Public Events and Commemorations 
for the W3R® during 2017

Links to Events

March 31: DE - Voices of the Past
April 01: VA - American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
April 19: PA - Museum of the American Revolution
April 22-23: PA - W3R®-US Annual Meeting
May 10: FR - Memorial for Jacques de Trentinian
June 17: NY - Dedication of Interpretive Panel at Peekskill
Oct 12: MD - Honoring French Servicemen at Annapolis
Oct 18: VA - W3R®-US Fall Board Meeting, Yorktown
Oct 21: MD - Dedication of Interpretive Panel at Rising Sun
Oct 26: RI - A Taste of French History at Middletown
Oct 31: RI - Macabre Practices during the Revolutionary War
Nov 04: DE - Dedication of Interpretive Panel at Christiana
Nov 04: NY - Guarding the Fishkill Depot for Posterity
Dec 06: NJ - Rochambeau at Princeton


March 30, 2017, is the Eighth Anniversary of the

Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route

as a National Historic Trail.



2017-03-31 to 04-01 (Friday and Saturday) in Wilmington DE:  
Voices of the Past: Black Patriots of the American Revolution
A symposium of African-American scholars of national reputation, combined with first-person portrayals by experienced re-enactors. Children's books and others will be available to be autographed by the authors.
Details and Invitation

2017-04-01 (Saturday) in Yorktown VA:  
The Grand Opening Celebration of the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (ARMY) consisted of 13 days of festivities on March 23-April 4, 2017. There was a patriotic salute to America's 13 original states, a dedication ceremony on April 1, tours of expansive gallery exhibits, and military music and 18th-century interpretive experiences in the newly expanded Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm.
See their website, www.historyisfun.org.

2017-04-19 (Thursday) in Philadelphia PA:  
The Museum of the American Revolution (MAR) had its grand opening. on the same spring date as when -- some two hundred and forty-two years ago -- "a shot rang out across the North Bridge in Concord, Mass., igniting the Revolutionary War and changing the course of history forever. Located in Philadelphia, the headquarters of the American Revolution, the Museum brings to life the dramatic story of our nation's founding."

The museum's founding and primary benefactor is H.F. (Gerry) Lehnfest. In addition to viewing artifacts with interpretive text, visitors have interactive experiences with the debates, battles, and imprisonments that characterized our struggle for liberty and independence.
See www.amrevmuseum.org

2017-04-22 to 23 (Saturday-Sunday) in Philadelphia PA:  
The Thirteenth Annual Membership Meeting of the W3R®-US included a tour of the Museum of the American Revolution, a luncheon honoring recently-retired Trail Superintendent Joe DiBello, the Annual Meeting.

Photos below are by Ralph Nelson. The camera malfunctioned, so the number and quality of photos was diminished.




Before the Annual Meeting began we had a fine colonial lunch at City Tavern (138 South 2nd St. at Walnut St. in Philadelphia) during which many friendships were newly made or renewed.


Lanny Patten presented a plaque to Ursula Reed (left) for her four years of service as chair of the W3R®-US and a plaque to Joe DiBello (right) for his nine years of service as Superintendent of the W3R®-National Historic Trail.


On Sunday, we met at the National Park Service supply building, across the street from City Tavern. Paul Kenney, Acting Superintendent for the W3R®-NHT, provided suggestions to the group for its projects and focus for the next twelve months. Following that meeting he led the group on a tour of Independence National Park sites.


2017-04-30 Our historic trail helps local economies: A recent NPS report notes that our national parks adds some 35 B$ in value added to the economies of the areas within 60 miles of the parks.
See The Value of National Parks System [New York History Blog]
What does it cost the taxpayer? The NPS has a submitted a 2017 Federal Budget request of 4.3 B$ for park operation, acquisition, preservation, maintenance, rehabilitation, construction,
For details, see The NPS 2017 Federal Budget Request [NPS website]

Passing of Our French Consultant,  
Jacques de Trentinian (1930-2017),
Knight of the French Legion of Honor

Jacques de Trentinian, a highly-respected author, speaker, and consultant on the rosters and activities of the French army and the French navy during the American Revolution, passed away in his Paris home on May 10, 2017, at age 87. He is survived by his wife Marie-Claire, five children, and their extended families. A son pre-deceased him.

