With Cornwallis At Yorktown

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October 16. … With the dawn the enemy began to fire heavily, as he had not done before. He opened up a newly finished battery of 18 cannon. Now the cannonading went on so fiercely as though the heavens should split. We imagined that they were going to finish us off. Our sick and wounded were taken to Gloucester. This afternoon the enemy firing was almost unendurable. Now we saw what was to happen to us.

We saw not far from our right flank a newly finished fortification of 10 bombards and 24 to 32 pound cannons. We had to await momentarily the time when they should open up....The light infantry went across the water to Gloucester to observe the enemy there. This was to determine when a breakthrough could be made by our side [for a retreat] through Maryland....

October 17. … The light infantry came back and told that it was impossible to get through in the region of Gloucester …

At the same time General Lord Cornwallis himself came into our camp and went at once into the horn and observed the enemy coming so close and also observed his fortifications. As soon as he had come out of the line into his quarters, he sent the first flags-of-truce to the enemy, which were observed on both sides according to military etiquette. The English troops began to slash their tents and ruin everything. It looked as though there would be a surrender....And we were heartily glad …

October 19. The agreement of surrender was made and finished. At noon all the watches went off duty in our line and in all batteries. The French and Americans occupied our works, line, all magazines and storehouses. We were not harmed in the least … We were treated with justice and military usage. We had no complaints to make …

October 19. In the afternoon between 3:00 and 4:00 we and all the troops of Lord Cornwallis’ army marched out of our line with all our packs and equipment, with covered colors but ringing music. We marched along Williamsburg Street through the entire enemy army, all of whose regiments stood armed in parade line and made fine music …

The French stood on our right. They were mostly fine young men and looked very good. Their generals were in front and had aides who were beautifully attired in silver. At the left stood the Americans … We … were staggered by the multitude of those who had besieged us. We were just a guard-mounting in comparison with them, and they could have eaten us up with their power....

After we had marched through both armies we came to a level place, where the Hussars of the French were drawn up in a circle, where we and all the regiments of Lord Cornwallis’ army—Alas!—laid down our weapons and armor. All the high generals of the French and Americans were present here: Count Rochambeau, Marquis de la Fayette and Prince Saarbrücken-Zweibrücken, then General Washington, General Green, General Sumter, who all drew much satisfaction and joy from the sight of our troops....