The Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail in the State of Connecticut

TIMELINE

January

February

March

 

1781, March 2:           Washington departs from New Windsor with Major General

Robert Howe and his aides Tench Tilghman and David

Humphries to meet with Rochambeau in Newport.

 

1781, March 3:           Washington spends the night at the home of Col. Andrew

Morehouse of Dutchess County on the Fishkill-Hopewell road,

near the Connecticut State line.

 

1781, March 4:           Washington meets up with Governor Jonathan Trumbull and

his son Jonathan Jr. in Hartford. Washington and the younger

Trumbull continue on to Lebanon where they spend the night.

 

1781, March 6:           Washington arrives in Newport.

 

1781, March 15:         Coming from a meeting with Rochambeau in Newport,

Washington and his military family leave Providence and ride

to Lebanon in Connecticut via Canterbury, Scotland and

Windham, traveling more than 60 miles on horseback.

 

1781, March 16:         Washington leaves Lebanon for Hartford.

 

1781, March 18:         Leaves Hartford for New Windsor.

1781, March 20:         Washington is back in New Windsor.

 

April

 

1781, April 5:             Admiral de Grasse leaves Brest for the Caribbean.

May

 

1781, May 6:               Rochambeau’s son returns from France with cash and the news

that the second division would not be coming after all.

 

1781, May 18:           Washington leaves New Windsor for Wethersfield. He spends

the night at Morgan’s tavern, 43 miles from Fishkill, NY.

 

1781, May 19:             Rochambeau and Chastellux leave Newport for Wethersfield.

 

Washington arrives in Wethersfield accompanied by Henry

Knox and Presle Duportail; lodges in the home of Joseph Webb.

 

1781, May 20:             Rochambeau and Chastellux spend the night at Daniel “White’s

Tavern at the Sign of the Black Horse” in Andover.

 

1781, May 21:             Rochambeau and Chastellux arrive in Wethersfield and lodge at

Stillmann’s Tavern.

 

1781, May 22:             Washington and Rochambeau meet at Wethersfield to discuss

strategy. They decide to focus on New York City.

 

1781, May 23:             Rochambeau and Chastellux spend the night in Wethersfield.

 

1781, May 24:             Rochambeau and Chastellux spend the night at Daniel “White’s

Tavern at the Sign of the Black Horse” in Andover.

 

Washington leaves Hartford and spends the night in Litchfield.

 

1781, May 25:             Rochambeau and Chastellux spend the night in Providence.

 

Washington arrives in New Windsor at about sunset.

 

1781, May 26:             Rochambeau and Chastellux return to Newport.

June

 

1781, June 13:           Lieutenant-Colonel Hugau of Lauzun’s Legion receives orders

to march from Providence to Lebanon on Saturday, 16 June,

with the 31 healthy replacements for the Legion from the Royal

Barrois due to arrive that day from Boston.

 

1781, June 14:           The infantry and artillery of Lauzun’s Legion leave Providence

and spend the nights of 14/15 June in Plainfield, and of 16/17

June in Windham. They arrive in Lebanon on 17 June.

 

1781, June 16:           Lieutenant-Colonel Hugau leaves Providence for Lebanon.

 

1781, June 17:           Coming from Providence, Hugau quarters in Plainfield.

 

1781, June 18:           Coming from Plainfield, Hugau quarters in Windham.

 

1781, June 19:           Coming from Windham, Hugau arrives in Lebanon.

 

For the march to New York Rochambeau organized his forces

into four divisions of one infantry regiment each plus its

artillery complement and wagon train. Lauzun’s Legion took a

route separate from the infantry that took it along the coast..

 

The Regiment Bourbonnois as the first French division is the

first French unit to cross into Connecticut from Rhode Island on

its way to its camp in Plainfield.

 

The remaining regiments, the Royal Deux-Ponts, Soissonnnois

and Saintonge follow over the next three days.

 

1781, June 20:           The Regiment Bourbonnois camps in Windham. The remaining

three regiments, Royal Deux-Ponts, Soissonnnois and Saintonge

follow over the next three days.

