The W3R® of New York 

General information contact: James M. Johnson, Ph.D., at milhishr@frontiernet.net
To join the W3R®-NYcontact: James M. Johnson, Ph.D., at milhishr@frontiernet.net

Historic Events 1781-82 | Activities: 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008

W3R®-NY Board of Directors

  • Chair: Janet Burnet
  • Frank Jazzo
  • RADM J. Robert Lunney, Ret.

New York Affiliates 

Historic Events in New York 

  • On July 2, 1781, General Rochambeauís First Brigade reached the burned-out village of Bedford and established their first camp in the State of New York.

  • The French Army in its entirety assembled at North Castle, now known as Mount Kisco, on July 3, 1871

  • The French Expeditionary Force stayed near Philipsburg (now Greenburgh), for six weeks in July and August of 1781 alongside their American allies. The Philipsburg encampment was the longest of the French campaign in New York State

  • On July 8, 1781, General Washington reviewed the French forces encamped near Philipsburg. The following day, French officers were invited to observe as the American Army presented arms.

  • The allied U.S.-France army made a Grand Reconnaissance against the outer ring of defenses around New York City, July 21-23, 1781

  • On August 14th the allied generals received news that Admiral de Grasse could support the allied armies in the Chesapeake Bay area, but not New York, and plans to move south were finalized.

  • On August 19, the Continental Army, some 2,700-strong, marched through Dobbs Ferry on its way to crossing sites on the Hudson River. The New Jersey Line and Hazanís Regiment crossed that day at Dobbs Ferry and the rest crossed at Kingís Ferry on August 20-21.

  • The French Army returned to North Castle (Mount Kisco) on August 20th. The soldiers bivouacked and endured heavy rains at North Castle before marching to and camping at Huntís Tavern (currently the Town of Yorktown) the following day.

  • The French forces camped at Verplanck on August 22-24 before crossing the Hudson River. The crossing involved two regular ferry boats and an array of flat boats and sailing craft.

  • On August 23, 1781, Rochambeau, accompanied by Washington visited the fortress at West Point.

  • Between August 24th and 25th the French Army was encamped at Haverstraw (known today as Stony Point). The Americans had camped there in July of 1779.

  • On August 25th the army established camp in the village of Suffern, its last camp before leaving the state on the march toward the Chesapeake.

  • After a decisive victory at Yorktown and a winter stay in Virginia, the French regiments made their way back to New England. On September 13, 1782, the French re-entered New York state and created three separate camps in the same area of Suffern as the previous year. Continuing to retrace their steps, the French next stayed at Haverstraw, September 14th-16th.

  • After again crossing the Hudson River, the French army marched through Verplanck, where the American Army was camped, and rested in Peekskill from September 17th through the 23rd.

  • On September 23, 1782, Rochambeauís troops established four separate encampments near Huntís Tavern, staying until October 21st.

  • After a troublesome crossing of the Croton River, the French made their last camp in New York State the following day at Salem before marching east into Connecticut on September 23, 1782.

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W3R®-NY Activities 2001-2004 

2001: The Florence Gould Foundation supported an historical study of the W3R® in New York. This was completed by Dr. Robert Selig in 2001.

The Hudson River Valley Nature and Historical Association (HRVNHA) received funding from the Florence Gould Foundation and Heritage New York to produce wayside exhibits (signs) and a map/brochure to interpret the march though Westchester and Rockland counties. NYS DOT is a partner to produce highway signs.

A number of interpretive signs have been placed along the route by local historical societies at sites where officers and troops.

In collaboration with Impact, LLC, of Red Hook, the Military Historian of the Hudson River Valley designed two maps of the entire W3R®. The New York sections were incorporated into the National Park Serviceís study to determine the W3R®ís national significance.

2004: The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area (HRVNHA) marked the Washington-Rochambeau Trail in its American Revolutionary map/brochure, "The American Revolution in the Hudson River Valley".

W3R®-NY Activities in 2005 

  • 2005: The Florence Gould Foundation supported an archeological survey from Public Archeology Survey Team completed in 2005, and the preservation of the Odell House, the headquarters of General Rochambeau, in Hartsdale.

