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1781, March Date, Sunday, Oct. 1, Day 107

Homestead Headquarters

Greetings Friends and Patriots,

Perhaps tis' the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning.... truly.

I wrote that we had moved into position about the British Town of York, some 3 days ago. We left the Town of Williamsburg about 5 of the clock in the morning and were in postion, about a mile away from the British outer defenses, about dark. That was on the 28th of Sept.

It was noticed that on the British right, Lt. Col.Robert Abercrombie was withdrawing as the French left wing advanced there. At about the same time, on the British left, Lt. Col. Benaste Tarleton withdrew as he American right winG moved to the southeast of Yorktow. It appears that the British are consolidating their defenses.

Events are moving at a snails pace, but with lighting speed, both at the same time it seems to us here in the Line. We can see the mass movement of the troops, large amounts of folks moving about, then tis seems to be done, in a moment.

On the 29th, just two days ago, Gen. Washington inspected the British positions while the American army continued to surround Yorktown. All along, artillery, siege equipment and stores are being moved up to the front.

On Sept. 30th we discovered that the British had abandoned three outposts that cover the southwest approach to Yorktown. Apparently Corny, with his limited forces, has chosen to abandon these postions . We find an intercepted dispatch that indicates that the British will be sending relief, from New York. Btitish Gen. Clinton says the British fleet will be leaving New York on the 5th of Oct. Hmmmm, that should make things a bit dicey, methinks.

We have also learned that the French Wagon Train, taking the land route, had left Georgetown, crossing the Potomac River. ON about the 24th, we have learned that the wagon train has loaded on much hay, at Col. Daingerfield's plantation, near Belvidere, and are still coming southwards, they have yet to arrive and we trust, hope, pray that they are safe.

We have taken some trouble now, to list for you all the units that seem to be in place, for this coming event, for better or worse.....

General Washington, Commanding at his headquarters, has the 4th Continental Dragoons and Armand's Legion..

The American Artillery of the 1st Continental, 2nd Continental and 4th Continental Artillery as well as four companies of sappers and miners, is led by Brig. Gen. Henry Knox.

Maj. Gen Lafayette leads the 1st Division American Light Infantry with Brig. Gen. Muhlenberg's 1st. Brigade, made up of 8 Mass. Light Co. under Col. Vose, 5 Conn., 2 Mass., and 1 RI light companies under Col. Gimat and Col. Barber's battalion of 2 New Hampshire, 2 New Jersey and 1 Canadian Light Companies, as well as 3 New Jersey Line Companies

Brig. Gen Hazens Infantry Brigade is made of Col. Scammel's Battalion of 2 New Hampshire, 3 Mas. and 3 Conn. Light Companies,with Col. Hamilton's Battalion of 2 New York Light Companies, 2 New York and 2 Caonn. provisional light companies, and Hazens Canadian Regiment.

Maj. Gen Lincoln leads the American 2nd Division, with the 1st Brigade being made up of 1st and 2nd New York, led by Brig. Gen James Clinton, and the 2nd Brigade, Col. Dayton comanding, made up of 1st and 2nd New Jersey, and a Rhode Island Regiment.

The American 3rd Division is commanded by Maj. Gen. Baron von Steuben, a soldiers favorite. Under his command is Brig Gen. Anthony Wayne commanding the 1st. Brigade of 1st and 2nd Penns., and the 3rd Virginia.

The 2nd Brigade is commanded by Brig. Gen Gist commanding eht 3rd and 4th Marylanders

The Virginia militia is bing commanded by Gen. Thomas Nelson, with the Brig Gens. Weedon, commanding the 1st Brigade, Lawson commanding the 2nd Brigade and Stevens commanding the 3rd Bigade. They are joined by Dabney's State Legion......

Tis all I have the time to impart at the moment. Perhaps I will have time on the morow to list our allies, and then the British enemy. The situation here is very changing, and we are all on the proverbial pins and needles...... we are all on the look about for any intrusion, or serious troop movement by the enmy, yet all seems very still at this moment......... tis sure to change dramatically in the near future. I pray you receive these dispatches or else you may never learn what has become of us, should this all come to naught, or failure. Failure is not on our minds, but our families are. We are reminded of the those parting words of the Declaration of Independence, that said we have pledged our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor. Tis do not needs to be a man of means to make that pledge, only a man of truth and substance.......we have pledged and are standing forward, into the face of the enmy.

I Remain,
At Your Service,
Richard Swartwout
For, 'AKtY'