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ing remained for him but to negotiate terms of capitulation. He accordingly sent'a flag of truce, and having agreed to give up his troops as prisoners of war to Congress, and the naval force to France, he, on the 19th of October, marched out of his lines with folded colors; and proceeding to a field at a short distance from the town, he surrendered to General Lincoln, with the same formalities which had been prescribed to that officer at Charleston, eighteen months before.* Another coincidence was remarked on this occasion. The capitulation under which Lord Cornwallis surrendered was drawn up by Lieutenant-Colonel Laurens, whose father had filled the office of President of Congress, and having been taken prisoner when on his voyage to Holland, in quality of ambassador from the United States to the Dutch republic, had been consigned, under a charge of high treason, to a rigorous custody in the Tower of London, of which fortress his lordship was constable.
December “as a day of general thanksgiving and prayer, on account of this signal interposition of divine Providence.”l
1 “The piety of a conqueror forms an immortal wreath, which will flourish when the laurel shall have withered. Timoleon, in reply to the eulogiums lavished on him by the Syracusans, said, “ The gods had decreed to save Sicily: I thank them that they chose me to be the instrument of their goodness." Washington, with similar but more enlightened piety, uniformly ascribed his successes, and every propititous event, to the divine agency. In August, 1778, he remarked : “It is not a little pleasing, nor less wonderful to contemplate, that after two years maneuvering and undergoing the strangest vicissitudes, that perhaps ever attended any one contest since the creation, both armies are brought back to the very point they set out from, and the offending party in the beginning is now reduced to the use of the spade and pickaxe for defence. The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel, who lacks faith, and more than wicked, who has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations." In the case of Arnold's treachery, he observed; “In no instance since the commencement of the war, has the interposition of Providence appeared more remarkably conspicuous, than in the res. cue of the post and garrison of West Point."
*“ The army, with the artillery, arms, accoutrements, military chest, and all public stores, were surrendered to General Washington; the ships and seamen,
What did he next do?
Had Lord Cornwallis been able to hold out five days longer than he did, he might possibly have been relieved; for on the 24th of October, a British fleet, conveying an army of 7000 men, arrived off the Chesapeake; but finding that his lordship had already surrendered, this armament returned to New York and Sandy Hook.
PROVISIONAL TREATY OF PEACE, 30TH OF NOVEMBER, 1782.
It was with reason that the Congress passed a vote of thanks to the captors of Yorktown, and that they went in procession, on the 24th of October, to celebrate the triumph of their arms, by expressing, in the solemnities of a reli
to the count de Grasse. The prisoners, exclusive of seamen, amounted to 7073;
3273 Sick and wounded 1933
Fit for duty 4017 Total of rank and file 5950 To the 7073 prisoners are to be added 6 commissioned and 28 non-commissioned officers and privates, taken prisoners in the two redoubts, and in the sortie made by the garrison. The loss sustained by the garrison during the siege, in killed, wounded, and missing, amounted to 552. The loss of the combined ar. my,
in killed, was about 300.—The allied army, to which that of Lord Cornwallis surrendered, has been estimated at 16000 men. The French amounted to 7000, the continental troops, to about 5500; and the militia, to about 3500.*
Who was constable of the Tower of London?
