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«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 honor, 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 dispc'sil. Laurens interfered, and observed to his colleague, that though tt -was natural for a subject of one of the greatest monarchs in the world, to think £.\ 800 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 it a. "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 4s. 8d. There being a manifest impropriety in the Americaus stipulating for the return 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 <—" 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 posis of York and Gloucester were surrendered on the 19th. The honor of marching out with colours flying, which had been denied to gen. Lincoln, was now refused tolordCornVallis; and Lincoln was appointed to receive the submission of" •the royal army at York-Town, precisely in the Same way h& own had been conducted about eighteen months before. The troops of every kind that surrendered prisoners of war, exceeded 1000 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 hundred seamen partook of the fate of the garrison. . The Guadeloupe frigate, of 24 guns, and a number of transports were surrendered to the conquerors; about 20 transports had been sunk, or burnt during the siege. The land forces became prisonersttt 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 mortals1."' 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; aniaF
also an indemnity for those inhabitants who had joined him; but he was obliged to consent, that, the former should be retained in the governments of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland; and that the latter, whose ease lay with the civil authority of the states, should be given up to the unconditional mercy of their countrymen. His lordship howeverobtained permission for the Bpuetta sloop of war to pass unexamined, which gave an opportunity of screening those of the royalists who were most obnoxious to the resentments of the Americans. He took care also to> have k stipulated, that no article of the capitulation should be infringed on pretext of reprisal. His lordship,, with all civil and military officers, except those of the latter who were necessarily left behind fur the protection and government of the soldiers, ■were at iiberty to go upon parole, cither to Great-Britain or NewYork. He acknowledged in his public letter, that the treatment which, he and the army had received after the surrender, wasperfectly good and proper. His lordship spake in these warm levins 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 tiie 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 ^re not tipoa duty, do assist in 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 Lord ^Cornwallis arrived off the Chesapeake 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 such was the superiority of .the French by de Barras's junction with de Grasse, that nothing jshprt of desperate circumstances could justify attempting a fiesh«pgagement. These circumstances however existing, the British.
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 William and Tor bay men of war frr*ro Jamaica. It was determined that every exertion should be use?d both by the fleet and army, 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 appeared off the Chesapeake, 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-^tof sending a larger force from the West-Indies than that vvhich-was dispatched under Sir Samuel Hood. A few more ships irt the first instance might have prevented that most woful disappdfclti ment with which both Sir Henry'Clintou 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 1ms 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: he however engaged to stay longer. Could he have extended his co-operation two months more, there would most probably liave been a total extirpation of the British force in the Carotinas 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,' ffie. following expressions made a part of the orders issued by rfftn previous to his departure from York-Town—"Orders for^the first brigade of light-infantry, issued by major-general the marquis de ia 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 nsofrtlis 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 manoeuvre before an army, which after all its reductions, is still six times superior to the regular forte he had at that time." Four days after, this brigade-embarked for the Hea&of Elk j the invalids of the American troops-de'stined&r the northward
-frard having previously clone it. The New-Jersey and part of the New-York iines 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 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 jnuchin 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 Jetter, 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 or the whole British army under the command of Earl Cornwaliis. This army had 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 increased and maintained^ by the fuither consideration of the influence
..it would have in procuring such a peace as was desired. Two <lays after, the congress issued a proclamation for religiously observing throughout the United States, the ISth 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 Rochambfeau, count de Grasse, and the officers of the different corps, and the men under their command, for their ■services in the reduction of lord Cornwaliis.-—They also resolved toerert 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 assemDied; and two pieces of field ordnance so taken, were by a resolve of congress, to be presented by gen. Washington to count de Rochaoibeau, with a short memorandum engraved thereon, •* that congress were induced to-present them from consiiera, ¥«u 111. I i tious
tions of the illustrious part which he bore in effectnatirtg thc_suirender." It was further resolved to request the ChevalierdelJ Luzerne, to inform his most Christian majesty, that it was tfis wish of congress, that count de Grasse might be permitted toa& cept a testimony of their approbation, similar to that which wasU} be presented to count de Rochambeau, Legislative bodies, ex* ecutive councils, city corporations, and many private societies, presented congratulatory addresses to gen. Washington, accompanied with the warmest acknowledgments to count de Rocb;ambeau, count de Grasse and the other officers in the servic£ <a his most Christian majesty. Places of public worship resoundefj with grateful praises to the Lord of Hosts, the God of battles, before, at, and after the appointed day of thanksgiving.—Thii singularly interesting event of captivating a second royal armj, 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 frontiersttt New-York state~ Major Ross advanced from the westward as far as Johnstown, with a body of 600, regulars, rangers, and lry> dians. Col. Willet gained intelligence of them, marched witli between 4 and 500 levies and militia, and attacked them on the 2JMi 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 thenv The pursuit was re-commenced ; and by the 30th in the morning, the Americans fell in with the enemy; but when too fatigued 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 abad.creek. The Oneidas fired, and with their lifles killed some and wounded Butler.. They then crossed ovgi to him. On his asking quarter, they answered Cherry VaU^f quarter (alluding to his having denied it there when asked, in November 1178), and dispatched him though the request wasrgnewed.
The following acts and concerns of Congress deserve to-be noticed. On the 30th of October, they elected major gen. Lincoln secretary of war. The next Sunday [Nov. 4.] they attended at the Roman catholic chapel with the chevalierde la Luzerne, arid many other gentlemen of distinction, and heard mons.de Boadole, chaplain to the French embassy, deliver the folio wing, discourse—" Gentlemen, a numerous people assembled 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 Vanins resound with, triumphal jjctigns, wliite nations'%•