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A Historic Battle-field--the Siege Of Yorktown In 1781

A Historic Battle-field--the Siege Of Yorktown In 1781 image
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History repeats itself ; and, in tl o siego now in progresa beloru Yoi ktown, we have, on u tnuch larer sculc, the repetition of the iege of 1781, to reduit, we cannot doubt, in liko innnner - in ihö triurnph of Ijbeity over Us enemies. On the 28th of September, 1781, Gen. Washington marched trom VVilt liamsburg,on tho Península betiw-m the James and York Rivera, lor the evon then oU Yorktown. Ho waa ao'.-ompanied.liy Koehambeau, Chattelleux Du Portottil, of the Frenen arrny. Lafayette was already in udvanui', and the Count de G rasse luy (.ff with the Prench Meet in Lynhaven Bay. The allied arniy, inojnding tiiiliiia, nmounted to about 16,000 men. Tho English arrny did not number t.iore th:in 7,500. The main body of the English, up;!p.r Lord Cornvvallis,was encatnped in the open ground uround the town, witbin tho range of outer redoubt nnd fi.'ld works ci.!culated to command the Península, while a detachment ui CÜO or 700 men held Gloucester Pnint, projeoting from the opposite shore, far inio the river, and narrowing itto theppaeo. of one rnile. Cominunication betueon :is protected by the batteries and English shijis-of-war lying under tho butteries. The allied nrmy ndvnnoed npon the town - the Atnericnns ha. ing tri3 pght and the French tho lelt - and presstd on so eagerly that in the i.ight oí tho 30íh, Lord Cornwallis withdrew (rom his outer lines, and tha workfl he had evaotinted were next day oeoapied by the bes:eging army, whic'n mvested tho poskion in a semi-circle ; 2,000 men were sf.ationed on the Glouceftter sida f. ir the purpose of keeping up a rig'rous blockade, wbich, afiera nbarp skirmish, terminuting unfavorahly lor the British, they made do iurtber altempt to interrupt. On the night of Octobcr Gth, the first parallel as opened within 000 yards of the British lines, and by the of the 9th several botteriöji and redoubts were oompleted, and thu fireof the allies became very eflective, oompelüng the oneiny in many cases to witbdraw his cannnn frora tho einbraaures, and hot shot, passing over the town, set iïre to the Chaser frigate, of 4-4 gun?, and severa! transporta, whjph were entirely consumad. Tho second parallel was opened nn the night of the llth, within 300 yards of die Brüïsh line, when, finding that it was flanked by t'.vo advanced iedoil)ts in front of the British works, it was determined on tho l-Wh to curry theni by storm, and uucoidingly two attacking parties, one Au, etican, led by Lafayette, vvi'.h u'hotn Kerved Aléx. IJamiltin, as Lieutenant Cdionel, tho otber Fiench, led by the lifroii dj Vimneiiil, toward the close of tne ihiv rushed lipon iheir works, and, tht-ugh receiving a hot and rapid liru. lelurned nota singliMhot, but partied them u( tlie point ('f thu bnvout'l - Hamil'p) leading iho American column with bis battiilion of Ight infaotry. These c-npr tured works being noiv included in thd gecond pnrallul, the lire upon' the fjrt beoams so fiarce that sunvndw seeiiatd unavoidablc. A vigorous soitie, !ed 'hv Lieutenunt Ciiloncl Ahelci omliie, wai made (.n tho 16lh if Octobjjr, but .s trinmphantiy repul-ed, nul Loi ■,] Com: wallis then ouicived tho di spei'atfí plan of passing Lia forcé over to Glouoester Point, find thenfce, m runt i Dg them as best he migbt hy rnprenseü hornea - to forcé hia way through Maryland te Pfiiladelphia. A p,ri oi tho army were attuaily thns tran.-fei red, when a storm arose, whiëh put uu end to the traneportation oí the rest of iho army, and as soon as possiblu ihosa sent over were brought back On iho morning of the 17th the fire of U.u allies bei-.ame so hot that thp place was no Jonger tenable, and Lord iJornwalljj asked a cessation of' hoistirities fur twenty-four hours, and the appointmtbt of commissior.ers to truLt of surrender. General Washington replik] that only for two hours could (} Píünent t) suspend hostiiiiies, and transmitted at the time suoh anieles of capitulfttioii ns he would be willing to grant. Commissioners were appointed in cocformity, on tho 18th, op bolh sides- -Vis. pount dg Mouilles apd Col. Laurens on the of the Aliies, Colünel Dinidas, nnl Major lioss, on belialt of the English. They agreod upon certain iniicle?, of wbich b rough copy only waj made, but this Gen. Washingtou transmi'.ted to Lord Cornwallis euily on tiio I9th, e.-[.)iessing liis cxpectatiuiiS that the terms would be ugreed to and signed by 11 o"elock, and tbat the ;,... rison wculd maruh' out by 2 P St. Aooordingiy at that ini;:É Ihtj uuats of Yorktown aud Gloucester Point, wiiii their garrison, and the shi)s in their liarbür with thcir seamen, were surrendered to the land and miva] foruea of America and Franco. The aiu , artillerv, apnis, rüitary ciiest, and pijj)lipgtortJ oí every kind, vcie sürieli..(iered to Gen. Washington -- tho ship.i and seamen to .Coiint de G rasse ; tho total nuir.btr of prisohers, escl(id1g seamen, rather exceediid 7,000 rreij, amoug whom were two Generáis, thirty-one field officers, threo li:ndred and tuonty-si:c Captains and subalterna, &c. The negofialion for snrrender was opened on the ejpventh daj' after breaking ground, ai)d the capitulation waa signed on the thirteenth (iay. The military and naval forces surrender as "prisoiiera oi war - the ar(llery, arins, aücoutreroen's, and military ehest and .-ublio stores of every denomination, to be delivered up unimpaired - tho garrisun to murch out al 2 o'clock, to a place apjxünted in front of tho post, witli sjiouldeiad anns, oölon tased, and drtimfl beating- -they aro then to ground their anns and return to their enoampment - ofKcers to rctain their side-urmB, and otlicors and soldi.'i's to keep their printte propeity, and no part of their bngffago jiapers to be subject to Bgarun or inspi-ution." The spot on i'hich lh:s niemoi. able surretdjBf waamadeis well knowa. It i dcsignatctl il) a plan rif the siego, and is soon, wo inay t: ust, to be rendered more menici'ablö by u liko surronder of' a tr.uch lurger army - ancj thus combino in one glmious uioinor two great victories on the same ground.


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