drove home.
On June 18 we drove to India Point Park in Providence, Rhode Island, to participate in a sendoff ceremony at 10 AM for the Marchers at the start of their 680-mile march south. The Marchers consisted of two experienced re-enactors -- Damon Rodnac (left) and David Fagerburg (right) -- and six youth from Americorps (center). The three cyclists are in the back row
We then rode city streets and the Washington Bike Route to the Joy Homestead in Cranston RI, where curator Lydia Rapoza and Allan Fung, the mayor of Cranston, welcomed us.
After a fine lunch -- including Rochambeau wine from the Newport Vineyards -- we greeted the Marchers as they arrived at about 2 PM. Lydia was a genial hostess, providing a hearty dinner for the Marchers.
Bike Track for June 18

2011-06-18 (Saturday) Providence RI:  
The 2011 March to Yorktown, Part 1
On the 230th anniversary of the original allied march in 1781 -- eight marchers started out to walk 200 miles of the WRRR-NHT trail from India Point in Providence RI through RI and CT to Bedford NY. The Marchers consisted of two experienced re-enactors -- Damon Rodnac and David Fagerburg -- and six youth from Americorps.
See The Marchers' Facebook page for a photo-blog of Part 1.

Reports on the activities of the Marchers through 2010-10-24 are shown below in boxes with this background color and each box contains the icon shown at right above.

The Marchers ended this first day of the trek at the Joy Homestead, 156 Scituate Ave, Cranston RI. Here they met Cranston Mayor Alan Fung and re-enactors of George Washington and the French Bourbonnaise Regiment. They participated in the annual Rochambeau Strawberry Biscuit Tea and camped overnight. From this building exactly 230 years ago the Joy family witnessed the French army led by General Rochambeau marching by on the way to New York and then Yorktown.

2011-06-22: Bolton CT The Marchers camped overnight here.
2011-06-23: Plainfield CT -- The Norwich Bulletin article carried an article on this. Soon after this Damon Rodnac's condition forced her to withdraw continuing the march with a second Americorps group. She passed away in October (see memorial below).

2011-07-01 (Friday) Newport RI:  
Bill Poindexter started from Newport RI today on the Cycling WRRR Expedition, which he created as a community effort to explore the entire National Historic Trail by bicycle. Experienced cyclists will join him in each state along the way to provide local bike trail and traffic information. His mission was to map out and promote the safest bike route for future users of the trail.
The Fox news channel posted an interview of Bill before the trip.

Bill wanted to inspire bike shops, bike clubs, and individual cyclists who live on or close to the WRRR-NHT to cycle along the trail. Starting at 10 AM on July 1 at the Rochambeau Statue in Newport RI Bill traveled through Providence to the Joy Homestead in Cranston, where he stayed for two nights. A business crisis required that he return home on July 4. He later planned to continue his exploration of feasible cycling routes along the WRRR in 2013.
See the Cycling WRRR Expedition Blog for his photo-report of his trip through Rhode Island.

2011-07-02 Mexico City, Mexico --   On this date 235 years ago the Continental Congress voted to break ties with Great Britain. Greg Ritchie, of Mexico City's radio station 88.9, interviewed Dr. Robert A. Selig about the International Aspects of the American War for Independence.
Listen to what Dr. Selig said..

2011-07-04 New Castle DE: The W3R®-DE joined with the Delaware Society SAR to plan participation in LET FREEDOM RING, a coordinated nation-wide bell-ringing. After a commemoration program in the Immanuel Episcopal Church on the Green in historic New Castle DE thirteen children, representing the thirteen original colonies, tolled the church bell, starting at 2:00 PM EDT. This year over 100,000 people participated in programs reaching from Valley Forge to Pearl Harbor.

