William Faden's Separately Published Map of the Siege of Yorktown
Rare separately issued example of Faden's plan of the Siege of Yorktown, the decisive battle of the American Revolution.
This rare separately issued example appeared either separately or in William Faden’s Atlas of Battles of the American Revolution. The vast majority of examples of this map are printed on inferior paper, folded, and trimmed for binding in Banastre Tarleton’s 1787 Campaigns of 1780 and 1781 in the Southern Provinces of North America.
The map is based drawn from Banetre Tarleton's manuscript map of the Siege, which was also the likely source of Johann Von Ewald's manuscript plan. Ewald, however, extended his plan into Gloucester County and added his own remarks. Captain Johann von Ewald (1744-1813), was a Hessian officer who came to America in 1776 with the British military forces. Von Ewald was a participant in many of the significant battles of the war, and was with Lord Cornwallis at the surrender of Yorktown in 1781. He kept a diary of his experiences throughout the Revolutionary War, but just as importantly created numerous maps of the areas he was in, with the placement of troops and fortifications.
While on a small scale, this well-engraved map conveys considerable useful information. The ravines and creek beds that figured in the action are clearly indicated, as are details of the several parallels of the siege. Troop emplacements and the artillery park of the Franco-American forces are indicated, and the commanders’ names appear. A legend shows the colors used for British, French, and American troops. Lines of fire seaward from the shore batteries appear as do the sunken British vessels and town named ships of the line.” (Nebenzahl, Bibliography, #197)
At bottom right on the Yorktown side are shown the headquarters of Washington and Rochambeau and the American artillery. Above and to the left are French artillery, General Lincoln, General le Marquis de la Fayette, General Siwoens (Steuben), and Clinton. To the left are the French regiments Saintonge, Soissen[nais], Deux-Ponts, and Bourbon[nais]. At the top are shown the first and second parallels, "Moors" [Moore's] House, and American and French batteries. At lower left are the French regiments Agénais, Gatinais, Touraine; the Volunteers of Saint-Simon; and a French battery. Below Yorktown is the Fusiliers' Redoubt. Also shown are the numbered regiments in Yorktown itself and the sunken ships Guadeloupe and Charon in the York River.
On the Gloucester side, numbered redoubts are visible in the town itself: No. 1, Rangers; No. 2, Legion; No.3, 80th Regiment; No. 4, unassigned. At the mouth of Sarah Creek Ewald noted, "Place where I stood when French fleet arrived before the mouth of the York River." The area above the town is labeled "Mostly cut-down woods." In front of the work on the road leading out of Gloucester are stationed French sentries. Toward the bottom are "Infantry picket," "Cavalry picket," "Corps under General Choisy," and "Hussars." At the left of the plan is "Sauls" [Seawell's] Plantation. The headquarters are shown at Seawell's Ordinary.
This edition of the map is rare on the market.
William Faden (1749-1836) was a prominent London mapmaker and publisher. He worked in close partnership with the prolific Thomas Jeffreys from 1773 to 1776. In 1783, Faden assumed ownership of the Jeffreys firm and was named Geographer to the King in the same year. Faden specialized in depictions of North America and also commanded a large stock of British county maps, which made him attractive as a partner to the Ordnance Survey; he published the first Ordnance map in 1801. The Admiralty also admired his work and acquired some of his plates which were re-issued as official naval charts. After retiring in 1823 the lucrative business passed to James Wyld, a former apprentice.