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affair, and not within the competence of the military commanders. As to this last article, Cornwallis prosecuted the negotiation of it with so much ardor, that he at length obtained permission to despatch the sloop Bonetta to New York, with the privilege of passing without search or visit, he being only answerable that the number of persons she conveyed should be accounted for as prisoners of war upon exchange. After various discussions, the two hostile generals having agreed upon the terms of capitulation, the commissioners charged with drawing it up convened in a babitation near the river, called Moore's house ; they were, on the part of the English, the colonels Dundas and Ross ; on the part of the allies, the viscount de Noailles and colonel Laurens. The posts of York and Gloucester were surrendered on the nineteenth of October. The land forces became prisoners to America, and the seamen to France. The officers retained their arms and baggage. The soldiers were to be kept together as much as possible in regiments, and to be cantoned in Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania ; a part of the officers engaged to accompany the corps into the interior of the country ; the others were at liberty to go upon parole either to England or New York. The Bonetta, on her return from that city, was to be delivered to the count de Grasse. All the shipping and naval munitions were put into the hands of the French. The British flotilla consisted of two frigates, the Guadaloupe and Fowey, besides about twenty transports ; twenty others had been burnt during the siege. The Americans had for their portion the field artillery. They found in Yorktown and Gloucester an hundred and sixty pieces of cannon, the greater part brass, and eight mortars. The number of prisoners, exclusive of seamen, amounted to upwards of seven thousand. Out of this number, more than two thousand were wounded or sick. The besieged had about five hundred and fisty slain ; but they lost no officer of note except major Cochrane. On the side of the besiegers, about four hundred and fifty were killed or wounded.
When the garrison had deposited their arms, they were conducted to the places of their destination. The talents and bravery displayed in this siege by the allies, won them an immortal glory; and they still enhanced it by the humanity and generosity with which they treated their prisoners. The French officers, in particular, honored themselves by the most delicate behavior. They seemed to have no other cares but that of consoling the vanquished by every mark of the most sympatbising interest. Not content with professions, they made the English the most pressing offers of money, both public and private. Lord Cornwallis in his public letters acknowledged in warm terms the magnanimity of this conduct.
The fate of Yorktown and its defenders was thus decided, when, the twenty-fourth of October, the British fleet, consisting of twentyfive sail of the line, with two of fifty guns and several frigates, ap
peared at the entrance of the Chesapeake. It had made sail from New York the nineteenth, the day of the capitulation; it brought a corps of seven thousand men to the succour of Cornwallis. Upon positive intelligence of the catastrophe of Yorktown, the British commanders, filled with grief and consternation, reconducted their forces to New York.
At the news of so glorious, so important a victory, transports of exultation broke out from one extremity of America to the other. The remembrance of past evils gave place, in all minds, to the most brilliant bopes. Nobody dared longer to doubt of independence. If the victory of Saratoga had produced the alliance with France, that of. Yorkiowo was to have the effect of establishing on an unshaken basis, the liberty of the American people. If the one had been the cause of the successes of the war, the other was about to create the blessings of an honorable peace. In all parts of the United States, solemn festivals and rejoicings celebrated the triumph of American fortune, and the downfall of that of the enemy. The names of Washington, of Rochambeau, de Grasse, la Fayette, resounded every where. To the unanimous acclaim of the people, the Congress joined the authority of its decrees. It addressed thanks to the generals as well as to the officers and soldiers of the victoriouis army. It ordained, that there should be erected at Yorktown of Virginia, a marble coluinn, adorned with emblems of the alliance between the United States and the king of France, and inscribed with a succinct narrative of the surrender of earl Cornwallis. It decreed, that Washington should be presented with two stands of British colors; the count de Rochambeau with two pieces of cannon, and that his most christian majesty should be requested to permit the count de Grasse to accept a like present. The Congress repaired in body to the principal church of Philadelphia, to render their joyful thanksgivings to the most high God for the recent victory. By a special decree, the thirteenth of December was appointed to be observed as a day of prayer and acknowledgment for so signal an evidence of the divine protection.
