Lot 126
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Signed letter, signed « Lafayette », Camp Forks of York River [Virginia, near Yorktown], 18 August 1781, to the Brigadier General George WEEDON; 3 pages in-4 format (slight stain to the upper right portion); in English. Lafayette writes to Brigadier General George Weedon (1734-1793), who led his Virginia militia unit in the Yorktown campaign, successfully repelling the infamous unit of Colonel Banastre Tarleton, thus closing the one means of British escape at Gloucester Point: “I have received information this morning that such of the enemy as were at York, have crossed over to Gloucester, where Lord Cornwallis now is with his whole force. I do not wish to give the militia of the northern neck the least unnecessary fatigue, and for this reason, in place of calling them into the field, I would have them be in a state of readiness to act on the shortest notice… I think I wrote you a few days ago, for your endeavours to forward to camp such cavalry accoutrements as were at or on the way from Frederick. I need not mention to you how essential these are. - At present every thing should cross at Racoon Ford. It is said that there is a stock of continental ammunition in cartridges at Leesburg. We want nothing so much except arms, as this article. Let me therefore request you to send after it an express with proper orders for its instant transportation to this army…” General Henry Clinton ordered Cornwallis to establish a fortified deep-water port, using as much of his army as he thought necessary. Having inspected Portsmouth and found it less favorable than Yorktown, Cornwallis wrote to Clinton informing him that he would fortify Yorktown. Lafayette was alerted on July 26 that Cornwallis was embarking his troops, but did not know their eventual destination, and began manoeuvring his troops to cover some possible landing points. On August 6 he learned that Cornwallis had landed at Yorktown and was fortifying it and Gloucester Point just across
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