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Gloucester Point in Gloucester County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Gloucester Point

The 1781 Siege of Yorktown

 
 
Gloucester Point Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, May 2, 2009
1. Gloucester Point Marker
Inscription. “The works on the Gloucester side are in some forwardness, and I hope a situation to resist a sudden attack.” General Charles Lord Cornwallis to General Sir Henry Clinton, August 12, 1781.

While the earthworks in front of you date to the Civil War, during the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, the British also constructed extensive fortifications in this area. The narrow gap in the York River between Yorktown and Gloucester Point necessitated fortifications and artillery batteries at both places so the British under Cornwallis could protect ships anchored in the gap.

In Yorktown, as Cornwallis’ predicament worsened, he decided to escape from the grip General George Washington had on his troops by escaping across the York River. The attempt to join his troops at Gloucester Point on the night of October 16-17 was thwarted by bad weather. Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton noted that with the failed escape attempt: “Thus expired the last hope of the British army.” Two days later Cornwallis surrendered.

(sidebar)
Gloucester Point Forces – 1781 Siege of Yorktown
British Garrison
1,000
British Commander:
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Dundas (until Oct. 12, 1781)
Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton

American and French Forces
2,900
Overall
Gloucester Point marker in front of earthworks. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, May 2, 2009
2. Gloucester Point marker in front of earthworks.
Commander:
Brigadier General Claude Gabriel de Choisy (French)
 
Erected by Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Service.
 
Location. 37° 15.022′ N, 76° 30.085′ W. Marker is in Gloucester Point, Virginia, in Gloucester County. Marker is on Vernon Street near Riverview Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. The marker is located at the entrance to Tyndall’s Point Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1376 Vernon Street, Gloucester Point VA 23062, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Gloucester Point (here, next to this marker); Welcome to Gloucester Point (here, next to this marker); Early Land Patent (here, next to this marker); After the Surrender at Yorktown (a few steps from this marker); Natives, Explorers, Tobacco and Buccaneers (a few steps from this marker); A Vital British Outpost at Gloucester Point (within shouting distance of this marker); Attacking with “Decisive Vigor” (within shouting distance of this marker); The British Safety Valve (within shouting distance of this marker). Click for a list of all markers in Gloucester Point.
 
More about this marker. On the lower left is a portrait of
Gloucester Point Markers at Tyndall's Point Park. Photo, Click for full size
By Bernard Fisher, May 2, 2009
3. Gloucester Point Markers at Tyndall's Point Park.
"Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton" By Sir Joshua Reynolds (Courtesy of The National Gallery, London, England)
 
Categories. War, US Revolutionary
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 677 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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