The W3R National Trail is a 680 mile Historic Trail which French Allied troops and Continental soldiers traveled from Rhode Island to Virginia under the command of General George Washington and French General Rochambeau.
On the morning of 19 April 1775, a column of British soldiers marching toward the town of Lexington, Massachusetts, found their advance barred by a small band of seventy-seven colonial militiamen. Hopelessly outnumbered, the Americans began to disperse, when suddenly a single shot rang out. The American War of Independence had begun.” [Reference: March To Victory, Dr. Robert Selig]
On September 5th, 1781, at the town of Marcus Hook, Pa. (Chester County, Pa.), a Revolutionary soldier encampment is highlighted as a point of interest. “Here, General George Washington receives word that the French Admiral de Grasse’s fleet (28 ships and 3, 000 soldiers) had arrived safely in the Chesapeake Bay. Not only is General Washington ecstatic, but until their arrival in Marcus Hook, the allied armies had marched on hope alone that de Grasse would do what he had written in the letter that had reached them in White Plains on August 14, 1781”
[Reference: Rochambeau Papers, vol. 9]
“On 17 October, 1781, Lord Cornwallis surrendered his army at Yorktown, Virginia to a combined force of Americans and French headed by General George Washington and General Rochambeau”
[Reference: March To Victory, Dr. Robert Selig]
“It is important to note that during this war, the march of soldiers through American towns had a solidifying impact on American communities along the route. The small community of Marcus Hook, willingly laid aside local and regional prejudices in order to provide logistical support to the troops, minimize the potential for civil-military friction, and pave the way for decisive victory at Yorktown as well as the creation of an independent American republic.”
[Reference: March To Victory, Intro., Jeffery J. Clarke, Chief of Military History]