Manuscripts and Special Collections

Ne C 2309 : Copy letter from C. Cornwallis, 2nd Earl Cornwallis, Yorktown [U.S.A.], to Sir Henry Clinton; 11 Oct. 1781

York Town Virginia
12 M. 11th Oct[obe]r 1781


Cochran arrived yesterday. I
have only to repeat what I said in my
last letter of the 3d. that nothing but a direct
move to York River, which includes a successful
naval action can save me. The Enemy made
their first Parallel on the night of the 6th at
the distance of 600 yards & perfected it, &
constructed places of arms and Batteries with
great regularity and caution. On the even[in]g of the
9th their Batteries opened & have since continued
firing without intermission with about
forty pieces of Cannon mostly heavy, & 16
mortars from 8 to 16 Inches. We have lost
about seventy men and many of our Works
are considerably damaged. With such Works
on disadvantageous ground against so
powerfull an attack we cannot hope to make
a long resistance.

I have the Honor &c. &c. &c.
(signed) Cornwallis

His Excellency
S[i]r H. Clinton

P.S. Since the above was written we have
lost thirty men