Divine Service in the American War of Independence - October 19
- Friday, October 19, 2012
British General Henry Clinton ordered General Cornwallis to move 8,000 troops to a defensive position where the York River enters Chesapeake Bay. General Washington, joined by French General Rochambeau's 6,000 troops, hurriedly marched to trap Cornwallis against the sea. French Admiral de Grasse left off fighting the British in the West Indies and sailed his 24 ships to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay where, in the Battle of the Capes, he drove off the 19 British ships trying to evacuate Cornwallis' men. De Grasse's 3,000 French troops then joined General Lafayette's division and the troops of Generals Benjamin Lincoln, Baron von Steuben, Modrecai Gist, Henry Knox and John Peter Muhlenberg. All together, 17,000 French and American troops surrounded Cornwallis and he surrendered OCTOBER 19, 1781. General Washington wrote: "To diffuse the general Joy through every Breast the General orders...Divine Service to be performed tomorrow in the several Brigades...The Commander-in-Chief earnestly recommends troops not on duty should universally attend with that gratitude of heart which the recognition of such astonishing Interposition of Providence demands."
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