2011-07-06 Valley Forge PA:   A bronze bust of General Louis le Begue Duportail, sculpted and cast in France in 2011, was unveiled at Valley Forge National Historic Park Visiter Center The work of fine art is a gift from the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) -- in particular of its Pennsylvania Society, Philadelphia Continental Chapter -- and the SAR Society in France.

bust of General Duportail, by Michel Gillet
photo courtesy of Lanny R. Patten

General Louis Duportail (1743-1801), a Frenchman, was a member of George Washington's staff (1777-1781) in command of military engineers, who planned and built defenses, fortifications, and armaments. He designed the defenses at Valley Forge -- whose plans and drawings have been preserved -- participated in defenses at West Point, and served faithfully through to Yorktown as a valued advisor to Washington. He is considered a founder of the US Army Corps of Engineers, and was promoted to Major General in the Continental Army.

The sculpture by Michel Gillet was cast in limited edition by Susse Fondere, the oldest fine art foundry in France. The sculpture is based on a portrait (by Charles Wilson Peale) now at the Second Bank Gallery in Philadelphia. The Duportail House in Chesterbrook PA is close to Valley Forge. It served as Duportail's quarters during 1777-78 and is today on the National Register of Historic Places.

2011-07-14 Philadelphia PA:  
The 2011 March to Yorktown, Part 2:
During July to October the Marchers who walked the entire route in 2006 participated in commemorative events in all nine states (plus DC) along the WRRR-NHT. At each event Joe DiBello, the National Park Service's Superintendent for the WRRR-NHT presented a W3R®-US banner to a Park Service or state official.

Reports on the activities of the Marchers through 2010-10-24 are shown below in boxes with this background color and each box contains the marching icon shown at right above.<

For Bastille Day the W3R®-PA sponsored the dedication of the WRRR-NHT in Philadelphia on the east bank of the Schuylkill River, next to the Market Street bridge. After this the group paraded to the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center to see the video, Our National Heritage: The Revolutionary River
On July 13 the Philadelphia Inquirer published an editorial to bring this event and the larger purpose of the WRRR-NHT to the attention of the public.

Posted with permission of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Distinguished author David McCullough wrote an OP-ED column on the occasion of Bastille Day, elegantly expressing the many ways that France has supported liberty and enriched our lives since 1775.
Vive la Similarité [New York Times]

Celebration of the Revolutionary River -- July 14, 2011

based on an Email from Ursula Reed, W3R®-US Director

Color guard of the Philadelphia Chapter SAR. Note banner at left.
[Photos courtesy of Torben Jenk and Kim Burdick.]

As you can see in the pictures, the river, Schuylkill Banks, and city architecture looks great. It was a relatively cool day at 85*F. It was good that we didn't do it the following Thursday with the 115*F heat index! The W3R®-US banners look beautiful -- Joe Syrnick and I worked with the Philadelphia Streets Department for two days to hang them. Some people are following the W3R®-US banners o the FWWIC and going in to inquire about National Historic Trail.

Fr. Dan Ruff offered the Invocation and (later in the program) the Benediction in French. National Park Service Superintendents Joe DiBello (WRRR-NHT) and Cynthia MacCleod (Independence Hall Historic Park) made brief remarks. INHP's presence at both Market Street and Schuylkill Banks and the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center (FWWIC) was significant. It is wonderful to now have the National Park Service as a partner for the WRRR National Historic Trail that crosses the Schuylkill River.

Many members, affiliates, and friends of the W3R®-US brought greetings

Representatives of elected officials included Curtis Gregory from the Philadelphia Mayor's office, State Representative Babette Josephs, and aides representing both Senator Casey and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz -- who presented a beautiful letter to Joe DiBello. Michael Scullin, Honorary French Consul (and a W3R®-PA board member) and the elected officials unveiled the marker with Joe Syrnick of Schuylkill Banks. Vive la France!

The new interpretive marker for the river.

W3R®-PA board member Denise Dennis gave a brief summary of her heritage and French experiences. WRRR historian Dr. Robert A. Selig gave a short talk on the amazing French connection to our WRRR history -- especially on Bastille Day. Cinda Waldbusser from the National Parks Conservation Association gave closing remarks. We look forward to working with the NPCA as we march forward.

