Robertson history continues
Published 12:29 am Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I want to continue with the autobiography of Norvelle Robertson.
Accordingly, in September 1781, two companies from Cumberland County met at Shopwith's Mill, on Appomattox River, and crossing the river at that place, marched down the same on the south side, and passing through Petersburg, continued on down James River to a place called Swan's Point. Here we halted for about two weeks. This place is nearly opposite to Old Jamestown on the north side of the river, where it is three miles wide. We then crossed the river and marched through Williamsburg and so on down to York, eight or ten miles below the latter place. Yorktown is an inconsiderable place, but on an eminence contiguous to York River at the termination of the river, was the British fortifications. In this place the Americans carried on their operations, except the storming of two dedoubts and a skirmish with a foraging party on the other side of the river where Tarleton commanded. All the hostile operations were carried on with cannon balls and bomb shells.
Next morning after the surrender of the British garrison, a general review was made by the physicians, and all who were unfil for duty were discharged. I was among that number. Those who were judged to be able were detained to guard the prisoners to Winchester, near the mountains of Virginia. After I was discharged, I proposed to stay and see the British army march out and surrender in form, but was told that if were found loitering about there we would probably be put on the list again, and compelled to go to Winchester. This reconciled me to set out for home, which I did, and bad as my health was, being under the influence of both the dysentery and chills and fever I reached home in the latter part of October 1781.”
Some of you may get bored with all the details, but think about it. This is a first hand experience of the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown and the downfall of the British.
I think I will continue with this next week. I don't want to drag it out too long but it is very interesting, at least it is to me and anyone interested in history.