225th Anniversary of the Washington - Rochambeau Revolutionary War Route.
Friday, June 30 through Sunday July 2, 2006
March to Victory Weekend- Ridgefield

"Rochambeau 's March across Connecticut"
    The National Park Service "W3R" Marker Exhibit
Ridgefield Historical Society
July 1&2, 2006
10AM- 4PM
To commemorate the 225th Anniversary of Rochambeau’s march, the National Park Service has designated his path as the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route (W3R). In turn, Connecticut’s Commission on Culture and Tourism has placed these permanent markers (see Ridgefield's shown below) at all eleven French campsites in our state.

This "statewide"marker exhibit by the Ridgefield Historical Society -- our very first -- tells the story of the comte de Rochambeau’s march across Connecticut by presenting reproductions of all eleven NPS historic markers, the last of which in Connecticut now stands in Ridgebury, at Rochambeau Encampment #11.

Together, these markers recount a fascinating chapter of our national, state and local history that we invite you all to share at our historic c.1714 David Scott House.

....The French Army in Connecticut - NPS Markers

1. Hartford: The First Meeting.  W3R Marker Exhibit
2. Wethersfield: Conference of War
3. Lebanon: The Cavalry comes to Connecticut
4. Scotland: Summer Spectacle
5&6. Bolton/Andover: Welcoming our Allies
7. East Hartford: Reinforcements on the Move
8. Middlebury: A Hard Road
9. Newtown: Housatonic River Crossing
10. Danbury: The Provision State.
11. Ridgebury: Linking with the Continental Army

Journal Entries & Commentary -
  Rochambeau in Ridgebury

“The Second Brigade left Newtown and marched 15 miles to Ridgebury, where it arrived at eleven o’clock. It was pre-ceded on its march to the camp by an advance detachment of grenadiers and chasseurs. I was ordered to lead them and to choose a good position for them a mile ahead of the brigade on the road to New York., where they camped after stationing sentries at all points leading in from enemy territory. Here we received a change of itinerary. The First Brigade which was to have marched to Salem, had marched to Bedford instead, and we had received the same order, when sud-denly at midnight there arrived from the General another order to proceed by a forced march to North Castle [Mount Kisco] where the whole army would be assembled. The Second Brigade left Ridgebury at three in the morning......." -- the journal of Louis-Alexandre Berthier, Captain and assistant quartermaster-general.

“At the homestead of John Norris, just within the Ridgefield Boundary, the officers with Rochambeau stopped for a brief rest and water. That morning, according to a local story, a child had been born in the household. Rochambeau requested the parents to name the child De Lauzun after his cavalry officer....it is a matter of record that succeeding generations of the Norris family utilized the Lauzun name, and it was also used in collateral branches of the family." --"Ridgefield in Re-view" by Silvio Bedini, 1956.

“In Ridgebury there were two encampments. The main body of troops camped upon the ridge east of the Congregational Church....the other division [Berthier] made its camp on the hill opposite the schoolhouse about a mile south of the church. The pay carts heavily loaded with specie were stationed under a heavy guard in front of the residence of Daniel Coley, one of the leading citizens of Ridgefield in his time, a strong and active patriot, and a soldier in the Revolution. The gold and silver money was packed in little kegs. The springs [behind Capt. Henry Whitney’s tannery] were dipped out and the soldiers procured a very large quantity of frogs and were thus able to gratify their natural taste for this delicacy.- “History of Ridgefield, Connecticut" by George L. Rockwell, 1927

Ensign Samuel Keeler conducted the tavern in Ridgebury street which stood near the church. The French officers were quartered here.... it was a coincidence that the date of the arrival of the French troops in Ridgebury was on Count de Ro-chambeau’s fifty-sixth birthday. One can imagine that a glorious birthday party was held that night at the old tavern. History gives us the names of the French chaplains who were with de Rochambeau. They were as follows: Reverend Fa-thers Robin, Gluson, Lacy, and St. Pierre. Undoubtedly the first Mass celebrated in Ridgefield was on July 2, 1781. – "History of Ridgefield, Connecticut" by George L. Rockwell, 1927.

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The 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution
Aquarion Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism
The Connecticut Humanites CouncilThe Friends Of The Ridgefield Library Association KIWANIS
Ridgefield Bank
The Russell Wadsworth Lewis Trust
March to Victory Weekend
Friday, June 30 through Sunday July 2, 2006 - Ridgefield, Connecticut
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