The W3R® of Rhode Island

General information contact: Roseanna Gorham at RoseannaGorham@verizon.net
To join the W3R®-RI contact: Roseanna Gorham at RoseannaGorham@verizon.net

W3R®-RI Board of Directors

  • Chair: Roseanna Gorham
  • Nicholas Gorham, Esq.

Rhode Island Affiliates 

  • Alliance Francaise (Providence Chapter)

  • Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM)

  • Rhode Island State Society Daughters of the American Revolution

  • The Rhode Island Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

  • Kentish Guards, Rhode Island Militia
    -- The Kentish Guards were ordered to Newport in 1780 and 1781 to help guard the travel-weakened French Army. They were stationed in Newport during General Washington's visit with General Rochambeau in that city.
    -- Nathaniel Greene was a founding member of the Kentish Guards when it was chartered on October 29, 1774. This was an elite militia company in Rhode Island. Some members complained that Greene was unfit for military service due to a severe limp from an injury suffered in childhood. He served as a private in 1774 and early 1775.
    -- From 1770 to 1775 Greene was a member of the RI legislature, which appointed him Major General of the RI militia in May of 1775. A month later he was appointed by the Continental Congress as a Brigadier General of the Continental Army. After the British evacuated in March of 1776 he was appointed the military commander of that city.
    -- In the fall of 1780 Greene was selected to lead the Southern Army after it suffered two disastrous defeats under General Lincoln and then General Gates. His strategy of ambush and attrition compelled British General Cornwallis to abandon his supplies and to engage his army in a headlong pursuit of Greene'a army. This led to Cornwallis' pyrrhic victory at Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina, and necessitated his move to Virginia to await reinforcements. This led allied Generals Washington and Rochambeau to form the strategy using the allied U.S. and French forces to besiege and capture that British Army at Yorktown VA.

For history of the W3R® and tours in Rhode Island, see Touring RI

Major W3R® Activities and Commemorations

2006 April: W3R®-RI Report for the Past Year

2005 July 8th-10th: Rochambeau Landing in Newport
Rhode Island is proud to report that we made it through the 2005 planning and execution of the July 8th-10th celebration in Newport. The RI Rochambeau Commission hopes everyone enjoyed the festivities. Thank you for helping to make the “Landing of Rochambeau and the French Troops” a success.

Thanks to French Ambassador Levitte for honoring RI with his presence and fabulous speech; Governor Carcieri for without his support the event would not have taken place; Admiral Shuford, Pres. of the Naval War College for his hospitality and spectacular speech and (very awesome gift to the Ambassador); John Hattendorf, Naval War College Museum, for the fabulous “French Navy exhibit at Fort Adams; David McCullough for sharing his time, inspiration, and perfectly timed 1776 book hot off the press; the BAR, Conn and RI Militia units, and other re-enactment units for bringing history to life; and the so very many volunteers and sponsors that made the experience a very memorable moment.

Plans for 2006 June 16th-18th “March to Victory
We hope everyone returns to RI for the June 16th-18th, when the RI Rochambeau Commission has another spectacular line-up of events filled with fun and learning, entertainment and education along the W3R® in RI from Newport to Providence to Coventry, RI at the RI/Conn border.

June 16th: Newport - transport of French troops to Providence via the Bandaris. Providence - “Welcome Reception for troops and special guests.

June 17th: Brown Univ. Symposium and exhibits (JCB and John Haye Library); RI Historical Society walking tours and John Brown House tours; Living History demonstrations, Grand Parade, ceremony and reception at the State House.
Photo-report of the weekend: "Providence RI celebrates the French-American friendship" [French Consulate of Boston] -- no longer on-line

June 18th: RI/Conn border March to Victory closing ceremony at the Nicholas Farm Management Area to include a cavalry demonstration, military tactics demonstration, award ceremony, lunch with Washington, Rochambeau, and LaFayette.

RI Documentation Inventory -- The RI Rochambeau Historic Highway Commission funded the research for the Selig report, which is expected to be complete by June.

Respectfully submitted, Roseanna Gorham,
      W3R®-RI Chair and RI Rochambeau Commission Secretary


2006 May: Scouts Hike the Complete W3R® in Rhode Island

RI Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and re-enactors marched the W3R® from Newport RI to Providence and then to the RI/Conn border beginning on May 6th. Each weekend the group completed a ROUGHLY 10-mile leg of the trail until June 18th, when they passed the W3R® flag to Scouts from Connecticut. The W3R® flag continued to be passed down the trail to Yorktown and was then returned to RI. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation developed a first edition map of the W3R® in RI for this occasion.

