Robert Tomes.

Battles of America by sea and land. With biographies of naval and military commanders (Volume 01) online

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eight regimental standards (ten of them
English, and eighteen German) ; a great
quantity of mortars, bombs, cannon and
musket balls, carriages, etc. The military
chest contained nearly eleven thousand
dollars in specie.

" The day after the surrender,"
says Custis, " Earl Cornwallis re
paired to headquarters to pay his respects
to General Washington and await his or
ders. The captive chief was received with
all the courtesy due to a gallant and un
fortunate foe. The elegant manners, to
gether with the manly, frank, and soldier
ly bearing of Cornwallis, soon made him
a prime favorite at headquarters, and he
often formed part of the suite of the com-
mander-in-chief in his rides to inspect the
levelling of the works previous to the re
tirement of the combined armies from be
fore Yorktown.

" At the grand dinner given at head
quarters to the officers of the three ar
mies, Washington filled his glass, and, af
ter his invariable toast, whether in peace

Oct. 20,

or war, of All our friends] gave The Brit
ish army I with some complimentary re
marks upon its chief, his proud career in
arms, and his gallant defence of York-
town. When it came to Cornwallis s turn,
he prefaced his toast by saying that the
war was virtually at an end, and the con
tending parties would soon embrace as
friends ; there might be affairs of posts,
but nothing on a more enlarged scale, as
it was scarcely to be expected that the
ministry would send another army to
America. Then, turning to Washington,
his lordship continued: And when the
illustrious part that your excellency has
borne in this long and arduous contest
becomes matter of history, fame will gath
er your brightest laurels rather from the
banks of the Delaware than from those
of the Chesapeake.

"Colonel Tarleton, alone of all the Brit
ish officers of rank, was left out in the in
vitations to headquarters. Gallant and
high-spirited, the colonel applied to the
marquis de Lafayette to know whether
the neglect might not have been acci
dental. Lafayette well knew that acci
dent had nothing to do with the matter,
but referred the applicant to Lieutenant-
Colonel Laurens, who, as aid-de-camp to
the commander-in-chief, must of course
be able to give the requisite explanation.
Laurens at once said : No, Colonel Tarle
ton, no accident at all ; intentional, I can
assure you, and meant as a reproof for
certain cruelties practised by the troops
under your command in the campaigns
of the Carolinas. What, sir! haughti
ly rejoined Tarleton, and is it for severi
ties inseparable from war, which you are




pleased to term cruelties, that I am to be
disgraced before junior officers ? Is it, sir,
for a faithful discharge of my duty to my
king and my country, that I am thus hu
miliated in the eyes of three armies?
Pardon me/ continued Colonel Laurens,
( there are modes, sir, of discharging a sol
dier s duty ; and where mercy has a share
in the mode, it renders the duty the more
acceptable to both friends and foes. Tarle-
ton stalked gloomily away to his quarters,
which he seldom left until his departure
from Virginia.*

" Upon the surrender of the post of
Gloucester, Colonel Tarleton, knowing
himself to be particularly obnoxious to
the Americans from his conduct in the
South, requested a guard for his person.
This was afterward dispensed with ; but
he was destined to be sadly humiliated
upon his arrival in York town, being dis
mounted in the street from a beautiful
blood-horse that was claimed by a Vir
ginian gentleman as his property. The
colonel was on his way to dine with the
baron de Viomenil ; and, but for a French
officer who was passing, dismounting an
orderly, and giving his steed to the unfor
tunate colonel, this celebrated cavalier,
badly calculated for a pedestrian, from a
defect in one of his feet, must have trudged
it to the baron s quarters, a distance of
more than a mile."

In the orders of the day suc
ceeding the capitulation, Wash-

* On his return to England, the inhabitants of his native
city (Liverpool) elected him their representative in the house
of commons. In 1798 he married the daughter of the duke
of Ancaster, and in 1817 became a major-general in the Brit
ish army. Upon the coronation of George IV., in 1821),
General Tarleton was created a baronet, lie died in 1833,
ut the age of seventy-nine years.

