siege-of-yorktown

I super zoomed in on a lovely painting at the Siege of Yorktown to capture my boys proudly standing side by side AS THEY SHOULD after Cornwallis’ surrender. Look at my boys. I’m so proud I could burst.

The Loyalist and African American Escape from Yorktown

On the 19th of October 1781, Washington won his most famous victory following the capitulation of the Crown Forces garrisoning Yorktown, Virginia. For Earl Charles Cornwallis and his fellow officers, defeat meant bitter embarrassment and shame. For their British and Hessian soldiers it meant the same, coupled with the potential of spending the rest of the war in the miserable conditions of an American prison camp. For the Loyalists and African Americans, however, the defeat spelled the potential for death or enslavement. 

Cornwallis was well aware of this, and sought immunity for Loyalists as part of the tenth article of capitulation. Washington refused this article, leaving Cornwallis with no choice other than to abandon formal attempts to negotiate his allies to safety. The British, however, did not give up on more clandestine means of escape. Washington permitted that a single British sloop, the Bonetta, be allowed to sail to British-held New York without being searched, for the purpose of carrying dispatches. Numerous African Americans and Loyalists were smuggled onboard. The ruse was almost discovered where a Patriot commander, General Nelson, demanded he be allowed to inspect the sloop for blacks and “enemies of the state.” Nelson’s French allies, however, insisted that he adhere to the articles of capitulation, and let the sloop go. It reached New York safely, though “guards were placed along the shore to prevent runaways from escaping to the ship, although it was feared many were already hidden onboard.” The Governor of Virginia also wrote angrily to Cornwallis, claiming ‘negroes are attempting to escape by getting onboard the Bonetta… [where] they will endeavour to lie concealed from your lordship until the vessel sails.’ It is not known if Cornwallis ever replied. Washington himself was only able to recover two of the slaves who had fled his plantation. 

The British also hit upon another ingenious means of smuggling ex-slaves to freedom. Under the articles, officer’s servants were not to be separated from their masters, and were allowed to travel with them on parole, and subsequent freedom. An eyewitness recorded that the ships bearing the British officers were “packed together, with two servants to each officer.” Another commented on fifty men and women “whose faces were hidden” - Americans who had deserted the Revolutionary cause, and knew they faced the potential of execution if caught. 

Cornwallis was known to have 4000 or 5000 black recruits at Yorktown and Portsmouth. Smallpox killed about sixty percent of those that caught the disease, but in this case some were inoculated against it, so perhaps half the runaways were spared, though wounds and typhus also took a huge toll. Maybe 2000 survived. It is impossible to establish what happened to them. A proportion of the survivors, perhaps half, must have been forced back into slavery.

I’m procrastinating and have a sudden urge to calculate the time Hamilton and Laurens have actually spent together, and as I don’t have Massey’s biography on hand I have to go with the letters at The Founders. (They knew each other a little more than five years - Laurens arrived at Washington’s headquarters on August 9, 1777, and I don’t have to remind you the other date.) 

So, Laurens arrives, there’s the Battle of Brandywine, they write a letter together on some officer’s conduct in the battle by the end of September. In July 1778 Laurens is sent to Lebanon on a mission, and stays there until September or longer. So, we have 11 months.

In March 1779 the black battallion project begins, and Laurens leaves for South Carolina. If we start counting from October, it’s about 5 months.

I don’t think Laurens goes back to the camp at any time, despite writing to Washington repeatedly about his desire to do so; next winter, Charlston is besieged, and in May 1780, he’s taken prisoner. He stays in Philadelphia on parole; Hamilton probably visits him once or twice. In November, Laurens is released; he doesn’t return to camp but goes south again and then accepts the appointment of the Ambassador to France. (It’s around the time that Hamilton is getting married, so, you know.) He leaves in February and comes back in August, just in time for the siege of Yorktown. By December he was in South Carolina again, this time for good (or should I say, for bad?). This gives us 3 to 4 months, depending on the particular dates and travel time. 

11+5+3(4)=19(20) months, out of 60. 

