During the summer of 1781, General George Washington faced a myriad of obstacles. In July, he moved a large contingent of the Continental army to the east bank of the Hudson River near the eastern terminus of Dobbs Ferry. There, on a large expanse known as Philipsburg, he established a joint encampment with the French army commanded by the Comte de Rochambeau. In George Washington at Head Quarters, Dobbs Ferry, author and historian Mary Sudman Donovan provides a glimpse into this significant period in the American Revolutionary War by chronicling the activities of the two armies.
For the first time, French and American soldiers participated in joint maneuvers, surmounting language barriers with visual signals or universal commands. The two commanders created detailed surveys of the surrounding territory, evaluating strategies for invading the British stronghold on York (Manhattan) Island. George Washington corresponded with leaders of the Continental Congress and governors of the various states, imploring them to provide better support in the form of funds, supplies, and additional recruits.
This day-to-day view of Washington as he devised the strategy that led to America's victory, offers a rare insight into the mind of the man Americans chose as their commander in chief.