CORNWALLIS PAPERS The Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in The Southern Theatre of the American Revolutionary War


This work deals with Britain’s last throw of the dice in the American Revolutionary War. Comprising six volumes, it contains a fully edited transcript of almost all the papers that were written by, or came before, Lord Cornwallis during his command in the south. The papers cover the siege of Charlestown, his tenuous occupation of South Carolina and Georgia, the autumn, winter and Virginia campaigns, and ultimately his capitulation at Yorktown. Among a mass of matters that are also covered are Craig’s occupation of Wilmington, his operations there, the Spanish threat to East Florida, and the eventual collapse of British authority elsewhere in the south.
The papers are arranged in 14 Parts and 68 chapters. In view of the numberless inaccuracies published about the war most Parts begin with an introductory chapter, the purpose of which is to present the papers in an accurate, balanced and dispassionate way. Whether such chapters are seen to succeed will, inevitably, depend to a degree on the perspective from which the papers are viewed.
The papers open the door to re-evaluating certain aspects of the war. The introductory chapters very briefly provide pointers besides addressing certain important considerations that have long gone by default.