The women of the DAR Palatinate Chapter are proud that the quilt block concept they submitted to the America 250! NSDAR Quilt Project was selected as the block to represent the Units Overseas.
What is the America 250! Quilt Project?
The Quilt Project is being coordinated by the Women in the Arts Committee.
According the the Committee website, the theme for the quilt is: ‘As each state became part of our country beginning 250 years ago, each state block of our quilt will unite with all, to become a tapestry of our country’s heritage.’
“The whole quilt is much more important than any single square.” -Rohinton Mistry
State winners were selected in May and have been working on their quilt squares for submission by October 15th. Vickie Canham, the National Vice Chair, and her team will assemble the quilt with a targeted finish in the spring of 2023.
The finished quilt will hang in the NSDAR Headquarters and will be able to travel to various locations leading up to the semiquincentennial.
The Regiment Royal Deux-Ponts Quilt Block from the Palatinate Chapter
A team of Palatinate Chapter members including Shirley Herzer, Karen Rink, Barbara Gibbons, Carol Moldenhauer, Tiffin Fox and Milissa Campbell got together at Shirley’s home and came up with a design that features the ship that sailed the Regiment Royal Deux-Ponts to America, where they fought in the War of Independence and helped defeat the British at Yorktown, resulting in the end of the war.
The judges from the Women’s in the Arts Committee were pleased enough with the design to include it as the only block representing the Units Overseas on the quilt. Here is the finished product:
Barbara Gibbons explains the meaning of the quilt:
‘The Regiment Royal Deux-Ponts (Deux-Ponts translates to ‘Zweibrücken’ in German and ‘Two Bridges’ in English) was a French regiment of foot soldiers originating in Zweibrücken and whose regimental flag is symbolized on the design of the main sail of our ship.
The soldiers of the Regiment Royal Deux-Ponts came from the Palatinate region. This area today includes Kaiserslautern, Ramstein, Landstuhl, Zweibrücken as well as Alsace and Lorraine in France.
The Regiment Royal Deux-Ponts was part of four forces that sailed to America and arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in 1780. After waiting a year, the Counts von Zweibrücken marched with their army toward Yorktown, Virginia. Along with the combined troops of Rochambeau and Lafayette, they forced the surrender of the British Army under Lord Cornwallis. In the siege of Yorktown the brothers Christian and Wilhelm von Zweibrücken took Redoubt 9 which was one of the major factors leading to Lord Cornwallis’ defeat, thus ending the war.
Because of our direct history with Palatinate emigration and the heroic ending of the Revolutionary War, we have written the words Deux-Ponts, Palatinate and Yorktown next to the sailing ship.’
Hardship and the Ocean Crossing
There aren’t many written records of the ship crossing to America at the time of the Revolution, but a journal from soldier Georg Daniel Flohr from Zweibrücken who sailed as part of the Deux-Ponts provides some insight into the misery of the trip.
According the Americanrevolution.org, the ship journey took 70 days. Space was very tight: Lodgings consisted of linen hammocks with two to a hammock. Even the officers were ten to a cabin. At meals, people squeezed into tight chambers with poor ventilation. The stench of men, dogs, cows, sheep and chicken was pervasive.The food was rationed to a little over a pound of hardtack a day, and the men were perpetually thirsty. At one point there was a fire on board Flohr’s ship.
When they finally reached Newport Harbor, most were afflicted with scurvy. Only about a dozen men died during the crossing, but by the time they went into their winter quarters on November 1, 1780 the regiment was 73 short. By way of comparison, the regiment only lost one-fourth that number in the casualties in the storming of Redoubt #9 before Yorktown in October 1781, the bloodiest event of the campaign. (Source: americanrevolution.org)
The Regiment Royal Deux-Ponts After the War
In the summer of 1791, the Royal Deux-Ponts became the 99th Regiment of Infantry, and eventually there weren’t any Germans left in its ranks. As the decades passed, it became part of the body of ‘French’ troops sent to fight in America. Today, the regimental standard of the 99ieme Regiment d’Infantrie stationed in Lyon proudly displays Yorktown among its days of glory, keeping the memory of the American Revolutionary War alive (ibid, above).
The Palatinate DAR Daughters are proud to remember the bravery and sacrifice that the Regiment Royal Deux-Ponts made for our freedom with the block that will memorialize them in the America 250! Quilt.