To His Excellency General Washington, Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of America, This Plan of the Investment of York and Gloucester Has Been Surveyed and Laid Down
This hand-colored map was created in 1782 by Major Sebastian Bauman of the New York, or Second, Regiment of Artillery, which served in the Revolutionary War under General George Washington, to whom the map is dedicated. It was engraved in Philadelphia by Robert Scot (circa 1744–1823), who in 1793 became the first engraver of the United States Mint. Yorktown, Virginia, had only been occupied by British forces under General Charles Cornwallis (1738–1805) since August 1, 1781. Cornwallis had planned to make Yorktown his supply base for an extensive Virginia campaign, but by the middle of August, French naval forces under Admiral Comte de Grasse were sailing towards the Chesapeake Bay and General Washington’s Patriot army began to march south. Following the siege and battle at Yorktown, the British were forced to surrender after what proved to be the climactic engagement of the Revolutionary War. The map depicts Yorktown and the peninsula of Gloucester Point between October 22 and 28, 1781. It shows British and American troop positions, British defenses, fields of fire, the first and second parallels, the headquarters of generals Washington and Rochambeau, the quarters of generals Nelson, Lincoln, Lafayette, Knox, Steuben, Clinton, and various French officers, ships in the York River, and “The Field where the British laid down their Arms.” American troop detachments are listed by the colonies from which they came, including Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. The map also shows Moore House on the south bank of the York River, where the Articles of Capitulation were drafted on October 18. Leaders of the American, French, and British forces signed them the next day. “References to the British Lines” at the upper-left corner is a key to the British artillery and naval operations. An extensive explanation in a decorative cartouche below the map details the chronology of the American and French siege operations and the actions of the forces of all three nations. The map is from the Rochambeau Collection at the Library of Congress, which consists of 40 manuscript maps, 26 printed maps, and a manuscript atlas that belonged to Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau (1725‒1807), commander in chief of the French expeditionary army (1780‒82) during the American Revolution. Some of the maps were used by Rochambeau during the war. Dating from 1717 to 1795, the maps cover much of eastern North America, from Newfoundland and Labrador in the north to Haiti in the south. The collection includes maps of cities, maps showing Revolutionary War battles and military campaigns, and early state maps from the 1790s.
Title in Original Language
To His Excellency Genl. Washington, Commander in Chief of the armies of the United States of America, this plan of the investment of York and Gloucester has been surveyed and laid down
Type of Item
1 map : color ; on sheet 66 x 48 centimeters
- Scale approximately 1:14,400
- John R. Sellers and Patricia Molen Van Ee., compilers, Maps and Charts of North America and the West Indies, 1750-1789: A Guide to the Collections in the Library of Congress (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1981): 318, http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015016327986.
Last updated: August 10, 2017