And now I have to get back to work.

Although he was uniquely fitted by his education to serve the commander in chief as an aide, Laurens’ romantic temperament chafed under headquarters routine. He wanted to be on the firing line. “The Bayard of the Revolution” is what some writers have called him, and Laurens was in many ways a figure almost too romantic to be real.
— 

Beat the Last Drum: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781, by Thomas Fleming

guYS G UYS FRIE N DS OM G

OK I E DOKIE OH  MY G OS H SO IM READING THIS ABSOLUTELY LO V EL Y BEAUTY AND THE BEAST BOOK CALLED LOST IN A BOOK BY JENNIFER DONNELY RIGH T

AND THERE’S THIS PART WHERE COGSWORTH SAYS TO LUMIERE, “Are you forgetting that I rode with the compte de Rochambeau at the Siege of Yorktown?… We trounced the redcoats and sent them packing!”

AND THIS MEANS SO MANY THINGS AND I’M CRYIN G

- DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST TAKES PLACE AFTER THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR

- ALL THESE CHARACTERS ARE IN THE SAME UNIVERSE AS ALEXANDER HAMILTON

- COGSWORTH WAS IN THE SAME BATTLE AS ALEXANDER HAMILTON

- THE WAR GASTON WAS IN WAS MOST LIKELY THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR!! (cOULD HE HAVE EVEN MET COGSWORTH IF WHAT COGSWORTH IS SAYING IS TRUE?????)

anonymous asked:

How were the germans involved in the revolutionary war? I mean we're they fighting for the rebels or the loyalists or were they fighting for themselves? I mean I know that for example Baron von Steuben was helping the rebels but what about the others?

There were germans who served on both sides of the American Revolution–those were Germans either who volunteered from Europe and sailed over, or individuals who were living in America and enlisted in the Continental Army. Most of the Germans in Europe supported the Loyalists and the British Armies fight to regain control over their rebelling colony. Most all the Germans who were patriots were colonists. King George III came from an ethnic Germany family.

Great Britain formed strong German alliances during the Diplomatic Revolution of 1756 and during the Seven Years War had combined forces with Frederick the Great of Prussia to form a coalition that functioned as one Army. When the America rebelled a decade later, in some instances, Germans even enlisted directly into British units, such as the 60th Regiment of Foot. Americans were alarmed at the arrival of German-speaking troops on American soil, viewing it as a betrayal by King George III. Several American politicians declared they were willing to declare independence if King George used them at all and they were called “foreign mercenaries” and referred to as such in the Declaration of Independence:

“He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.”

German immigration to the British colonies began soon after the founding of Jamestown. In 1690 German colonials built the first paper mill in North America, and the Bible was printed in German before it was printed in English. By 1750, 10% of the American population spoke German. During the French and Indian War, Great Britain utilized the German population in North America by forming the Royal American Regiment, whose men were German colonists. German colonists were divided between supporting the Patriot or Loyalist causes. German loyalists fought in local militias, and some returned to Germany in exile following the war. New York had a large German population during the war. Other colonies formed German regiments, or filled the ranks of militias with German Americans. German colonists in Charleston, South Carolina, formed a fusilier company in 1775, and some Germans in Georgia enlisted under General Anthony Wayne. German colonists are most remembered in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Germans were recruited for the Provost corps prior to the war. 

May 25th, 1776,  the Second Continental Congress authorized the 8th Maryland Regiment (mainly comprised of Germans) to be formed. John Adams hoped the German Regiment would free “natives of the country who were needed for Agriculture, Manufactures, and Commerce.“ The regiment saw service at the Battle of Trenton and the Battle of Princeton, and took part in other campaigns. European Germans also came to the United States as allied soldiers. 

The Hessians were very well trained and equipped. At the end of the war, Congress offered free farmland to coax Germans to remain in the United States. The Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel initially provided over 12,000 soldiers to fight in America. The Hessians had difficulty becoming accustomed to North America and suffered from illness. Hessian soldiers were incorporated within the British Army and fought in New York and New Jersey campaign, the Battle of Germantown, the Siege of Charleston, and the Siege of Yorktown, where approximately 1,300 Germans were taken prisoner. 

