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Surrender at Yorktown: October 19, 1781

Greatest harmony prevails between the French and American armiesOn October 19, 1781, after almost 2 weeks of being under siege, the British troops at Yorktown, Virginia, surrendered to combined American and French forces, effectively signaling the beginning of the end of the Revolutionary War.

A few weeks before the American and French troops began their bombardment of the British defenses at Yorktown, the French Admiral de Grasse defeated the British fleet off the Virginia Capes. This victory left the 7,000 troops in Yorktown under British General Cornwallis effectively without naval support, thus enabling the American and French troops to begin their siege without any serious opposition or threat of British escape by sea.

The 8,900 Americans (under General Washington) and 7,800 French (under the Comte de Rochambeau) traveled hundreds of miles south to arrive outside Yorktown on September 28. The combined armies began their bombardment on October 9—after digging a siege trench 600 yards from the British lines—and kept up a near constant barrage of fire from artillery and siege guns.

Americans and French attack the redoubts at YorktownOn October 14, select French and American troops stormed the last two British-held redoubts, and once those were captured, the combined troops completed a second, closer trench. In response, the British made a sortie before sunrise on the 16th to spike their enemies’ guns, but the guns were quickly repaired and soon began firing again.

General Cornwallis, for his part, had been holding out hope that promised reinforcements would arrive, but when it became clear that his troops couldn’t hold out that long, he attempted to send them across the river to try to break out on the other side. Unfortunately for him, after the first group got across, a squall prevented all further crossings.

Realizing his position was hopeless without the reinforcements, Cornwallis sent out a drummer and an officer with a white handkerchief on October 17 to signal their capitulation. On the 18th, the two sides negotiated the terms of the surrender, which formally occurred on the 19th.

Washington Informs Congress of the Victory at YorktownWith the surrender at Yorktown, it became clear that the British were losing ground in America. Indeed, the Siege of Yorktown ended up being the last major land battle of the war, though the war wouldn’t officially be over for another year and a half.

Find out more about the Siege of Yorktown and other people and events of the war in Fold3’s Revolutionary War collection.


  1. Diane says:

    Hi – just a few corrections; the storming of Redoubts 9&10 occurred on the night of October 14th. In reference to the British sortie, the French had their guns repaired the same day. The Allied first siege line was approximately 800 yards from the British defenses; the Allied second siege line was approximately 400 yards from the British defenses.

    Thanks for highlighting Yorktown! It’s a very significant place in American history!

  2. Nancy says:

    My 4th great grandfather James McAmis was wounded at Yorktown and received a pension from the state of Virginia. He and his fellow militiamen never forgot their part in this crucial event, they ended every testimonial with words like “That was when the British army was captured” and “That was when General Cornwallis surrendered”. Ordinary farmers living on the frontier in what was to become East Tennessee, they knew that they had changed the world.

    • Glynn Kaufman says:

      Yes, your relative may have been there…BIG DEAL..there were thousands of men. He may have been a cook who had his soup spilled on him. I am not trying to degrade your family, I also had someone there, PLEASE CONFIRM all your finding….and I cannot say it enough…confirm your findings….

    • Elizabeth says:

      This reply is actually to Glynn Kauffman.
      Don’t know what you are being so snarky about. Personally I do think it’s a BIG DEAL that one cares enough to research and find out about their relative who fought in the Revolutionary War. I had one and he was in fact a COOK at Yorktown! (He was also injured fighting at the Battle of Brandywine.) Confirming findings is important, but I see nothing in “Nancy”‘s statement that requires this reminder. She obviously has seen the pension application and others which included the words she quotes. And I appreciate that she shared the information.

    • Dar Horn says:

      Thanks, Nancy, for sharing that information. It is always nice to discover such links to important events, I am always interested in family histories regardless of whose family it is. Glynn Kaufman–you need a time out.

    • Becky says:

      Ignore the nasties!!! You deserve to be proud. As many know, an army traveled on its stomach and cooks WERE important. So what does it matter about a person’s rank. If they participated, they DID change the world!

    • Kay Dean says:

      There are people like Glynn Kaufman on every site I have ever been on. Why they feel the need to be rude is beyond me. Anyway, Nancy, thanks for sharing your information.

    • ADAM says:

      Hi, Nancy

      Unfortunately due to a lot of family infighting, a lot of our records got destroyed so I know very little of my own past. History has always held a lot of fascination for me. I think your discovery is very interesting. Have you been able to find out what the pension stipend was back then.

