Yorktown in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
Major General Benjamin Lincoln and His Division
1781 Siege of Yorktown
—Colonial National Historical Park —
“I am fully convinced that the Siege will not last more than twelve days more and that Cornwallis & his troops must in that time be ours.”
Major General Benjamin Lincoln to his wife, October 12, 1781
On May 12, 1780, Major General Benjamin Lincoln surrendered Charleston, South Carolina, and his army of 5,000 soldiers to the British. That fall, he rejoined the Continental Army when he was exchanged for a British and a German general, who had been captured at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777.
At Yorktown, as senior ranking major general, he was second-in-command of the American forces and also commanded a division of the Continental Army, consisting of seasoned soldiers from New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. His troops shared duties with the other two divisions and were usually in the siege lines every third day of the siege.
After the siege, Lincoln oversaw the return of troops and military equipment to New York. Shortly thereafter he assumed a congressional appointment to a new post, Secretary of War. In explaining his decision to remain in government service, rather than return to his family, Lincoln wrote his son: “the growing encroachments of Britain would … have fallen with too much weight on the necks of my Children and would have deprived them of …the sweetness
Erected by Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Service.
Location. 37° 12.517′ N, 76° 29.652′ W. Marker is in Yorktown, Virginia, in York County. Marker is on Historical Tour Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located on the Yorktown Battlefield in Colonial National Historical Park, 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. Virginia Militia (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Marquis de Lafayette and His Division (approx. ¼ mile away); American Encampment (approx. ¼ mile away); American Field Hospital (approx. 0.3 miles away); Surrender Road (approx. half a mile away); Wear Of Centuries (approx. 0.6 miles away); Brotherhood Preserved (approx. 0.6 miles away); News of Victory (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yorktown.
More about this marker. The left of the marker features a portrait of “Benjamin Lincoln by Charles Willson Peale, from live, c. 1781-1783. Courtesy of Independence National Historical Park.” The right of the marker contains a picture of a member of Lincoln’s Division, courtesy of the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University. It has a caption of “Lincoln’s Division included 450 men of the Rhode Island Regiment. In January 1781, this regiment was formed by the consolidation of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, a unit of slaves who were to receive their freedom as a result of their military service, and the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment. American army units were integrated during the American Revolution, something that would not officially happen again until the early 1950s.”
Also see . . .
1. Major General Benjamin Lincoln. National Park Service website. (Submitted on September 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. Biography of Benjamin Lincoln. The Patriot Resource website. (Submitted on September 1, 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 September 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Notable Events • Notable Persons • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 796 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 1, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.