19 October 1781–The Surrender at Yorktown

Today marks the anniversary of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War.

With the French fleet under de Grasse blocking evacuation by sea, Cornwallis was trapped and the Continental Army under George Washington, and French forces under Rochambeau, laid siege on the 14th of October. Within days Cornwallis was forced to surrender. He did not attend the ceremony.

The Revolutionary War had dragged on for over six years already (and wouldn’t technically end until the Treaty of Paris in 1783). The odds had been against us; England owned the Atlantic coast back then, as thoroughly as we do now; we had to dislodge them with (at first) very little help from any established military.

Thanks to GA/FL we have a good explanation of the battle itself.

And indeed there were a number of close calls, most famous among them the Battle of Trenton, times when if things had gone a little bit differently, we’d not have succeeded, and we’d have pictures of Queen Elizabeth II on our money, much as Canada, Australia and New Zealand do.

In fact, we’d probably be in a commonwealth country that included what we now know as Canada, some sort of North American Union, though I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to what it’d be named. On the other hand…the commonwealth came about because Britain realized after their experience with us that they needed to rule with a lighter hand. If we had capitulated, they might not have learned that lesson.

As for me, I hoisted the Betsy Ross flag this morning, as has been my custom on any day that’s an anniversary of something that happened during the Revolutionary War (that includes Independence Day). I was doing this long before some assclown decided it was un-PC or a trigger or however the heck they phrase their whines this year. I just regret that I missed the anniversary of Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga two days ago.

65 thoughts on “19 October 1781–The Surrender at Yorktown

  1. General Washington had been a warrior for 30 years by the time of the Yorktown battle. He was a different sort of general – led from the front, got in the trenches and dug beside his men, did the unexpected as the deep winter crossing the Delaware proved.

    Washington was Trump’s kind of guy!

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Ironically, a strong case can be made that Washington was a blithering incompetent during the French and Indian war; many even blame him for starting the Seven Years War (which was effectively a World War, being fought on multiple continents). The French and Indian War was actually a part of this much larger war that pulled in Russia, Prussia, Denmark, and a lot of other places we don’t think of as being involved.

      Fortunately…you CAN fix “incompetent” and Washington most certainly did fix it!

      Liked by 14 people

          1. Click on YouTube and go to the site directly – there is a list of shorter videos on the right, all apparently from the HC documentary. I could be wrong, tho – may not be the specific video you are referencing.

            Liked by 2 people

    2. Cornwallis didn’t show for the surrender and sent O’Hara to do it. French General Rochambeau refused to take the sword and sent O’Hara to American General Washington.

      Washington made the British general give his sword to his own second in command, General Benjamin Lincoln who had suffered dishonor heaped by the British at his surrender earlier at Charleston. Lincoln took the sword and then ceremoniously handed it back with disdain.

      Bloody Tarleton, the most brutal and barbaric English officer, was afraid to surrender to the Americans and surrendered to the French instead. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banastre_Tarleton

      Liked by 9 people

    1. Seems to be the sort of thing I’ve been doing most around here lately (Apollo 11, and so on) but I never thought of doing one regularly. And to be honest, I’m still not thinking of it. This was kind of slapdash (unlike Apollo 11) because I really do have to run an errand or two soon.

      Liked by 10 people

    2. We visited the battlefield when we lived on the east coast. My parents dragged us to one historic place after another. My youngest brother doesn’t remember, but the rest of us so and we all have an appreciation for history thanks to the effort.

      Liked by 8 people

  2. The American Revolution is my favorite period in history to study and read about…it’s filled with an almost endless parade of historical personalities and events that Hollywood should be and should have been salivating over for decades. Instead we’ll get another tired installment of Batdude or Spiderboy…or Transgenderman…

    Just change the sign already…to reflect who you really are!

    Liked by 10 people

      1. There’s a lot of stuff (also MK) going on in the K-Pop world right now. https://vigilantcitizen.com/?s=K-Pop has a lot of articles, but their latest, about a death (27 years old, natch) of a K-Pop star seems to have gone missing since last week…hmmmm.

        And, Greta the Greenhearted has an article devoted to her:
        https://vigilantcitizen.com/latestnews/the-elite-machine-behind-greta-thunberg
        Note the photo of her mother on a magazine cover, and the quote:

        Ernman on the cover of Vi magazine. The quote under her face says: “We all sell our souls to the devil”. Can’t make this up.”

