A few weeks ago, heading to the airport after the first Emerging Revolutionary War symposium, fellow ERW historian Rob Orrison made a pit stop in a residential neighborhood in Prince William County, Virginia.
To the average traveler to the Ronald Reagan International Washington National Airport this slight detour would not be normal. Yet, for two historians of early American history, these detours are rarely common.
This particular detour took us to a portion of the King’s Highway that has been preserved by the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division. Along this stretch soldiers in the French Army under Comte de Rocambeau and Continentals under General George Washington traversed on their way to Yorktown to entrap the British under General Lord Charles Cornwallis.
Thus, one king’s soldiers, King Louis XVI took a route named for monarch to assist rebels in trapping the ground forces of another king, that of Great Britain by using a road named for the British monarch. Interesting to think about the naming of the road in those terms.
Portions of this route are still preserved today, other sections have been modernized and blacktopped to be Route 1.
Below are a few photos I snapped, including the size 14 Nike shoe belonging to yours truly, re-enacting marching down the thoroughfare like the patriots of 1781.