The group welcomed Michael Fitzgerald, director for the film
Our National Heritage: The Revolutionary River

Re-enactors Joe Becton as 1st RI Regiment and Noah Lewis as Continental Army's Ned Hector participated at both the Market Street and FWWIC events. Major Robert Rogers was also present in Revolutionary War uniform -- portrayed by Mike Fitzgerald, who led the 730-mile America's March to Yorktown in 2006. Mike directed the filming of "Our National Heritage: The Revolutionary River" documentary film, which he produced with Telemark Films for the Schulykill River Historical Association and the FWWIC. This film was shown at the FWWIC after the marker unveiling.

Many members, affiliates, and friends of the W3R®-US brought greetings

Pierre Lefebvre (Union des Francais de L'Etranger Philadelphie)
and Dr. Robert A. Selig (WRRR Historian) joined the celebration.

Many W3R®-US banners now mark that 1781 American Revolution campsite, which extended along the Schuylkill River bank from Chestnut Street up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Most participants walked a mile from that campsite to the FWWIC. Kim Burdick, former chair of the W3R®-US, joined us for the film showing.

W3R®-PA board member Patty Coyne helped with the invitations, press releases and organizing the SAR Color Guard and the set-up on Schuylkill Banks that day. Samantha Driscoll (NPS) was most helpful with the design of the invitations and programs and Jane with the communications. Karen Young and her outstanding staff were most gracious hosts at the FWWIC. Pierre LeFebvre and Georges Perrier donated delicious pates and exquisite sweets for the reception at the FWWIC. Torben Jenk helped throughout this effort and was our photographer.

All the major network stations plus radio and TV from WHYY provided media coverage. The Philadelphia Inquirer published a very supportive and encouraging editorial, "Happy Trails", on July 13. Amy Baxter Bellamy of the McNeil Center for Early American Cultures sent information about the WRRR-NHT trail dedication to over 400 historians at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) conference then being held in Philadelphia. They also got copies of that editorial and some came to see the Revolutionary River film.

So the future for heritage tourism in Philadelphia PA and along the Schuylkill looks bright!

2011-08-07 Dobbs Ferry NY:   The town celebrated the 6th Annual Road to Freedom Day at 1 PM in Gould Park with a salute to the 13 states, a short walk along the route of the Continental Army as it marched for Yorktown in 1781. At 2 PM there was a cannon display, a fiddler-story teller, and refreshments.

[photo courtesy of Ursula Reed]
The Marchers: Damon Rodnac, Rose Morin, David Fagerberg, David Holloway, and Mike Fitzgerald.

2011-08- 27 to 29: Bolton CT  
The British did not attack the French army columns as they marched through Connecticut toward New York in the summer of 1781, but the threat was significant. David Loda organized a (somewhat smaller-scale) simulation of such an attack. The event was held in Bolton on August 27-28 of 2011.

Over 400 living historians of 18th century troops, artillerymen, dragoon horsemen, camp followers, craftsmen and merchants converged on the Rose Farm to provide the largest Revolutionary War encampment in Bolton since 1782, with camps from the French, American, British and Spanish armies of the time. Although dampened somewhat(!) by Hurricane Irene, it went very well. The event is described in detail in the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route, National Historic Trail Newsletter No. 70.
See index to newsletters

There were 18th-century crafts and demonstrations, lectures from experts of the period as well how to preserve and use historic resources today. On Saturday afternoon some 180 troops and six cannon participated in camping, drills, and a major tactical arms demonstration involving coordinated battle formations, musket fire, cannon fire and cavalry actions in period-correct attire. Hurricane Irene caused cancellation of the repeat re-enactment on Sunday.

A well-produced and lively video of the camping and camaraderie and dancing that occurred before the battle may be viewed at
2012-08-27 camp video [Youtube, 8.5 minutes]

Unlike modern battles where the opponents are hundreds of yards apart, battles with muskets and bayonets were fought by lines of men at close quarter, as shown in these scenes.
2012-08-28 battle video [Youtube, 8.5 minutes]
W3R®-US member Lydia Rapoza videotaped a 20-minute video of this celebration

[still from video by Lydia Rapoza]

Richard Swartwout (above left) was Master of Ceremonies. The W3R®-US, represented by Director Ursula Reed (above right), provided a W3R®-US trail banner which The Marchers presented to the state of Connecticut as part of a joint W3R®-US / The Marchers program to distribute similar banners for festive occasions in each state along the trail. State Representative Pamela Z. Sawyer spoke about the early development of the WRRR-NHT in Connecticut.