      There was a radio series called FORT LARAMIE on CBS in 1956. It took place around the time of the Civil War. In the story line, soldiers often griped about the notoriously low Army pay they they received. They had good reason to gripe because it was 50 CENTS A DAY!

    • willa says:

      Don’t pay attention to kaufman or whatever the name. the important thing is you like me had a greatgrandfather who fought in the war. I also had a great grand dad who fought in the civil war union. I now live in East TN. My Revol. ancestor fought for the colony of DE. He was a Quaker but still fought.

      And Kaufman, it is a big d eal if their ancestor was there A big big deal what did yours do.

      And yes, Kaufman I have proof on my blood lines. Thomas West Lord de la warre, the man from england who was apt from the king of england as gover. to all the colonies landed in Jamestown in 1609. what is your blood lines??? mine go back to kings of england during the very early years. such as William the Bastard, Alfred the great I don’t usually mention this but to a person so nasty as Kaufman, I do.

      To John, Gen. Greene in the revol. war. Is he Kin to Gen. Greene of the civil war, who defended Culp’s Hill at the end of the fish hook?

  3. John Beaman says:

    Indeed, there were several more significant battles in NC, SC and GA as General Greene’s Southern Army pushed British forces back towards Charleston.

    Sidelight: When handshaking etc. between the two armies in a gentlemanly manner after the the surrender, American officers refused to shake Banastre Tarleton’s hand because of his tactics in the south.

    Cornwallis went on to a succesful career including being Viceroy of India.

  4. Kathy says:

    For those who may not have heard, two spectacular museums of the American Revolution will be opening in late 2016. Both are located amidst some of out greatest national treasures.

    One will be in Philadelphia. I’ve been eager to return for years to visit Constitution Hall, and other historical attractions. Perhaps in 2016?
    While I love Pennsylvania and have spent much time there, I’m a Virginian, so that will be reflected in this “commercial.”

    The state is building a Rev War Museum at Yorktown, also to open in late 2016. It will replace the much smaller museum currently. The new museum will have a much broader scope as the current one focuses on Yorktown.

    For those who have not visited the Historic Triangle of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown I’d like expain a situation which can be a bit confusing. Jamestown and Yorktown each have two museums, one run by the National Park Service and the other by the State of Virginia.

    It is well worth your time to visit both museums at each site as they are not at all redundant.

    Colonial Williamsburg, the world’s largest living history museum is a private non profit foundation. I’ve visited numerous times over the course of forty years and always relish returning.

    A pass can be purchase for all the Historic Triangle museums. It will save money for admissions and instead of standing in line to buy a tickent you just flash your pass and walk right in.

    • Linda Scheer says:

      I love Williamsburg and have been there 7 times in my 61 years. Going back next March and will try harder to get to Jamestown or Yorktown. I only have a bit of free time and the hotel only provides rides to Williamsburg. Thanks for the information about the museums. That one lady must have been having a “bad hair day”.

    • Joseph Clark says:

      History is valuable but only to the extent we don’t repeat the same mistakes. Sadly we do, but hopefully only positive people and attitudes survive and thrive.

      “Hood Robbin”, restoring the American Dream

  5. Jerry A. Matney says:

    My wife and I have visited Yorktown and the battlefields. Her great-great grandfather, Captain John Files was killed at the successful battle of Cow Pens, South Carolina. We have also visited that battlefield. Captain Files also had two sons who fought with him at Cow Pens and both of them were wounded.

    • Theodore P Wright Jr says:

      Dear Jerry Mattney: My maternal ancestor, Samuel Day (1767-1820) fought and was wounded as a sharpshooter at Cow Pens as a teenager for which he received a land grant in Ross county,Ohio, but was never on a muster list so his descendant of same name, whom I met in 1960 was never able to get admission to the SAR. Any advice?

  6. Pam says:

    I have always remembered that date because it is my birthday. I too, as so many others, have relatives who fought. It makes me to feel proud my ancestors were part of a fight for freedom in every conflict in which America has participated.

    • Alva Roberts says:

      I agree with you and even though my family would not have acknowledged me as I am the descendent of one of them and a slave, I am still proud of what they did then. It affected me regardless. Be proud everyone and ignore those with bad attitudes!

  7. Ruth says:

    My family also loves to visit Williamsburg, as often as we can to honor our Revolutionary ancestor grandfathers, who lived near there. We were there for July 4th in 2013. The music and fireworks were the best we have ever experienced, as we were sitting on blankets in the square enjoying it all. Just a note, Williamsburg visitor center now provides bus transportation to Jamestown and Yorktown, which we took advantage of. Much easier than driving yourself.

