Danbury in Fairfield 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 10 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.
The Provision State
Danbury’s role as a depot for supplies and food during the Revolutionary War led in part to Connecticut’s Revolutionary War-era nickname “The Provision State.” Danbury was one of the most important supply hubs throughout the war. It was a funnel for supplies moving south from Massachusetts,
When the 4,700 French troops and their officers marched through Danbury after breaking camp in Newtown on July 1, 1781, they gathered provisions prepared for them by Danbury’s John Lloyd, an agent for Jeremiah Wadsworth, commissary for the Continental Army and later the French army.
Along with Wadsworth, Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull and his team of commissaries aided the Continental Army since the beginning of the war, provisioning the soldiers in all their encampments along the Hudson River with food, supplies, animals and weapons.
Supplying Marching Armies
Its location away from the coast and the British Navy in Long Island Sound made Danbury a safe haven for supplies. It also had a major artificers camp composed of craftsmen who made wagons and war materials for the army. It was a center for army and civilian teamsters who hauled tons of supplies out to the troops or into local storage areas. There was also a military hospital here.
The British recognized Danbury’s crucial role immediately. On April 26, 1777, the British raided Danbury to confiscate or destroy the Continental supplies. When they could not transport all of the pork, flour, beef, tents, grain and other stores, the British set fire to the warehouses and barns that housed them.
The Continentals rallied in nearby Bethel to confront the British. Before they could, the British moved west to Ridgefield before turning south toward their ships in Long Island Sound off Compo Beach in what is today Westport. From that point on, security was tightened in and around Danbury, and it continued serving as a supply depot until the end of the war.
Receipts for goods acquired for the French Army
Jeremiah Wadsworth’s papers include this receipt listing supplies he procured for the French Army. On the left is a receipt for an account with Peter Colt, then treasurer of the colony of Connecticut. On the right, a receipt to David Trumbull, son of Connecticut’s Governor Jonathan Trumbull. David Trumbull was one of several commissaries working with Jeremiah Wadsworth to help supply the French Army. Courtesy of the con Historical Society Museum Library
Map of French Danbury Camp
By Louis Alexandre Berthier
Following the victory at Yorktown,
Courtesy of the Bethier Map Collection at Princeton University
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #01 George Washington, and the The Washington-Rochambeau Route series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is April 26, 1777.
Location. 41° 23.305′ N, 73° 26.777′ W. Marker is in Danbury, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker is on Main Street, 0.1 miles north of South Street, on the right when traveling north. Located in front of the Danbury Museum & Historical Society and the Rider House. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Danbury CT 06810, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Danbury During the Revolutionary War (a few steps from this marker); John W. Leahy (within shouting distance of this marker); Danbury 9-11 MemorialThe Danbury Raid (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Circus Comes to Town (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Danbury Court House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Danbury (approx. 0.2 miles away); Oldest Cemetery 1684 (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danbury.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 24, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 1,253 times since then and 11 times this year. Last updated on January 15, 2022, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on March 24, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.