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aurens interfered, andaving it entirely an ging into the
er, while the son was drawing up articles by which an English nobleman and a British army became prisoners. While settling the terms, the viscount wished his lordship to state, upon his ho nor, the value of the military chest. His lordship declared it to be about £.1800 sterling. The vicount observed that the sum was so trifling, that it was not worth bringing into the account, and therefore was for leaving it entirely at Cornwallis's disposal. Laurens interfered, and observed to his colleague, that though it was natural for a subject of one of the greatest monarchs in the world, to think £.1800 an in considerable sum, yet, for his part, being a subject of an infant state, struggling with infinite inconveniencies, and where money was very rare, he must deem ita very considerable sum; and therefore he insisted that it should be accounted for. This was accordingly done; and afterward it was paid into the hands of Timothy Pickering, esq. the American quarter-master-general, to the amount of £.2113 6s. sterling, estimating the dollar at 45. 8d. There being a manifest impropriety in the Americans stipulating for the returri of the negroes, while they themselves were avowedly fighting for their own liberties, they covered their intention of re-possessing them under these general terms, with which the fourth article closed
ma" It is understood, that any property obviously belonging to the inhabitants of these states, in the possession of the garrison, shall be subject to be reclaimed.” * The posts of York and Gloucester were surrendered on the 29th. "The honor of marching out with colours flying, which had been denied to gen. Lincoln, was now refused to lord Cornwallis; and Lincoln was appointed to receive the submission of the royal army at-York-Town, precisely in the same way his own had been conducted about eighteen months before. The troops of every kind that surrendered prisoners of war, exceeded 7000 men; but such was the number of sick and wounded, that there were only 3800 capable of bearing arms. The officers and soldiers retained their baggage and effects. Fifteen hun. dred seamen partook of the fate of the garrison. The Guada. Joupe frigate, of 24 guns, and a number of transports were surTendered to the conquerors; about 20 transports had been sunk or burnt during the siege. The land forces becanie prisoners to congress; but the seamen and ships were assigned to the French admiral. The Americans obtained a numerous artillery, 75 brass ordnance and 69 iron, cannon, howitzers and niortars.**** *. Lord Cornwallis endeavord to obtain permission for the British and German troops to return to their respective countries, under engagements not to serve against France or America; and al
also an indemnity for those inhabitants who had joined him: but he was obliged to consent, that the former should be retain ed in the governments of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland; and that the latter, whose case lay with the civil authority of the states, should be given up to the unconditional mercy of their countrymen. His lordship however obtained peripission for the Bonetta sloop of war to pass unexamined, wliich gave an opportunity of screening those of the royalists who were nost obnoxious to the resentments of the Americans. He took care also to have it stipulated, that no article of the capitulation should be in fringed on pretext of reprisal. His lordship, with all civil and military officers, except those of the latter who were necessarily left behind for the protection and government of the soldiers, were at liberty to go upon parole, either to Great Britain or New. York. He acknowledged in his public letter, that the treatment which he and the arniy had received after the surrender, was perfectly good and proper. His lordship spake in these warm terns of the kindness and attention shown to them, by the French officers in particular~" Their deliberate sensibility of our situation, their generous and pressing offers of money, both public and private, to any amount, had really gone beyond what I can possibly describe."
On the 20th of October, the American commander in chief, congratulated in general orders the army on the glorious event of the preceding day; and tendered to the generals, officers and privates, his thanks in the warmest lauguage. He with gratitude returned his sincere acknowledgments to gov. Nelson of Virginia, for the succours received from him and the militia under him. To spread the general joy in all hearts, he commanded that those of the army, who were under arrest, should be pardoned and set at liberty. The orders closed with--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 duty, do assist in it with a serious deportment, and that sensibility of heart which the recollection of the surprising and particular in terposition of Providence in our favor claims.”
The British fleet and army destined for the rclief of Lord Cornwallis arrived off the Chesapeake on the 24th ; but on re.
eiving authentic accounts of his surrender they returncd to New-York. A few days after their first return, the fleet was increased by four ships of the line ; but such was the superiority of the French by de Barras's junction with de Grasse, that nothing short of desperate circumstances could justify attempting a fresh engagement. These circumstances however existing, the British
force this best forced fall dow
naval commanders used all possible expedition in refitting the ships, with the design of extricating Cornwallis and his army. The delay occasioned by this business seemed to be compensated by the arrival of the Prince Willian and Torbay men of war frona Jamaica. It was determined that every exertion should be used both by the fleet and arny, to form a junction with the British force in Virginia. Sir Henry Clinton embarked with about 7000 of his best forces. It was nevertheless the 19th of October before the fleet could fall down to the Hook. They'amounted to 25 ships of the line, 2 fifties, and 8 frigates. When they ap. peared off the Chesapeake, the French made no manner of move.. ment though they had 36 ships of the line, being satisfied with their present success. The main error, which paved the way to the capture of the British army, appears to be the omission of sending a larger force from the West-Indies than that which was dispatched under Sir Samuel Hood. A few more ships in the first instance might have prevented that most woful disappointment with which both Sir Henry Clinton and lord Cornwallis have been painfully exercised.