    • Jinci says:

      Ruth, my husband and I were just in Williamsburg in August and, somehow, we missed the information that free transportation was provided to the other parts of the Historic Triangle (Jamestown and Yorktown). Thanks for the update!

  8. C. Leon Harris says:

    For the account of James McAmis and many others who were at the Siege of Yorktown, see the transcriptions of their pension applications at The transcriptions are completely searchable and contain many details not recorded elsewhere.

    • Lewis Tycer says:

      Re yours of October 3, 2014 at 8:06 am
      “For the account of James McAmis and many others who were at the Siege of Yorktown, see the transcriptions of their pension applications at The transcriptions are completely searchable and contain many details not recorded elsewhere.”… my great great grandfather, Ellis Tycer, was a Revolutionary War veteran and would love to hear more about Will do the research on Google, but would appreciate your input, the plus and minus aspects, etc
      Lew Tycer

  9. Just a few corrections for the sake of Historical accuracy. The bridge to escape from Yorktown was destroyed by the French Marines thereby separating the British Calvary from the main force. Second, the NC, VA, SC and possibly some of the Maryland Militia were not under George Washington’s officers because they refused to fight under Greene after they were betrayed by the Continental Officers at Guilford Court House when they were left exposed when the Continental Calvary was withdrawn from their support. The result was they agreed to fight under LaFayette and Muhlenberg of VA. Thus the actual number of Continental forces under George Washington were far less than the Militia numbers; thereby making the Continentals as the third largest body fighting the British forces. Note that the disenchantment for the Southern Militia began at Camden when the General Gates (friend of Washington) led the Southern Army into a death trap after only providing the staring men mush immediately prior to the battle when caused them gastric problems prior to their being put into a swamp where they were massacred. The courage and heroism of the Militia and the leader Gates replaced allowed Gates to desert his troops on his famous race horse only to eventually meet the relief force sent from Charlotte who almost hung him as a deserter until Gates identified himself and said he was on the way to Hillsboro to get help. He was going the wrong way to Hillsboro. King’s Mountain had no Continental troops, officers or supplies or uniforms. The various Milita officers sent their incompetent Colonel McDowell to Hillsboro to seek the services of Colonel Daniel Morgan who had earlier been denied credit for the victory that Morgan and his Winchester Rifles had won the battle at Saratoga when Gates was given credit. the over 1000 stands of muskets captured at Kings Mountain provided the arms needed for Cowpens SC victory under Morgan who had less than half his men from the Continental Army there. The Heros at Kings Mountain were even denied pensions given toe the Continental forces until Andrew Jackson became President because of the prejudice of the aristocratic Continental officers and Congress against the rid raft common men Militia who were considered less than fully qualified for honor. In fact the land at King’s Mountain was not even considered for a National Historic site until the heirs of Colonel Hambright provided the land at a very low price. In fact, I do not believe Col. Hambright who was severely wounded at Kings Mountain while on his horse stayed in the battle on his horse until the surrender. The battle was fought on his and Major Chronicle old deer camp on or near Hambright home where he was taken to recover. If you would look up the Heroes at King’s Mountain pension records, those who died before 1832 received no pension at all. What saved the Militia at Guilford Courthouse was the woods where the British Calvary could not do a successful outcome. The end of the battle actually involved the British artillery firing upon the combatants which took lives from men on both sides.

    By the way it was due to Muhlenburg and the Southern Militia that all the boats that would have helped Cornwallis escape had been securely hidden or destroyed.

    • Carmon Elliott says:

      According to Kenneth Roberts, :”Rabble In Arms”, Dan Morgan’s men helped Benedict Arnold dynamically win the day at Saratoga while “Granny” Gates was in his tent.

      Benedict Arnold’s exploits were impressive, including leading the trek up through wilderness to Montreal, capturing Ticonderoga with Eathan Allen, for it’s cannon, the significant actions at Lake Champlain. Robert’s claimed Arnold was America’s first Admiral, having built at small fleet, to delay Burgoyne’s march toward New York by a year, allowing Americans enough time to assemble a respectable force to meet Burgoyne at Saratoga the following year.
      Arnold’s courageous and decisive leadership won victory at Saratoga, which Franklin brokered to bring the French into the war, yet cost Arnold his left leg.

