Marquis de Lafayette and His Division

Marquis de Lafayette and His Division (HM74E)

Location: Yorktown, VA 23690 York County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 12.524', W 76° 29.914'

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1781 Siege of Yorktown

— Colonial National Historical Park —

"Here we are at last ? before Yorktown, and our operations will soon be noisy."
Marquis de Lafayette, Camp before Yorktown, September 30, 1781

In April 1781, with a developing British military campaign in Virginia, Washington sent the Marquis de Lafayette, with a detachment of troops, to protect the state. At age 23, Lafayette was the youngest of the major generals in the Continental Army.

Always outnumbered by the British, Lafayette occasionally sparred with the enemy, while keeping Washington, who was in New York, informed of the war in Virginia. When Cornwallis moved his army to Yorktown, Lafayette provided Washington with accurate military intelligence that helped Washington plan for the siege as he moved his forces southward to join Lafayette.

On September 14, 1781, Washington reached Williamsburg, where Lafayette and his small army waited. With the arrival of the rest of the American and French forces, Washington consolidated Lafayette's regiments into his army and placed Lafayette in command of a division of the Continental Army.

During the siege, Lafayette's soldiers spent most of their time assisting with earthwork construction and manning the trenches. He was particularly proud of his light infantry troops, when on the night of October 14, they successfully stormed British Redoubt 10. Lafayette described to a friend that during the assault: " ? my heart was beating for the reputation of my light infantry."

With the British surrender, Lafayette wrote his wife, "I would be finicky indeed if I were not pleased with the end of my campaign in Virginia."
HM NumberHM74E
Placed ByColonial National Historical Park, National Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, October 10th, 2014 at 9:47pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 367024 N 4119079
Decimal Degrees37.20873333, -76.49856667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 12.524', W 76° 29.914'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 12' 31.44" N, 76° 29' 54.84" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)757
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1415-1663 Battlefield Tour Road, Yorktown VA 23690, US
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