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Ledyard made an heroic defence, but had at last to surrender. Eyre, wounded in the attack, was succeeded by Major Bromfield. “Who commands this fort ?” asked Bromfield, as he entered. “I did, but you do now," answered Ledyard, presenting his sword. Seizing the weapon, Bromfield plunged it into the bosom of his prisoner. The example was followed by his men, till a great part of the garrison was killed or wounded. After burning New London, and committing various other outrages, Arnold returned to New York.
Washington was not diverted from his purpose, but, leading on his army with all possible despatch, joined La Fayette's division, and the French troops, which had already disembarked before Yorktown. The command of the latter was assumed by the Count de Rochambeau [dů ro-shongbo']. On the 28th of September, the allied armies took their respective positions. They were not long in opening their
laboratory Gen. Knox
Fort Griswold. With whom did Washington's army effect a junction ? Who took command of the French ? [See Map.-On what river were Cornwallis's works ? What part of the American line did La Fayette command ? What American generals between him and Washington ? What French general was stationed
CORNWALLIS ATTEMPTS TO ESCAPE.
batteries. Four British vessels were set on fire in the harbor by a fierce discharge of red-hot balls. Two redoubts of the enemy, so situated as to harass the besiegers, were stormed and carried, one by the Americans, the other by the French, with a steady courage which assured Washington of success. The best-feelings prevailed between the allied armies. The American soldiers cheerfully sacrificed their own comfort to increase that of their comrades, sleeping without complaint in the open air that their allies might be provided with tents.
401. Breaches were soon made in the British works. A desperate sally, at first successful, proved of no ultimate advantage; and, as the batteries of the besiegers were brought nearer and nearer, all hope gradually disappeared. Cornwallis could see but one chance of escape, and, slender as it was, he resolved to try it. On the opposite bank of the York River was Gloucester [glos'-ter] Point (see Map, p. 294], where 2,000 Frenchmen lay intrenched. The plan of the British commander was to destroy his baggage, to abandon his sick and wounded, to transport his efficient men in the silence of night across the river, to force a passage through the French lines, to mount as many of his men as possible, and make his way by rapid marches to Clinton.
The night of October 16th was selected for this desperate attempt. The first detachment landed on the Gloucester shore in safety; but a storm set in with such fury that the boats bearing the second division were driven down the river. The wind and rain continued till daylight, and it was found impossible to get the remainder of the army across. Those who had landed, after being exposed to the storm for hours, were brought back in the morning, and all expectation of escape was thenceforth abandoned.
402. Perceiving that further resistance was useless, and
near Washington ?] What injury was inflicted on the British shipping ? What assured Washington of success? What evidence is mentioned of the good feelings of the Americans towards their allies? 401. What was the effect of the fire of the besiegers? What desperate plan was formed by Cornwallis ? Give an account of the attempt. 402. To what was Cornwallis at length forced? Where were the terms of capitulation settled? When did the surrender take place ?
disappointed in the hope of succor from Clinton, Cornwallis on the 17th solicited a cessation of hostilities, with the view of surrendering. The terms of the capitulation were settled at the house of a Mr. Moore, near Yorktown: and on the 19th of October, the land force, artillery, and stores were surrendered to Washington; the ships and seamen, to De Grasse. The whole number of prisoners was 7,015. During the siege, the British had lost 552 men; the allies about 300. Eleven thousand Americans and 5,000 Frenchmen took part in the siege.
The scene of the surrender was imposing. Thousands of patriots assembled from the surrounding country to witness the humiliation of that ruthless army and its detested commander. The British came forth gayly dressed, but without flying colors, since that honor had been denied the American army on its surrender at Charleston. Cornwallis would not appear, but sent his sword by Gen. O'Hara. Lincoln was selected by Washington to receive this token of submission, as a solace for the mortification he had experienced in surrendering Charleston the preceding year. Twenty-eight standards were presented to American sergeants by as many British captains. The soldiers then laid down their arms, and returned to their quarters, whence they were subse quently taken to Pennsylvania.
[See Map.-Where ?] Mention what the Americans gained by this surrender. What loss was sustained on each side during the siege? How many Americans and French took part in the siege ? Describe the surrender. Where were the British prisoners eventually taken? How were the officers treated ? What story
HOW THE NEWS WAS RECEIVED.
Notwithstanding the excesses of which Cornwallis and many of his officers had been guilty, they were treated with great consideration by their conquerors. The British leader, however, could not forget his humiliation. On one occasion, when he was standing before Washington with his hat off, the latter remarked, “My lord, you had better be covered from the cold." "It matters not, sir," replied Cornwallis, raising his hand to his brow, “it matters not what becomes of this head now."
403. On the very day of the surrender, Clinton set out from New York for the relief of Comwallis, with 25 shipsof-the-line and 7,000 of his best men. Off the coast of Virginia, he learned to his dismay that he was too late, and he could only retrace his course.
404. News of the success at Yorktown rapidly spread through the country. One of Washington's aides bore the glad tidings to Philadelphia. Arriving at night, he proceeded at once to the house of the president of Congress, and knocked so loudly that a watchman was on the point of arresting him for disturbing the peace. He was forgiven, however, on announcing his joyful news. The bell of the old state-house soon pealed forth in exulting tones. Some were speechless with delight, while others wept; and the aged door-keeper of Congress died from excessive joy. Congress voted the highest honors to all who had aided in gaining this important victory. Washington celebrated the occasion by releasing those who were under military arrest. Religious services were performed in the several brigades, and the troops were invited to unite in returning thanks to that Divine Power who had crowned their labors and sufferings with success.
is told of Cornwallis ? 403. Give an account of Clinton's unsuccessful attempt to relieve Cornwallis. 404. How was the news of the surrender conveyed to Philadelphia ? How was it received ? To whom were the thanks of Congress rendered? How did Washington celebrate the occasion ?
END OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
405. SHORTLY after the surrender of Cornwallis, Washington, accompanied by a number of offi cers, paid a visit to his mother at Fredericksburg, Va. For six years she had not seen him, and now he returned loaded with honors. A ball was given by the citizens in honor of their visitors, which the venerable lady attended. As she entered the room, leaning on the arm of her illustrious son, her dignity of mien deeply impressed all who were present; and La Fayette, on the termination of the war, would not leave the country without bidding a last adieu to the mother of Washington. 406. The days of trouble were not yet over.
Notwithstanding their losses in America, the British ministry showed no disposition to give up the war; and it was indispensable for Congress, if it would maintain the advantages already gained, to raise and support an army. How could this be done with an empty treasury? It was only by unceasing exertions that Mr. Morris had thus far maintained the credit of the nation and met the expenses of the last southern campaigns. To eke out his scanty means, he had employed an
405. Describe Washington's visit to his mother. 406. By what difficulties was Congress beset ? By whose exertions had the credit of Congress been sustained ?