The British Safety Valve

The British Safety Valve (HMCA9)

Location: Gloucester Point, VA 23062 Gloucester County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 15.009', W 76° 30.109'

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An Attempted Escape from Gloucester Point

"Thus expired the last hope of the British army." Colonel Banastre Tarleton

On the night of October 16, 1871, after almost three weeks of the American-French siege, the British defenses at Yorktown were crumbling. In a last ditch effort to save his army, General Cornwallis decided on a desperate plan. He would have most of his army row across the river and escape northward through the 2,900 American and French soldiers besieging the Point.

After midnight, the British started ferrying troops in sixteen boats across the York River. Using the cover of darkness, they rowed the first 1,000 soldiers safely over to Gloucester Point. Then a sudden storm, with high winds and violent squalls, scattered the boats. Cornwallis called off his risky escape. The next morning, October 17, his men rowed back in full view of Washington's forces.

With the hope of escape gone, Cornwallis requested a cease fire to discuss surrender terms. Two days later, on October 19, his troops formally surrendered. The victory at Yorktown secured independence for the United States of America.

Most of the British troops laid down their weapons in a field south of Yorktown. At Gloucester Point, the British forces commanded by Colonel Banastre Tarleton had their own ceremony, surrendering to the Americans and French led by the Duc de Choisy.
HM NumberHMCA9
Placed ByChesapeake Bay Gateways Network
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 4th, 2014 at 2:53am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 366809 N 4123679
Decimal Degrees37.25015000, -76.50181667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 15.009', W 76° 30.109'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 15' 0.54" N, 76° 30' 6.54" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1376 Vernon St, Gloucester Point VA 23062, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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