The demonstrations of public gratitude towards the captain-general, were not confined to these honors. The provincial assemblies, the universities, the literary societies, addressed him the sincere homage of their felicitations and admiration. He answered with exemplary modesty, that he had done no more than what his duty required of bim; he was eloquent in extolling the valor of the army, and the efficacious assistance of an ally no less generous than powerful.
Washington would have wished so to profit of the conjuncture as 10 expel ihe British entirely from the American continent. He meditated in particular the recovery of Charleston. His design might have been put in execution, if the count de Grasse had been at liberty to remain longer upon the American coasts; but the express
orders of his government recalled him to the West Indies. He made sail for those islands, the fifth of November, taking with him the corps which had served under the marquis de St. Simon. The troops which had reduced Yorktown were marched in part upon the banks of the Hudson, to watch the motions of Clinton, who had still a great force at New York. The rest were sent to the Carolinas, to reenforce general Greene, and confirm the authority of Congress in those provinces. The English totally evacuated the open country, and withdrew behind the walls of Charleston and Savannah. The marquis de la Fayette embarked about the same time for Europe, bearing with him the affection and the regrets of the Americans. The Congress, whilst testifying their high satisfaction with his services, prayed him to advocate the interests of the United States with the French ministry, and to recommend them especially to the benevolence of his most christian majesty. Washington repaired to Philadelphia, where he had frequent conferences with the Congress upon military operations, and the business of the state. Thanks to his cares and activity, the service of the war department was secured for the following year much earlier than it had ever been before.
Such was the termination of the campaign of Virginia, which was well nigh being that of all the American war. The disaster of Yorktowo so prostrated the British power upon that continent, that thenceforth the English, utterly despairing of being able to reestablish it, abandoned all idea of acting offensively, and thought only of defending themselves. With the exception of strong places, or countries accessible to their powerful navy, such as the province of New York, the contiguous islands, and the cities of Charleston and Savannah, all the territory was recovered into the power of Congress. Thus, by a sudden reverse of fortune, the victors became vanquished ; thus those, who in the course of a cruel war, had learned from their enemies themselves how to wage it, made such proficiency in the art as in their turn to give lessons to their masters.
The arms of England were not more fortunate in the West Indies than they had been upon the American continent. The marquis de Bouille was informed that the governor of St. Eustatius relying upon the strength of the island, or upon the absence of the fleet of the count de Grasse, kept a very negligent guard. Without loss of time, he embarked, at Martinico, twelve hundred regular troops with some militia in three frigates, one corvette and four smaller armed vessels. He sailed immediately for St. Eustatius. To confirm the enemy in that profound security to which he abandoned himself, he gave out that he was going to meet the French armament on its return from America.
