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stockade, and by batteries. On the left of the centre was a hornwork with a ditch, a row of fraize, and an abbatis. Two redoubts were advanced before the left. The combined forces advanced, and took possession of the ground from which the British had retired. About this time the legion cavalry and mounted infantry passed over the river to Gloucester. Gen. D. Choisy invested the British post on that side so fully, as to cut off all communication between it and the countrv. In the mean time, the royal army was straining every nerve to strengthen their works, and their artillery was constantly employed in impeding the operations of the combined army. On the ninth and tenth of October, the Americans and French opened their batteries. They kept up a brisk and well directed fire from heavy cannon, from mortars and howitzers. The shells of the besiegers reached the ships in the harbour ; the Charon of forty four guns, and a transport ship, were burned. The besiegers commenced their second parallel two hundred yards from the works of the besieged. Two redoubts which were advanced on the left of the British, greatly impeded the progress of the combined armies. It was therefore proposed to carry them by storm. To excite a spirit of emulation, the reduction of the one was committed to the French, of the other to the Americans. . The assailants marched to the assault with unloaded arms; having passed the abbatis and palisades, they attacked on all sides, and carried the redoubt in a few minutes, with the loss of eight men killed, and twenty eight wounded:
The French were equally successful on their part. They carried the redoubt assigned to them with rapidity, but lost a considerable number of men. These two redoubts were included in the second parallel, and facilitated the subsequent operations of the besiegers.
By this time the batteries of the besiegers were covered with nearly a hundred pieces of heavy ordnance, and the works of the besieged were so damaged that they could scarcely show a single gun. Lord Cornwallis had now no hope left, but from offering terms of capitulation, or attempting an escape. He determined on the latter. This, though less practicable than when first proposed, was not altogether hopeless. Boats were prepared to receive the troops in the night, and to transport them to Gloucester point. After one whole' embarkation had crossed, a violent storm of wind and rain dispersed the boats, and frustrated the whole scheme. The royal army, thus weakened by division, was exposed to increased danger. Orders were sent to those who had passed, to recross the river to Yorktown, With the failure of this scheme, the last hope of the British army expired. Longer resistance could answer no good purpose, and might occasion the loss of many valuable lives. Lord Cornwallis therefore wrote a letter to Gen. Washington, requesting a cessation of arms for twenty four hours; and that commissioners might be appointed to digest terms of capitulation. This was agreed to, and in consequence thereof, the posts of York and Gloucester were surrendered on certain stipulations; the principal of which were as follows ; " The troops to be prison-. ers of war to Congress, and the naval force to France ; the officers to retain their side arms and private property of every kind, but every thing obviously belonging to the inhabitants of the United States, to be subject to be reclaimed; the soldiers to be kept in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and to be supplied with the same rationis as are allowed to soldiers in the service of Congress ; a proportion of the officers to march into the country with the prisoners, the rest to be allowed to proceed on parole to Europe, to New York, or to any other American maritime post in possession of the British.” The honour of marching out with colours flying, which had been refused to Gen. Lincoln on his giving up Charlestown, was now refused to Earl Cornwallis ; and Gen. Lincoln was appointed to receive the submission of the royal army åt Yorktown, precisely in the same way his own had been conducted about cighteen months before.
The regular troops of America and France, employed in this siege, consisted of about five thousand five hundred of the former, and seven thousand of the latter, and they were assisted by about four thousand militia. On the part of the combined army, about three hundred were killed or wounded. On the part of the British about five hundred,
and seventy were taken in the redoubts, which were Iried by assault on the 14th of October. The troops of every kind that surrendered prisoners of war, exceeded seven thousand men ; but so great was the number of sick
and wounded, that there were only three thousand eight hundred capable of bearing arms.
Congress honoured Gen. Washington, Count de Rochambeau, Count de Grasse, and the officers of the different corps, and the men under them, with thanks for their services in the reduction of lord Cornwallis. The whole project was conceived with profound wisdom, and the incidents of it had been combined with singular propriety. It is not therefore wonderful, that from ihe remarkable coincidence in all its parts, it was crowned with unvaried success.
General Washington, on the day after the surrender, ordered, “ that those who were under arrest, should be pardoned and set at liberty.” His orders closed as follows; “ Divine service shall be performed to-morrow in the different brigades and divisions. The commander in chief recommends that all the troops that are not upon du. ty, to assist at it with a serious deportment, and that sensibility of heart which the recollection of the surprising and particular interposition of Providence in our favour claims." The interesting event of captivating a second royal army, produced strong emotions, which broke out in all the variety of ways in which the most rapturous joy usually displays itself.
