Most Happy 2017 to all my readers!

Celebrate with champagne

 

Winter is upon us now. What a good time to cozy up to a wonderful read about Rochambeau and Washington! Enjoy!

Today I am re-printing one of the reviews of my book that appeared in print or online:

N. R. wrote this:

“Great book on General Rochambeau.Probably the only one out there readily accessible in English on this great French commander. The book covers Rochambeau’s entire life but obviously spends most of it talking about his campaign in America. She draws on many different sources and is very descriptive when talking about how the French managed in America.

Everything is covered about how the French kept supplied, their relations with the native population, and Rochambeau’s relationship with Washington. She used numerous French sources to describe what they felt of America and Americans which added interest to the book. For example she states that many French were impressed by the Delaware River because it reminded them of the Loire River in France. The book also supplies information about different landmark sites where Rochambeau spent time in America.”

Many thanks for this review. I will post more next time…

I welcome your review and would be happy to include it in an upcoming blog! Please feel free to contact me

Bonne Annee 2017!!!

Advertisements

Hermione at Newport: Part 3 of 4:

Day one afternoon at Fort Adams under the tent as “Guests” (see photos below)

At Fort Adams we were able to get a close up look at the frigate with our Guest stickers on our lapels We gained entrance to the huge tent for special guests.  It was set up at the dock beside the frigate.

Let us not forget that the arrival of the Hermione was a salute to our two countries, France and America, who had been covert friends before the 1776 Declaration of Independence. In fact the French covertly shipped arms and cash via the wealthy Marblehead, Massachusetts, shipping merchant Jeremiah Lee.  His ships picked up war materiel in Spain contributed by the Dutch, the French and the Spanish, right up to the eve of the battle of Lexington and Concord.

This day in Newport, we celebrate the alliance of France and America that has extended over a period of some 240 years at least.  The dignitaries under the tent were many, some in French naval uniform, some in American Naval uniform, along with re-enactors sporting their colors representative of Revolutionary times and the rest of us in our best red, white and blue street clothes. With those three colors, one cannot go wrong as the tricolor is celebrated by both nations.

Represented under the tent were those who gave brief addresses to welcome the Hermione and her wonderful crew. The Naval War College of Newport band played patriotic songs and anthems.

Following the requisite speeches and thanks to the sponsors of this momentous event of huge proportion, we left the tent, hoping for some air to cool our brows. There was not much of that unfortunately. The late afternoon sun was unrelenting. We knew we would be welcomed aboard the frigate, but would have to stand in line even as “guests” that we were, so we opted out due to the incredible heat.

Instead we posed for some photos by the masthead of the ship, a romping lion in coat of gold! This lion had led the way across the Atlantic in peace to make its way up the Atlantic seaboard from Yorktown, where the final battle was fought under the leadership of the stalwart General Rochambeau from France and his commander while in America, General George Washington.

Moi in patriotic dress with Golden Rampant Lion Prow over my Shoulder. Photo: John L. Vail 7/8/2015

Moi in patriotic dress with Golden Rampant Lion Prow over my Shoulder.
Photo: John L. Vail 7/8/2015

 

Photo below with Hermione!

From left to right:  David Beglan and his wife, Mary Conseur; my husband, John Lester Vail and moi.

 

Hermione with David Beglan and wife, Mary Conseur, John and Jini 7-9-2015 August 19th

Don’t we look cool??? Well, we are far from it.  We are in fact, melting before your eyes, while trying to show a stiff upper lip.  The Frigate, Hermione, is really cool however, proudly showing her colors held out by a tiny breeze that seems to have missed the four of us!

We finally left the dock at Fort Adams for the cool of our B&B, the Jailhouse Inn, where we showered and readied for a fine French repast in an air-conditioned restaurant. The four of us dined with David’s brother, Brigadier General (Ret) John L. Beglan an, Jr. his wife, Paquita; my daughter, Heather Woodring and my granddaughter, Jessie Woodring. We even had 2 Society of the Cincinnati families in our number.

That night we chose the four star French restaurant, Bouchard’s. We were seated comfortably at a round table and enjoyed each other’s company for at least 3 hours! The Dover Sole is beyond belief!

Stay tuned for the last segment of our inspiring Newport trip.

 

Long live our shared history! America and France

Let’s take a look at Williamsburg, VA.  Where did General Rochambeau, Commander of French Army reside while in Williamsburg? How long was he there with his Army?

During the siege of Yorktown Rochambeau occupied the Peyton Randolph House, now beautifully restored as a part of Colonial Williamsburg. See photo below.

