FIRST PHASE of the French army's strategic 'march to victory' was from Providence, Rhode Island, to the allied camp at Philipsburg, New York. General Washington's intent was to conduct operations to dislodge the English from New York. There was no thought of Yorktown, Virginia, at this point. Dates for this phase are 18 June - 6 July 1781.
The French forces, which had mostly camped in and around Newport, RI, since their July 1780 arrival in North America, moved to Providence, RI, by boats on 9-10 June 1781. The formal march began with the first camp at Providence.
Note the units marched in phases between camps, and the one-day marches between camps often overlapped dates.

1. Providence, RI
First March: 18-21 June
2. Waterman's Tavern, RI
(near present Pottersville)
Second March: 19-22 June
3. Plainfield, CT
Third March: 20-23 June
4. Windham, CT
Fourth March: 21-24 Jun
5. Bolton, CT
Fifth March: 22-28 June
6. East Hartford, CT
Sixth March: 25-28 June
7. Farmington, CT
Seventh March: 26-29 June
8. Barnes' Tavern, CT
(present Marion)
Eighth March: 27-30 June
9. Break Neck, CT
Ninth March: 28 June-1-July
10. Newtown, CT
Tenth March: 1-2 July
11. Ridgebury, CT
Eleventh March: 2-3 July
12. Bedford, CT
(Only one brigade)
(part of Eleventh March of 3 July)
13. North Castle, NY
(Mount Kisco)
Twelfth March: 6 July
14. Philipsburg, NY
The allied armies remained at Philipsburg anticipating a major operation against the English at New York City. In August 1781, the decision was made to conduct a strategic march against the English army in Virginia.
Note: numbering of day marches begins anew for this SECOND PHASE of the march to Yorktown.
14. Philipsburg, NY
First March: 18-19 August
15. Pines Bridge, NY
Second March: 21 August
16. Hunt's Tavern, NY
Third March: 22 August
17. King's Ferry, NY
Fourth March: 24 August
18. Haverstraw, NY
Fifth March: 25 August
19. Suffern, NY
Sixth March: 26 August
20. Pompton Meetinghouse, NJ
Seventh March: 27 August
21. Whippany, NJ
Eighth March: 27-29 August
22. Bullion's Tavern (Liberty Corner), NJ
Ninth March: 30 August
23. Somerset Courthouse (Millstone), NJ
Tenth March: 31 Aug-1 Sep
24. Princeton, NJ
Eleventh March: 1-2 Sep
25. Trenton, NJ
Twelfth March: 2-3 Sep
26. Red Lion
Thirteenth March: 3-4 Sep
27. Philadelphia, PA
Fourteenth March: 5-6 Sep
French army paraded past the Continental Congress.
Rochambeau went on a boat from Philadelphia to Chester, where George Washington met him with the news that de Grasse's squadron had arrived at the mouth of the Chesapeake.
28. Chester, PA
Fifteenth March: 6-7 Sep
29. Wilmington and Newport, DE
Sixteenth March: 7-8 Sep
30. Head of Elk, MD
(Where a few French embarked on boats.)
Seventeenth March: 9 Sep
31. Lower Ferry (Perryville), MD
Eighteenth March: 10 Sep
32. Bush Town (Harford), MD
Nineteenth March: 11 Sep
33. White Marsh, MD
Twentieth March: 12-15 Sep
34. Baltimore, MD
Twenty-First March: 16 Sep
35. Spurier's Tavern, MD
Twenty-Second March: 17 Sep
36. Scott's House, MD
Twenty-Third March: 18-21 Sep
37. Annapolis, MD
At Annapolis, sufficient ships had arrived to transport the army (except for the ox-drawn wagon train and horse mounted hussars, both of which traveled separately and completely overland) down the Chesapeake Bay.
Chesapeake voyage 22-25 Sep
38. Archer's Hope, VA
Twenty-Fourth March: 26-27 Sep
39. Williamsburg, VA
28 Sept, the Allied army moved into siege positions around Yorktown, VA

Washington and Rochambeau, with a small staff, departed from the main march of their armies after Wilmington, and traveled a separate route to Mount Vernon, VA. Washington rode ahead and reached his estate (after a six-years' absence) on 9 September. Rochambeau and the staff arrived the following day. The commanders continued their overland journey on 12 September, and arrived at Williamsburg 14 September.
Already waiting at Williamsburg were General La Fayette with a small American army, and General comte Saint-Simon with some French regiments that Admiral de Grasse had brought from the West Indies. Also waiting were the heavy siege-artillery pieces of Rochambeau's army that Admiral Barras had brought from Newport, RI, arriving in the Virginia waters 10 September.
On 18 September, Washington and Rochambeau visited De Grasse on his flagship, Ville de Paris.
The French army wagon train, which continued the overland march from Annapolis, arrived at the Allied camp 7 October, the day the siege entrenchment began.

Links to related pages on the march:

Return to
 Expédition Particulière Commenorative Cantonment webpage

Page created 31 August 1999; revised 24 September 2006.