— The Road to Victory During the American Revolution —
French Hill - The Road to Victory During the American Revolution Background:
During the American Revolution, the Americans needed the help of the French to secure their hopes of independence. In 178, thanks to the efforts of Ben Franklin and others, the French signed the Treaty of Alliance. The Continental Army would now have a powerful army and navy to support it. The officer in charge of the French Army was the Comte de Rochambeau. He would march his army from Rhode Island to New York. Commander in Chief George Washington wanted the combined American-French force to retake New York City. After a reconnaissance of the area it was determined that Yorktown Virginia was where the two armies would attach the British for what would be the final great battle of the American Revolution. The Cornerstone of Independence - The Hudson River:
Crossing the Hudson River was the only effective way to go from north to south in 1781. The Hudson had been the scene of many battles and notable events during the war. It would now be the place where the two armies met and marched to victory! The French Camps, Crompound:
The French Army encamped twice on and around what is now French Hill in Yorktown. Once before the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia in 1781, then on their march back in 1782. 1781:
On August 21st, 1781, The French forces under Comte de Rochambeau camped at and in the surrounding area of Hunt's Tavern (Route 202 corner of Hallocks Mill Rd) on their way to fight the British at Yorktown, Virginia. They set up headquarters at the tavern and camped in the surrounding area where you are standing now. On August 22nd, they marched from Crompound (Yorktown) to Verplank and then crossed the Hudson River at King's Ferry. 1782:
The French Army returned to Crompound on September 23rd, and camped until October 21st. The Soissonnais troops camped from French Hill southwest from this spot to the power lines. They would make French Hill and Crompound their longest encampment on their return march in 1782.
Four French line regiments landed with Rochambeau and marched south to fight in Virginia. All four encamped in the surrounding areas of Crompound and French Hill.
They were: Regiment de Saintoge, Regiment de Royal Deaux Ponts, Regiment de Bourbonnais and the Regiment de Soissonnais. Artillery companies also were attached to these regiments.
While encamped in Crompound the French Army changed the course of the stream for Hallocks Mill to improve the water supply. This stream known as a mill race can be seen along Route 202 near the Yorktown Police Station and Justice Court just west of here.
On October 21st, the French broke camp and marched out of Crompound never to return. Without their help the Continental Army could not have defeated the British and secured the independence of the United States of America.
For their aid and help we will always be truly grateful.
This sign created by Mr. C. DiPasquale's Living History Class: Joe Cavallo, Brandon Habal, Luke Metzner, Chris Price & Corey Solow. 2007-08
With support provided by: The Yorktown Historical Society, Assemblyman Greg Ball & Yorktown Central School District.