On to Yorktown

On to Yorktown (HM16MS)

Location: Port Tobacco, MD 20677 Charles County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 30.676', W 77° 1.195'

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Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail

— Road to Victory —

Upon arrival of French forces in Newport, Rhode Island in July 1780, Baron Ludwig von Closen, a captain in the Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment, was selected by General Rochambeau as one of his aides-de-camp. Closen accompanied Rochambeau on most of his visits with General Washington and was chosen as courier of many important communications, including messages to the French fleet commanders Admirals de Barras and De Grasse. Closen kept a detailed diary of his activities throughout his stay in America, including the Yorktown Campaign of 1781.

At Baltimore on 12 September 1781, Closen and his fellow aide-de-camp Baron Marie-Francois Cromot Dubourg decided to separate from the main army and seek a shorter route to Williamsburg. That evening they set out with four servants and 10 horses. Traveling without a guide they lost their way and spent the night at a remote farm. The next day they rode through Queen Anne to Upper Marlboro from where they continued to Port Tobaccco on 14 September.

Closen described Port Tobacco as "situated at the foot of a hill, where there is a stream bordered by about twenty houses....In the evening we had time to climb up to the church, which is situated on a dominating height, from which we had a delightful view." The church was St. Ignatius, described by Cromot Dubourg as "very handsome."

The next day they traveled to Laidler's Lower Ferry Landing at Charlestown (now Morgantown) where they took Hooes' Ferry to Point Mathias on the Virginia side of the Potomac. They reached Williamsburg on 18 September, Closen regularly entered the trenches with the regiment and had the satisfaction of witnessing Lord Cornwallis surrender his forces on 19 October 1781.
HM NumberHM16MS
Series This marker is part of the The Washington-Rochambeau Route series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 28th, 2014 at 1:29am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 323886 N 4264477
Decimal Degrees38.51126667, -77.01991667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 30.676', W 77° 1.195'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 30' 40.56" N, 77° 1' 11.70" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)240, 301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1301-1399 Warehouse Landing Rd, Port Tobacco MD 20677, US
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