After the capture of lord Cornwallis, Washington, with the greatest part of his army, returned to the vicinity of New York. In the preceding six years he had been accustomed to look forward and to provide for all possible
In the habit of struggling with difficulties, hiscourage at all times grew with the dangers which surrounded him. In the most disastrous situations he was far removed from despair. On the other hand, those fortunate events which induced many to believe that the revolution was accomplished, never operated on him so far as to relax his exertions or precautions. Though complete suc. cess had been obtained by the allied arms in Virginia, and great advantages had been gained in 1781 in the Carolinas, yet Washington urged the necessity of being prepared for another campaign. In a letter to Gen. Greene he observed, “ I shall endeavour to stimulate Congress to the best improvement of our late success, by taking the most vigor. ous and effectual measures to be ready for an early and clecisive campaign the next year. My greatest fear is thai,
viewing this stroke in a point of light which may too much magnify its importance, they may think our work too nearly closed, and fall into a state of langour and relaxation. To prevent this error, I shall employ every means in my power; and if unhappily we sink into this fatal mistake, no part of the blame shall be mine.”
1782 and 1783.
Frospects of peace, ... Langour of the States.... Discontents of the army....Gen. Washington prevents the adoption of rash
Some new levies in Pennsylvania mutiny, and are quelled .... Washington recommends measures for the preservation of independence, peace, liberty, and happiness an. Dis. misses his army.... Enters New York.... Takes leave of his officers ....Settles his accounts . Repairs to Annapolis .... Resigns his commission ....Retires to Mount Vernon, and resumes his agricultural pursuits.
THE military establishment for 1782, was passed with unusual celerity shortly after the surrender of lord Cornwallis ; but no exertions of America alone could do more than confine the British to the sea coast. To dislodge them from their strong holds in New York and Charleston, occupied the unceasing attention of Washington. Wbile he was concerting plans for farther combined operations with the French, and at the same tiine endeavouring by cir. cular letters to rouse his countrymen to spirited measures, intelligence arrived that sundry motions for discontinuing the American war had been debated in the British Parliament, and nearly carried. Fearing that this would relax the exertions of the states, he added in his circular Jetters to their respective Governors, “I have perused these debates with great attention and care, with a view, if possible, to penetrate their real design ; and upon the most mature deliberation I can bestow, I am obliged to declare
it as my candid opinion, that the measure, in all its views so far as it respects America, is merely delusory, having no serious intention to admit our independence upon its true principles; but is calculated to produce a change of ministers to quiet the minds of their own people, and reconcile them to a continuance of the war; while it is
meant to amuse this country with a false idea of peace, : o draw us from our connection with France, and to lull
us into a state of security and inactivity; which taking place, the ministry will be left to prosecute the war in other parts of the world with greater vigour and effect, Your excellency will permit me on this occasion to observe, that even if the nation and parliament are really in earnest to obtain peace with America, it will undoubtedly be wisdom in us to meet them with great caution and circumspectius. and by all means to keep our arms firm in our hands; and instead of relaxing one iota in our exertions, rather to spring forward with redoubled vigour, that we may take the advantage of every favourab e opportunity, until our wishes are fully obtained. No nation yet suffered in treaty by preparing, even in the moment of negociation, most vigorously for the the field."
Early in May, Sir Guy Carleton, who had succeeded Sir Henry Clinton as commander in chief of the British forces in America, arrived in New York, and announced in successive communications, the increasing probability of a speedy peace, and his disapprobation of farther hostilities, which, he observed, “ could only tend to multiply the mi: series of individuals, without a possible advantage to either nation.” The cautious temper of Washington gradually yielded to increasing evidence that the British were seriously inclined to terminate
war ; but in proportion as this opinion prevailed, the exertions of the states relaxed. Not more than eighty thousand dollars had been received from all of them, when the month of August was far advanced. Every expenditure yielded to the subsistence of the army. A sufficiency of money could scarcely be obtained for that indispensably necessary purpose.
To pay the troops was impossible.
Washington, whose sagacity anticipated events, foresair with concern, the prohable consequences likely to result from the tardiness of the states to comply with the requi.