        The music industry (at least pop/rock, although the classical side has its own issues, going back centuries) is also controlled, as it can influence people at an even deeper level than words (and pictures)…

        There was an article a while back that looked at the plans to use the Beatles, the Stones, et. al. to indoctirnate us all… Wish I were as organized as Gail and other here; I’d have the link to hand. So, off I go…

        Liked by 4 people

        1. “There was an article a while back that looked at the plans to use the Beatles, the Stones, et. al. to indoctirnate us all…”

          _________________

          Seems like it would not be easy to do.

          Bad TV shows are one thing, and lots of people sit through mindless TV hour after hour, absorbing… whatever.

          But bad music is like fingers on a chalkboard, if it doesn’t appeal to you, it’s unlistenable.

          Even if the Beatles and Stones were in on the plan, writing hit songs isn’t easy, even for them. If it’s not a good song, if it doesn’t appeal to enough people, it doesn’t get played (payola notwithstanding).

          Just seems like the artistic process would be corrupted by attempting to insert propaganda and still manage to make hit songs.

          But I have heard about this concept before, it would be interesting to learn more about it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Aussie did his/her thing and posted a bunch of OT stuff and this is in response to some of that…but I’ll respond with a thought.

            What you talk about is probably much more manageable if it’s vague propaganda designed to affect one’s general thoughts and sense of life, rather than as specific as “Castro is a wonderful specimen of humanity.”

            You can make movie after movie that’s a feel good, the-good-guys-beat-the-bad-guys story (which means you won’t be pissed at the movie for having a downer ending)…but if the bad guy is ALWAYS a wealthy businessman, the socialist sense that rich people are automatically evil gets implanted over time. Similarly, effective music can pick themes for the lyrics, or just be “edgy” rather than full-bore psychotic. When people don’t see it as edgy any more, push further.

            Compare the early Beatles (She Loves You, I Wanna Hold Your Hand) to the later Beatles. They carried millions of people off in directions they’d never have contemplated in 1962.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’ll have to check for Ozzy’s post on that.

              I see what you mean in a general sense, but that seemed to be a natural progression of their musical development, which probably culminated in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).

              For a lot of people that one is a favorite, and it was certainly different, but it always seemed an oddity to me.

              The White Album (1968) was a new experiment again, the first double LP if I remember correctly, and mostly I like the acoustic songs on that one. The real strange (potentially ‘subversive’) song is ‘Revolution #9’, which just sounds horrible to my ears, doesn’t even sound like music, so I never play it.

              Next came ‘Let it Be’ in recording order, though ‘Let it Be’ was actually released last, IIRC (1970).

              And they saved the best for last IMO, Abbey Road, released in 1969. Recorded after “Let it Be”, (so Abbey Road is the last time they recorded together), but released before “Let it Be”.

              ………………………………
              Side one

              1. Come Together (Lennon / McCartney)
              2. Something (George Harrison)
              3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (Lennon / McCartney)
              4. Oh! Darling (Lennon / McCartney)
              5. Octopus’s Garden (Richard Starkey, sung by Ringo Starr)
              6. I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (Lennon / McCartney)

              Side two

              1. Here Comes the Sun (George Harrison)
              2. Because (Lennon / McCartney)
              3. You Never Give Me Your Money
              4. Medley – Sun King / Mean Mr. Mustard / Polythene Pam (Lennon / McCartney)
              5. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window (Lennon / McCartney)
              6. Golden Slumbers (Lennon / McCartney)
              7. Carry That Weight (Lennon / McCartney)
              8. The End (Lennon / McCartney)
              9. Her Majesty (Lennon / McCartney)
              ………………………………….

              Besides ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ (an upbeat and happy song about killing someone with a hammer!), there’s nothing that jumps out at me as negative or corrosive regarding values (and Maxwell’s Silver Hammer was certainly not meant to be taken seriously).

              I can do without “Polythene Pam” which doesn’t sound like it belongs on the album (to me), but the rest is a pretty amazing accomplishment (again, IMO… but I’m hardly alone in that assessment, lol!)

              So I’m curious about the negative influences.

              I didn’t really start developing my own listening tastes until late grade school or junior high school, and most of the music I liked had already been released ‘before my time’, i.e., my favorite music era is about 1963 to about 1975, with a few others up to about 1980 (e.g., Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ was released in 1979).