[photo courtesy of Mike Fitzgerald]
The Marchers -- the team that walked the entire 680 mile trail in 2006 -- are (left to right in back row above) Richard Swartwout, David Holloway, David Fagerberg, Rose Morin, and Mike Fitzgerald. Yolande Bosman (front row above) brought greetings from the French Embassy.

2011-09-04 (Sunday): Christiana DE  
The W3R®-DE's Lafayette Social at the Hale-Byrnes House. featured a small Revolutionary War encampment with The Marchers. [The photos below are courtesy of Kim Burdick.]

The dinner party was held on the banks of the White Clay Creek.

DE re-enactors and W3R®-DE members with Marcher David Holloway (back-right)

Hale-Byrnes Director Kim Burdick with map of the WRRR-NHT.

2011-09-07 (Wednesday): Pencader DE from 7 PM to 9 PM
The Fifth Annual Cooch's Bridge Battlefield Memorial Ceremony was held at the Pencader Area Heritage Museum, 2029 Sunset Lake Road, Newark DE. Participants included The Marchers, Jeff Martin (portraying his ancestor General Howe), Delaware RW re-enactor units, Wade Catts (DE RW historian), and color guards from the Newark DE VFW, Delaware City American Legion Post, Delaware Civil Air Patrol, and Delaware Military Academy JROTC.

2011-09-09 (Friday) Perryville MD  
The Marchers spoke at Rogers Tavern. Sponsored by the W3R®-MD

Samantha Driscoll (NPS) presents a W3R®-US banner to Mayor James Eberhardt
[ Photo courtesy of Ursula Reed.]

2011-09-10 to 11 (Sat and Sun) 9 AM to 5 PM at Mount Vernon (President Washington's Home) VA  
Mount Vernon held an Alliance for Liberty: Military Encampment In celebration of the 230th anniversary of the historic visit of General Washington and General Rochambeau. The Estate came alive with hundreds of Revolutionary War re-enactors, including General Washington and General Rochambeau.

Joe DiBello (NPS) with W3R®-US banner for Mount Vernon
[photo courtesy of Ursula Reed.]

The Marchers: Mike Fitzgerald, David Holloway, David Fagerberg,
unknown Americorps marcher, and Damon Rodnac
[photo courtesy of Ursula Reed.]

Duportail Subcommittee Report to the SAR 

September 15, 2011, by Lanny R. Patten, Chairman
(members: J. Thomas Showler-PA, James H. Willis-PA, Jacques de Trentinian-France)
SAR = Sons of the American Revolution, an affiliate of the W3R®-US

This is a follow-up report about the joint project between PASSAR and the SAR Society in France to place a work-of-art bronze bust of General Louis Duportail (1743-1801) at two prominent sites in the US and at three sites in France. Duportail served George Washington as his commander of military engineering from 1777-1781, becoming a valued and close advisor throughout the War for Independence and is considered a founder of the US Army Corp of Engineers.

bust of General Louis Duportail, by Michel Gillet
photo courtesy of Lanny R. Patten

The bust has been accepted at West Point (US Military Academy) and at Valley Forge National Historic Park as an historic artifact for permanent exhibit. An unveiling event was held at Valley Forge on July 6, with a National Park Service exhibit of Duportail's activities in America.

On September 9 a PASSAR delegation was in France to participate in an unveiling at Charleville-Mezieres -- the site of the French Military Engineering school in colonial times. The SAR Society in France organized a significant public program attended by over 200 people at the civic headquarters building.
The PASSAR traveling group of three with their spouses were warmly treated to a week of events by their French compatriots. A visit to Lafayette's grave at Picpus, a visit to the WWI Pennsylvania Monument in Argonne for a wreath-laying ceremony with a doughboy playing taps, then on to the medieval castle in Sedan, then to the American cemetery in Ardennes where 10,000 are interred, then to the small village of Nantillois with its Pennsylvania Monument honoring 900 who died there in WWI. A visit to the village of Chatel-Chehery where the WWI exploits of Sgt Alvin York are marked was followed by a town champagne reception for the group. Other sobering monuments mark the vast WWI battlefields of the Ardennes, now beautiful farm fields.