Germany couldn’t replace men quickly so they recruited African Americans as servants and soldiers. There were 115 black soldiers serving with Hessians. There were 4,000 soldiers under General John Burgoyne in the Saratoga 1777. They were referred to as "Brunswickers” and accounted for nearly half of Burgoyne’s army. After Burgoyne’s surrender, 2,431 were captured until the end of the war. Brunswickers were granted permission tattle end of the war to stay by both Congress and their officers. One battalion of 600 – 700 men were in Canada to guard Quebec. 

Some Germans came to the United States with the French. Johann de Kalb served in the French army before receiving commission as a general in the Continental Army. France had eight German-speaking regiments with over 2,500 soldiers. Other Germans came to the United States to use their military training. Frederick William, Baron de Woedtke was a Prussian officer who obtained a Congressional commission and he died in New York in 1776. Gustave Rosenthal was a German who became an officer in the Continental Army and chose to stay and become a citizens in the nation after the war. Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben came to America and served under George Washington as inspector general. Baron von Steuben trained the Continental Army at Valley Forge, and later wrote the first drill manual. 

It has been estimated Germany contributed over 16,000 troops to the British fight and 6,500 total didn’t return; of that amount 1,800 died and the rest resided in America after the war. 

I Will Come Home

Hercules Mulligan x Reader

Note: I came up with this idea while I was supposed to be taking a break and relaxing for a few days. I wanted to write something for Oak’s last show, and I know I’m a little late but anyway. I hope you enjoy

Warnings: Angst, sadness, character death

Word Count: 1,693

Originally posted by possiblestalker

The day you married Hercules was the greatest day of your life. You had never met another person who made you feel the way he made you feel. His thick, muscled arms made you feel as if nothing could hurt you when they were wrapped around you in a tight embrace. And while not a man of many words, always managed to find the perfect thing to say in any given situation.

After the wedding your favorite days the ones where the two of you would it together in his tailor shop. He would mend clothes, or create breathtaking designs while you read to him. The tradition had started after you had talked so much about a book you had enjoyed that he finally told you he wanted to read it just to understand what you were talking about but he wasn’t sure when he would get the time so you offered to read it out loud to him. Soon you stopped reading books to yourself, and the two of you would enjoy them together as you read them to him.

Other times, when you didn’t feel like reading and the workload wasn’t too hectic for Hercules he would attempt to teach you how to sew. You had admitted to him just after you got married that you had never learned how to sew, despite your mother trying to teach you as a young girl but you had never picked it up. He would sit behind you, his arms around your waist as he watched you from over your shoulder, ready to assist at any time.

Keep reading

So with his zeal undiminished, he stepped back into active command, and was undoubtedly delighted to find himself fighting beside an old friend, another young lieutenant colonel named Alexander Hamilton. It was in many ways a strange friendship; for Hamilton had come down to us as the supremely cynical realist of the Revolution and after. Laurens was perhaps the extreme romantic.
—  Beat the Last Drum: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781 by Thomas Fleming
Yorktown

Request: How about the reader somehow gets back to hamiltime sort of like Narnia? All the confusion, her explaining everything else to them and vice versa?!?! Thanks xxx

Pairing: Alexander Hamilton x reader (slow burn)

Warnings: Historical inaccuracy, time travel, 

Word count: 2,521 (my longest yet!)

A/N: I fiddled with the request a bit but hopefully just about right. Also this is quite long so I put in a “read more”. I actually know a fair bit about this time period but I have fiddled with the timeline- aka musical is canon- and am describing the figures as the actors to avoid confusion. Any questions, just ask!

It was a two show day and you had decided to explore the theatre by yourself.

Most of the rest of the cast had elected to crash at Jasmine and Anthonys’ place to shower and eat, but you’d promised to join them a bit later. When the others hadn’t protested, you had cited a need to call your best friend from home and have a little you time.

