Plate 15. Moore House, Yorktown, where Cornwallis signed the Capitulation

Description
Text and photograph from Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War, Vol. II. Negative by Wood & Gibson, text and positive by Alexander Gardner.
In October, 1781, the commissioners appointed to arrange the terms of capitulation, between General Washington and Lord Cornwallis, met at this house. It is, however, generally believed that the draft there prepared, was signed in the trenches of Yorktown, over a mile away. When the Army of the Potomac invested Yorktown, the Moore House was in excellent preservation. It was far from a safe habitation, the rebel shells striking it several times; one, in particular, entered through the wall, and exploding inside, did considerable damage. Some of McClellan's aids, who had been reconnoitering from the windows, had but a few seconds before left the house. Much frequented was it by the sharpshooters, the orchard beyond offering fair opportunities to advance to the front unobserved. Stealing amongst the trees, purple with the bloom of the peach, the riflemen would proceed, at the first glimpse of dawn, while yet the mist hung in the air, to take a position, they would not dare to leave till night extended her friendly cover. With their heavy, telescope-sighted, rifles, they made deadly work among the gunners upon the fortifications, the sturdy company of Massachusetts riflemen, called the Andrews Sharpshooters, proving themselves much superior to the squirrel-shooters of Mississippi, who were driven to the exercise of great caution in their endeavors to retaliate upon the working parties.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
albumen photograph
date made
1862-05
maker
Gardner, Alexander
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 7 in x 9 in; 17.78 cm x 22.86 cm
place made
United States: Virginia, Yorktown
ID Number
1986.0711.0334.15
accession number
1986.0711
catalog number
1986.0711.0334.15
related event
Civil War
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Gardner's Sketchbook
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Photography
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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