Copy of the articles
of capitulation, settled between His Excellency General
Washington, commander in chief of the combined forces of
America and France; his Excellency the Count de Rochambeau,
lieutenant general of the armies of the King of France,
great corps of the royal and military order of St. Louis
commanding the auxiliary troops of His Most Christian
Majesty in America; and His Excellency the Count de Grasse,
lieutenant general of the naval armies of His Most Christian
Majesty, commander of the order of St. Louis, commander in
chief of the naval army of France in the Chesapeak, on the
one part: And the Right Honourable Earl Cornwallis,
lieutenant general of His Britannic Majesty's forces,
commanding the garrisons of York and Gloucester and Thomas
Symonds, Esquire, commanding His Britannic Majesty's naval
forces in York river, in Virginia, on the other
Art. I. THE garrisons of York and Gloucester, including the
officers and seamen of His Britannic Majesty's ships, as
well as other mariners, to surrender themselves prisoners of
war to the combined forces of America and France. The land
tr4oops to remain prisoners to the United States; the navy
to the naval army of His Most Christian Majesty.
Art. II. The artillery, arms, accoutrements, military chest,
and public stores of every denomination, shall be delivered,
unimpaired, to the heads of departments appointed to receive
Art. III. At twelve o'clock this day the two redoubts on the
left flank of York to be delivered; the one to a detachment
of American infantry; the other to a detachment of French
The garrison of York will march out to a place to be
appointed in front of the posts, at two o'clock precisely,
with shouldered arms, colours cased, and drums beating a
British or German march. They are then to ground their arms,
and return to their encampments, where they will remain
until they are dispatched to the places of their
destination. Two works on the Gloucester side will be
delivered at one o'clock to a detachment of French and
American troops appointed to possess them. The garrison will
march out at three o'clock I the afternoon; the cavalry,
with their swords drawn, trumpets sounding; and the infantry
in the manner prescribed for the garrison of York. They are
likewise to return to their encampments until they can be
finally marched off.
Art. IV. Officers are to retain their side arms. Both
officers and soldiers to keep their private property of
every kind, and no part of their baggage or papers to be at
any time subject to search or inspection. The baggage and
papers of officers and soldiers taken during the siege to be
likewise preserved for them.
It is understood, that any property, obviously belonging to
the inhabitants of these states, in the possession of the
garrison, shall be subject to be reclaimed.
Art. V. The soldiers to be kept in Virginia, Maryland, or
Pennsylvania, and as much by regiments as possible, and
supplied with the same rations of provisions as are allowed
to solders in the service of America. A field officer from
each nation, to wit, British, Anspach, and Hessian, and
other officers on parole, in the proportion of one to fifty
men, to be allowed to reside near their respective
regiments, to visit them frequently, and be witness of their
treatment; and that their officers may receive and deliver
cloathing and other necessaries for them; for which
passports are to be granted when applied for.
Art. VI. The general, staff, and other officers, not
employed as mentioned in the above articles, and who chuse
it, to be permitted to go on parole to Europe, to New York,
or any other American maritime posts at present n the
possession of the British forces, at their own option, and
proper vessels to be granted by the Count de Grasse to carry
them under flags of truce to new York within ten days from
this date, if possible, and they to reside in a district, to
be agreed upon hereafter, until they embark.
The officers of the civil department of the army and navy to
be included in this article. Passports to go by land to be
granted to those to whom vessels cannot be furnished.
Art. VII. Officers to be allowed to keep soldiers as
swervants, according to the common practice o f the service.
Servants, not soldiers, are not to be considered as
prisoners, and are top be allowed to attend their
Art. VIII. The Bonetta sloop of war to be equipped, and
navigated y its present captain and crew, and left entirely
at the disposal of Lord Cornwallis from the hour that the
capitulation is signed, to receive an aid-de-camp to carry
dispatches to Sir Henry Clinton; and such soldiers as he may
think proper to send to New York, to be permitted to sail
without examination, when his dispatches are ready. His
lordship engages, on his part, that the ship shall be
delivered to the order of the Count de Grasse, if she
escapes the danger of the sea; that she shall not carry off
any public stores. Any part of the crew that may be
deficient on her return, and the soldiers passengers, to be
accounted for on her delivery.
Art. IX. The traders are to preserve their property, and to
be allowed three months to dispose of or remove them; and
those traders are not to be considered as prisoners of
The trades will be allowed to dispose of their effects, the
allied army having the right of pre-emption. The traders to
be considered as prisoners of war upon parole.
Art. X. Natives or inhabitants of different parts of this
country, at present in York or Gloucester, are not to be
punished on account of having joined the British army.
This article cannot be assented to, being altogether of
Art. XI. Proper hospitals to be furnished for the sick and
wounded. They are to be attended by their own surgeons on
parole; and they are to be furnished with medicines and
stores from the American hospitals.
The hospital stores now in York and Gloucester shall be
delivered for the use of the British sick and wounded.
Passports will be granted for procuring them farther
supplies from New York, as occasion may require; and proper
hospitals will be furnished for the reception of the sick
and wounded of the two garrisons.
Art. XII. Waggons to be furnished to carry the baggage of
the officers attending the soldiers, and to surgeons when
travelling on account of the sick, attending the hospitals
at public expence.
They are to be furnished if possible.
Art. XIII. The shipping and boats in the two harbours, with
all their stores, guns, tacking, and apparel, shall be
delivered up in their present state to an officer of the
navy appointed to take possession of them, previously
unloading the private property, part of which had been on
board for security during the siege.
Art. XIV. No article of capitulation to be infringed on
pretence of reprisals; and if there be any doubtful
expressions in it, they are to be interpreted according the
common meaning and acceptation of the words.
Done at York town, in Virginia, October 19, 1781.
Done in the trenches before York town, in Virginia, October
Le Comte de ROCHAMBEAU
Le Comte de BARRAS, en mon nom & celui du Comte de
(From A History of the Campaigns of 1780 and 1781, in the
Southern Province of North America?, by
Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton, pp438-442.)
Tarleton, Ch 6., [Y], p. 438