“Logistical operations differ in nature from maneuver operations and the complexity of the Yorktown Campaign provides an excellent Revolutionary War example of this since it has all the phases of modern logistical operations. The actual siege, which dominates most studies, represents only a short part of a much larger campaign. From a logistical perspective, Lieutenant General George Washington was projecting his force from one department to another. Once he learned the French fleet, which was critical to his campaign plan, would not sail further than the Chesapeake Bay, he decided to deploy a portion of his main army along with the French army in New York to Virginia where they would link up with Continental forces and militia already there.”
Richard E. Kilbrane
George Washington and his French allies executed the longest expeditionary march executed during the Revolutionary War. Departing from New York on 19 August, the Continentals and their French counterparts, marched to the Chesapeake area and waged the pivotal campaign which resulted in the Treaty of Paris two years later…and final American independence.
The “Supplying Washington’s Army” hyperlink will connect you with the Center for Military History publication. The “Siege of Yorktown” will generate the campaign map contained in this brief.
Be sure to visit the battlefield when you have the opportunity!
Logistical Operations during the Yorktown Campaign, 1781, Richard E. Killblane.
LOA Historian Monthly Perspective #17 Infographic