He appeared in sight of the island the twenty-fifth of November. But formidable obstacles awaited him there ; an unusually rough sea not only prevented him from landing all his troops, but even rendered it impracticable for the frigates to approach
the shore, and the boats were dashed in pieces against the rocks. The activity of the marquis de Bouille enabled him, after unprecedented efforts, to put ashore four hundred soldiers of the Irish legion with the chasseurs of two French regiments. This detachment, separated from the rest of the troops by the fury of the sea, was exposed to the most iiniinent danger; it was about to encounter a garrison consisting of seven hundred veteran soldiers. But the marquis de Bouille, with the presence of mind that characterised him, immediately took the only determination that could lead him to success; and that was to push rapidly forward, and seize by surprise what he was in no condition to carry by force. He appeared unexpectedly under the walls of the fortress; such was his celerity, and such the negligence of the enemy, that he found a part of the garrison exercising in full security upon the esplanade. The day had but just cominenced. The rest of the soldiers were dispersed in the barracks and bouses. Deceived by the red coats of the Irish, the garrison took them at first for English ; they were first made sensible of their error by a discharge of musketry, at half portice, which killed several, and wounded a greater number. They were thrown into confusion ; governor Cockburne, who returned at this moment from a promenade on horseback, came up, on bearing the strange noise, and was made prisoner. Meanwhile, the French chasseurs had pushed rapidly behind the English, and had already reached the gate of the fortress. The English rushed into it tumultuously, and attempted to raise the drawbridge ; but the French, still more prompt, threw themselves in pell mell with them. Surprised upon all points, and unable to rally, the garrison laid down arms and surrendered. Thus the island of St. Eustatius fell into the power of the French. The booty they made was immense; twenty pieces of cannon were the fruit of victory. A million of livres which had been put in sequestration by the English, was forthwith restored by the generous victor to the Dutch, from whom it had been wrested. Governor Cockburne claimed a sum of two hundred and sixty-four thousand livres as belonging to him personally; it was assigned him with the same liberality. But the marquis de Bouille thought he had right to distribute among his troops sixteen hundred thousand livres appertaining to admiral Rodney, general Vaughan and other British officers; as being the produce of the sales they had made at St. Eustatius. Thus M. de la Motte Piquet, at first, then the marquis de Bouille stripped the plunderers of this island of the riches they had amassed in it; they had scarcely any thiog left of all their spoils. The neighboring islands of Saba and St. Martin came likewise the next day into the power of the French.
1782. In the commencement of the following month of February, a squadron of seven light vessels armed for war, under the command of the count de Kersaint, recovered to Holland the colonies of Deme
rary, Issequibo and Berbice; so that all the conquests of admiral Rodney, on which the British nation had founded the most brilliant hopes of mercantile advantage, were wrested from it with as much promptitude and facility as they had been made. As to France, the preservation of the Cape of Good Hope, and the retaking of the Dutch colonies in America, acquired her the reputation of a faithful and disinterested ally, and thus considerably increased the nuinber of her partisans in Holand. After the conquest of St. Eustatius, the return of the count de Grasse decided the French to follow up their victories. Their superiority both in land and naval forces, authorised them, in effect, to entertain hopes of the inost important successes. They directed their views at first towards the opulent island of Barbadoes. Its position, to windward of all the others, renders it very proper for securing the domination of them. Twice they embarked upon this expedition with all the means filled to ensure its success, and twice they were driven back by contrary winds. It was necessary that the efforts of human valor should yield to the power of the elements. The French commanders then determined to attack the island of St. Christophers situated to leeward of Martinico. The count de Grasse arrived there the eleventh of January, with thirtytwo sail of the line, and six thousand men under the marquis de Bouille. The fleet anchored in the road of Basse Terre, and the troops were disembarked. The inhabitants of the island were discontented with the British government; they had always condemned the American war, and they considered themselves, besides, aggrieved by certain acts of parliament. Their indignation was extreme, inoreover, that
the merchandise which they deposited in the warehouses of St. Eustatius, had been so shamefully pillaged by Rodney and Vaughan. Consequently, instead of taking arms against the French, they remained tranquil spectators of events.
The British retired from Basse Terre upon Brimstone Hill. Their force consisted of seven hundred regulars, who were afterwards joined by about three hundred militia. The governor of the island was general Frazer, a very aged officer. The militia were commanded by general Shirley, governor of Antigua. Brimstone Hill is a steep and almost inaccessible rock. It rises upon the seashore, not far from the little town of Sandy Hill, which is considered the second of the island, and situated about ten miles from Basse Terre, which is the capital. The fortifications constructed upon the summit of Brimstone IIill, were by no means correspondent to its natural strength. They were, besides, too extensive to be susceptible of an efficient defence by so feeble a garrison. No sooner were the French disembarked, than they marched in four columns to invest the bill on all its faces at
As the artillery of the place incommoded them exceedingly, they found themselves necessitated to proceed with much regularity and caution. They opened trenches, and covered themselves by