VICTORY AT YORKTOWN by Donald Barr Chidsey


Email this review


Dealing in detail with the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown in September, 1781, this highly readable book by the author of July 4, 1776 and Valley Forge tells also of the final years of the War of the American Revolution, from the flight of' Benedict Arnold in September, 1780, to the signing of the final peace treaty in April, 1783. For the Americans the time between Arnold's flight and Cornwallis' surrender was one of anxiety, with Arnold's treachery a staggering blow, promised French help slow in coming, and the need of money ever increasing. The British, although they held New York and ravaged the New England and Southern coasts, were equally unhappy. Their officers squabbled among themselves, Arnold was as much of a liability as an asset, and their Southern victories all ended in retreat. When Cornwallis, discovering that ""you cannot conquer a map"" and hoping for support from the British navy, hemmed himself in at Yorktown the War was virtually over; naval help failing because of French interference, he was forced to surrender, although the War, a series of guerrilla raids, continued for two more years. Covering a wider field than Burke Davis in his recent account of the Cowpens and Guilford Courthouse campaigns but writing with the same sense of personal participation, the author tells of incidents neglected in many histories of the Revolution, brings Washington and other generals and politicians to life, and gives a fascinating picture of the surrender -- the best thing in this compact, scholarly and witty volume which will have a general reader as well as reference market.

Pub Date: April 3rd, 1962
Publisher: Crown