The Expédition Particulière Commemorative Cantonment Society was begun in 1981 following initiatives of the Lafayette-Rochambeau Society, which no longer exists, but co-sponsored with the Ladies of Mount Vernon Association the Bicentennial of the September 1781 visit of Rochambeau to Mount Vernon. The Expédition Particulière Commemorative Cantonment Society promotes continued awareness in America of the French contribution to the American War for Independence. Though it focuses on Rochambeau's French military expedition, the society also expands to address the broader aspects of the French contribution to the American cause.
The concept of the Expédition Particulière Commemorative Cantonment Society is that it is purely a volunteer activity. No money is involved in this activity. It is supported by the 'sweat-equity' of interested individuals. The society does support the programs by other groups which do raise money to erect markers, etc. Expédition Particulière started with a brochure published in 1981 and distributed during the Yorktown Bicentennial. Since then, the society's focus has been with the ' Mount Vernon Cantonment'. It initiated a website and offers speaking programs. It encourages the formation of other 'cantonments' along the route taken by the French expeditionary forces and at other locations which mark the French presence and/or participation in the American Revolution. It conducted the basic research to locate the French army's encampment at Alexandria, Virginia, in 1783 (and possibly that of the French army wagon train in 1781). Expédition Particulière publishes on the web the curriculum vitae of historians conducting original research into, and reporting on the Franco-American alliance.
A recently completed initiative of the society has been to arrange for the Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution to finance the replacement of the 'Washington-Rochambeau Route to Victory' display, which is located in front of Historic Mount Vernon. The initial display was erected by a Franco-American Bicentennial Commission that no longer exists. Over the years, the display fell into disrepair. No state or Federal agency accepted responsibility for its maintenance. Mount Vernon contracted for, and accepted maintenance of an newly designed display which was erected in December 2004.
The 'Mount Vernon Cantonment', of the Expédition Particulière is ready to support efforts to enlarge upon the many actions already undertaken in Virginia and in context of the new 2000 initiative. Though begun in a Virginia location, the Expédition Particulière Commemorative Cantonment Society has provided support to other states. It assisted the Connecticut based W3R is creating its initial website [now managed by a SAR website] and is ready to assist initiatives in other states.