Bolton in Tolland County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Washington – Rochambeau Revolutionary Route
French General Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, and thousands of French ground and naval forces Arrived in Newport in July of 1780 to assist the Americans in the War for Independence. After wintering in Newport, Rochambeau's troops marched through Connecticut to join General George Washington's Continental Army just over the New York border. The combined forces moved down the eastern seaboard and confronted Lieutenant General Earl Cornwallis and the British army in Yorktown, Virginia. After a prolonged siege, Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, 1781 virtually ending the war and ensuring American independence. This is one of 11 informative panels that mark the French route south through Connecticut from June 19 to July 2, 1781 and on the return north October 23 to November 9, 1782.
Prominent local figures in towns across Connecticut offered their homes, and fields for Rochambeau, his army as they made their way across the state.
French troops camped in the fields of what is today Rose Farm on Bolton Center Road in
Rochambeau and other officers were also guests at Daniel White’s Tavern on what is today Hutchinson Road in Andover. It was used throughout the French army’s encampment in Cotton’s field from June 21 to 24, 1781 (Camp 5) on the march south to join the Continental Army and between November 4 and 5, 1782 (Camp 46) after the battle of Yorktown. Many of Rochambeau’s officers also stayed at Oliver White’s Tavern at the intersection of Brandy Street and Bolton Center Road in Bolton, since it was across from Camp 5 and close to Camp 46, in what is today Andover.
Daniel White’s Tavern was a frequent place for Rochambeau to stay when he came through Connecticut. It hosted him in May 1781 on his way to and from an important conference with General George Washington in Wethersfield. Rochambeau stayed here again in December 1782 on his journey to Newburgh, New York to bid farewell to General Washington after the war.
French troops used what is today Hutchinson Road in Andover while traveling between camps in Windham and Bolton both in 1781 and 1782. The road today is relegated to local use only and retains many of its early features: a narrow width, numerous mature trees close to the roadway and stone walls marking the right of way on both sides.
Hutchinson Road was established in the first years of the 19th century as part of the main route, between Hartford and towns in the eastern portion of Connecticut including Lebanon, Windham and Norwich. Before the 1930, Hutchinson Road was overlapped by State Route 6.
The entire area to the east of Hutchinson Road stretching to the Hop River remains open fields, and recalls when much of Connecticut was used for pasture and hay, as it was when the French passed through. The Daniel White Tavern, built in 1772, still stands at 130 Hutchinson Road. Photo by John Muldoon:
Daniel White’s Tavern at the Sign of the Black Horse, Andover
This house was built in 1772 and opened as a tavern 1773, it still stands at 28 Hutchinson Road. Daniel White was a Coventry Selectman during the Revolutionary War. The Andover Ecclesiastical Society of 1747 included areas of Coventry, Lebanon and Hebron before Andover was incorporated as a town in 1848. The home has nine original working fireplaces. Two inner walls on the second floor are attached to the ceiling with hinges allowing the to swing upward and fastened to the ceiling to create a large ballroom. A frequent stop for Rochambeau, Daniel White’s Tavern was specified in the Marching itinerary as “White Tavern at the sign of the Black Horse,” a landmark to watch for upon leaving Andover Center.
Reverend George Cotton
Rev. George Cotton hosted Rochambeau at his home at what is now Rose Farm. French troops camped in his fields June 21-24, 1781. A Presbyterian minister, Cotton and his wife where highly respected, and childless. Cotton made an offer to a French grenadier and his wife to adopt their four-year old daughter who was traveling with them, and to compensate them 30 louis to “ease the campaign for her.” The grenadier and his wife refused. The incident was reported in French newspapers as a tribute to the grenadier for refusing the large sum of money and keeping his family intact. Courtesy of the Bolton Historical Society
Oliver White’s Tavern
The Oliver White Tavern, across Camp 5 in the fields belonging to Reverend Cotton, is located at the intersection of Brandy Street and Bolton Center Road. It provided refuge for Rochambeau’s officers. Built about 1750, the two-and-one-half story clapboard house sits on a large corner lot of almost three acres, surrounded by tall shade trees and extensive runs of stone walls along the roadways. Now a private residence, it is located at 2 Brandy Street, Bolton. Watercolor by Susan Boswurth
A specially-trained soldier, usually among the biggest and strongest of the troops. Grenadiers were used as “shock troops,” leading attacks and taking high casualties. Courtesy of Blandford Colour Series
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Washington-Rochambeau Route marker series.
Location. 41° 46.162′ N, 72° 25.989′ W. Marker is in Bolton, Connecticut, in Tolland County. Memorial is at the intersection of Bolton Center Rd and Hebron Rd, on the right when traveling east on Bolton Center Rd. Located within the town commons across from the town hall. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 222 Bolton Center Rd, Bolton CT 06043, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bolton Veterans Monument (here, next to this marker); Bolton Veterans Monument and Honor Roll (a few steps from this marker); Bolton World War I Monument (a few steps from this marker); Bolton (within shouting distance of this marker); Rochambeau Encampment (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Grant Farm / Storrs House (approx. 3.7 miles away); Manchester Korean Conflict Memorial (approx. 4 miles away); Manchester Veterans Monument (approx. 4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bolton.
Categories. • Colonial Era • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Revolutionary •
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Credits. This page was last revised on October 9, 2019. This page originally submitted on October 7, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 55 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 7, 2019, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.