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less the 19th of October before the fleet could fall down 1781. to the Hook. They amounted to 25 ships of the line, 2 fifties, and 8 frigates. When they appeared off the Chesapeak, the French made no manner of movement, 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 inítance 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 Graffe to induce him to aid the combined army in an operation against Charlestown; but the advanced season, the orders of his court, and his own engagements to be punctual to a certain time fixed for his ula terior operations, prevented his compliance. His in{tructions had fixed his departure even to the 15th of October; he however çarly 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 Geore gia. 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 Chelapeak.

The marquis de la Fayette being about to leave America, the following expressions made a part of the orders issued by him previous to his departure from York Town' Orders for the first brigade of light infantry, 04

illued

1781•to the generals, officers and privates, his thanks in the

warmest language. He with gratitude returned his finćere acknowledgments to gov. Nelson of Virginia, for the fuccours 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' at it with a serious deportment, and that sensibility of heart which the recollection of the surprising and particular interposition of Providence in our favor claims."

The British fleet and army destined for the relief of Olt, lord Cornwallis, arrived off the Chesapeak on the 24th ;

but on receiving authentic accounts of his surrender, they returned to New York. A few days after their first return, the fleet was increased by four ships of the line : but fuch 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 Britilh naval commanders used all possible expedition in refitting the ships, with the design of extricating Cornwallis and his army. The delay occasioned by this bufiness seemed to be compensated by the arrival of the Prince William and Torbay men of war from Jamaica. It was determined that every exertion should be used both by the fleet and army, to form a junction with the British force in Virginia. Sir Henry Clinton embarked with above 7000 of his best forces. It was neverthe

less

2

less the 19th of October before the fleet could fall down 1781. to the Hook. They amounted to 25 ships of the line, 2 fifties, and 8 frigates. When they appeared off the Chesapeak, the French made no manner of movement, though they had 36 thips 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 inítance 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 Charlestown ; but the advanced season, the orders of his court, and his own engagements to be punctual to a certain time fixed for his ula terior operations, prevented his compliance. His inItructions had fixed his departure even to the 15th of October; he however early 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 Geore gia. On the 27th, the troops under the marquis St. zy. Simon began to embark for the West Indies ; and about the 5th of November de Grasse failed from the Chesapeak.

The marquis de la Fayette being about to leave America, the following expressions made a part of the orders issued by him previous to his departure from York Town." Orders for the first brigade of light infantry,

illued

04

200

THE HISTORY OF THE

Oct. 31.

1985, issued by major general the marquis de la Fayette, Ost,

31, 1781. In the moment the major general leaves
this place, he wilhes once more to express his gratitude
to the brave corps of light infantry, who for nine months
past have been the companions of his fortunes. He will
never forget, that with them alone of regular troops, he
had the good fortune to manœuvre before an army,
which after all its reductions, is still fix times superior
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 north-
ward having previously 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 gen.
Greene marched several days before ; and on the 5th of
November a reinforcement marched under

gen.

St. Clair, in order to 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 comrades had been blessed with a series of the most delightful weather from the beginning of their march toward York Town until 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 two 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 Corn

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wallis. This army had spread waste and ruin over the 1781. 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 difposed 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 increased and maintained, by the further confideration of the influence it would have in procuring such a peace as was desired. Two days after, the congress issued a proclamation for religiously observing through 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. Washington, count de Rochambeau, count de Grasse, and the officers of the different corps, and the men under their command, for their services in the reduction of lord Cornwallis. They also resolved to erect in York Town a marble column, adorned with emblems of the alliance between the United States and his most christian majesty; and inscribed with a succinct narrative of the surrender of the British army. Two stands of colours taken from the royal troops, under the capitulation, were presented to gen. Washington in the name of the United States in congress assembled.; and two pieces of field ordnance so taken, were by a resolve of congress, to be. presented by gen. Washington to count de Rochambeau, with a short memorandum engraved thereon, “ that congress were induced to present them from considerations of the illustrious part which he bore in effectuating the surrender.” It was further resolved to request the chevalier de la Luzerne, to inform his most christian

majesty,

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