Oct. 20,

ington expressed his approbation of the
conduct of both armies, making special
mention of several officers, among whom
were Knox and Du, of the artille
ry, who were each promoted to the rank
of major-general. Thanks were also ren
dered to Governor Nelson; and, that ev
ery one might share in the general joy,
all offenders under arrest were ordered to
be set at liberty. Washington closed his
order with a notice that on the morrow
(which was the sabbath) divine service
would be held in the several brigades and
divisions; and he earnestly recommended
that the troops, not on duty, should uni
versally attend, " with that seriousness of
deportment and gratitude of heart which
the recognition of such reiterated and as
tonishing interpositions of Providence de
manded of them."

Lieutenant-Colonel Tilghman was sent
express to Philadelphia with Washington s
despatches to Congress, and, as he spread
intelligence of the great event on his way,
the country became vocal with rejoicings.
It was midnight when he entered Phila
delphia. He made his way directly to the
house of President M Kean, and delivered
his despatches. Soon afterward the whole
city was in commotion. The watchmen
everywhere in proclaiming the hour, add
ed, in loud voices, "and Cornwallis islaJccn /"*
That annunciation, ringing out upon the
frosty night-air, aroused thousands from
their beds. Lights were soon seen mov
ing in every house ; and before daylight
the streets were thronged with people.
Anxiously they had awaited this hoped-
for intelligence from Yorktown, and now

* Lossing.




Oct. 24,

their joy was complete. The old state-
house bell rang out its notes of gladness,
and the first blush of the morning was
greeted with the roar of cannon.


At an early hour Congress assembled,
and the members of that grave body were
highly excited when Secretary Thompson
read Washington s despatches. During
the reading they could scarcely repress
huzzas; and at its conclusion they resolved
to go in procession at two o clock
that day, "and return thanks to
Almighty God for crowning the allied ar
mies of the United States and France with
success." The thanks of Congress were
presented to Washington, Rochambeau,
and De Grasse, and the officers and men
under their respective commands. They
also resolved that two stands of colors*
taken from Cornwallis should be present
ed to Washington, in the name of the
United States; that two pieces of the field-

* "I found in the Philadelphia Sunday Despatch," says
Mr. Losing, "in one of a series of articles on the History
of Clifstmit Street, from the pen of one of the editors, the fol
lowing extract from an old paper, entitled the A/lied Mer
cury, or Independent Intelligencer, of the date of 5th Novem
ber, 1781, which relates to the British banners surrendered
at Yorktown :"

"On Saturday last (November 3, 1781), between three
and four o clock in the afternoon, arrived here twenty-four
standards of colors taken witli the British army under the
command of Earl Cornwallis. The volunteer cavalry of this
city received these trophies of victory at Schuylkill, from
whence they escorted and ushered them into town amidst
the acclamations of a numerous concourse of people. Con
tinental and French colors, at a distance, preceded the Brit-
i.-h, and thus they were paraded down Market street to the
statchouse. They were then carried into Congress and laid
at their feet.

The crow.l exulting, fills with shouts the sky ;
The walls, the woods, and long canals, reply:
Base, Britons! tyrant Britons! knock under
Taken s your earl, soldiers, and plunder.
Huzza! what colors of the bloody foe,,
Twenty-lour in number, at the slaleliouse door !
Look: they are, British standards; how they fall
At the president s feet, Congress and all !

Oct. 19,

ordnance captured at York should be pre
sented to each of the French commanders,
Rochambeau and De Grasse ; that a horse
should be presented to Lieutenant-Colo
nel Tilghman by the board of war, in the
name of the United States; and that a
marble column should be erected at York-
town, in commemoration of the surrender.
Congress likewise appointed the 30th of
December as a day of general thanksgiv
ing and prayer throughout the Union.