On May 6, 2006, the first leg went off pretty much without a hitch. The send-off was great, thanks to Roseanna and Nicholas Gorham and the Newport Artillery company. Any late sleepers in Newport certainly got a surprise.

The marchers proceeded along the route without any difficulty. The Newport War College Base police met us at Gate 1 and we went up the hill to the area directly in front of the NWC Museum. We had a small ceremony and the 2nd RI Continental Regiment (re-enactors) fired a volley. We presented certificates of appreciation to the Public Affairs Officer (and also to the Station Commandant in absentia). The police escorted the marchers across the Naval Station, and shortly thereafter they were met by a Portsmouth police patrol that provided an escort for the length of the "Burma Road" that runs along the Bay for a good number of miles. We stopped for lunch along that same stretch and eventually reached our goal - Butts Hill.

All the Scouts made the complete trek and I was surprised to see a sprint for the last two hundred yards after a 10-mile walk. Carl Becker and two other members of the 2nd RI Regiment also made the entire march as well as Doc, Ed Rizy and two Scout leaders. One member of a Swansea Girl Scout Troop also made the entire march.

We finished with a ceremony at Butts Hill including a reading of the memorial inscription on the monument placed at the site many years ago by the Newport Historical Society. The last step was the distribution of the W3R® patches with appropriate congratulatory handshakes to each individual participant.

See our photo-reports of the Scouts and re-enactors hiking the fifty miles of W3R® in RI from Newport to Providence to the border with CT and the June 18 border ceremonies there:
-- May 6 through June 18
or download and print the 10-page Scout hike in RI [an MS Word DOC file].


2006 June: 225th Anniversary Activities in Providence RI

See our photo-reports of the activities on June 16 and 17: 225th Anniversary Activities
-- Providence Welcomes the French Troops
-- Brown University Symposium on France and the American Revolution Symposium Program
-- America's March to Yorktown begins from Newport


2006 June: Road Signage

The RI Rochambeau Historic Highway Commission worked with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to place over 100 wayfinding road signs along the W3R® in RI in time for the June 16th – 18th celebration. .

2007 May 6 -- The Return of the Baton Representing Rochambeau

Greetings Patriots and Friends of AMtY, the joy of the day to you all.

Yesterday, Saturday, May 5th, a 'little' ceremony took place at Camp Fogarty, National Guard Camp, in E. Greenwich, RI. T'was the momentous return of the infamous W3R® 'Baton' back to the folks in Rhode Island.

The story goes something like this..... At the beginning of the 225th Anniversary of the W3R® Rhode Island activities, June 17th, 2006, a 'Baton' (tis a curious thing, quite blue stained maple wood, about 1 1/4" dia, maybe 18" long, with 16 fleur-de-lea along its circumference, all in all a handsome little thing) was presented to a re-enactment group, (2nd Cont.Dragoons, if I recall correctly) the purpose being that the baton would somehow make its way to Yorktown, via some ceremonial work at each of the Colonial borders, thru the collective W3R®,or Boy Scouts. I am not quite privy as to how this was to all be carried out, but I think that was the plan. And apparently it went along well for awhile. I think that the redoubtable Roseanna Gorham was responsible for the 'baton' idea, and a good idea it was.

The 'Baton' did make its way to Philadelphia, without any help from the folks of AMtY, we had no idea where it was, nor did we see it again, for some 10 weeks after seeing it handed off in Providence, when it surfaced, sort of, in Philadelphia. There, it seems, it went amiss..... Apparently, it became stuck in the dark recesses of someone's closet, this person having it but not knowing quite what was to be done with it. Enter the energetic Ursala Reed, who managed to have the 'Baton' delivered to the AMtY (Rose, David, Mike and Dave) folks with instructions that they should carry it on to Yorktown. Thus we did..... I believe you can track all this in the on-line Daily Logs that Rose was writing as the March moved through the Philadelphia area....

So the Baton did go to Yorktown afterall, with AMtY, and now it was time to try to get it back to the good folks in RI. After some missed communications, we were finally able to set up a time, and place to hand-off the 'Baton' back to the folks it started with.

T'was a beautiful, spring morning yesterday. Thanks to the work of Roseanna Gorham, Gen. Bray (RI Natl. Guard Commander), Capt. John Tabor of Newport Artillery, and Richard Sheryka of the Kentish Guard, indeed a 'little' ceremony was accomplished. The 'Baton' was handed over the RI Militia authorities, in hopes that it is now in safe-keeping......

Be well, be safe, walk in History of your choosing...
. . . . . . . . . . I Remain, At Your Service
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Richard Swartwout, Chair, 'AMtY'