Washington-Rochambeau March to Yorktown—240th anniversary events
Saturday, August 28—Somerset County
Celebrate the 240th Anniversary of the March to Yorktown Along the D&R Canal in Somerset County
The Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition (MVPC) is teaming up with Somerset County’s Franklin
Township on August 28 to commemorate the 700-mile victory march of thousands of
American and French troops along the Millstone River 240 years ago.
MVPC has arranged to have reenactors of French and
American troops near its visitor center at 2 Griggstown Causeway, at the
same time the township closes eight miles of Canal Road to through-traffic as
part of Franklin’s “Walk and Roll” community event. The road follows the
D&R Canal, built in the 1830s, and is part of the Millstone Valley National
Trenton-based reenactors of the First Rhode Island
Regiment will portray a mixed-race American unit that marched the trail in 1781
to participate in the final, decisive battle at Yorktown, Virginia. Around
1:00 p.m., reenactors will interpret the French Officers Rochambeau and
Chastellux (pictured), who led the allied French troops as allies to the
American forces, while a third reenactor interprets George Washington on
The event will be one of several 240th anniversary events organized in conjunction with the National Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association (W3R-US) and its local New Jersey chapter. W3R is the official partner to the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail, part of the National Park Service.
Saturday, August 28—Mercer County
On the Road to Victory at Yorktown—The Encampment in Trenton, August 1781
Relive the experiences of American and French soldiers as they joined forces for the decisive battle of the Revolutionary War
The Trent House
Association hosts an all-day event on Saturday, August 28, 2021, from 10 am
to 5 pm, celebrating the 240th anniversary of the Washington-Rochambeau march
to victory in Yorktown. This is a free outdoor event with activities suitable
for adults and children.
The final major
battle of the Revolutionary War took place in 1781 when the combined forces of
General Washington’s Continental Army and its French allies under General
Rochambeau captured British General Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown in Virginia.
It was at the end of August 1781 that the two armies first converged in
Princeton. They then proceeded down the King’s Highway, now New Jersey
Route 206, to encampment at Trenton, New Jersey before crossing the Delaware
River. On Saturday, August 28, 2021, the program at the William Trent
House Museum will portray the American and French soldiers who marched nearly
700 miles from Rhode Island to Yorktown.
2021 event features reenactors portraying soldiers from both the American and
French armies. Two re-enactor organizations – Le Régiment Bourbonnais and Le
Régiment Saintonge – represent French infantry and artillery. Also
participating are re-enactors of African American infantrymen of the 1st Rhode
Island Regiment and John Lamb’s Artillery Company. Demonstrations of military drills and camp life
take place throughout the event as well as other family-friendly activities and
historical talks. The William Trent House Museum as a site on the Washington-Rochambeau
Revolutionary Route National Heritage Trail will be recognized.
Co-sponsors of the
event include the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie, the Lawrence Historical
Society, and the National
Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association (W3R-US) and its local New Jersey chapter.
The event will be
one of several 240th anniversary programs in the
area. Also on August 28, the Millstone Valley Preservation Coalition (MVPC) and Franklin Township will host reenactors
representing both American and French troops. Both events will occur throughout
the day, and organizers encourage the public to spend the morning at one event
and the afternoon at the other. And on August 12, Morven Museum and
Garden will host a virtual talk,
“Rochambeau at Morven, given by Bob Selig.
For more information, visit https://williamtrenthouse.org.