The British power in America was broken this day, Oct. 19, 1781, as 8,000 British troops under Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Va. The following day, Gen. George Washington called for a service to render thanksgiving to God: “In order to diffuse the general Joy through every Breast the General orders that … Divine Service be performed tomorrow in the several Brigades or Divisions. The Commander in Chief earnestly recommends that the troops not on duty should universally attend, with … gratitude of heart which the recognition of such … astonishing Interposition of Providence demands of us.”

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