Missing this cottage in Cornwall today; autumn is my favourite time of year to visit. Crisp, bright mornings, high, blue skies, blackberries on the brambles and a log fire in the evenings. Roll on October! One for @autumncozy :)
“Today we delivered a set of three Ash counter stools to a fairy tale cabin in the woods on the South coast of Cornwall. The beautifully made little Oak framed cabin is being let out as a Cornish getaway, and the stools take pride of place along a waney edge Ash kitchen island!…..”
On this day in 1781 in Yorktown, Virginia, during the American
Revolutionary War, British commander Cornwallis formally surrendered to
George Washington. The American War of Independence began in 1775 with American victory at the battles of Lexington and Concord. The war was the culmination of mounting tensions between American colonists and Great Britian, fuelled by incidents such as the Boston Masacre in 1770 and the Boston Tea Party in 1773. In 1776, America issued its Declaration of Independence, listing grievances against the British crown, and American colonists fought for several more years to secure this freedom. Cornwallis’s surrender ended the Siege of Yorktown, marking a decisive victory
for the American forces and their French allies. Yorktown was the last major
battle of the war, as Cornwallis’s surrender led to the opening of peace
negotiations. The Treaty of Paris was reached in 1783, which ended
the war between Britain and the United States and recognised American
Today, March 15th in 1781 the Battle of Guilford Court House takes place near present-day Greensboro, North Carolina. A tried force of 1,900 British troops under General Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis defeat an American force numbering 4,400. During the battle Banastre Tarleton, despite having had two fingers shot away during the fighting, continued to lead the British Legion from the front, unarmed.
In the wake of Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton’s defeat at the Battle of Cowpens in January 1781, Lieutenant General Earl Charles Cornwallis turned his attention to pursuing Major General Nathanael Greene’s army. Racing through North Carolina, Greene was able to escape over the swollen Dan River before the British could bring him to battle. Making camp, Greene was reinforced by fresh troops and militia from North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. Pausing at Hillsborough, Cornwallis attempted to forage for supplies with little success before moving on to the forks of Deep River.
While there on March 14, Cornwallis was informed that General Richard Butler was moving to assault his troops. In actuality, Butler had led the reinforcements that had joined Greene. The following night, he received reports that the Americans were near Guilford Court House. Despite only having 1,900 men on hand, Cornwallis resolved to take the offensive and began marching that morning. Greene, having re-crossed the Dan, had established a position near Guilford Court House. Forming his 4,400 men in three lines, he loosely replicated the alignment used by Brigadier General Daniel Morgan at Cowpens.
Unlike previous battle, Greene’s lines were several hundred yards apart and were unable to support each other. The first line was comprised of North Carolina militia and rifleman, while the second consisted of Virginia militia situated in a thick forest. Greene’s final and strongest line was comprised of his Continental regulars and artillery. On the advice of Major Morgan, Greene placed parties of riflemen behind the North Carolina militia with orders to shoot any militiaman who left his post before he had given the two discharges required of him. A road ran through the center of the American position.
The fighting opened approximately four miles from the Court House when Tarleton’s British Legion encountered Lieutenant Colonel Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee’s men near Quaker New Garden Meeting House. After a sharp fight, Tarleton forced Lee back. Surveying Greene’s lines, Cornwallis began advancing his men along the west side of the road. Moving forward, British troops began taking heavy fire from the North Carolina militia which was positioned behind a fence. The militia was supported by Lee’s men who had taken a position on their left flank. Taking casualties, the British officers urged their men forward, ultimately compelling the militia to break and flee into the nearby woods.
Advancing into the woods, the British quickly encountered the Virginia militia. On their right, a Hessian regiment pursued Lee’s men and Colonel William Campbell’s riflemen away from the main battle. In the woods, the Virginians offered stiff resistance and fighting often became hand-to-hand. After half and hour of bloody fighting, Cornwallis’ men were able to flank the Virginians and force them to retreat. Having fought two battles, the British emerged from the wood to find Greene’s third line on high ground across an open field.
Charging forward, British troops on the left, led by Lieutenant Colonel James Webster, received a disciplined volley from Greene’s Continentals. Thrown back, with heavy casualties, including Webster, they regrouped for another attack. To the east of the road, British troops succeeded in breaking through the 2nd Maryland and turning Greene’s left flank. To avert disaster, the 1st Maryland turned and counterattacked, while Lieutenant Colonel William Washington’s dragoons struck the British in the rear. In an effort to save his men, Cornwallis ordered his artillery to fire grapeshot into the melee.
This desperate move killed as many of his own men as Americans, however it halted Greene’s counterattack. Though the outcome was still in doubt, Greene was concerned about the gap in his lines and ordered a general retreat up Reedy Creek Road. Cornwallis attempted a pursuit, however his casualties were so high that it was quickly abandoned.
The Battle of Guilford Court House cost Greene 79 killed and 185 wounded. For Cornwallis, the affair was much bloodier with losses numbering 93 dead and 413 wounded. Despite this, over 1,000 Patriots deserted in the aftermath of the defeat. While a tactical victory for the British, Guilford Court House cost the British losses they could ill-afford. Low on supplies and men, Cornwallis retired to Wilmington, NC to rest and refit. Shortly thereafter, he embarked on an invasion of Virginia. Freed from facing Cornwallis, Greene set about liberating much of South Carolina and Georgia from the British. Cornwallis’ campaign in Virginia would end that October with his surrender following the Battle of Yorktown.