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"What happened to the surrendered British Army at Yorktown?" Topic

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18th Century

1,013 hits since 12 Jul 2018
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Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 9:49 a.m. PST

Were they kept in POW camps in America?
In France?
Sent back to Britain under parole?

There would have been British, Hessian and Anspach troops.

I assume that it wasn't handled in the amateurish way of the Convention Army at Saratoga.
The French would have had a crack legal team with them who knew how to handle these things. grin

Something in the thread about Highlander Light Infantry makes me ask.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 10:37 a.m. PST

Here you go Winston.


Redblack12 Jul 2018 11:03 a.m. PST

The attached article ,while, not relating directly to thefate of the Yortown POWS, does provide some insight into post 1781 events. It is from a UK source but I feel it represents how relations were between the Americn and British Commands in the period after Yorktown. George Washington figures prominently


Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 11:04 a.m. PST

I wonder with what sort of tack (read the text) the
surrender house was equipped ? Saddle and bridle only
or perhaps also Martingale, crupper strap, etc?

If Martingale, standing or running ??

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 11:38 a.m. PST

In addition to what was posted earlier The Treaty of Paris Article 7 accounted for the return of all prisoners etc


A thesis done on the topic


Daithi the Black Inactive Member12 Jul 2018 2:16 p.m. PST

My family history indicates at least some of the Hessians stayed in America.

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 3:52 p.m. PST

My family history indicates at least some of the Hessians stayed in America.

Indeed, several of the German states did not want their 'defeated' troops back.

Cacique Caribe Inactive Member12 Jul 2018 9:02 p.m. PST

From what people in upstate NY and Pennsylvania expressed to me years ago, it was more than just "a few".


goragrad12 Jul 2018 9:20 p.m. PST

Not turning up corroboration with a quick web search, but remember Kenneth Roberts stating at the end of one of his novels that Congress treated the POWs poorly.

Been too long to recall the exact conditions.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 9:26 p.m. PST

Well, Congress couldn't feed the Continentals either, so I'm not surprised.
If SuperMax we're still here, I'm sure he would point out that the upkeep of POWs was the responsibility of the owning nation in the 18th C.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jul 2018 10:57 p.m. PST

"What happened to the surrendered British Army at Yorktown?"

John, I would think that by now, they would all be long dead.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP13 Jul 2018 7:10 a.m. PST

I guess you could say the same thing about the Union prisoners at Andersonville. grin

AICUSV13 Jul 2018 9:33 a.m. PST

My great grandpappy was captured at Yorktown ( Anspach-Bayreuth). He was sent to Fredrick Maryland, where he was hired out to work on local farms. They were paid and feed by the farmer. In 1783 being of good character the Duke permitted him to return home and provided passage back to Germany.

Should note that while a POW British paymasters were permitted to pass through the lines and the POWs received their regular pay. Just before being shipped back, they (the POWs) were offered 200 acres of land around Fredrick if they stayed. Also if a soldier did not have a good service record the Duke would not pay for his return so he was discharged in America.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jul 2018 12:42 p.m. PST

The Yorktown PoWs were definitely kept in America and were not released until early 1783. Some British regiments' muster rolls for the late 1781 to early 1783 period were made up retrospectively after the troops returned from captivity, and there was a lot of documentary fudging over when/where/how people had died, deserted, or otherwise disappeared. Desertion rates among German captives were not as high as American historians have liked to make out, not just post-Yorktown, but throughout the war (for example, Continental desertion rates during the Monmouth campaign were far higher than those of British and German regiments, despite it being a persistent myth that many Crown troops deserted). Most of the Germans who settled in America were those who were simply allowed to remain after the war was over and not shipped back to Germany.

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