In July 1782, the French Army departed their Virginia camps and began the march back to the north, eventually reaching Boston. The comte de Rochambeau did not accompany his army in the early phases of the march back north. He traveled separately to Philadelphia, where he met general Washington.
The French Army marched in four divisions, each separated by a day. The first division was under general Chastellux, and began its march 1 July. It included the Bourbonnais regiment. The second division departed 2 July, and included the Royal Deux-Pont regiment, under comte Christian de Deux-Ponts. The third division departed 3 July, included the Soissonnais regiment, under comte de Vioménil. Fourth division departed 4 July, included the Saintonge regiment under comte de Custine.
Lauzun's Legion, under the marquis de Choisy, returned from its camp on the Virginia - North Carolinia border to Petersburg, VA. It then took a route through Kingsland Ferry, Richmond, North's Tavern on the Chickahominy, and Hanover CH. It joined the main army at Little Page's Bridge, and assumed the vanguard position, preseding the rest of the army's march by two days.
This page covers the en route camps of the march in Virginia between Williamsburg to the Potomac river, where the army crossed over into Maryland. The dates reflect the 4-day periods as the divisions arrived, and then moved out successively at each camp.

1. Drinking Spring1-4 July
Present vicinity of Norge
2. Barhamsville
2-5 July
Two miles south of current Barhamsville
3. Rarcliffe House3-6 July
Uncertain location between modern Barhamsville and New Kent
4. Hartfield4-7 July
Believed to have existed about 3 miles northwest of New Kent CH
5. New Castle5-9 July
Each division held here an extra day, so two divisions shared the camp on 6, 7, and 8 July. The community has disappeared. It is believed to have been about a mile east of the modern bridge over the Pamunkey river on US 360.
6. Hanovertown7-10 July
No longer on modern maps. About 10 miles southeast of Hanover CH.
7. Little Page's Bridge8-11 July
Also known as Graham's House at the time. Near Hanover CH, on north bank of the Pamunkey. Lauzun's Legion joined the army here and assumed the vanguard position in the march.
8. Burk's Bridge
9-12 July
Also known as Kenner's Tavern, and was located to the north of the Mattaponi river, most likely in line with the present US 301.
9. Bowling Green10-13 July
This substantial community, that still exists, was a favorite camping site for military travelers and troops in the area.
10. Charles Thornton's House11-14 July
About 2 miles south of present day Villboro, on state route 2.
11. Falmouth12-16 July
North bank of the Rappahannock river.
12. Payton's Tavern15-17 July
Also called Payton's Ordinary, located a few miles north of present day Stafford on US 1.
13. Dumfries15-18 July
Camp was located on north bank of Quantico Creek, near modern US 1.
14. Colchester16-19 July
While departing this site, en route north, some French officers visited Mount Vernon and presented gifts to Mrs. Washington.
15. Alexandria17-20 July
This was the final camp of the march north in Virginia. The French army marched north in Virginia about a mile beyond the present Georgetown in DC [Maryland in 1782]. There they were ferried to the eastern bank.
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 created14 February 2001; revised 21 February 2001.