      Arnold had had loud, vehement arguments with Gates, who wanted his troops to remain stationary, while Arnold saw the need for decisive action. “Granny” Gates ordered Arnold be confined to his tent. Enraged, Arnold fumed in his tent till he exploded out, got a horse and rode into battle, providing strategic leadership that won the battle, and, ultimately, the war.

      However, Congress awarded credit to “Granny” Gates for the victory at Saratoga because he had friends in Congress. This infuriated Arnold, and the indignity and perceived injustice while he hobbled on his remaining leg and led to his treachery at West Point. The relentless persuasion of Arnold’s wife led to that ignominy, too. General “Granny” Gates would later reveal his worth, or lack of it, when he fled the field of battle and rode away, some 120 miles.

    • Paul KLUGH says:

      ONE: Does any one know about the [ D.A.R.], if you do, it is interesting research, but the D A R does require documentation, , and TWO one has to realize, we were a very very small country, at that time, and we beat the most powerful country in the world,, that’s what is important …..For those of you who don’t know about the D A R, IF you have a daughter [ first born] to the family, thiers a good chance[ she] your ancestor may have taken part ,beside her husband, at what ever JOB they had, like Molly Ptcher.

    • Chuck Marcotte says:

      Facanating information coming from this string. Amazing to see how easy history can be rewritten by minor changes to recorded facts. Thanks to all for generating my renewed interest in our Revolutionary War and the history of that time period. Keep the information flowing in the battle to keep our history alive and accurate.

  10. Shirley Isham says:

    My 4th great grandfather John Ross Key, fought with George Washington at Yorktown. I belong to a DAR chapter in Texas. I have that medal for Yorktown as verified by National DAR as well as documentation.

  11. Linda Mahoney says:

    Shirley Isham
    I am related to the Ishams are you in the DAR through that family.
    I am in the DAR through the Comstocks.
    He wasn’t at Yorktown he was killed at the Battle of Bennington

  12. Debbie Gahn says:

    My 4th great grandfather was one of the French soldiers who came over in 1780 Count Rochambeau & served under General Lafayette. He remained in the US after the Revolution & was granted a pension.
    Awesome reading for me.

  13. LTC(R) Charles McNeely says:

    To each of you who have commented on this article, I salute your ancestor’s service to our country and encourage you to follow up by contacting and joining your nearest SAR and DAR chapters. It is no longer a difficult exercise to validate the service of those ancestors, particularly with the vast amount of searchable databases available on the internet. Your chapter SAR/DAR genealogist will assist you in finding the necessary documentation to confirm your entitlement to membership.

    The sacrifices made by those brave patriots, both men and women, are being deliberately diminished by our current progressive education system so that they can be forgotten and lost to history. If successful, the long-term effect to our country will be the loss of the values that made the United States the greatest nation in modern history. Each of you can help can directly help protect those values by your participation in the SAR/DAR youth outreach programs. I urge your strong consideration of the opportunity to belong to the largest patriotic organizations in the country.

    • Peggy Dunford Woodward says:

      In response to LT. Commander McNeely (Ret.) I too think it WAS a HUGE sacrifice for our brave Patriots! I love Yorktown Virginia! I lived there for seventeen years. We retired farther south and when Yorktown is mentioned most people here do not know a thing about Historical Yorktown! I think there should be a law requiring American History in ALL schools! I learned about Yorktown, Jamestown AND Williamsburg in the fourth grade-I loved it! I have ancestors who have fought AND died in EVERY War that our beloved country has been in! I have 7 brothers & 5 have served in every branch of the military! 2 served in WW2 & Korean War! My brother Luther fought hand to hand combat 18 miles behind enemy lines in the Korean War. I thank GOD for my country and the soldiers who have helped to keep us FREE ! ! I too salute our ancestors for their sacrifices! Thank you for your comments LTC (RET) McNeely!

  14. James L. Owens says:

    Colonel, later General, O’Hara who delivered Cornwallis sword to General Gates was an ancester of my late wife. He actually never married but had two families he acknowledged. My wifes ancestors were named Ferris. My mother- in-law, who had a sense of humor, assembled all the information and sent it off to the DAR. Strangley she was refused membership.

    I sent all the paper work off to a cousin I never met after my wife died.

    • Jo Ann E. says:

      Am reading “Lafayette” by Harlow Giles Unger. On Page 159, he writes about the surrender at Yorktown “On October 19, Cornwallis, Washington, Rochambeau and de Grassee among others, signed the articles of capitulation, but, feigning illness, Cornwallis refused to lead his troops to surrender, sending instead his adjutant, General Charles O’Hara, to suffer the humiliation of surrendering his sword. O’Hara sought to hand it to Rochambeau, but the French general rejected it, saying that American general Washington was sole commander-in-chief. With Lafayette at his side, Washington ordered O’Hara to surrender his sword to General Lincoln, who graciously returned it to him”.