              By 1982 MTV started, and everything became more about the video, dancing around and wearing crazy outfits (it was for the eye, not the ear), and the music suffered horribly as a result (IMO). So I stayed with the classic rock era, that was an easy call to make, there was no way I was going to transition into 1980s music, it didn’t sound anything like the music I had ‘grown up’ with.

              Like

        1. We fired our cannons till he barrel melted down,
          so we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
          We filled his head with cannonballs, and powdered his behind.
          And when we lit the powder off, the gator lost his mind.

          THe only verse of this I really know by heart.

          Liked by 5 people

  3. Liked by 2 people

    1. Reminds me of this:

      A local United Way office realized that the organization had never received a donation from the town’s most successful lawyer. The person in charge of contributions called him to persuade him to contribute.

      “Our research shows that out of a yearly income of at least $500,000, you give not a penny to charity. Wouldn’t you like to give back to the community in some way?”

      The lawyer mulled this over for a moment and replied, “First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?”

      Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbled, “Um … no.”

      The lawyer interrupts, “or that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?”

      The stricken United Way rep began to stammer out an apology, but was interrupted again.

      “or that my sister’s husband died in a traffic accident,” the lawyer’s voice rising in indignation, “leaving her penniless with three children?!”

      The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, said simply, “I had no idea…”

      On a roll, the lawyer cut him off once again, “So if I don’t give any money to them, why should I give any to you?”

      Liked by 4 people

    1. “On the other hand…the commonwealth came about because Britain realized after their experience with us that they needed to rule with a lighter hand.”

      ___________________

      Or at least a more hidden one.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. And, oh my:

      “After reporters revealed that the trip had been funded by a pair of Lebanese-American businessmen with ties to a pro-Assad political party, Gabbard agreed to repay her travel costs. And yet, instead of distancing herself from this episode, she has embraced it. In April, after a sarin-gas attack in Syria, Gabbard said that she was ‘skeptical’ of claims that Assad’s government was to blame.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. More Scabbard than Gabbard…

        It’s appalling how many turncoats (turdcoats?) there are in Gubmint…

        I’m starting to think we should just burn the bl00dy mess down and start out fresh, with the various departments spread around the country, reduced in size to the minimum (but not below) needed to function properly, with a SMALL Federal Government site in Washington D.C., or perhaps in the middle of America (say, near the Continental Divide – Rabbit Ears Pass, anyone???)…

        Oh, and repeal the 17th Amendment, so the US Senators are selected by the individual states. That was one “balance” that was “checked” off into oblivion…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Yech
    Elijah Cummings’ widow expected to run for his House seat: report

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/elijah-cummings-widow-expected-to-run-for-his-house-seat-report

    Elijah Cummings’s Wife Used Her Charity To Pay Her For-Profit Company, Documents Show

    https://dailycaller.com/2019/06/05/elijah-cummingss-wife-charity/

    “The wife of House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings used her charity to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars into her private LLC, according to new documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. …”
    Elijah Cummings’ widow expec

    Liked by 4 people

    1. “Yech
      Elijah Cummings’ widow expected to run for his House seat: report”

      __________________

      She has to.

      It just struck me why.

      This is why the wives always have to try for the seat of their corrupt deceased husbands, despite often having zero political experience and zero interest in politics at any level.

      It’s because if someone else (someone who is not part of the wider criminal organization) gets in, their deceased husband’s corruption (and surviving spouse’s current gravy train) will be exposed.

      As long as a wife is “inserted” into the vacancy (using Party/criminal control of the political apparatus to practically guarantee her a win), the higher ups maintain control and the whole criminal operation continues without impediment. If she has no interest in politics, handlers will be assigned to do all the actual work and her obligations will be as minimal as possible. It’s not like anyone in fake news media or the staff is going to rat them out.

      The wives are leveraged into the game. Some more willingly and enthusiastically than others.

      Only when inserting a wife is not possible do TPTB go outside the inner circle (but still stay very much ‘inside’ the wider Cabal criminal circle) for a replacement.

      Why?

      Because somebody ‘new’ is not under as much control as a wife, any ‘new’ person is not under the same amount of leverage (yet), and any ‘new’ person invariably has less name-recognition and less sympathy vote, making the necessity of retaining the seat (and the larger associated criminal network secrets and illicit income streams) more difficult.

