French Army 1781-82 Winter Camps in Virginia


Following the victory at Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781. The American Conintental army returned with George Washington to New York, while the French Army under Rochambeau entered into the 1781-82 winter emcampment in Virginia. The following identifies the main French Army campsites in Virginia.

West Point was the camp of the French artillery, under M. de Chazelles.

Hampton was the camp of Lauzun's Legion until February 1782, when at the request of general Greene, the Legion relocated to the North Carolinia border. The Legion then under Choisy, as the duc de Lauzun had departed to France. The Legion remained in the vicinity of Charlotte Courthouse, Virginia, until June 1782, when it returned north, staying briefly at Petersburg (VA) before marching with the French Army back to New York and then to Boston.

Williamsburg was the site of the Rochambeau's headquarters and his general staff. Also it the site for the Bourbonnais regiment, seven companies of Royal Deux-Ponts regiment, and part of Auxonne artillery.

Jamestown was the site for three companies of Royal Deux-Ponts.

Yorktown was the site for the Soissonnais regiment, and the grenadiers and chasseurs of the Saintonge regiment.

Halfway House (on road from Yorktown to Hampton and Back River) was the site of other parts of the Saintonge regiment. This regiment relocated to Hampton in February 1782, when the 'Lauzun Legion' vacated Hampton to go to North Carolinia border.

Gloucesterwas the site for a detachment of 50 men and an artillery company

There were several scattered, isolated camps for outposts and to establish courrier services. For example, the French manned a 'Chain of Express' between New Kent CH, New Castle [near present Old Church], and Lynch's Tavern. Some of these courrier were manned by a few hussars, some by paid riders.

Source of information on this page was taken primarily from the second volume of The American Campaigns of Rochambeau's Army 1780,1781,1782, 1783, 2 vols. Edited by Howard C. Rice, Jr. and Ann S.K. Brown (Princeton University Press and Brown University Press, 1972).
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Page created 14 February 2001; revised 26 December 2004.