Manuscripts and Special Collections

Ne C 2311/1 : Copy letter from C. Cornwallis, 2nd Earl Cornwallis, Yorktown, to Sir H. Clinton; 15 Oct. 1781

York Town Virginia
15th October 1781


Last Evening the Enemy carried
my two advanced Redoubts on the Left by Storm,
and during the Night have included them in
their Second Parellel, which they are at present
busy in perfecting.

My Situation now becomes very critical. We
dare not shew a Gun to their old Batteries,
and I expect their new Ones will be open to
morrow Morning. Experience has shewn that our
fresh Earthen Works do not resist their powerful
Artillery, so that we shall soon be exposed to an
Assault in ruined Works, in a bad Position
and with weakened Numbers.

The Safety of the Place is therefore so
precarious that I cannot recommend that the
Fleet and Army should run great Risque
in endeavouring to save us.

I have the honor to be, with great Respect
Sir, &c. &c.
Signed, Cornwallis

His Excellency
Sir Henry Clinton K.B.