The Victory Monument -a powerful symbol then and now

The Victory Monument, Yorktown, VA

See the paragraph below, a quote taken from page 297 of my book: Rochambeau, Washington’s Ideal Lieutenant regarding the Victory Monument at Yorktown, VA memorializing the last significant battle of the American Revolution.

Lest we forget, this key battle was planned by the French under General Rochambeau and realized under the combined leadership of General George Washington, and the Continental Army along with General Rochambeau and the French Army.

“America was also busy creating her own permanent remembrance to honor Rochambeau’s victory at Yorktown. In 1781 the United States Congress provided for the construction of a monument recognizing the alliance and victory in Yorktown but failed to begin the project until one hundred years later.

The promise was kept, however, and the cornerstone was laid on October 18th, 1881, by “the order of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons as the appropriate opening for the Yorktown Centennial celebration,” and finally completed in 1884. It consists of a base, a podium, and a slender shaft of Hallowell Maine granite.

At the top of this tall, imposing monument stands the figure of Liberty herself, a symbol of freedom from tyranny and oppression.”

 

We have just celebrated Memorial Day last weekend. May I remind you of a breathtaking memorial to those who fought to save America and our freedom  239 years ago at Yorktown in 1781?

On October 17, 1781, Cornwallis asks for a ceasefire. On the18th the Articles of Capitulation are written at the Moore House in Yorktown. On the morning of the 19th, the Articles of Capitulation are sent from General George Washington to the defeated General Cornwallis for his approval.

Cornwallis has no choice but to approve them. By the afternoon of the 19th, it is the official laying down of arms ceremony at Yorktown.

P.S. Coincidentally, also on 19th the British fleet leaves New York (at long last!) to rescue Cornwallis (too late!). It is all in the timing!

 

 

LET US CELEBRATE ONE OF THE GREATEST FOUNDING MOTHER OF OUR COUNTRY!

MARTHA WASHINGTON

Martha Washington is to be celebrated and remembered for her selfless work and caring for George Washington’s soldiers. In a way, she was like a mother to them. Few people are aware these days of what Martha took on as her ‘raison d’être’ during the American Revolution.

Who knew that:

 

  • Martha spent her winters at her husband’s side during the thick and thin of the war.
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  • In the spring, summer, and fall Martha and her friends, ladies in a sort of sewing and knitting circle, spent their days and evenings sewing for the Continental soldiers?  They sewed bandages and underwear, knit socks, gloves, and scarves.
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  • At Mount Vernon, Martha oversaw the planning, planting, and harvesting of fruits, grains, and vegetables for the soldiers?
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  • Before the snow flew (sometimes even after) each of the 6-8 years of the war, she gathered the handwork, produce, and other useful items from the farm and set out in a caravan to join Washington everywhere he camped from Boston to Valley Forge, to Morristown? After the long months of preparation, Martha made the long, arduous journey north to re-supply the army as best she could in her own way.
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  • This yearly journey was extremely dangerous for Martha and her small entourage? If she had been captured by the British during this dangerous trip, the war would have not ended, as it did, in glory but in real sorrow with Mrs. Washington as a prize captive. For instance, when Martha arrived at Morristown, she brought needed supplies of all kinds, and entertained the officers in the broad hallway of the second floor at Washington’s headquarters?
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  • Martha called on the soldiers in the camps bringing substance and motherly gestures to as many as she could.
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  • Like a mother protecting and caring for her husband and her brood, she brought new life, cheer and hope to Washington and his starving, freezing soldiers.
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  • She left her own blood relatives at home in Virginia for months at the time in sacrifice for her husband and her country?

 

Vive Martha Washington, the mother of our country!

Photo by Karolina Bobek ✌ on Unsplash