The week concluded on September 13 with a Paris tour of statues of U.S. founders and then a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe to "Raise the Flame" and lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown (a French soldier from World War I). The monument is a tribute to those who have fought for France, especially during the Napoleonic wars. Service personnel from other wars include allied (U.S. and French) forces during 1775-1783 (Yorktown and elsewhere), World War I, World War II, and more recent conflicts. The ceremony is done with full military rituals, French taps, flags and formality. [photos are courtesy of Lanny Patten, chair of the W3R®-PA]

The SAR / W3R®-PA delegation: Jacques de Trentinian (FRSSAR),
Ann Marie de Trentinian, Anne Patten (W3R®-PA),
Denise Dennis (W3R®-PA), and ...

The eternal flame and the Arc's honor guard detail.

Carrying the wreath to the place of honor (.... and Lanny Patten)

Attending and participating is a moving experience and this event in particular, so close to 9/11, honored US / French friendship and alliance. A farewell dinner followed. The French Society SAR compatriots were superb hosts.

The Duportail project will endure for the SAR in the U.S. and in France. This has been a gratifying project undertaking that has developed friendships and an appreciation of the history of the French Alliance.

2011-09-24 (Saturday): Princeton NJ  
At Historic Morven, the former New Jersey Governor's Mansion. the W3R®-NJ and The Marchers presented a W3R®-US banner to local, state, and national legislators:
See the Invitation [JPG] | the Program [PDF]

Two local Boy Scouts from Troop 43 served in the color guard
with Mike Fitzgerald (Marcher), David Holloway (Marcher),
and Tom D'Amico (W3R®-NJ)

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, Georgie Schley (Morven),
U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance, Kevin Wilkes (Princeton),
Sallie de Barcza (W3R®-US chair), and Joe DiBello (NPS Superintendent)

See The Marchers' Facebook page for a photo-blog covering the commemorations and W3R®-US banner donations in the states (and DC) along the WRRR-NHT.

2011-09-30 (Friday):  
The Marchers sailed from Annapolis to Baltimore aboard the U.S. Coast Guard's training ship, the 295-foot, three-masted barque, Eagle, to participate in the dedication of the WRRR-NHT through Maryland, sponsored by the W3R®-MD.
For more on the Eagle, view this You-tube video

On the previous day The Marchers made a presentation on the WRRR at a grade school.

After the talk Mike Fitzgerald and David Holloway answered questions.
[photo courtesy of Michael Fitzgerald ]

7 to 11 AM -- Sail from Annapolis to Baltimore Inner Harbor

Hector Diaz (portraying Gen Benardo de Galvez, commander of the Spanish-French Allied Forces
in the capture of the British fort at Pensacola FL), David Holloway, David Fagerberg,
Dr. Robert A. Selig (portraying a quartermaster officer), and Michael Fitzgerald aboard the Eagle
[photo courtesy of Michael Fitzgerald ]

Mike Fitzgerald presents a W3R®-US banner to Captain Eric Jones, USCG, aboard the Eagle.
[photo courtesy of Michael Fitzgerald ]

2 PM -- Dr. Robert A. Selig spoke about the Significance of the 1781 Camp Site in Jonestown,
the Yorktown Campaign, Soissonais Regiment, and Ridgely's Delight.
-- Joe DiBello Superintendent of the WRRR>-NHT spoke on behalf of the National Park Service
and presented city officials with a W3R®-US banner.

Joe DiBello presented a W3R®-US banner to Jonestown officials
[photo by Theresa Masilek, courtesy of Robert Reyes]

unveiling of a W3R®-US interpretive sign at Jonestown MD
[photo by Theresa Masilek, courtesy of Robert Reyes]

3 PM -- Jeff Buchheit spoke about the Baltimore National Heritage Area,
18th & 19th century structures like 1785 Otterbein Church, Camden Station,
Babe Ruth's birthplace, Hippodrome Theatre, and West Side Development Corridor.
-- Shawn Herne gave greetings on behalf of the Sports Legends Museum.