On the very day of Earl Corn-
wallis s surrender at Yorktown,
the British fleet of twenty-five ships-of-
the-line, two fifties, and eight frigates, un-


der Admiral Graves, sailed from New York
with Sir Henry Clinton and seven thou
sand of his choicest troops on board. On
reaching the capes of Virginia, they stood
of! the mouth of the Chesapeake until the
29th, when, finding that it was too late to
be of any service to Cornwallis, they re
turned to New York.

After the surrender of Yorktown, Wash
ington strove to De Grasse to
co-operate with General Greene in an ex
pedition against Charleston or Wilming
ton. The French admiral, however, re
fused compliance, on the ground of differ
ent orders from his government* The

* FRANCOIS JOSEPH PAUL, Count de Grasse, a .native of
France, was born in 1723. He was the junior, in service,
of Count de Barms, but was made his superior in command,
with the title of lieutenant-general. His flag-ship, the Ville
de Paris, was a present from the city of Paris to Louis XVI.
She rated a hundred and ten guns, and carried thirteen hun
dred men. " On her arrival in the Chesapeake," savs Cus-
tis, " flowers and tropical plants were interspersed upon her
quarter-deck, amid the engines of war; while her sides, cov
ered with bright varnish, gave to this superb vessel a most
brilliant and imposing appearance." On the 5th of Novem
ber, De Grasse left the Chesapeake for the West Indies. On
the 12th of April, 1782, he was attacked and totally defeated
by Admiral Kodney. The Ville de Paris was reduced al-




American army (with the exception of a
body of men under General St. Clair, who
marched southward to reinforce Greene)
set out for the North, leaving Count de
Rochambeau and three thousand French
troops at Williamsburg, in Virginia.

Within a fortnight, York town was evac
uated by both victors and vanquished. A
portion of the prisoners were removed to
Winchester, in Virginia, and some to Fort
Frederick and Fredericktown, in Mary
land. The latter were finally marched to
Lancaster, in Pennsylvania, and guarded
by continental troops. The favor grant
ed to Lord Cornwallis, of being allowed
to send the Bonetta sloop-of-war to New
York unsearched, gave his lordship an op
portunity of sending off a number of to-
ries to the protection of Sir Henry Clin
ton, as he could not prevail upon his con
querors to guaranty their safety. The
earl himself/ "- with other British officers,

most to a wreck by the Canada, commanded by Captain
Cornwallis, brother of the earl, who seemed determined to
avenge his kinsman s fate at Yorktown. Still, DC Grasse
refused to yield to any ship carrying less than an admiral s
flag. He finally struck to the Barfleur, of ninety-eight guns,
commanded by Sir Samuel Hood, having but two men left
alive on the quarter-deck ! Four of the prizes taken by the
British (the Ville de Paris, Centaur, Glorieux, and Hector,
and the English-built ship Ramilics) foundered at sea. On
arriving at Portsmouth, the English sailors mounted De
Grasse on their shoulders, and carried him in triumph to his
lodgings. His later years were unhappy, through the bad
conduct of his second wife and the neglect of the king. He
died early in 1788, aged sixty-five years.

* CHARLES, marquis of, and son of the first Earl CORN
WALLIS, was born in 1738, and entered the army as soon as
he had completed his education at Cambridge. In America,
as we have seen, he acted a conspicuous part. In 178G, he
was made governor-general and commander in-chief in India.
In 1798, he was sent to Ireland as lord-lieutenant; and, in
tlin trying and terrible scenes of the rebellion, he so con
ducted himself as to gain the good opinion of the public,
while vigorously upholding and vindicating the laws. In
1804, he was a second time appointed governor-general of
India. He died the following year, aged sixty-seven.

