Surrender at Yorktown
On October 19, 1781, the Sige fo Yorktown finally came to an end. American and French forces accepted the full surrender of the British army. The war would go on for several more years, but the British defeat at Yorktown was the last full battle of the American Revolution.
The actual surrender was completed on paper in fourteen articles of capitulation that were agreed upon by the commanders. The document above was believed to have been printed on a French ship in the bay and was one of several copies used to first spread the word of the surrender. It is original and dates to 1781.
The Fourteen Articles
- Article 1
- British and German soldiers and sailors in York and Gloucester were to surrender themselves as prisoners.
- Article 2
- Artillery, arms, stores and military chest (money) were to be turned over.
- Article 3
- Two redoubts on the left flank were to be handed over to the American/French forces.
- Article 4
- Officer may keep their sides arms and personal belongings.
- Article 5
- The soldiers while prisoners were to be afforded the same rations as American soldiers. They would be allowed to receive additional supplies as provided by their officers or other parties.
- Article 6
- Some of the men not counted above may be paroled to Europe for the remainder of the war.
- Article 7
- Officers will be allowed to maintain soldiers as servants.
- Article 8
- A ship was to be provided so that Cornwallis could communicate with his commander, General Clinton, in New York.
- Article 9
- Traders that were captured with the British Army were no to be treated as prisoners and were allowed to dispose of their goods.
- Article 10
- Natives or inhabitants of other parts of the country are not to be punished for providing service to the British. (This one became tricky.)
- Article 11
- Proper hospitals should be provided.
- Article 12
- Wagons should be furnished for transport.
- Article 13
- Shipping and boats captured in the harbor will be turned over to American naval officers.
- Article 14
- No article is to be infringed on based on reprisals.