January 15th 2015-1.jpeg

Following the successful siege of Yorktown until the departure of the French on June 23, 1782, General Rochambeau made his headquarters at the George Wythe House. See below.

January 15th 2015

I visited both the Peyton Randolph and Wythe Houses on a fine fall day several years ago. It is exciting for me to tour these once-private homes where so much history happened. I salute Colonial Williamsburg!

For more info on these houses and the unexpected and rarely-recorded events that occurred in Williamsburg at the close of the American Revolution, I invite you to explore Chapter 10 and chapter 11 in my book: Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant, A French General’s Role in the American Revolution.
Why not plan a trip to Williamsburg and Yorktown for October 19? You will see the largest re-enactment of the Rev War at that time. Enjoy!!!

(Images: compliments of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)

Do you recognize this beautiful property and peaceful setting?

It is The Moore House with out buildings as seen today, very close to the battlefield at Yorktown, Virginia. It is important because it was here in October 1781 that the Articles of Capitulation were negotiated and drafted, finally bringing the British to their knees!

Rochambeau was instrumental in planning the winning battle of Yorktown.

The Moore House at Yorktown, Virginia

The Moore House at Yorktown, Virginia

Plans for the formal negotiations were made at the nearby Moore House overlooking the York River. According to the National Park Service, which now owns the house, the modest frame edifice had once been a part of York Plantation on a site first claimed by Governor John Harvey in the 1630s and later known as the five hundred – acre Temple Farm. Robert Smith was the owner until 1760  when he sold  the acreage to his brother-in-law, Augustine Moore.

The home is on the edge of the battlefield not far from the center of action. However, in 1781, when General Cornwallis settled into town with his army, many locals moved out of town in anticipation of the battle. It is believed that the Moores moved to Richmond for the time being to escape the coming siege.

Unlike that of the Nelson House, which was Cornwallis’s headquarters, the beautiful lines of the well-kept Moore house emerged in perfect condition from the battle at Yorktown, but it was marred during the Civil War. The National Park Service later bought and restored the building.
(Text from my book, Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant; A French General’s Role in the American Revolution.)

On This Day in American/French History:

Yorktown, Virginia 1781

“On the morning of October 17 the fighting stilled  at 10 o’clock when out of the musket smoke a small  drummer boy in a red coat stepped up … and began to drum out a message indicating parley.”

Artist: David R. Wagner

Artist: David R. Wagner

The British had finally sent out the white flag!

The last full out battle of the American Revolution was finished. Six years of war might be at an end. Generals Washington and Rochambeau had won against all odds at Yorktown.

Where are you on this August 14th?

I am raising my flag in thanks for the day of decision that happened at Hartsdale, NY, 233 years ago!

Let us never forget.

Original painting  of the Odell House by David R. Wagner, used as illustration in my book: Rochambeau, Washington's Ideal Lieutenant

Original painting of the Odell House by David R. Wagner, used as illustration in my book: Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant

 

It was the big day of decision for Generals Washington and Rochambeau! We know where they were on August 14, 1781 – at Rochambeau’s headquarters in Hartsdale, NY.  The courier brought the long-awaited message that French Admiral de Grasse was indeed en route for the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, bringing hard cash, thousands of soldiers and marines, plus a fleet of 29 French ships!

All coming to help America win her independence!!

Therefore, our two fine generals, French and American, were free to decide their strategy.  All deterrents were swept away. Washington took the lead as was his duty and gave the appropriate command to his elder strategist, Rochambeau, that the combined Franco-American Armies don their marching boots and head out in the fierce August heat for Yorktown, Virginia.

A day such as this should be proclaimed in the history books as one of the most important in shared French/American history! The world was turning upside down for the British. Washington, with the help of Rochambeau and de Grasse were about to chart a new course toward freedom and liberty in America! En avant!

On This Date in History

Today let’s celebrate with a Vin d’Honneur! It’s time for a special champagne toast to General Rochambeau on his birthday, born July 1st 1725.

Let us fill our Baccarat champagne flutes from the paquebot Liberté with a vin blanc pétillant de Vouvray, and use our commemorative plates created for this occasion by Heather Woodring using the original painting of Rochambeau by my very good friend, Rachel LePine.

In 1781 Rochambeau celebrated his 56th birthday in Ridgebury, CT, en route to join forces with the Continental Army of General George Washington in the Hudson Highlands of New York State.

July 1st 2014

We remember him still, after 289 years of birthdays!

Vive Rochambeau!!