Who was Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur de Rochambeau?

Guess who has returned to the classroom?
I did!!! And I did not go empty-handed!!
Under my arm I brought my old friend, Rochambeau!

He’s dressed up and I’m dressed down ~

Portrait of General Rochambeau by Rachel LePine

Portrait of General Rochambeau by Rachel LePine

I carried him under my arm into the classroom of a middle school in CT. I revealed him bit by bit over five days to a classroom of hungry students, students eager to learn about the man who helped George Washington win our independence from Britain in 1781.

What I carried under my arm was my biography/military history of this hidden hero of America and France. Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur de Rochambeau.  His story is ever on my mind, ever ready to be proclaimed to eager student of history.

My students in this pilot course came through with flying colors! They asked intelligent questions; they learned of the sacrifice made by 18th century women to the war effort in America; they wrote letters back home to France through the eyes and ears of a French soldier who marched  across CT with Rochambeau; they wrote editorials to the Hartford Courant of 1781 after witnessing the Battle of Yorktown!  I rejoiced!

King George III of England is cow-towed! And hog-tied!!

November 1st

Here are a few things you may not know that happened after the Surrender of Yorktown, VA, October 19th 1781

 

October 19, 1781
Later that afternoon the Duc de Lauzun, French cavalry officer, faced his opposite on the battlefield of Gloucester Peninsula, Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton, British cavalry, as the latter surrendered to him.

 

October 19, 1781
That night Rochambeau invited the vanquished Cornwallis for supper, but was turned down.  He had pled ill and skipped the Surrender Ceremonies as well.

 

October 21, 1781
French Commissary-in-Chief, Claude Blanchard finally took time away from the busy hospital in Williamsburg. “I went to see the City of York.”

 

October 24, 1781
The Duc de Lauzun was dispatched to Paris to tell King Louis XVI  the good news!

 

October 26, 1781
Comte Guillaume de Deux Ponts was dispatched to Paris to tell the King the Good News too! (on a separate ship)

Not long after – no date given: British King George III penned a letter saying, “America is lost. Must we fall beneath the blow?”

And so it went that glorious month of October 1781!!!