 

1781, June 21:           The Regiment Bourbonnois camps in Bolton. The remaining

three regiments, Royal Deux-Ponts, Soissonnnois and Saintonge

follow over the next three days.

 

Lauzun’s Legion, some 600 men strong including its infantry

supplement which had wintered in Newport, leaves Lebanon

for Philippsburg on a route on the left flank of the infantry.

 

The northern detachment of Lauzun’s Legion encamps just

north of Amston on Amston Lake.

 

The column marching closer to the coast camps at Pine Swamp.

 

1781, June 22:           The Regiment Bourbonnois camps in Hartford. The remaining

three regiments, Royal Deux-Ponts, Soissonnnois and Saintonge

follow over the next three days for three days’ rest each.

 

The detachment of Lauzun’s Legion coming from Amston Lake

camps in Middletown on the west bank of the Connecticut

River. 23/24 June 1781 are spent crossing the River.

 

The column from Pine Swamp marches toward East Haddam.

There it crosses the Connecticut River and continues toward

the coast through Chester until it enters the Boston Turnpike.

It is unknown where they camp on 22, 23, 24, and 25 June.

 

1781, June 25:           The Regiment Bourbonnois camps in Farmington. The remaining

three regiments, Royal Deux-Ponts, Soissonnnois and Saintonge

follow over the next three days.

 

The inland column of Lauzun’s Legion leaves its camp at

Middletown for their next camp in Wallingford along East

Center Street, Scard and Northford.

 

1781, June 26:           The Regiment Bourbonnois camps at Barnes Tavern in Marion/

Southington. The remaining three regiments, Royal Deux-Ponts,

Soissonnnois and Saintonge follow over the next three days.

 

Lauzun’s Legion unites at a camp in New Haven.

 

1781, June 27:           The Regiment Bourbonnois camps in Break Neck, today’s

Middletown. The other three regiments, Royal Deux-Ponts,

Soissonnnois and Saintonge follow over the next three days.

 

Lauzun’s Legion marches from New Haven to Derby/Oxford. In

Derby the Legion was encamped on or near Sentinel Hill in East

Derby, now a part of the City of Derby. In 1781 the area now

called East Derby was a small port town at the confluence of the

Naugatuck River and the Housatonic.

 

1781, June 28:           The Regiment Bourbonnois camps in Newtown for three days

rest. The remaining three regiments, Royal Deux-Ponts,

Soissonnnois and Saintonge follow over the next three days.

 

As it leaves Derby the Legion divided again: some of Lauzun’s

men cross the Housatonic Rivers with the help of the scow and

march southwest through Ripton to North Stratford and North

Fairfield to Ridgefield. They spend the night in North Stratford.

 

A second detachment marches northwest and crosses the

Housatonic about 2 1/2 miles north of its confluence with the

Naugatuck and then continued due west to Redding and New

Stratford to Ridgefield. The column camps in Redding.

 

A note on place names: Ripton Society was established in 1717,

North Stratford Society in 1744. In 1797, North Stratford was

incorporated as Trumbull. New Stratford was created from

parts of Ripton and North Stratford in 1762.

 

In January 1789, Ripton and New Stratford united to form the

Town of Huntington. In May 1823, the Society of New Stratford

was allowed to separate from the Town of Huntington again

and was incorporated as the Town of Monroe.

 

1781, June 29:           The Regiment Bourbonnois camps in Newtown. The Royal

Deux-Ponts arrives, the Soissonnnois will arrive on 30 June and

Saintonge on 1 July.

 

One detachment of Lauzun’s Legion camps in North Stratford,

the other in Redding.

 

1781, June 30:           The Regiments Bourbonnois and Royal Deux-Ponts camp in

Newton. The Soissonnnois arrives around noon, the Saintonge

will arrive on 1 July.

The re-united Legion camps in Ridgefield.

