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Posted on Jul 24, 2006 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Walk Where They Fought: Path to Victory!

By Barnet Schecter and Robert A. Selig

The Tour

Armchair General is pleased to give readers the unique opportunity to retrace this historic “Path to Victory” in a special Walk Where They Fought tour. The following itinerary, by state, brings together the wealth of plaques, monuments, houses, taverns, roadways and scenic vistas that abound along the 600-mile Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R) through nine states and the District of Columbia. (See Strategic and Tour Map.) The tour begins in Rhode Island and Connecticut, but readers can also start in Virginia and proceed in the reverse order (the French forces essentially retraced the same route in 1782 on their return northward after the victory at Yorktown). This walk through history – more accurately described as a drive through history, unless one is intrepid enough to walk the route as Washington’s and Rochambeau’s troops did in 1781 – is an ACG exclusive!


Once Cornwallis’ army was trapped in Yorktown,
Washington’s and Rochambeau’s forces marched
(and sailed) to the sleepy tobacco port to capitalize
on the strategic “target of opportunity.”
Now, you can retrace their historic “Path to Victory”
through this exclusive Walk Where They Fought tour.

Detailed Directions

For detailed, continuous driving directions through all nine states, visit the official website of the W3R Association at and click on W3R Heritage Tour. For historical narratives of the march and the significance of each site, follow the links under the individual states and consult the historical survey for each state by Dr. Robert A. Selig. For the location/address of each site, consult the “Site Profiles” section in each historical survey.

The W3R Association, formed in 1999, is dedicated to researching and interpreting the route and having it designated a National Historic Trail. Information about the status of this effort is also available on the website.

Related websites include:

• The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Liaison Page,
• Status of the Washington-Rochambeau Route in Virginia,
• National Park Service: Northeast Region – Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Study, www.NPS.Gov/boso/w-r
• The Hudson River Valley Institute,

Follow the Action – Special Events Calendar

Numerous special events commemorating and celebrating the march to Yorktown take place during 2006, the 225th anniversary of the march. Events run the gamut from historical reenactments, symposia and organized hikes to plaque dedication ceremonies and church services. For more information, visit

State-by-State Tour Sections

For driving directions, visit and click on W3R Heritage Tour. For the significance and location of each site, consult the historical survey for each state by Dr. Robert A. Selig, especially the “Site Profiles” section.

Tour Section 1 – Rhode Island

The main French force was transported by boat from Newport to Providence, while the baggage train traveled by land. Reinforcements arrived in Providence from Pawtucket.

This year, a re-enactment group is marching the entire route, following the same schedule as 225 years ago: For information, contact Richard Swartwout at earhorn – at – or visit

Newport: William Vernon House; Joseph Wanton House; Captain Mawdsley House; Jacob Rodriguez Rivera House; Moses Levy and Moses Seixas House (listed as Buliod-Perry House, pre-1757, in NHR files); Hunter House; Wanton-Lyman-Hazard House; Robert Stevens House; Friends Meeting House; Trinity Church and Cemetery; Old Colony House; Presbyterian Church; Brick Market; White Horse Tavern; and Rochambeau Statue

Providence: Market House; Joseph Russell House; Joseph Brown House; Benjamin Cushing Jr. House; Governor Stephen Hopkins House; Campground of the French forces; Powder House; Monument in North Burial Ground; University Hall on the Brown University Campus; Old State House. Return in 1782: Jeremiah Dexter Farmhouse and Rochambeau Army Marker; French Campsite Marker; and Old Pidge or Sayles Tavern
After converging in Providence, the French force headed west toward Connecticut, passing several homes that still stand today, including the Nathan Westcott House, the Sheldon House, and the Joy Homestead.

Coventry: Waterman’s Tavern, where Rochambeau spent the night during his several trips to meet with Washington in Connecticut, and Campground Plaque at Waterman’s Tavern

Tour Section 2 – Connecticut

In addition to almost 50 of the shield-shaped bronze plaques that mark the W3R in the various states, Connecticut has begun installing 12 interpretive signs along the route. See the guidebook En Avant with Our French Allies by Robert Selig and Mary Donohue ($15) and a map/brochure, available from the Connecticut Commission of Culture and Tourism (860-566-3005).

Traversing the length of Connecticut, Rochambeau’s forces were greeted warmly at their campsites by local residents.

Sterling Hill: Department of Transportation Marker and Samuel Dorrance Inn

Between Sterling and Plainfield: Plainfield Pike/State Route 14A

Plainfield: Old Canterbury Road and Eleazar Cady House Plaque

Canterbury: Manship Road-Barstow Road

Scotland: Palmer Road (Route 14) and Huntington Homestead

Windham: Scotland Road

Lebanon: Mile-long town Green; Lebanon Historical Society Museum and Visitors Center; Governor Jonathan Trumbull’s War Office; Governor Jonathan Trumbull House; Jonathan Trumbull Jr. House Museum; Dr. William Beaumont House; Wadsworth Stable; First Congregational Church of Lebanon; Redwood, home of Governor Jonathan Trumbull’s son David; William Williams House; Simeon Gray Tavern; French Oven Plaque; French Army Memorial; and Gravesite Marker

Columbia: Columbia Green Historic District, including Lebanon Crank Inn

Coventry: French Army Monument and Nathan Hale Homestead

Andover: White’s Tavern at the Sign of the Black Horse and Rochambeau Plaque

Bolton: Oliver White Tavern; Site of Rev. George Colton House; and Bailey Road

Manchester: Richard Pitkin Tavern Sign

East Hartford: Silver Lane Plaque; Bicentennial Silver Lane Plaque; and Timothy Forbes House

Hartford: Old Meeting House Green Plaque and Bull’s Tavern Plaque; Old State House Plaque; Armory Painting; Wadsworth Barn Plaque; and Hartford Conference Monument

Wethersfield: Joseph Webb House Plaque; Joseph Webb House; First Church of Christ; and Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

West Hartford: Old Center Burying Yard

Farmington: Lest We Forget Rochambeau Plaque; Elm Tree Inn; and Stanley-Whitman House Museum

Southington: Rochambeau Monument on French Hill and Site of Asa Barnes Tavern

Waterbury: East Farms Cemetery Monument and Mattatuck Museum

Middlebury: Breakneck Hill Monument and Josiah Bronson Tavern

Southbury: Rochambeau Mural and Rochambeau Bridge Plaque

Newtown: Camp 10 Plaque and Caleb Baldwin Tavern

Ridgefield: Ridgebury Road (for a calendar of events in Ridgefield, visit

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1 Comment

  1. Can you please edit your comment under the picture of the Artillery above Section 9. These are not British uniforms, but Continental Artillery; they have light blue field pieces (a color established by BG Knox) the yellow hat trim of artillery (lasted up though the War of 1812) , and the black faced with red coats of the Ist Continental Artillery.

    I have been in the Artillery since 1975 and can send you references if you need them.

    Thank you,

    Ralph S. Siegrist
    Rear Det Commander
    1-108th FA BN