Washington's Ideal Lieutenant
by Jini Jones Vail

Step back in time and travel with Rochambeau as he rides through the night to the Palace of Versailles, answering a summons from King Louis XVI. Sail with Rochambeau as he and his 42-ship convoy cross the Atlantic on an exhausting 70-day voyage to America. Sit by his side as his carriage travels to meet with George Washington for their first face-to-face conference in Hartford, Connecticut. Enjoy the tension between the two generals as their strategy emerges. Stand beside Rochambeau as he proudly watches his handsome French troops depart from Newport, Rhode Island, to begin their two hundred mile march to join forces with Washington’s army above the Hudson. Stand near him in Chester, Pennsylvania, as he watches an overjoyed Washington twirl his hat in the air on hearing that the long-awaited French navy under Admiral De Grasse had arrived in the Chesapeake. Ride at his side in the sweltering sun during the grueling trek from New York to Williamsburg, Virginia. Listen in as he rallies his troops at the Battle of Yorktown. And observe how Cornwallis grudgingly surrenders his sword at the final battle of the American Revolution.

Jini Jones Vail is a former commissioner of the Connecticut Governor’s Advisory Commission on American and Francophone Cultural Affairs, the Daughters of the American Revolution (Trumbull-Porter Chapter), the Alliance Française, and the 125-year-old literary group Sexta Feira.

She is a retired French teacher, who graduated from Sweet Briar College with a degree in French literature and then pursued graduate studies at the universities of Touraine and Bourgogne under the auspices of Southern Connecticut State University. She is also a prolific writer of poetry, children’s stories, and essays, and wrote and appeared in a play called Conversations with Aliénor, featuring her ancestor Aliénor D’Aquitaine.

She is often invited to speak about French history, General Rochambeau, and the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. Meticulously researched over a period of five years, her book is a testament to her passion for both French and American history.

Jini Jones Vail is married, and is the mother of three and grandmother of six. She makes her home in Connecticut.

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