went by sea to New York, on parole, and
were finally all exchanged/ 1 "- Soon after
ward, Henry Laurens was liberated from
the Tower of London, and exchanged foi
General Burgoyne, who, though at large
in England, and constantly debating in
the house of commons against the minis
try, was still held as a prisoner on parole.
The success of the allies at Yorktown
virtually closed the war. No one doubt
ed that the United States had not only
won its independence, but the tardy ac
knowledgment of it from Great Britain.
A treaty of peace was not signed, howev
er, until the begrinnino; of 1783,

JAH< 20
the British retaining their hold

upon New York until the 25th of Novem
ber following, although not an action oc
curred in the meantime (excepting the
campaign in South Carolina, already de
tailed) of sufficient moment to deserve a
record among the " BATTLES OF AMERICA."*
Our narrative, therefore of the Revolu
tionary War, closes with the decisive tri
umph of Washington over Cornwallis, the
greatest of the English generals.

* The operations of the American navy, afror the exploits
of Paul Jones (who had been made a rear-admiral in tho
Russian service}, were so limited, that we need give them
but a passing notice. In June, 1780, the twenty-eight gun
ship Trumbull, commanded by Captain Nicholson, attacked
the British ship Watt, of much greater force, and was dis
abled, but not captured. She lost thirty-two in killed and
wounded ; the enemy ninety-two. In October, the sixteen-
gun sloop Saratoga, Captain Young, captured a British ship
and two brigs, but, while convoying them into port, was over
taken by the Intrepid, a seventy-four, and the prizes were
retaken. The Saratoga escaped. On the 2d of April, 1781,
the Alliance, Captain Barry, captured two Guernsey priva
teers ; and, soon after, she captured two British men-of-war,
one of which was retaken on its wny to America. In June,
the Confederacy, Captain Harding, was taken by two armed
British vessels In August, the Trumbull was captured by
three British cruisers off the Delaware capes ; and on the 6th
of September, the Congress, Captain Geddes, captured the
British ship Savage, but the prize was subsequently retaken.



[PART it.

NOV. 27,

In England, the intelligence of the ca
pitulation of Yorktown produced a pow
erful effect, and greatly perplexed the
kinn; and his ministers. On the


assembling of Parliament, its first
business was a consideration of American
affairs. News of Cornwallis s surrender
had reached the ministry at noon on Sun
day, the 25th. Wraxall, in his Memoirs,
says he asked Lord George Germain how
Lord North " took the communication."
"As he would have taken a cannon-ball
in his breast," Lord George replied ; " for
he opened his arms, exclaiming wildly, as
he paced up and down the apartment for
a few minutes, God! it is all over T
words which he repeated many times, un
der emotions of the deepest consternation
and distress."

Violent debates upon the subject im
mediately ensued in the house of com
mons, and Charles James Fox even went
so far as to insinuate that Lord North was
in the pay of the French ! The minister
indignantly repelled the insinuation, and
vainly attempted to defend the war on
the ground of its justice, and the proper
maintenance of British rights. Upon this
point, however, he was fiercely assailed by
Edmund Burke, who exclaimed : " Good
God ! are we yet to be told of the rights
for which we went to war ? excellent
rights! valuable rights ! Valuable you
should be, for we have paid dear at part
ing with you. valuable rights! that

IVov, 30,

have cost Britain thirteen provinces, four
islands, one hundred thousand men, and
more than seventy millions of money !"
The younger Pitt distinguished himself

in this debate against the minis-

. ...

try. Ihe opposition now pro

posed the bold measure (last adopted du-
ing the Revolution of 1688) of withhold
ing supplies till the ministers should give
a pledge that the war in America should
cease. This motion, however, was lost by
a vote of nearly two to one. But every
day the war grew more and more unpop
ular in England ; and at length a resolu
tion offered in the new Parliament by Gen
eral Conway, in February, which

j j j 1 7^9

was preliminary to an act ordering
a cessation of hostilities, was lost by only
one vote. Encouraged by this, the oppo
sition urgently pressed the subject ; and
on the 4th of March, Conway moved that
" the house would consider as enemies to
his majesty and the country all those who
should advise, or by any means attempt.
the further prosecution of offensive war
on the continent of America." This reso
lution was carried without a division, and
the next day a plan for a truce with the
Americans was introduced by the attor
ney-general. After an administration of
twelve years, Lord North now resigned
the seals of office. Orders were accord
ingly issued to the respective British mil
itary and naval commanders in America
for a cessation of hostilities.