gious service, their gratitude to Almighty God for this signal success. The surrender of Lord Cornwallis was the virtual termination of the war. From this time forward, to the signature of the treaty of peace, the British were cooped up in New York, Charleston, and Savannah.* From these posts they now and then, indeed, made excursions for the purpose of foraging and plunder; but being utterly unable to appear in force in the interior of the country, they found themselves incompetent to carry on any operations calculated to promote the main object of the war,the subjugation of the United States. Perseverance, however, still seemed a virtue to the British cabinet. Immediately after the arrival of the intelligence of the capture by the Americans of a second British army, George III., declared, in a speech to parliament,“that he should not answer the trust committed to the sovereign of a free people, if he consented to sacrifice, either to his own desire of peace, or to their temporary ease and relief, those essential rights and permanent interests, upon the maintenance and preservation of which the future strength and security of the country must for ever depend.' When called upon in the House of Commons for an explanation of this vague and assuming language, Lord North avowed that it was the intention of ministers to carry on in North America "a war of posts;' and such was, at that moment,* the state of the house, that, in despite of the eloquence of Mr. Fox, who labored to demonstrate the absurdity of this new plan, a majority of 218 to 129 concurred in an address which was an echo of his Majesty's speech. But the loud murmurs of the people, groaning beneath the weight of taxation, and indignant under a sense of national misrule, at length penetrated the walls of the senate-house. Early in the year 1782, motion after motion was made in the House of Commons, expressive of the general wish for the termination of hostilities with the United States. The minister held out with obstinacy, though on each renewal of the debate, he saw his majority diminish; till at length, on the 27th of February, on a motion of General Conway, expressly directed against the further prosecution of offensive war on the continent of North America, he was left in a minority of nineteen. This victory was followed up by an address from the house to his Majesty, according to the tenor of General Conway's motion. To this address so equivocal an answer was returned by the crown, that the friends of pacification deemed it necessary to speak in still plainer terms; and on the 4th of March, the House of Commons declared, that whosoever should advise his Majesty to any further prosecution of offensive war against the colonies of
** The military events of this year were inconsiderable. Captain Rudolph and Lieutenant Smith with 12 men, on the 19th of March, took a Bri. tish galley in Ashley river, mounting 12 guns beside swivels, and manned with 43 seamen. Rudolph did not lose a man. After taking out such stores as he found on board the galley, he burned her, and returned to his place of embarkation. After the reduction of Lord Cornwallis, the Pennsylvania line marched to South Carolina, and this increase of force enabled General Greene to detach General Wayne with part of his army to Georgia. On the 21st of May, Colonel Brown having marched out in force from Savannah, General Wayne, rapidly advancing from Ebenezer, got between him and the British garrison in Savannah; attacked him at twelve o'clock at night; and routed his whole par. ty. This action was fought about four miles to the southwest of Savannah, on the Ogechee road. The van guard of the Americans, consisting of 60 horse and 40 infantry, was led on by Colonel White of the cavalry, and Captain Parker of the infantry, to a spirited charge, in wbich 40 of the enemy were killed or wounded, and about 20 taken prisoners. This advantage was gained by the use of the sword and bayonet. The Americans had only 5 privates killed, and 2 wounded.
On the 24th of June, General Wayne was violently attacked, at a plantation about five miles from Savannah, by a large body of Creek Indians, who at first drove his troops, and took two pieces of artillery ; but they were soon charged with great spirit, and completely routed. It was a smart action, in which they fought hand to hand with tomahawks, swords, and bayonets; 14 Indians and 2 white men were killed. Emistessigo, a famous Indian chief was among the slain. The royalists, coming out from Savannah to join the Indians, were driven back by General Wayne; who took one British standard, and 127 horses with packs. Of the continentals, five were killed, and eight wounded. In Ju. ly, the British evacuated Savannah; and General Wayne soon after took possession of it. Peace was restored to Georgia, after having been four years in possession of the British.
That state is supposed to have lost 1000 of its citi. zens, and 4000 slaves.
A large party of the British being sent to Combahee ferry to collect provi.
What places only did the British now hold?
sions, Brigadier General Gist was detached with about 300 infantry and cavalry to oppose them.
He captured one of their schooners, and in a great measure frustrated their design. When the two parties were near each other, Lieutenant Colonel Laurens, who was in advance with a small party, fell in with a superior force, and while engaged with it, he received a mortal wound, and died in the field. Soon after, Captain Wilmot made an attack upon a party of British on James Island, near Fort Johnson; the captain and some of his men were killed, and the rest retreated. This was the last blood-shed in the American
General Leslie with the loyalists evacuated South Carolina on the 14th of December, and on the 17th General Wayne with 5000 continental troops took possession of Charleston.
On the departure of the British from Charleston, upwards of 800 slaves, who had been employed in the engineer department, were shipped off for the West Indies. It has been computed, that, during the war, the state of South Carolina was deprived of 25,000 negroes.
General Moultrie, at the conclusion of his Memoirs, pays an honorable tribute to the ladies of South Carolina and Georgia, "for their heroism in those dreadful and dangerous times whilst we were struggling for our liberties ;" and says, “that their conduct, during the war, contributed much to the independence of America."
What seemed still virtue in the British Cabinet ?
* Nov. 27th, 1781.
What was the new plan, in the House of Commons?