 

July

 

1781, July 1:               Rochambeau re-organizes his troops into two-regiment

brigades. The First Brigade, i.e. the Regiments Bourbonnois

and the Royal Deux-Ponts marches to New Castle, today’s Mt.

Kisko. They camp in Bedford near the lake in the triangle

formed by Seminary, Court, and Poundridge Roads.

 

1781, July 2:               The First Brigade consisting of the Regiments Bourbonnois and

Royal Deux-Ponts camp in New Castle/Mt. Kisko.

The Second Brigade consisting of the Regiments Soissonnnois

and Saintonge marches to its camp in Ridgebury.

 

Continental Army leaves on a night march for an attack on

Morrisania. It reaches Valentine’s Hill around sunrise on 3 July.

 

Lauzun’s Legion joined Rochambeau and his First Brigade on the

march to Bedford Village. Here Lauzun’s troops rested briefly

before taking off to join with General Benjamin Lincoln for a night

attack on Morrisania.

 

Following SR 22, the Old Post Road, past Wampus Lake through

Armonk south through East Chester and West Chester, Lauzun’s

troops are late in reaching Morrisania at the juncture of the Harlem

and East Rivers in the morning of July 3. The attack fails.

 

1781, July 3:               The Second Brigade consisting of the Regiments Soissonnnois

and Saintonge marches from Ridgebury to a camp near the

junction of Routes 117 and 172 in Mount Kisco.

 

Here it joins the troops of the First Brigade which had marched

there earlier that day.

 

Following a brief encounter with De Lancey’s Loyalists, Lauzun

withdraws to Valentine’s Hill and camps on East Chester Road.

Washington spends the day reconnoitering Crown Forces.

August

September

 

1781, September 6: Crown forces under Benedict Arnold burn New London.

 

 

1780, September 18: Rochambeau and Admiral de Ternay set out from Newport at

around 9:00 a.m. to meet Washington in Hartford, CT. They

spend the night with Lt.-Gov. Jabez Bowen in Providence.

 

Washington leaves West Point for Hartford.

 

1780, September 19: A broken wheel forces Rochambeau and de Ternay to spend

the night in an unknown Tavern in Scotland.

 

Washington spends the night at an unknown location.

 

1780, September 20: Rochambeau and Ternay take lodgings in the home of

Jeremiah Wadsworth in Hartford.

 

Washington arrives in Hartford.

 

1780, September 21: Hartford Conference between Rochambeau and Washington.

 

1780, September 22: Another broken wheel at the same spot as on 19 September

forces Rochambeau and de Ternay to again spend the night in

an unknown Tavern in Scotland.

 

1780, September 23: Rochambeau and Admiral de Ternay spend the night with Lt.-

Gov. Jabez Bowen in Providence.

 

Washington leaves Hartford and spends the night in Litchfield.

 

1780, September 24: Washington reaches Fishkill where he meets French

Ambassador the chevalier de la Luzerne. They spend the night

in Fishkill.

 

1780, September 25: Rochambeau and Admiral de Ternay return to Newport at

around 7:00 p.m.

 

Washington returns to West Point where he learns of the

treason of Benedict Arnold.

October

 

1780, October 19:     Rochambeau inquires of Governor Jonathan Trumbull about

the possibility of quartering the Legion in Connecticut.

 

1780, October 23:     The legislature agrees to provide quarters for the legion in

Lebanon and in Colchester.

 

1782, October 23:     In preparation for the march to the northward Rochambeau

had divided his forces in Virginia into five divisions of one

regiment each which marched one day apart. That structure

was maintained until the arrival of the Second Division, i.e., the

Bourbonnois Regiment, in Trenton on 3 September 1782.

 

For the march from there to Massachusetts, Rochambeau re-

organized his forces again into two brigades with the

Bourbonnois and Royal Deux-Ponts Regiments forming the

First Brigade and the Soissonnois and Saintonge Regiments as

the Second Brigade.

 

Lauzun’s Legion does not join the infantry regiments on their

march to Boston. It marches instead from New York to winter

quarters in Wilmington, Delaware.

