Sunday, April 9, 2017

Battle of Yorktown, and Dentures?

The Battle of Yorktown in 1781 was a decisive victory that signaled the end of the American Revolution.  It was the result of coordinating combined forces of the American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by British General Charles Cornwallis. 
If you are ever so inclined to learn a bit more about the American Revolution, click here for a PBS documentary.  

You've all probably have seen photos of George Washington's dentures, but little did you think that it may have helped shaped the course of history.  According to

Washington, who always treated his dental troubles as a state secret, was mortified to learn that a mail packet that included a personal letter requesting dental cleaning tools had been intercepted by the British. Washington’s letter to his dentist pointed out that he had “little prospect of being in Philadelph. soon..” and that the tooth scrapers should be sent to him outside New York by mail.
When Sir Henry Clinton, commander of the British forces in North America, saw this personal letter he was convinced that the other official military correspondence within that same intercepted packet must be genuine. Even worse for Clinton and the British, the contents of the packet and Washington’s claim that he would not be in Philadelphia anytime soon convinced the British high command in New York that the American and French forces encamped around New York City would not be marching south to threaten Lord Cornwallis’ isolated command near Yorktown.
What Clinton did not know was that Washington and Rochambeau had just planned out their movement south to trap Cornwallis at Yorktown. Clinton’s failure to more rapidly reinforce or rescue Cornwallis led to the complete British defeat at Yorktown on October 19, 1781.

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