      So wives are always the first choice.

      Any criminal organization is like a family.

      By inserting wives into the deceased husband’s vacancy, they’re just keeping it in the family.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Appreciate the article, posts and links.

    Will copy the idea of Betsy Ross Flag on key Revolutionary dates. Bonus, here is an opportunity to reinforce American history with two grandsons that live with us.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I have a different 13 star flag (arranged in rows, 3, then 2, 3, 2, and 3, which was probably the more official flag) for events that took place around the time of adopting the Constitution, and a 15 star for the anniversary of Fort McHenry.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. “times when if things had gone a little bit differently, we’d not have succeeded, and we’d have pictures of Queen Elizabeth II on our money, much as Canada, Australia and New Zealand do.”

    __________________

    And whose leaders still swear a boot-licking oath of fealty and loyalty to the queen of England to this day. All three of those nation’s oaths are very similar, with very specific language.

    People like to claim it doesn’t mean anything, that it’s just tradition, nostalgia, that the queen doesn’t have any real power and they are not still colonies of England.

    That’s what many people claim. It’s certainly what they’ve been taught, by corrupt governments, corrupt media and a corrupt education system. The propaganda and official dogma is very consistent on that point.

    But those oaths were written by very careful lawyers, working for very powerful and wealthy people, and Sovereigns don’t play around with power just to satisfy the nostalgia of the little people.

    A Sovereign might certainly disguise their power, especially in an era where it is to their advantage to do so, and hiding things from the public is at least half of what being queen is about anyway.

    And it’s certainly nice if the People can be led to play along with the ruse.

    It’s much better that way.

    For the Sovereign…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thank you for this post, Steve! It prompted me to do a little research. Here is a reply from George Washington to General Cornwallis regarding surrender.
    ________________________________________________
    http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/amrev/peace/yorktown.html
    My Lord: To avoid unnecessary Discussions and Delays, I shall at Once, in Answer to your Lordships Letter of Yesterday, declare the general Basis upon which a Definitive Treaty and Capitulation must take place. The Garrisons of York and Gloucester, including the Seamen, as you propose, will be received Prisoners of War. The Condition annexed, of sending the British and German Troops to the parts of Europe to which they respectively belong, is inadmissible. Instead of this, they will be marched to such parts of the Country as can most conveniently provide for their Subsistence; and the Benevolent Treatment of Prisoners, which is invariably observed by the Americans, will be extended to them. The same Honors will be granted to the Surrendering Army as were granted to the Garrison of Charles Town. The Shipping and Boats in the two Harbours with all their Guns, Stores, Tackling, Furniture and Apparel, shall be delivered in their present State to an Officer of the Navy, appointed to take possession of them.

    The Artillery, Arms, Accoutrements, Military Chest and Public Stores of every Denomination, shall be delivered unimpaired to the Heads of Departments, to which they respectively belong.

    The Officers will be indulged in retaining their Side Arms, and the Officers and Soldiers may preserve their Baggage and Effects, with this Reserve, that Property taken in the Country, will be reclaimed.

    With Regard to the Individuals in civil Capacities, whose Interests Your Lordship wishes may be attended to, until they are more particularly described, nothing definitive can be settled.

    I have to add, that I expect the Sick and Wounded will be supplied with their own Hospital Stores, and be attended by British Surgeons, particularly charged with the Care of them.

    Your Lordship will be pleased to signify your Determination either to accept or reject the Proposals now offered, in the Course of Two Hours from the Delivery of this Letter, that Commissioners may be appointed to digest the Articles of Capitulation, or a Renewal of Hostilities may take place. I have the Honor etc.
    ________________________________________________
    Washington refers to his troops as Americans, above. In his 1796 Farewell Adress, Washington said this:
    “The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation.” 🇺🇸

    Liked by 5 people

  8. DH and I participated in the Bi-Centennial re-enactment of the siege of Yorktown and surrender of Lord Cornwallis ..
    … as British, Brigade 0f Guards .. the tune The World Turned Upside Down was played by Continental fife and drums. For the all participants who went through campaign Re-enactment it was emotional …

    A British lady who was helping in the information center mentioned the tune The World Turned Upside Down is know in Britain as When The King Enjoys His Own Again …

    Great post Steve thank you so much .. 🙂👍🇺🇸‼️

    Liked by 2 people

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