Washington's Diary - British Surrender at Yorktown

Washington's Diary-British Surrender at Yorktown

The Library of Congress, Top Treasures Exhibit, has this to say about General Washington's diary observations on the Battle of Yorktown:

With the invaluable help of a combined French military force commanded by the Comte de Rochambeau, General George Washington and his Continental Army cornered and forced the surrender of a large British army under the command of Lord Cornwallis. This defeat at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781, forced the British to seriously negotiate for a peace and recognize American independence.

Although Washington had been an inveterate diary keeper since age sixteen, his diary for 1781 was one of only two he kept during the course of the Revolutionary War (the other was a weather diary for early 1780). Addressing his lapse, Washington admitted "I lament not having attempted it from the commencement of the War." 

Media Credits

American Treasures of the Library of Congress, General Washington's diary entry for October, 1781.


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