      This seems to conflict with the comment that General O’Hara delivered Cornwallis’s sword to General Gates, unless I have totally misread the comment.

      As an aside, America is truly indebted to the French more than any other country for their help and especially Lafayette.

  15. alexander morris says:

    From Wikipedia: The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain and the United States of America….The American Congress of the Confederation ratified the Treaty of Paris on January 14, 1784. Copies were sent back to Europe for ratification by the other parties involved, the first reaching France in March 1784. British ratification occurred on April 9, 1784, and the ratified versions were exchanged in Paris on May 12, 1784. It was not for some time, though, that the Americans in the countryside received the news because of the lack of speedy communication.

  16. Jethro Lilley says:

    I am a member of the Williamsburg Chapter of the SAR and entered under my ancestor Isham Blake, who was an 11 year-old fifer with Lafayette at Brandywine when Lafayette was wounded. When the Marquis returned to battle, Isham rejoined his staff and was one of his bodyguards at Yorktown and witnessed the surrender. He was later reunited with his General during Lafayette’s tour in 1826, in Fayetteville, NC., where Isham Blake settled after the war and raised his family.

  17. Elizabeth Kikuchi says:

    Guillaume Duduit, my ancestor was killed in the Revolution. Where could I get more info on him?

  18. calvin Dav says:

    I have an ancestor who enlisted from Yorktown and fought in the Revolutionary War. After the war he settled in Kentucky and never returned to Virginia. I saw his name in a book of Revolutionary soldiers but I am not a member of the SAR and never applied. Why should I? I did nothing in that war. I was in the Korean conflict.

    • paul klugh says:

      Mr. Day! ……..You bone head are you not an American vet! I …Am a Viet Nam vet an I am darn PROUD of it, but I am also interested In [HOW WE BECAME A GREAT NATION] ,,:……Maybe you should go live in another country; did YOU not fight to preserve what we have, yes you may be bitter about the KOREAN war, but if you have proof you have relatives who fought in the rev. war, YOU SHOULD BE PROUD. …..My brothers have been doing research for many yrs, to track our ancestors.

  19. Bob Giannini says:

    My 4th great grandfather, Antonio Giannini, arrived in Virginia in Nov. 1773, landing near Williamsburg at possibly Bray’s Landing. He was accompanied by his wife Maria Modena, their dau. Catherina and Maria’s brother, Francis Modena. They had come as indentured servants to Phillip Mazzei to help him begin a wine and olive industry in Virginia. By 1779, Anthony with the help of Thomas Jefferson was freed from his contract to Mazzei and became Jefferson’s main gardener. In Sept of 1781, Jefferson wrote in his account book that Anthony Giannini had gone with the militia to Williamsburg and Yorktown and that he (Jefferson) had lent him 90 pounds specie. On Oct. 24th 1781, Jefferson again wrote in his acct. book that Anthony had returned to Monticello. On Sept. 19th. 1781, it is recorded in the payroll of Captain Benjamin Harris that Anthony was paid for his service with the Virginia Militia at Yorktown. After the surrender of Lord Cornwallis (19 Oct. 1781) Anthony’s company was discharged on November 6th. This action to me proves my ancestors loyalty to Jefferson and to the new nation. For myself, I have devoted my life to the study of our nation’s history and still practice that devotion as a museum curator with the National Park Service at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. But my career in history all began growing up at Yorktown, Virginia, attending Yorktown Elementary and York High School. I worked the summer of 1966, with the NPS as a Ranger Historian at Colonial National Historical Park but unbeknownst that my ancestor had participated in that siege and was possibly there during the surrender! The north end of our football field at York High was no more than a stones throw from the field where the surrender took place. The end of the summer of 1966 I was drafted into the US Army where I eventually became a cook and served at Valley Forge General Hospital near Phoenixville, PA., working as an orderly to the Commanding Officer, Col. John B. Coates. As a curator and historian I have always felt Knowing from where you came will help you make the right decisions as to where you are going. Nancy, keep up the good work and as for GK, sounds like you must have descended from Hessian stock, which is wonderful!

  20. Jackie says:

    I had 2 ancestors involved in the siege. One on the British side, and the other on the American side! Eventually I hope to write a novella on it.