Still in your pink Angelica dress from “The Schuyler Sisters”- you had an appointment in wardrobe in half an hour- you started to look around. The building felt quiet without the cheery bustle of the rest of the cast. Other than the cast dressing rooms, there were dozens of corridors and doors that you’d never been through.

After you’d exhausted those, you headed into the wings. You had only started performing as Angelica a few weeks before, having been a universal swing beforehand. You had fallen in love with the show and had been singing the songs for weeks before you even auditioned. It was exciting and you were still in awe of the opportunities you were having.

A new delivery of props we’re waiting in the wings. You stepped closer to take a look and noticed a wardrobe among the old-style chairs and bayonets. The varnish was faded and it didn’t look overly sturdy. That can’t be for Hamilton, you thought.

You reached forward to touch the knob, wondering if there might be a label or tag somewhere, and the door swung open. The inside was filled with revolutionary costumes that looked like those you wore in the ensemble, but much older and more in need of repair.

You stepped into the wardrobe, reaching to pull down one of the costumes. You had wanted to inspect them- maybe bring them to wardrobe- but when you stepped inside, the door slammed and sent you sprawling.

Instinctively, you threw your hands out in front of you to stop your fall. Your hands landed on something cold and dirty and you opened your eyes to see cobblestones.

What the fuck? you thought as you slowly got to your feet. You were definitely not in the wardrobe anymore.

You were standing a street. It wasn’t a street you knew- the buildings were squat and dirty, the road cobbled, and you swore you saw someone go by on horseback. Actually, now that you thought about it, you couldn’t see any cars. You took another look and started to notice the clothing- everyone looked like they’d walked right off the Hamilton set- though in duller, dirtier colours.

It wasn’t until you saw someone with a newspaper that the reality began to sink in. You focused on your breathing as you read the year on the newspaper: 1781.

Keep reading

4

John Graves Simcoe ( 1752 –  1806)
In 1770, Simcoe entered the British Army as an ensign in the 35th Regiment of Foot. His unit was dispatched to the Thirteen Colonies. Later he saw action in the American Revolutionary War, in the Siege of Boston. During the siege, he purchased a captaincy in the grenadier company of the 40th Regiment of Foot. With the 40th, he saw action in the New York and New Jersey campaign and the Philadelphia campaign. Simcoe commanded the 40th at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, where he was wounded. At Brandywine, Simcoe ordered his men not to fire upon three fleeing rebels. One of those men was George Washington.
In 1777, Simcoe sought to form a Loyalist regiment of free blacks from Boston but instead was offered the command of the Queen’s Rangers, a well-trained light infantry unit of 11 companies of 30 men, including 1 grenadier, and 1 hussar company. The rangers saw extensive action in the Philadelphia campaign, including a successful surprise attack at the Battle of Crooked Billet. In 1778, Simcoe commanded the attack on Judge William Hancock’s house at night and with bayonets, killing ten American rebels in their sleep and wounding five others. Later that year, Simcoe and his Rangers took part in the Battle of Monmouth, in and near Freehold, New Jersey.
In October of 1779, Simcoe and 80 men launched a raid on central New Jersey from southern Staten Island that burned rebel supplies, including hay and grain, inside a Dutch Reformed Church in Finderne, the release of Loyalist prisoners from the Somerset County Courthouse, and Simcoe’s capture by Armand Tuffin de La Rouërie.  Simcoe was released in 1781 and rejoined his unit in Virginia. He was involved in a skirmish near Williamsburg and was at the Siege of Yorktown. He was invalided back to England in December of that year as a Lieutenant-Colonel.
Simcoe wrote a book on his experiences with the Rangers, titled A Journal of the Operations of the Queen’s Rangers from the end of the year 1777 to the conclusion of the late American War, which was published in 1787.
Simcoe was later the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1791 until 1796.. He founded York (now Toronto) and was instrumental in introducing institutions such as courts of law, trial by jury, English common law, freehold land tenure, and the abolition of slavery. His long-term goal was the development of Upper Canada (Ontario) as a model community built on aristocratic and conservative principles, designed to demonstrate the superiority of those principles to the Republicanism and democracy of the United States. His energetic efforts to establish a local gentry, a thriving Church of England, and an anti-American coalition with the Indian tribes were only partially successful.