After retiring from a business career, Jacques devoted the past 30 years to becoming a serious and skilled historian, especially of the American War of Independence and the U.S. alliance with France. One ancestor was a Captain-Commandant of grenadiers in Lauzun's Legion who participated in the Battle of the Hook (Gloucester Point VA) during the Yorktown Siege. Jacques joined and served as an officer in several lineage organizations based on that era, always a strong advocate for France's contributions to U.S. independence.

Jacques mastered English, studied extensively in military archives, and accumulated a significant library. He came to the U.S. frequently, becoming widely known and respected within the SAR and the W3R®-US for his depth of knowledge. He authored papers and books -- the last published in France in 2016 described the actions of the French navy during the campaign at Yorktown. He was the author and narrator (in English) for most of a two-DVD set, "France's Contributions to American Independence". He hosted several SAR and W3R®-US conferences and tours in France, and he organized in-depth events that took place over several days and several historic sites.

Jacques was a remarkable intellect, a gifted historian, and very much the gentleman in many intense discussions on evaluating evidence and on presenting to a modern audience the facts and feelings of diverse people from 225 years ago. He was our consultant, our mentor, and our friend -- a vital partner in developing the historical basis for the W3R®-NHT and for providing means through which the public can come to appreciate France's contribution to the birth of our nation.

On 2012-02-15 a bust of U.S. General Louis Duportail was presented to the Musée du Génie (Museum of Military Engineers) in Angers, France, by the Pennsylvania Society SAR and the Branch Française de la SAR Left to right: J. David Sympson (President-General of the SAR), Lt Col. Labareyre (Curator of the Museum, back row), Col. Le Pottier, Jaques de Trentinian (BRFRSAR), bust of Duportail (front row), Lanny Patten (W3R®-PA and PASSAR), and Maj. General Autran (Chief of Military Engineers in France) -- [photo courtesy of Serge Le Pottier]


2017-06-17   Peekskill NY -- Dedication of a New W3R® marker at the Downtown Gazebo at the corner of North Division Street and Park Street.
The W3R®-NY has worked with the National Park Service (which paid for the signs), the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, and the Hudson River Valley Greenway to design and fabricate fifteen signs related to the W3R®. The Town of Peeksill held a Juneteenth Parade following this dedication. This date coincided with the state-wide 'Path Through History' Weekend,

"Mayor Frank Catalina welcomed all to the event, Colonel Jim Johnson, Military Historian of the Hudson River Valley, provided the keynote address, and City Historian Frank Goderre added Peekskill's perspective. Peekskill was one of fifteen sites in New York State to receive a “Path to Victory” plaque from the National Park Service. This recognizes Peekskill's role in the historic march of the French and American Continental troops on their way to and from the successful siege of Yorktown, Virginia in 1781 and 1782.
video of Peekskill event [MOV format]
** video has been removed during site renovation **



2017-10-12  Annapolis MD, St. Johns College at 4:00 PM.

The Sons of the Revolution sponsored the 55th annual wreath-laying ceremony at the National Monument for French Soldiers and Sailors.

2017-10-18   Yorktown VA

October 18 - W3R® activities started on the waterfront of Yorktown with the dedication of a new statue of General Lafayette. This was being added to a conversation between the statue of General Washington and Admiral de Grasse. The statue was conceived and the funding organized through the American Friends of Lafayette. That organization's president, Alan Hoffman, is a Director of the W3R®-US.

Generals Washington and Lafayette with Admiral deGrasse

The Fall Board meeting of the W3R®-US was held at the National Park Service offices in the Yorktown Visitor Center from 2:00 PM to 4:45 PM. Reports from all the state organizations were received, the report of the Internal Audit Committee was discussed, and plans for several major projects were outlined. Minutes will be circulated to Board members before the Annual meeting.
State Reports: MA-CT-RI-NY-PA-DE-MD





October 19 - W3R® activities started with a brief ceremony at the French Cemetery to honor the French soldiers who died during the siege in 1781 and are buried here, far from home and family. W3R®-US Life Members Ralph Nelson (center) and Serge Gabriel (right) carried flags representing France in 1781 and France today.




