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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. IX (1780-1782) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. IX (1780-1782).
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TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
I have the honor to inform Congress, that a reduction of the British army, under the command of Lord Cornwallis, is most happily effected. The unremitted ardor, which actuated every officer and soldier in the combined army on this occasion, has principally led to this important event, at an earlier period than my most sanguine hopes had induced me to expect.
The singular spirit of emulation, which animated the whole army from the first commencement of our operations, has filled my mind with the highest pleasure and satisfaction, and had given me the happiest presages of success.
On the 17th instant, a letter was received from Lord Cornwallis, proposing a meeting of commissioners to consult on terms for the surrender of the posts of York and Gloucester. This letter (the first which had passed between us) opened a correspondence, a copy of which I do myself the honor to enclose; that correspondence was followed by the definitive capitulation, which was agreed to and signed on the 19th, a copy of which is also herewith transmitted, and which, I hope, will meet the approbation of Congress.
I should be wanting in the feelings of gratitude, did I not mention on this occasion, with the warmest sense of acknowledgment, the very cheerful and able assistance, which I have received in the course of our operation from his Excellency the Count de Rochambeau and all his officers of every rank in their respective capacities. Nothing could equal the zeal of our allies, but the emulating spirit of the American officers, whose ardor would not suffer their exertions to be exceeded.
The very uncommon degree of duty and fatigue, which the nature of the service required from the officers of engineers and artillery of both armies, obliges me particularly to mention the obligations I am under to the commanding and other officers of those corps.
I wish it was in my power to express to Congress, how much I feel myself indebted to the Count de Grasse and the officers of the fleet under his command, for the distinguished aid and support which has been afforded by them, between whom and the army the most happy concurrence of sentiments and views has subsisted, and from whom every possible coöperation has been experienced, which the most harmonious intercourse could afford.
Returns of the prisoners, military stores, ordnance, shipping, and other matters, I shall do myself the honor to transmit to Congress, as soon as they can be collected by the heads of the departments to which they belong.
Colonel Laurens and the Viscount de Noailles, on the part of the combined army, were the gentlemen who acted as commissioners for forming and settling the terms of capitulation and surrender, herewith transmitted, to whom I am particularly obliged for their readiness and attention exhibited on the occasion.
Colonel Tilghman, one of my aids-de-camp, will have the honor to deliver these despatches to your Excellency; he will be able to inform you of every minute circumstance, which is not particularly mentioned in my letter. His merits, which are too well known to need any observations at this time, have gained my particular attention, and I could wish that they may be honored by the notice of your Excellency and Congress.
Your Excellency and Congress will be pleased to accept my congratulations on this happy event, and believe me to be, with the highest esteem, &c. Though I am not possessed of the particular returns yet I have reason to suppose that the number of prisoners will be between five and six thousand exclusive of seamen and others.1
[1 ]This letter was referred on the 24th to a committee of Congress (Randolph, Boudinot, Varnum, and Carroll), who reported a series of resolves, which were adopted. The thanks of Congress were voted to General Washington, Count de Rochambeau, and Count de Grasse respectively, and also to all the officers and soldiers. Two stands of colors, taken at Yorktown, were presented to General Washington; two pieces of field-ordnance to Count Rochambeau; and a similar tribute to Count de Grasse. A horse, properly caparisoned, and an elegant sword, were given to Colonel Tilghman, who had been the bearer of the despatches containing the news of the capitulation. It was also resolved that Congress would cause to be erected at Yorktown a marble column, adorned with emblems of the alliance between the United States and France, and inscribed with a succinct narrative of the events of the siege and capitulation.—Journals, October 29th.