Portrait by Jean Laurent Mosnier shows Simcoe in the uniform of the Queen’s Rangers.

Center pictures of Queen’s Rangers by Don Troiani.

4

The Myths of French Involvement during the American Revolution

Americans love to rag on the French, a pastime which has unfortunately lead to a number of myths surrounding the American Revolution.  According to the prevailing myth, France was America’s ally, but the French didn’t really do anything until the last battle of the war, the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.  In reality, we owe a lot to the French, whose aid during the war allowed the colonies to survive the onslaught of the British Army.  After all the French supplied the Continental Army with 90% of its gunpowder, as well as tens of thousands of muskets, hundreds of cannon, tens of thousands of pairs of uniforms and boots, and 1.3 billion livres in financial support. Hundreds of military officers were also sent by the French king to serve as military advisers for the Continental Army. One of the most famous of all Frenchmen to serve in the Continental Army was the Marquis de Lafayette, who would practically serve as the right hand of Gen. Washington throughout the war

It would be fair to say that the American Revolution was a French proxy war against the British much as the the Soviet Afghan War was an American proxy war against the Soviet Union. However, unlike the Soviet Afghan War, the French actually did fight against the British with boots on the ground.  Throughout the high seas French naval ships and privateers clashed against the Royal Navy.  French forces also conducted raids across the British Empire, striking targets in the Caribbean, North American, Africa, and India.  In India, the French allied with the Kingdom of Mysore with the goal of ejecting the British from the Indian subcontinent.  The subsequent conflict was extremely savage and bloody leading to tens of thousands of British casualties.  Moreover, the French formed an alliance with Spain, the Netherlands, and the Austrian Empire with the intent of invading Britain itself.  As a result of France’s military efforts and diplomatic efforts, Britain was forced to spread her military thin, often pulling men and resources away from the Revolution in order to defend the rest of her empire.

Perhaps the biggest and most egregious whopper of them all is the myth that the French never sent military aid until the last battle of the war. In fact, the first French forces to step foot in the colonies did so on July 22nd, 1778, about six months after France had formally recognized the United States and declared war on Britain.  The first French force consisted of 5,000 infantry, who combined with 5,000 American troops and militia in an attempt to force the British out of Newport, Rhode Island.  While the siege of Newport failed, news of a French force sailing from Europe to New England was one of the reasons why British commander Gen. Clinton chose to abandon his occupation of Philadelphia, as a French landing in New England would threaten his supply lines through New York City. A year later, the British withdrew from Newport, as a larger force of 6,000 French troops arrived under the command of Comte de Rochambeau. In 1779 another 3,000 French troops and 500 Haitian volunteers landed in Georgia to the aid of 2,000 American troops intent on capturing Savannah from the British.  Unfortunately, the Siege of Savannah failed as British defenses were strongly built and well defended.

The most famous battle involving the French was the Siege of Yorktown, where 8,000 French infantry, 8,000 American infantry, 3,000 militia, and the French Navy surrounded British Gen. Cornwallis’ army at Yorktown, VA. While Yorktown signaled the end of major combat operations for the Americans with the exception of a few small skirmishes, the blood feud between France and Britain was far from over, and would continue until the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.  Believe it or not, the last battle of the American Revolution was not fought in America, but in India, where British, French, and Mysorean forces clashed at the Battle of Cuddalore.

The French involvement in the American Revolution would restore France’s prestige in Europe, something severely lacking after their disastrous defeat during the Seven Years War/French and Indian War.  However, the war turned out none to good for France.  While the French did much to aide the Americans during the Revolution, ironically it would be Britain that would become America’s number one trading partner in the late 18th and early 19th century.  The war also threw France into debt at the tune of a whopping 3.3 billion livres, certainly not a small sum.  Such an enormous debt would send France into financial disaster, a contributing factor in the coming French Revolution.