The Van Cortlandtville Historical Society will hold its annual memorial service for the eight French soldiers who died in Van Cortlandtville during the Revolutionary War at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 3, 2022, at Old Saint Peter’s Church.
Past President Jeff Canning, continuing a tradition that began in 2001, will lead the 20-minute service, which will include a background talk, a musket salute by uniformed re-enactors, a bilingual prayer and a mourn arms ceremony.
French forces used the church, at Oregon Road and Locust Avenue in Van Cortlandtville, as a military hospital in 1781 and 1782 when they were in the area before and after the victory of Generals Washington and Rochambeau over the British in Yorktown, Virginia, in October 1781. Eight of the soldiers died of undetermined causes and seven are buried in unmarked graves near the Church in the Old Cemetery. The body of the eighth, an officer who was a member of the provincial French nobility, eventually was returned to France for burial.
The service will be followed by light refreshments at the neighboring Little Red Schoolhouse, 297 Locust Ave., Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567, headquarters of the Historical Society. Please use this address for electronic wayfinding and park at either the Schoolhouse or the Church.