Then we drove to the French Monument, which bears the names of several hundred soldiers and sailors who lost their lives during the allied operations during the American Revolution. Serge Gabriel again carried the flag of modern-day France.


W3R®-US then joined the many military, band, lineage society, and Francophile groups making up the Yorktown Day parade. Our marching contingent was small, but we had more members in the crowd along the street. We were cheered by all as we marched by.

2017-10-19 Yorktown Day Parade [MOV format]
** video has been removed during site renovation **

After the parade some units headed for home, while others found seats in front of the Victory Monument. There in the warm sun we sang the national anthems of France and the United States and heard several speeches on the French-U.S. alliance of 1778-1783.

After lunch some of us visited the completely renovated American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (ARMY). This has a wide variety of interactive displays and demonstrations as well as a well-stocked store and a resource center for teachers. You cannot get through it all in two hours.


Huzzah!    Huzzah!    Huzzah!

October 19, 2017, is the 236th Anniversary of the


Surrender of the British at Yorktown to


Generals Washington and Rochambeau.


Huzzah!    Huzzah!    Huzzah!

2017-10-21 (Saturday)  in the Rising Sun Inn at 11:00 AM
Dr. Robert Selig, Project Historian for the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail spoke on the September 1781 journey that took General Washington, General Rochambeau, and their allied U.S.-French armies down the historic post road and past the Rising Sun Inn on their way from Newport RI to the siege and victory at Yorktown VA.
The Rising Sun Inn is located at 1090 Generals Highway in Crownsville, MD 21032. Its website is at www.risingsuninn.org .

2017-10-26 (Thursday)  Middletown RI
“Un Gout de France”: A Taste of France

Attendees celebrated French history, food and culture at the annual dinner of the Newport Council for International Visitors, held at the Ramada Inn Conference Center in Middletown RI www.newportciv.org. They sampled French cuisine; enjoyed updates on the Hermione; and learned about the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R®) and the Alliance Française of Newport.
Guest Speaker: Dr. Robert A Selig, historian for the W3R® National Historic Trail -- which starts in Newport RI and ends at Yorktown VA.

In the morning Walter Staib -- chef of City Tavern in Philadelphia and star of an an award-winning series of cuisine in history, A Taste of History -- prepared a feast for the cast of re-enactors filming events based on Rochambeau's stay in Rhode Island. Later on, Dr. Selig was interviewed for a broadcast of the welcome Rochambeau and his French troops received to Newport and Rhode Island.



2017-10-31 (Halloween ) on National Public Radio  
Dr. Robert A. Selig was interviewed by "Newsworks Tonight" about
Macabre practices during the Revolutionary War
-- posted in a series of NPR podcasts.


2017-11-04 (Saturday) in Christiana DE at 10:00 AM  
Dedication of Interpretive Panel for the First Delaware Regiment
Members of the W3R-DE participated in the unveiling of a state historical sign honoring the First Delaware Regiment. The photos below are by Jean Marie Nardone and Bill Conley.
After the battle of Camden, South Carolina, in August 1781 only two companies remained of the First Delaware Regiment, under captains Kirkwood and Jaquette. They helped to keep British forces in place in South Carolina, preventing them from coming to the aid of the British forces under General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.
The Return of Soldiers from the War
the dedication address, by David Nardone

Social media are full of heart-warming videos celebrating the return of troops from the Middle East. Some of us can remember a time when soldiers returning from Viet Nam were spat upon. A few of us even remember the photograph of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square at the end of World War II.

Today is about the return and retirement of our own -- the Delaware Continentals. They went by a few names: the Delaware Continentals, the First Delaware Regiment, the Delaware Blues, Sons of the Blue Hen, and so on.

These guys were tough. Really tough.

Alex F. Nardone as a Delaware Continental soldier

A British army under General Cornwallis was stationed at Yorktown, Virginia. A group of fresh Delaware recruits marched with the allied French and Continental armies to Yorktown and was assigned to General Knox' artillery brigade during the siege. After the surrender on October 19th, 1781, many units began their journeys home. The Delaware recruits were ordered to South Carolina to help General Greene clear Charleston SC.


