Directions for retracing the historic
WASHINGTON-ROCHAMBEAU ROUTE of 1781
along modern roads
between Mount Vernon and Yorktown, Virginia

In the last phase of their strategic march from position around New York, generals Washington and Rochambeau made their march between Mount Vernon, Virginia, and the Town of York (Yorktown), Virginia, along a well worn path of the time whic lay approximately on the modern day routes cited in the following text.

12 SEPTEMBER 1781. Leaving Mount Vernon by the driveway, the generals and their personal staffs proceeded west along a patch that corresponds to the current Virginia State Route 235 ('South' -- but really heads west) to US Route 1. They turned south on to the path that corresponds to US Route. They continued to its intersection with Secondary Route 611 at Pohick. They continued south on 611 to its intersection again with US Route 1. Washington and Rochambeau crossed the Occoquan River by ferry to Woodbridge.
The American and French wagon trains along with the French cavalry of the Duc de Lauzun followed the generals and their staffs by approximately 15 days. The wagons forded the Occoquan Creek near the town of Occoquan. The main body of the allied force had embarked at Annapolis, Maryland, on boats down the Potomac River to the Williamsburg area.
Washington and Rochambeau continued on US Route 1 passing Woodbridge, Dumfries, Stafford Courthouse, enroute to Falmouth. They forded the Rappahanock River on the west side of US Route 1 and turned southeast along US Business Route 17. Washington and Rochambeau spent the night of he 12th in Fredricksburg.

13 SEPTEMBER. Washington and Rochambeau left Fredericksburg early in the morning, heading south on State Route 2 to its intersection with US Route 17 at New Post. They continued on Route 2 that passed Widewake and Villboro to the intersection of Secondary Route 626. They traveled south along Secondary Route 626 to Secondary Route 609. On Secondary Route 609, they proceeded southeast to the intersection with State Route 2. On State Route 2, they journeyed south to Secondary Route 631. On Secondary Route 631, they proceeded in a southerly direction until they rejoined State Route 2 north of Bowling Green. Continuing south along State Route 2, they traveled a portion where US Route 301 and US Business Route 301 overlap until reaching Secodary Route 695 south of Bowling Green.
The generals kept the southerly direction on Secondat Route 695 to the intersections of US Route 301 and State Route 2. They continued along US Route 301 and State Route 2 to secondary Route 721 south of Antioch Fork. At this point their route zigzagged est and west of the main US Route 301 and State Route 2, heading south. They went southeast on Secondary Route 721 to Secondary Route 627, south on Secondary Route 627 to Secondary Route 623, west on Secondary Route 623 to Secondary Route 654, west on Secondary Route 654 to Secondary Route 601, and northwest on Secondary Route 601 to Secondary Route 654. They went west-southwest on Secondary Route 654, crossing US Route 301 and State Route 2, enroute to Secondary Route 656. On Secondary Route 656, they proceeded southeast to the intersection of US Route 301 and State Route 2. Crossing US Route 301 and State Route 2, they proceeded to secondary Route 648. they traveled along Secondary route 648 to its intersection with Secondary Route 649 at Lorne, and continued south on Secondary Route 649 to Secodary Route 600. Traveling southeasterly on Secondary Route 600, they again crossed US Route 301 and State Route 2, continuing to Secondary Route 602. They took Secondary Route 602 in the southeasterly direction to Secondary 651. On Secondary Route 651, they crossed state Route 30, US Route 301 and State Route 2 three times enroute to the intersection of US Route 301 and State Route 2, near the north end of Little Page Bridge over the Pamunkey River. They entered the little hamlet of Hanover Courthouse.
It is believed that Washington and Rochambeau stayed the night at Hanover CH Inn, or at the Inn at Hanover Town. It was approximately 53 miles from Fredericksburg to Hanover CH, and 8 miles further to Hanover Town.

14 SEPTEMBER. From Hanover CH, they headed south along Secondary Route 605. At intersection of Secondary Route 604, they took Secondary Route 604 to Secondary Route 606 east of Studley. They continued southeasterly along Secondary Route 606 by way of Old Church, Tunstall and took a southern direction on Secondary Route 609 to its intersection with State Route 249 at Talleysville. Proceeding along State Route 249, they passed by New Kent Courthouse and Angelview Church to State Route 30 at Barhamsville. Heading south on State Route 30, they traveled to US Route 60 at Andersons Corner. Proceeding south on US Route 60, they passed Toano, Norge, and Lightfoot until they intersected Route 162 in the City of Williamsburg.
They had traveled approximately forty seven miles this day. On arrival, they reviewed the French and American troops and received a 21 gun salute.
While generals Washington and Rochambeau were in Williamsburg, the wagon trains were on Clonel William Daingerfield's plantation called 'Belvldere'. Here they obtained large quantities of hay. Belvidere was east of State Route 2 and north of US Route 17, on the southside of the Rappahannock River.
Duc de Lauzun's cavalry had separated from the wagon train on 13 September. The cavalry proceeded east on Route 721 to Gloucester Courthouse and took up positions in the siege of the British troops at Gloucester Point across the river from Yorktown.

28 SEPTEMBER. With their assembled allied forces, Washington and Rochambeau left Williamsburg to initiate their siege of General Cornwallis at Yorktown. They departed Williamsburg on state Route 162 to intersect Route 5 and State Route 31. They traveled easterly along State Routes 5 and 31 to intersect with US Route 60 in the City of Wiliamsburg. ALong US Route their march continued southeastward tothe inersection of State Route 238. From there they deployed north to their siege positions in front of Yorktown.

This page describes a trace for the September 1781 ‘Washington-Rochambeau Route' as identified by a bill enacted by the Virginia General Assembly in 1980. However, 2007 research points to some probable inaccuracies in this description. See:


Retrun to Washington-Rochambeau Route


Page last revised 5 August 2011.