  • 2005: Governor George E. Pataki designated the Washington-Rochambeau Trail through Westchester and Rockland counties part of his New York State Revolutionary War Heritage Trail, and Heritage New York included it in its map/brochure in 2005.
  • W3R®-NY Activities in 2006 

    2006 July 22-23: 

    Grand Reconnaissance 225th, Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Cross River, NY In partnership with Westchester County Parks, the Brigade of the American Revolution hosted the encampment for all three umbrella organizations: the Brigade, the Continental Line, and the British Brigade; this last major battle re-enactment of the 225th Anniversary in the North drew hundreds of re-enactors and public.

    2006 July-Aug: Greenburgh: Exhibit of 16 paintings

    2006 Aug 26-27 (Patriotsí Weekend): 

    Crossing South at Verplank 225th, Verplank, NY Re-enactors camped by the Hudson at Verplanck, New York and portrayed the crossing by both American and French armies at Kingís Ferry from Verplanck to Stony Point on 1781 Aug 25-27. We had over 150 people, including 2 officers and 23 West Point cadets, at the lecture, which was well received. We had around 100 people at the ceremony for 8 French soldiers buried at Old St. Peter's with Congresswoman Sue Kelly, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi, and French Deputy Counsel General Chavin. Over the weekend we had about 1,000 public and 125 re-enactors. Dr. Johnson attended ceremonies at and spoke in Suffern to some 50 people along with Supervisor St. Lawrence and Mayor Keagan.

    W3R®-NY Activities in 2007 

    2007 Sept 22: Verplank: Crossing North at Verplank 225th 


    Re-enactors of Dillon's Regiment endure a river crossing under threatening skies.

    This anniversary of crossing the Hudson was a success. We had over 40 people at the Selig lecture, which was well received. We had around 50 people at the ceremony for 8 French soldiers buried at Old St. Peter's with Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi, and a French representative. Over the weekend we had about 500 public and 100 re-enactors despite rain. Governor Spitzerís representatives -- OPRHP Commissioner Carol Ash, and PIPC Director Jim Hall -- observed from a New York State Naval Militia patrol boat for the crossing. A second patrol boat and the sloop Clearwater (with fifty Boy Scouts), as well as numerous fireboats, escorted our 5 bateaus.

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    W3R®-NY Activities in 2008 

    2008 May 30: Yorktown NY: Historic Marker Dedicated 

    Mr. Dipasquale's seventh-grade American history class at the Mildred E. Strang Middle School in Yorktown NY researched and designed an historic marker commemorating the French army's 1781 and 1782 encampments at what is now called French Hill. Photos below (top to bottom): (1) = Mr. Dipasquale displays a $1,000.00 check from the State of New York in support of the project, (2) = At left, Col. James Johnson, chair of the W3R®-NY, joins students and other re-enactors in Revolutionary War unform. (3) and (4) = text on the sign, giving the local history of the encampments

    2008 Spring: Verplanck NY


    The Verplanck Residents Association installed street signs with W3R® logos along Broadway through Verplanck NY to mark the route of allied US.-French Armies in 1781.


    2008 April 19: New Windsor: End of Hostilities

    Several W3R® board members and advisors spoke at the commemoration of the 225th anniversary of Washington's proclamation of the cessation of hostilities. This was held at the New Windsor Cantonment site: Dr. Robert Selig (on the activities of the French Army in the American theater of operations), Col. James Johnson (USA, Ret.) (on the Hudson River Valley Institute).

    2008 July 14: Bastille Day Reception

    At the French Consulate in New York City the Deputy Consul General of France in New York, Mrs. Chantal Chauvin, recognized Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Dr. Jacques Bossiere, Col. Serge Gabriel, and Col. James Johnson for their roles in the passage of the W3R® bill by the U.S. House of Representatives.

    Col. Johnson, Deputy Consul Gen Mrs. Chauvin, Col. Gabriel
    [photo courtesy of Anthony Behar]

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    For later events see the Events link on the W3R®-US site