George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 20 October 1781]

20th. Winchester & Fort Frederick in Maryland, being the places destined for the reception of the Prisoners they were to have commenced their March accordingly this day, but were prevented by the Commissary of Prisoners not having compleated his Accounts of them & taken the Paroles of the Officers.1

1On 20 Oct., GW was informed by the marquis de Choisy that the surrender of Gloucester by Tarleton was progressing smoothly (DLC:GW).

Estimates of prisoners taken at Yorktown vary slightly. A “General Return of Officers and Privates taken Prisoner, 19 Oct. 1781” (DNA: RG 93, Manuscript File no. 31604), made by Thomas Durie, deputy commissary of prisoners, lists the number as 7,171, not counting naval prisoners. Another return by Durie is in DNA:PCC, Item 152, enclosed in GW to Congress, 27 Oct. 1781. An unsigned “List of Prisoners taken at York & Gloucester” in DLC: Breckinridge Family Papers gives the number of prisoners as 6,935, with 2,000 seamen turned over to de Grasse, and 80 “followers of the army.” A “Return of Prisoners Taken at the Surrender of the British Garrison of York and Gloucester in Virginia Octob. 19th 1781 exclusive of Marine Prisoners and of Officers and Soldiers Taken during the Siege” (DNA: RG 93, Manuscript File no. 31603) gives a total of 7,050. See also BOATNER [1] description begins Mark Mayo Boatner III. Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. New York, 1966. description ends , 1248–49; FREEMAN description begins Douglas Southall Freeman. George Washington: A Biography. 7 vols. New York, 1948–57. description ends , 5:513–16.

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