Joe DiBello & Samantha Driscoll (NPS) presented the Maryland Stadium
Authority with a W3R®-US banner.
[photo courtesy of Michael Fitzgerald ]

unveiling of W3R-US interpretive sign at the Sports Legends Museum
[photo by Theresa Masilek, courtesy of Robert Reyes]

2011-10-15 (Saturday) Port Tobacco MD:  
W3R®-US Director Robert Reyes organized and chaired the dedication of a new W3R®-US interpretive sign at the Charles County courthouse The illustration, by David R. Wagner, was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs Ernest Irish. The fabrication and installation of the sign was sponsored by Charles County MD. At the dedication Dr. Robert A. Selig told the story of the French troops stopping at Port Tobacco, and the Rev. Joseph Trigg led a brief worship service. Photos below are by Pam Donohue, courtesy of Robert Reyes

Maryland Society's SAR color guard parades the United States, France, and Maryland flags

Charles County Commissioners' Vice President Reuben Collins with Ernie Irish

Maryland State Society DAR members with the new marker (Madelyn Irish is fourth from left)

Interpretive Panel: French officers Closen and DuBourg arrive at Port Tobacco

2011-10-16 to 17 (Sun-Mon) Chesapeake Bay:  
230th Anniversary of Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman's Cruise from Yorktown VA to Annapolis MD, then to Rock Hall MD on the eastern shore, from which town he rode to Philadelphia to tell the Continental Congress that the allied armies had captured the British army that had been besieged at Yorktown. Col. Tilghman was one of General Washington's aides-de-camp and he brought with him several regimental flags from the defeated British Army.
[We know that Col. Tilghman actually made the ride AFTER the October 19 surrender, so this commemoration was a bit early, but it was educational and enjoyable.] Photos are courtesy of Rick Smethurst, courtesy of Robert Reyes, unless otherwise noted.
. . . 12:30 PM: performances by the York Symphony Orchestra and the Fifes and Drums of York Town
. . . 1:15 PM: re-enactment of the York Town, Virginia, Tea Party of 1774"
. . . 2:00 PM Several speakers at the dockside stage in Yorktown VA:

Nicole Yancey (W3R®-US Director) provided introductions

U.S. Army Historian Glenn Williams (right) spoke on
"The York Town Tea Party and the Yorktown Siege and Victory
-- the Beginning and the End of the Revolution in Virginia"

David Smith (portraying Tench Tighlman) spoke about
"Lt. Col.,Tench Tighlman's Orders to Ride to Philadelphia"

David Fagerberg, David Holloway and Mike Fitzgerald presented the story of
"The 2006 March to Yorktown and the 2011 Events along the WRRR"

Joe DiBello (National Park Service) presented a W3R®-US banner to a York County official

. . . 4:00 PM: Col. Tighlman and the Marchers boarded the Mistress for a 150 nautical mile (21-hour) sail to Maryland -- re-enacting the events of 230 years ago.

David Smith (as Tench Tighlman), David Hollloway and Michael Fitzgerald aboard the Mistress

. . . 3:00 PM: The Mistress arrived at the Annapolis Maritime Museum in Eastport MD.

David Hollloway, David Smith, David Fagerberg, and Michael Fitzgerald at Eastport MD
[photo by Carrie Donovan (Local Living), courtesy of Robert Reyes]
From Annapolis, Tighlman took a ferry at Rock Hall MD, then rode on horseback via Wilmington DE and Chester PA to arrive in Philadelphia on October 24th, 1781. (for commemoration there, see Oct 24 below.)