Every argument and persuasion was used with the count de Grasse to induce him to aid the combined army in an operation against Charleston; but the advanced season, the orders of Iris court, and his own engagements to be punctual to a certain time fixed for his ulterior operations, prevented his compliance. His instructions had fixed his departure even to the 15th of October: hé however engaged to stay longer. Could he have extended his co-operation two months more, there would most probably have been a total extirpation of the British force in the Carolinas and Georgia. On the 27th, the troops under the marquis St. Simon began to embark for the West-Indies; and about the 5th of November de Grasse sailed from the Chesapeake. *** • The marquis de la Fayette being about to leave America, the following expressions made a part of the orders issued by hiin previous to his departure from York-Town-" Orders for the first brigade of light-infantry, issued by major-general the mars quis de la Fayette, Oct. 31, 1781. In the moment the majorgeneral leaves this place he wishes once more to express his gratitude to the brave corps of light-infantry, who for nine montis past have been the companions of his fortunes. He will riever forget, that with them alone of regular troops, he had the good fortune to manoeuvre before an army, which after all its reduc. tions, is still six times saperior to the regular force he had at that time.” Four days after, this brigade embarked for the Head of Elk; the invalids of the American troops destined for the poithie
ward having previoasly done it. The New Jersey and part of the New-York lines marched by land, and were to join the troops which went by water, at the head of Elk. Such cavalry as were wanted by general Greene marched several days before ; and on the 5th of November a reinforcement marched under gen. St. Clair, in orderto strengthen him for further offensive operations in South-Carolina. The season of the year was unfavorable for the return of the troops to the North-River, so that they suffered much in doing it. But they and their comrade's had been blessed with a series of the most delightful weather from the beginning of their march toward York-Town, unul the reduction of the place. : No sooner had congress received and read gen. Washington's letter, giving information of the reduction of the British army, than they resolved, on the 24th of October, that they would at - Iwo o'clock go in procession to the Dutch Lutheran church, and return thanks to Almighty God, for crowning the allied arms of The United States and France, with success by the surrender of the whole British army under the command of Earl Cornwaliis. This army bad spread waste and ruin over the face of Virginia for 400 miles on the sea coast, and for 200 to the westward. Their numbers enabled them to go where they pleased ; and their rage for plunder disposed them to take whatever they esteemed most valuable. The reduction of such an army occasioned transports of joy in the breast of every American. But that joy was increas. ed and maintained, by the further consideration of the influence it would have in procaring such a peace as was desired. Two days after, the congress issued a proclamation for religiously ob: serving throughout the United States, the 13th of December,
as a day of thanksgiving and prayer. On the 29th of October, they resolved, that thanks should be presented to gen. Washing- ton, count de Rocharnbeau, count de Grasse, and the officers of the differeni corps, and the men under their command, for their services in the reduction of lord Cornwallis.---They also resolved to erect in York-Town à marble coluinn, adorned with emblems of the alliance between the United States and his näost Christian , majesty ; and inscribed with a succinct narrative of the sur
render of the British army. Two stands of colours taken froin
the royal troops, under the capitulation, were presented to gen. · Washington in the name of the United States in congress assem
bled; and two pieces of field ordnance so taken, were by a re• solve of congress, to be presented by gen. Washington to count
de Rochambeau, with a short memoranduni engraved thereon, , *that congress were induced to present them from consideraVOL. III.
tions of the illustrious part which he bore in effectuating the sur. render.” It was further resolved to request the Chevalier de la Luzerne, to inform his most Christian majesty, that it was the wish of congress, that count de Grasse might be permitted to accept a testimony of their approbation, similar to that which was to be presented to count de Rochambeau. Legislative bodies, ex ecutive councils, city corporations, and many private societies, presented congratulatory addresses to gen. Washington, accom panied with the warmest acknowledgments to count de Roch ambeau, count de Grasse and the other officers in the service of his most Christian majesty, Places of public worship resounded witli grateful praises to the Lord of Hosts, the God of battles, before, at, and after the appointed day of thanksgiving.--The singularly interesting event of captivating a second royal army, produced such strong emotions in numbers, both of ministers and people, that they could not wait the arrival of the day.
The British projected an attack on the northern frontiers of New-York state. Major Ross advanced from the westward as far as Johnstown, with a body of 600, regulars, rangers, and Indians. Col. Willet gained intelligence of them, marched with between 4 and 500 levies and militia, and attacked them on the 25th of October. They were defeated and pursued into the wilderness. On the 28th the colonel furnished the choicest of the troops with five days provision, and 60 Oneida Indians were attached to them. The pursuit was re-commenced ; and by the 30th in the morning, the Americans fell in with the enemy; but when too fa. tigued to continue the chase, left it to the Oneida Indians, who at length got up with major Butler, just as he and several of his men had forded a bad.creek. The Oneidas fired, and with their rifles killed some and wounded Butler. They then crossed over to him. On his asking quarter, they answered Cherry Valley quarter (alluding to his having denied it there when asked, in November 1778) and dispatched him though the request was renewed.
The following acts and concerns of Congress deserve to be noticed. On the oth of October, they elected major gen. Lincoln secretary of war. The next Sunday [Noy. 4.] they attended at the Roman catholic chapel with the chevalier de la Luzerné, and. many other gentlemen of distinction, and heard mons. de Bona dole, chaplain to the French embassy, deliver the following discoursem Gentlemen, a numerous people assenibled to render thanks to the Almighty for his mercies, is one of the most affecting objects, and worthy the attention of the Supreme Being. -While camps resound with triumphal actions, while nation's rés