 

Coming from North Salem the French First Brigade consisting

of the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-Ponts

camps in Danbury. The Second Brigade consisting of the

Regiments Soissonnnois and Saintonge follows the next day.

 

1782, October 24:     Coming from Danbury the French First Brigade consisting of

the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-Ponts camps

in Newtown. The Second Brigade consisting of the Regiments

Soissonnnois and Saintonge follows the next day. Both

brigades have a day of rest.

 

1782, October 26:     Coming from Newtown the French First Brigade consisting of

the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-Ponts camps

in Breakneck. The Second Brigade consisting of the Regiments

Soissonnnois and Saintonge follows the next day.

 

1782, October 27:     Coming from Breakneck the French First Brigade consisting of

the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-Ponts camps

at Joshua Barnes’ Tavern. The Second Brigade consisting of the

Regiments Sossonnnois and Saintonge follows the next day.

 

1782, October 28:     Coming from Barnes’ Tavern the French First Brigade

consisting of the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-

Ponts camp in Farmington. The Second Brigade consisting of

the Regiments Soissonnnois and Saintonge follow the next day.

 

1782, October 29:     Coming from Farmington the French First Brigade consisting of

the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-Ponts camp in

Hartford. The Second Brigade consisting of the Regiments

Soissonnnois and Saintonge follow the next day. Here the

Regiments rest until 3 November.

November

 

1782, November 3:   Marching one day ahead of the infantry, the campaign artillery

leaves for Bolton.

 

1782, November 4:   Coming from Hartford the French First Brigade consisting of

the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-Ponts camp in

Bolton. The Second Brigade consisting of the Regiments

Soissonnnois and Saintonge follow the next day.

 

1782, November 5:   Coming from Bolton the French First Brigade consisting of

the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-Ponts camp in

Windham. The Second Brigade consisting of the Regiments

Soissonnnois and Saintonge follow the next day.

 

1782, November 7:   Coming from Windham the French First Brigade consisting of

the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-Ponts camp in

Canterbury. The Second Brigade consisting of the Regiments

Soissonnnois and Saintonge follow the next day. The Regiments

have a day of rest.

 

1782, November 8:   Coming from Canterbury the French First Brigade consisting of

the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-Ponts camp

near Dorrance’ Tavern. The Second Brigade consisting of the

Regiments Soissonnnois and Saintonge follow the next day.

 

1782, November 9:   Coming from Dorrance Tavern the French First Brigade

consisting of the Regiments Bourbonnois and the Royal Deux-

Ponts camp near Waterman’s Tavern in Rhode Island. The

Second Brigade consisting of the Regiments Soissonnnois and

Saintonge follow the next day.

 

1780, November 9:   The hussars of Lauzun’s Legion leave Newport for Providence.

 

1782, November 10: Second Brigade consisting of the Regiments Soissonnnois and

Saintonge marches to Waterman’s Tavern in Rhode Island. The

last French forces have left Connecticut.

 

1780, November 12: Coming from Providence the hussars arrive in Windham.

 

1780, November 12-19: The hussars are quartered in Windham.

 

1780, November 20: Coming from Windham the hussars arrive in Lebanon.

December

 

1782, December 1:   Rochambeau, his son, the comte de Vauban and the comte de

Lauberdière leave Providence. Traveling via Angel’s Tavern the

group spends the night at Dorrance’ Tavern in Connecticut.

Canterbury, Windham, Bolton, Hartford, Farmington and

Litchfield take them to Moorhouse Tavern in Dutchess County.

He reaches Newburgh on 7 December. The individual stopping

places for 2/3, 3/4, 4/5 and 5/6 December are unknown.

 

1780, December 26: Jacques Sauker, age 25, of the Second Squadron of Hussars is

executed for attempted desertion by firing squad in Lebanon

 

Some time during the winter of 1782/83 a quarantine camp for French soldiers infected with smallpox is established in Coventry. Seven men are said to have died there.