2011-10-18 (Tuesday): Yorktown VA  
10 AM -- A new WRRR-NHT wayside panel was unveiled, honoring French General Saint-Simon and the troops that he led in 1781 at Yorktown. A descendent, Patrick de Saint Simon, was the honored guest. Historical perspective and color were added by French re-enactors of the Bourbonnais Regiment (one of the units commanded by General Saint Simon), the Fife and Drum Corps of Marshall University (West Virginia) and the Marchers (who here completed their events along the entire WRRR-NHT). The panel was provided by The National Park Service and is located at the College Creek site on the Colonial Parkway. It replaces a stone monument that was originally located on Jamestown Island and broken during a 2007 move. Following the unveiling Joe DiBello, Superintendent of the WRRR-NHT presented Dan Smith, Superintendent of Colonial National Park, with a W3R®-US banner. The event was organized by the W3R®-VA and Colonial National Park. Photos are by Nicole Yancey.

Partrick de Saint Simon, Dan Smith (Supt. Colonial National Park),
and Joe DiBello (Supt. WRRR-NHT) unveil the new marker,
with flags of the Bourbonnais, United States, France (historic), and Virginia

Patrick de Saint Simon with four Bourbonnais and one Marcher (David Fagerberg)
2 PM -- Dr. Robert A. Selig gave a talk on the WRRR.
3 to 6 PM -- The Fall Board Meeting of the W3R®-US was held in the NPS Visitors Center Auditorium in Yorktown VA.
     See the agenda [PDF]

Huzzah!    Huzzah!    Huzzah!

October 19, 2011, is the 230th Anniversary of the

Surrender of the British at Yorktown to

Generals Washington and Rochambeau.

Huzzah!    Huzzah!    Huzzah!

2011-10-20 (Thursday) Annapolis MD:  
A ceremony was held on the St. Johns College (Annapolis MD) campus at the French Memorial dedicated to the memory of French soldiers killed during the American Revolution. Several of these soldiers are buried at the edge of the college playing fields. A company of U.S. Naval Academy cadets passed in review before dignitaries from many historic and patriotic organizations. This was the 48th commemoration since the monument was placed.

Damon Rodnac , a champion of the WRRR, died on October 22, 2011. She organized a participatory education project that brought youth from Americorps out to march the WRRR-NHT and to learn about the aid provided by France in 1775-1783.

During Part 1 (June) an Americorps team marched 200 miles from Providence RI to Dobbs Ferry NY. The marchers wore colonial-era clothing, slept in colonial-style tents, and were joined by many re-enactors and other hikers along the way.

During Part 2 (July to October) Damon could not participate, so three of the Marchers who had marched the trail in 2006 participated in commemorative activities in all nine states along the WRRR.

See reports for Part 1 and Part 2

The Continental Congress Learns about the Victory at Yorktown  

October 24, 2011, was the 230th anniversary of the date on which Lt. Col. Tench Tilghman -- an aide-de-camp to General George Washington -- brought news of the victory at Yorktown to Thomas McKean, President of the Continental Congress. This event was re-enacted on Chestnut Street across from Independence Hall, next to the Liberty Bell Pavilion, at 12:00 noon.

Tighlman (portrayed by David Smith) first delivered the news just after midnight to the President of the Continental Congress, Thomas McKean (portrayed by Michael FitzGerald). Later that afternoon, attired in his full uniform and dress sword, Tighlman delivered the news to the Continental Congress, which awarded him a new dress sword. [Photo by Ursula Reed]

Lt. Col. Tighlman (sword in hand) displayed some of the captured regimental flags.
[Photo by Ursula Reed]

President McKean hands Lt. Col. Tighlman the new dress sword.
[Photo by Ursula Reed]

The event also celebrated the U.S. - French alliance and the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail. The event was organized by Ursula Reed (a Director of the W3R®-US) and sponsored by the W3R®-MD, the W3R®-PA, Independence National Historic Park, and the National Park Service.

Joe DiBello (at left), Superintendent of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail, presented a W3R®-US banner to Cynthia McLeod (at right), Superintendent of Independence National Historic Park.
[Photo by Ann Patten]

The group then adjourned to light refreshments and lunch at City Tavern, which was a favorite eating place even before 1781.

Michael Fitzgerald, David Fagerberg, David Holloway, and David Smith relax after the ceremonies.
[Photo by Ursula Reed]