ABETCCROMBIE, Col., makes a sortie at Yorktown, 915.

Abercrombie, Major-Gen., at Albany, in 1756 and
1758, 9 J, 10-! ; his expedition against Ticonderoga,
104 ; his defeat and retreat to Fort Edward, 105.

Acadians, expulsion of, from Nova Scotia, in 1755, 90.

Ackland, Lady Harriet, with her husband in Bur-
goyne s army, 542 ; visits her husband in the
American camp, 564 ; her kind reception by Gates,
565 ; subsequent history of (not! }, 530.

Ackland, Major, jit the second battle of Bemis
Heights, 558 ; death of (not"), 566.

Adams, John, nominates Washington as commander-
in-chii f, 157 ; anecdote told by, of Franklin, 344 ;
conversation of, with Lord Howe, 345, 34(5.

Adam:;, Mrs., describes the cannonades at the siege of
Boston, 246, 249.

Adams Samuel, an early friend of the popular
cause in Boston, 141.

Agnew, Gen., in the expedition to Danbnry, 464.

Aix-la-Chapelle, Cape Breton and Louisburg ceded to
France by the treaty of, in 1748, 32.

Alden, Col. Ichabod, his negligence at the defense of
Cherry Valley, in 1778, 677.

Alfred and Raleigh, American frigates, cruise of, 593.

Alfred, American frigate, captured by the British, 666.

Allen, a clergyman, at the battle of Bennington, 521.

Allen, Ethan, capture of Ticonderoga undertaken by,
15-5 ; a favorite with the " Green-Mountain Boys,"
155 ; Ic-tt -r of, to the provincial congress of New
York, 195 ; superseded in command employed to
rais3 recruits in Canada his attempt on Montreal,
199 ; made prisoner by the British and sent to
England, 200 ; his abuse of his jailers, 442 ; visit
of, to Valley Forge, and his return to Vermont, 618.

Alliance, an American frigate, put at the disposal of
Lafayette when returning to France in 1779 diffi
culty in finding a crew conspiracy t:> mutiny dis
covered on board, 680 ; in the,squadron of Paul
Jones in 1779, 702 ; with the Bon Ilomme Richard
during her action with the Serapis, 708.

"American Turtle," attempt made by means of, to
sink the ship Eagle, 318 : sunk in the Hudson by
the British, 371.

I a

Amherst, Lord, his expedition against Louisburg, 100,
102 ; takes Ticonderoga and Crown Point retreats
from Montreal. 1< 7 ; on Lake Ontario and the
St. Lawrence, 133 ; Montreal surrendered to, 134.

Anderson, Mr. , his plan for the destruction of Howe s
fleet, 312 ; plan favored by Putnam, 314.

Andre, Major John, quartered in Franklin s house in
Philadelphia carries off portrait of Franklin, 605 ;
theatrical tastes of, 60:> ; advances made by Arnold
to Sir II. Clinton through assumed name of , Ju7tn
Anderxon biographical notice of, 761 ; efforts of,
to obtain an interview with Arnold, 763, 765 ; visits
Arnold, 767 ; his adventures after parting with
Arnold, 769 ; captured by Cowboys, 772 ; letter
written by, to Washington, 775 ; removal of, from
North Salem, 781 ; kind treatment of efforts made
by Sir H. Clinton to obtain the release of, 782 ; trial
of condemned to death letter written by, to Sir
H. Clinton, 783 ; conference to consider the case of
letter of Arnold to Washington in favor of, 785 ;
letter of, to Washington Thacher s account of the
execution of, 787 ; remains of, removed to West
minster Abbey in 1821 testimony of Clinton to the
character of feeling of sympathy for, 788 ; monu
ment erected to the memory of, at Tarrytown
captors of, rewarded by Congress, 789.