There they fought for another year. In November 1782 -- a year after the surrender -- the Delawares were ordered to make ready for their return march home. They arrived here at "Christeen Bridge" in mid-January, 1783, 720 miles from their last encampment at Ashley River, South Carolina. Ten months later, on November 3rd, 1783, on or near this spot, the Delaware Continentals mustered out of the Continental Army.

It was here that they gathered before marching to Yorktown. It was here that they returned home. Two hundred and thirty-four years later we gather here at this special place to acknowledge their bravery and their sacrifice, but especially their return home and the end of their service. Our fathers, .. our brothers, .. our sons.

Christopher Ward author of the definitive book on the Delaware Regiment, summed it up best when he wrote:
"Forged on the anvil of hardship, under the hammer of experience, the Delaware Regiment was a weapon which any of the great captains of history would have been glad to launch at his foe."

It is not too much to say that no other regiment in the Continental Army had a longer continuous term of service, marched more miles, fought in more battles, or achieved greater distinction than this one of Delaware.
--- end ---



To get to the marker, park on East Main St. in Christiana in the dirt lot across from the Christiana Fire Hall (at Old Baltimore Pike and East Main St.), walk east across Christiana bridge, go left on the riverside path into Lewden-Green State Park..

left to right: A. Nardone; D. Nardone, Vice-Chair of W3R®-DE; Bill Conley, Chair of W3R®-DE; Lt.Col. W. Blevins, U.S.A., DE National Guard; State Representative David Bentz (D), District 18

We thank Delaware State Representative David Bentz (18th District ) for funding this sign.



2017-11-04 (Saturday) in Fishkill NY from dawn to dusk  
RW re-enactors guarded the Fishkill Depot for posterity Revolutionary War re-enactors from the 5th New York and other regiments ceremonially guarded the Fishkill Supply Depot as part of a demonstration organized by the local historic preservation group Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot.


Re-enactors take the mourning stance to honor those who died.

The symbolic “Guarding of the Supply Depot” comes at a time when the Continental Commons development plan threatens to destroy the many cultural resources at the site, including the foundation of a soldiers’ barracks building first identified by archaeologists operating under the direction of Temple University in the early 1970s. Historical records indicate that on the exact same date 240 years ago (in 1777) the Fishkill Supply Depot was under threat of attack by local Tories and its security posture was heightened to meet the enemy.

Marching from morning until dusk, re-enactors guarded the perimeter of the Supply Depot by patrolling the roadside area (shoulder) where U.S. Route 9 intersects with Van Wyck Lake across from main entry to the Home Depot parking lot. For more about the Fishkill Supply Depot and how to help save it visit www.fishkillsupplydepot.org

2017-12-06 (Wednesday) Princeton NJ  
ROCHAMBEAU at PRINCETON In the Community Room of the Princeton Public Library (65 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08542) from 7:00 – 9:00 PM Dr. Robert Selig -- an expert on Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau -- gave a presentation on Rochambeau and the French expeditionary force he led through Princeton in August 1781. The French were on their way to help the Continental Army capture Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. Marching from Phillipsburg NY across New Jersey on separate routes, the Continental Army and the French Expeditionary Force united just north of Princeton. Rochambeau’s army of 5,000 men camped on the grounds of Morven (55 Stockton Street) on August 29-31, 1781. There is a W3R-US monument to this encampment on the grounds of Trinity Church in Princeton.

The following summer Rochambeau and his army returned from Yorktown through Princeton, where they received the resounding applause of the residents as they marched by. The route taken by the allied forces through Princeton is part of the Congressionally-designated Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail.

This event was sponsored by a partnership between the Morven Museum and Garden, the Princeton Battlefield Society, and the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route-NJ Association (W3R®-NJ) with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Princeton Battlefield Society is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, and the only Officially Recognized Friends Organization (ORFO) of Princeton Battlefield State Park. The PBS1777.org mission is to promote, interpret, conserve and protect Princeton Battlefield State Park and areas of the battlefield outside the Park. The Park is administered by the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, State Park Service for the people of New Jersey and other visitors. See PBS1777.org