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Yorktown in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Ground Your Firelocks!

October 19, 1781

 

—Colonial National Historical Park —

 
Ground Your Firelocks! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
1. Ground Your Firelocks! Marker
Inscription.
Under the British Flag (Left of Marker):
The garrison marched out between the two lines of American troops reluctantly enough, and laid down their arms. A corporal next to me shed tears, and embracing his flintlock, threw it down, saying, “May you never get so good a master.”
Captain Samuel Graham, 76th Regiment of Foot, October 19,1781

We marched in procession through the enemy and the drummers beat a march …. We observed all these troops with amazement and were staggered by the multitude of them who had besieged us …. They could have eaten us up with their power.
Stephan Popp, Anspach-Beyreuth Regiment, October 19, 1781

As soon as we laid down our muskets and weapons, we returned again with our knapsacks and equipment back to our lines and quartered in our tents.
Lieutenant Jacob Kling, Hesse-Cassel Regiment, November 14, 1781


Under the crossed American and French Flags (Right of Marker):
The British army marched out and grounded their arms in front of our line. Our whole army drew up for them to march through …. The British prisoners all appeared to be much in liquor.
Lieutenant William Feltman, Pennsylvania Battalion, October 19, 1781

Some of the British platoon officers appeared to be exceedingly chagrined with giving the
Ground Your Firelocks! Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, October 23, 2016
2. Ground Your Firelocks! Marker
word “ground arms,” and I am a witness that they performed this duty in a very unofficer-like manner; and that many of the soldiers manifested a sullen temper, throwing their arms on the pile with violence, as if determined to render them useless.

Surgeon James Thacher, M.D., Continental Army, October 19, 1781

In passing between the two armies, [the British] showed the greatest scorn for the Americans … for many of these unfortunate persons were clad in small jackets of white cloth, dirty and ragged, and a number of them were almost barefoot.
Captain Baron Ludwig von Closen, Aide-de-Camp to General Rochambeau, October 19, 1781
 
Erected by Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Service.
 
Location. 37° 12.507′ N, 76° 30.322′ W. Marker is in Yorktown, Virginia, in York County. Marker can be reached from Historical Tour Road, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is located on the Yorktown Battlefield in Colonial National Historical Park, at stop F on the Battlefield Tour. Marker is in this post office area: Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Trophies of War (a few steps from this marker); In Solemn Step (within
Marker on the Yorktown Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
3. Marker on the Yorktown Battlefield

shouting distance of this marker); Surrender Field (within shouting distance of this marker); Brotherhood Preserved (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); News of Victory (about 300 feet away); Surrender Road (about 600 feet away); American Field Hospital (approx. 0.3 miles away); Marquis de Lafayette and His Division (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Yorktown.
 
More about this marker. The marker is dominated by a picture of the British laying down their arms at surrender field, while the American and French armies look on.
 
Also see . . .
1. Yorktown Battlefield. National Park Service. (Submitted on August 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. The Battle of Yorktown 1781. A British perspective of the Battle of Yorktown from BritishBattles.com. (Submitted on August 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Revolutionary
 
Ground Your Firelocks! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, June 22, 2010
4. Ground Your Firelocks! Marker
Marker in relation to the pavilion overlook
Surrender Field image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
5. Surrender Field
On this field, the British Army under Lord Cornwallis laid down their arms, virtually ending the Revolutionary War.
General George Washington image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, June 22, 2010
6. General George Washington
located in the pavilion
Lieutenant General Charles Lord Cornwallis image. Click for full size.
By Brandon Fletcher, June 22, 2010
7. Lieutenant General Charles Lord Cornwallis
located in the pavilion
Surrendered Artillery image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
8. Surrendered Artillery
Many of the cannons and mortars that were surrendered by the British on October 19, 1781 are on display near the marker.
Closeup of a Surrendered Cannon image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
9. Closeup of a Surrendered Cannon
The cannons are engraved "Surrendered by the Capitulation at Yorktown, October 19, 1781".
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 866 times since then and 4 times this year. Last updated on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   2. submitted on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico.   3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6, 7. submitted on , by Brandon Fletcher of Chattanooga, Tennessee.   8, 9. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on November 30, 2016.
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