  21. steven herbaugh says:

    A lot of great information in these posts ! ! ! Yes, when available, pension applications really tell the individual’s story. One of my ancestors, Pvt. Christian Caplinger [aka Christley Kapplinger of Rockingham Co., VA] had a farm 90-100 miles from my home and, in his words, “…was marched immediately to the neighbourhood of York Town Virginia and served there during the investment siege & Surrender of Lord Cornwallis,…”
    Living in WV, I’m lucky that I live within 150 miles of most Rev War ancestral homes (one still exists) and the archives in DC. In VA/WV, county clerks, librarians, and genealogical-historical societies have been very helpful, both by mail and in person. Many informative primary sources (land deeds, tax records, wills, etc.) aren’t online and, with good background info, trips to the sources are well worth the time and expense. I like to combine research with visits to local historical and tourist sites. Mom and her cousin began doing this, in the 1970s, and now I’m doing it.
    Regarding the service of cooks, my grandson’s ancestor was a fifer during the War of 1812 and, in modern warfare, only a relatively small percentage of servicemen/women ever engage in actual frontline combat. “So, what?” Says I.

  22. Judy says:

    My husband’s G-G-G-G-Grandfather, Adam Martin said he witnessed the surrender of Cornwallis to Washington. It is in his pension papers. Also, I learned about 20 years ago that I am a cousin to George Washington. I am related to him on the Washington side and on the Ball side (George Washington’s mother). I’m very proud of that!!

  23. Nelson E & Dorothea M Coleman says:

    Though Nelson’s ancestor did not fight at Yorktown, His Great Great Grandfather, Spencer Coleman, Pvt. served in The Rev.War, guarding a ‘lead mine’, also served with his unit @ King’s Mountain. All is documented with the DAR and the SAR. Nelson is direct descendant of Spencer, and is the 5th generation who has five children that are proud of the service of our family. In researching my Meek ancestry, I found more men in our family that has served in every war since they came to America, all of whom have served with honor and is also respected in our family for their service. In the Civil War the Coleman’s fought with the Confederates and the Meek, being from the North, fought with the Union. Our family is united that we are a blended family with roots in the south as well as the north. God Bless our service men and women that serve with honor that we have the ‘rights’ that we have, and pray that we are worthy of their sacrifices.

  24. steven herbaugh says:

    It’s fascinating to read personal stories that put some ‘flesh and blood’ on our forefathers. My French (surname) ancestors were neighbors and business partners with the Washington family in ca.1700 Virginia. They also married into the Burgess and Mason families.

    After Daniel French’s death, his only child, Elizabeth, inherited his plantation and became a ward of founding father, George Mason IV (two of my ancestors were named Mason French, the grandson was a Lieutenant in the Revolution). Elizabeth married Benjamin Dulany, of that well-known early Maryland family. I have a copy of an undated and unsigned thank you note (written by an adjutant), “General Washington presents his best respects to Mrs. Dulany with the horse Blueskin, which he wishes was better worth her acceptance…. Mrs. Washington presents her compliments and thanks to Mrs. Dulany for the Roots of Scarcity. Friday, after 2 O’clock.”

    During the war, Gen. Washington rode two white stallions. Mr. Robert Hunter, Jr., an English visitor to Mount Vernon, in 1785, wrote: “I saw old Nelson, now twenty-two years of age, that carried the General almost always during the war. Blueskin, another fine old horse, next to him, now and then had that honor. They had heard the roaring of many a cannon in their time. Blueskin was not the favorite on account of his not standing fire as well as venerable old Nelson…. The General makes no manner of use of them now. He keeps them in a nice stable, where they feed away at their ease for their past services.”

    The George Washington Masonic Memorial, in Alexandria, Virginia, is located on the site of Daniel French’s 1,500 acre plantation.

  25. Ed Solano says:

    I wish we would remember and mention France’s key role in providing financial and military support during the Revolutionary War — despite Talleyrand’s greed? — when we recall French criticism of our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. “Freedom fries” may have seemed a benign smear of French culture and past military ability, but it also camouflaged American jingoism as American patriotism. Ed S, Carmel, NY

  26. John says:

    I to had an ancestor at Yorktown. I am afraid he fought for the British.
    He was a twenty year old Hessian soldier. After the surrender he just walked away from Winchester Va. where the Hessians were kept, went to Maryland
    an married my ggg grand mother moved back to Winchester where I still kin.

  27. Heather says:

    I really like what you guys are up too. This sort of clever worrk and
    reporting! Keeep up the terific works guys
    I’ve added you guys to my blogroll.