Angell, Col., bridge over the Railway at Springfield
defended by, 750.

Arbuthnot, Admiral, fleet of, sails past Fort Moultrie
into Charleston harbor, 724.

Armstrong, Col. John, destroys Kittanning in 1756,

Armstrong, Gen. , commands the American left wing
at the battle of the Brandy wine, 531.

Armstrong, Major, at the battle of Camden, 741.

Armand, Col., bad conduct of the cavalry of, at the
battle of Camden, 740.

Army, American, necessity for the reorganization of,
in 1776, 358 ; bounties offered by Congress to
encourage enlistments in (note}, 359.

Arnold, Benedict, after the battle of Lexington, 150 ;
his anxiety to lead the expedition against Ticonder
oga, 154 ; enters the fort with Ethan Allen, 155 ;
St. Johns on the Sorel captured and abandoned by,




156 ; on Lake Cliamplain, 193 ; superseded in com
mandhis disappointment and irritation desires
to attempt the conquest of Canada, 194 ; proposes
an expedition against Canada, 195 ; expedition
against Canada entrusted to, 196 ; his progress
from the Kenuebec to Quebec, 201-206 ; letter to
Schuyler intrusted by, to an Indian, 205 ; arrives at
Point Levi his approach known in Quebec, 206 ;
wounded in his attack on Quebec, 213 ; attempts to
blockade Quebec made brigadier -general, 213 ;
movements of, after the siirrender of Butterfield at
the Cedars, 273 ; convention made by, for an ex
change of prisoners, 274 ; retreat of, from Montreal
narrow escape of, from Burgoyne, 279 ; fleet
equipped on Lake George through the energy of
difficulty of, with the goods of Montreal merchants,
365 ; his engagement with Carleton s fleet on Lake
Cliamplain, 367 ; escape of his fleet pursued and
overtaken, fights again, 388 ; abandons his vessels
and retires to Ticonderoga, 369 ; sent against the
British on Rhode Island, 451; name of, omitted from
the list of major-generals, 454 ; efforts of Washing
ton in favor of, 455 ; attempts to intercept Tryon, on
his retreat from Danbury narrow escape of, 467 ;
appointed major-general horse presented to, by
Congress letter in relation to his wrongs Richard
II. Lee a strong friend of, 469 ; Washington a friend
of, 470 ; recommended by Washington for the com
mand of New York and New England militia, 497 ;
service in the northern army accepted by, 500 ; move
ments of, for the relief- of Fort Schuyler proclama
tion issued by, 526 ; exaggerated stories of the force
under, 527 ; goes to the assistance of Gates, 528 ; ac
tivity of, at Bemis heights, 540 ; offended at Gates,
548 ; letters of, written to Gates, 546, 547 ; his resig
nation accepted by Gates, 547 ; his excitement at the
battle of Bemis heights, 559 ; command at West
Point obtained by, 756 ; history of the treason of, 757
-780; extravagant style of living of, at Philadelphia,
758-759 ; tried by court-martial language of Wash
ington s reprimand to early insight into the char
acter of, 759 ; exorbitant claims of his attempt to
obtain a loan from the French embassador, 760; de
tested by the people of Philadelphia opens com
munications with Sir II. Clinton, 761 ; his interview
with Major Andre, 7(57 ; price demanded by, for his
treason 769 ; receives intelligence of the capture of
Andre, 777 ; escapes on board the Vulture, 778 ; dis
covery of his treason by Washington letter writ
ten by to Washington, exonerating Mrs. Arnold and
others, 779 ; letters written by, in favor of Major

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