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Posted on Jul 31, 2006 in Armchair Reading

Additions to the Path to Victory tour

By Kevin Vincent

I enjoyed your excellent article much and am very pleased that you wrote it.  However, I have some corrections/comments for the Virginia Tour section that I would like to pass along. 

One overall comment I have is that I think it would be helpful to reorder some of the sites you list so that they go from north to south to make them easier to visit and to better correspond to the historical ride of Generals Washington, Rochambeau and the French cavalry/wagon train.  Your itinerary is mostly in that order but a few things are out of place, so I have rearranged them as indicated below.  Also I have added a few places that you omitted and may want to add in, and identified one or two sites that you perhaps want to delete.

Alexandria: Christ Church; Gadsby’s Tavern; and Alexandria Encampment Marker

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Zion Crossroads: Green Springs Historic District [This is a lovely area with several Revolution-era buildings but I’m not sure why you are listing it.  It is not on the line of march of Washington, Rochambeau or the French wagon train, although Lafayette and Tarleton moved through this area during their movements prior to Yorktown.

Near Mount Vernon: W3R Marker and Washington-Rochambeau Route to Victory Display, near the entrance to Historic Mount Vernon; the reconstructed stonework of Washington’s Grist Mill; and "Washington-Rochambeau Highway" (from Mount Vernon to Yorktown)

Lorton: Gunston Hall and Pohick Church [suggest you add Colchester in the Lorton area, the old town where the ferry crossed the Occoquan River and the French wagon train camped — the ferry landing is still visible, there is a privately-owned National Register house near the ferry that survives from the Revolution, and there is one historic marker about the campaign.

Prince William County: Rippon Lodge and Prince William County Marker, indicating preserved segment of the original Potomac Path.  I also suggest you add Dumfries in Prince William County, where there are several historic markers pertaining to the campaign, one privately-owned building from the Revolution on the highway, and a small segment of the original road preserved as a trail in Prince William Forest National Park.

Stafford County: Aquia Church [rearranged] [you may want to add Falmouth in Stafford County across the Rappahannock from Fredericksburg — there are multiple extant buildings from the Revolution, and Washington’s boyhood home (although not directly related) is also here]

Fredericksburg: Fredericksburg Historic District, including a marker at the northern end of the city; Kenmore House; Home of Mary Washington, George Washington’s mother; James Monroe Museum; and Rising Sun Tavern [suggest you add Caroline County — the French wagon train camped at Bowling Green, a lovely town with one Revolutionary mansion surviving which was on the route, plus the rural sections of the roadway through Caroline County probably best capture the feel of the original road]

Hanover: Hanover Tavern [rearranged] [also suggest you add Hanover Court House — surviving Court House from Revolution which is across the street from the Tavern (by the way, I have seen conflicting reports on the Tavern — some reports say the building is the colonial/Revolutionary era tavern, but other reports state that the present-day building was constructed in the 19th Century on the site of the Revolutionary era tavern.  The court house is unquestionably original).

New Kent: Marker at New Kent Courthouse Williamsburg: Williamsburg Historic District (for the Battle of Green Spring re-enactment, visit www.battleofgreenspring.org)  [you may want to add James River landing sites — I think (but don’t recall for certain) that the NPS has an interpretive panel on the Colonial Parkway between Jamestown and Williamsburg which indicates the landing sites where the French and American forces landed just before they advanced on Yorktown — you might want to confirm with the NPS whether or not I am just dreaming this up because I think the markers should be there]

Charlotte County: Charlotte Courthouse Historic District [I think it is good to list this, because Tarleton raided here and the French cavalry  wintered here 1781-1782 after the victory at Yorktown, but it was not on the direct line of march]

Gloucester: Gloucester County Court House Square Historic District Yorktown: Washington-Rochambeau sign at Route 1020 and Colonial Parkway; Yorktown Battlefield; and Yorktown Victory Center.

One Revolutionary War game which was not mentioned, but which I found with a glowing recommendation on the Armchairgeneral website can be found at the following address — http://www.ageod.com/achat/produit_details.php?id=1019.  Interestingly from the W3R perspective, the authors of this game are from France!

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