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

Moore House

1781 Siege of Yorktown

 
 
Moore House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
1. Moore House Marker
Inscription.
“I propose a cessation of hostilities for twenty four hours, and that two officers may be appointed by each side, to meet at Mr. Moore’s house, to settle terms for the surrender of the posts of York and Gloucester.”
General Charles Lord Cornwallis to General George Washington, October 17, 1781

On October 18, 1781, after eight days of continual bombardment, the battlefield was finally tranquil. Washington and Cornwallis now focused on the surrender negotiations taking place at this house, the home of Augustine Moore. Each general had selected two officers to handle the face-to-face discussions. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Dundas and Major Alexander Ross represented the British, while Lieutenant Colonel John Laurens and Second Colonel Viscount de Noailles spoke for the Allies.

Slowing the progress was Laurens’ insistence, with Washington’s support, that the British submit to similar terms granted by the British to the defeated American army at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1780. Those terms had deprived the American soldiers to surrender with the army’s personal honor intact. The British argued for better terms, but the Allies prevailed and around midnight, a draft of the “Articles of Capitulation” was completed with 14 provisions, including two conditions that denied the
Marker on the Yorktown Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
2. Marker on the Yorktown Battlefield
British the “full honors of war.” These two articles required that at the surrender ceremony, the British army would case their regimental flags, and their military band would play British music instead of professionally saluting the victor with American and French songs.

Sidebar:
History of Moore House
The Moore House is an early 18th century home that has undergone many structural changes and about 50 owners. The house was extensively damaged during the Civil War, both by cannon fire and soldiers stripping wood from the house for campfire use. By the 150th anniversary of the surrender, the house was in a dilapidated state. In 1931, the National Park Service undertook its first restoration of a historic building – the Moore House. Three years later the project was complete, and the house once again appeared as it did in 1781.
 
Erected by Colonial National Historic Park, National Park Service.
 
Location. 37° 13.32′ N, 76° 29.174′ W. Marker is in Yorktown, Virginia, in York County. Marker is on Historical Tour Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is located on the Yorktown Battlefield in Colonial National Historical Park, at stop E on the Battlefield Tour. Marker is in this post office area: Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Marker at the Moore House image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
3. Marker at the Moore House
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Deposit (approx. 0.4 miles away); American Approach Road (approx. 0.4 miles away); Wormley Creek Crossing (approx. half a mile away); Wear Of Centuries (approx. half a mile away); The First Siege Line (approx. 0.6 miles away); Communicating Trench (approx. 0.7 miles away); Time, Tide and Erosion (approx. 0.7 miles away); Redoubts 9 and 10 (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yorktown.
 
More about this marker. The top right of the marker contains a “Matthew Brady image by photographer Alexander Gardner show[ing] the Moore House after the 1862 Siege of Yorktown.”

The middle of the marker features “A draft of capitulation articles 1 and 2 in the handwriting of British negotiator, Major Alexander Ross. Courtesy of The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Yorktown Battlefield, Moore House. National Park Service. (Submitted on August 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. The Battle of Yorktown. The Patriot Resource website. (Submitted on August 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

3. 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.)
Moore House image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
4. Moore House
Negotiations that took place in this house in October of 1781 ended the last major fighting of the Revolutionary War.
 
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsNotable EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Revolutionary
 
Moore House Front Parlor image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
5. Moore House Front Parlor
It is assumed, but not known for sure, that the “Articles of Capitulation” were drafted in this room.
Moore House Dining Room image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
6. Moore House Dining Room
This is the largest room in the Moore House, so it is possible that the American, British and French officers spent some time in this room during the negotiation process.
<i>The Moore House, near Yorktown, Va., showing effect of fire from Confederate batteries</i> image. Click for full size.
By Wood and Gibson, 1862
7. The Moore House, near Yorktown, Va., showing effect of fire from Confederate batteries
Illus. in: Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War / Alexander Gardner. Washington, D.C. : Philp & Solomons, [c1866], v. 1, pl. 15. Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. This is the same image that is reproduced on the marker, although the marker attributes the image to Matthew Brady.
<i>House of Cornwallis's Surrender, Yorktown, Virginia</i> image. Click for full size.
By Detroit Photographic Company, 1902
8. House of Cornwallis's Surrender, Yorktown, Virginia
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,228 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 23, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   7, 8. submitted on December 27, 2014.
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