Last week I got to spend a few days with the wife on a mini-vacation. We both love to go to Virginia as it’s not that far away and there is so much to see especially if you appreciate our great American heritage. So we went to see Yorktown for the first time. If you don’t know, this is where George Washington bested Cornwallis (the British commander) and secured for us our independence. We plopped in a CD and did an “auto tour” of the battlefield area which was fascinating but even more impressive were the lessons taught in the film at the “Victory Center” before our tour.
Months before Cornwallis had beaten an American commander, ironically named Lincoln, a good deal south of Yorktown. In doing so, he did not afford his foe the customary and polite gesture of surrender terms with honor. Cornwallis was not a gracious winner ! Fast forward to Yorktown though and this same English general was now bragging if Washington (who was encamped near New York City ) should come to Yorktown he would be ready for good ole George and would be amply supplied in this port city by the British navy sitting offshore. However, as Washington liked to refer to God as “Providence”, Providence would teach the venerated (to the Brits) Cornwallis a lesson in humility and reinforce in American minds the power of God and the need to rely upon Him for victory.
Washington was in a dilemma. Should he proceed to Yorktown or stay put? But when he received a message that the French were able to sail to Yorktown and engage the British fleet, the “Father of our Country” immediately pulled up stakes and stealthily marched his men to Virginia. He left tents in their places to fool the enemy in New York that they were still present and under cover of darkness began to move his troops south much like the wisdom of Old Testament “generals” (Gideon, Joshua, & David). As he arrived ahead of his army, he bravely stood in range of English gunners while he surveyed the area truly believing “Providence” would protect him. Then the army arrived and began battle preparations and started the shelling of the enemy. When Cornwallis knew he was entrapped he ordered his men in small boats to a safe retreat however “Providence” took care of two details: (1) The French ships had won a victory at sea sending any British ones remaining, hightailing it back to New York (thus no supplies or protection for the Brits) (2) The small boats were dealt with by means of a “sudden” storm on the bay sinking or else returning those fleeing back to Yorktown !
At the end, Cornwallis was forced to admit defeat and as negotiations ensued for terms of surrender they were stalled a good deal that night because Washington refused to budge and comply with Cornwallis’ insistence on the same terms of honor he’d refused Lincoln just months before. Guess who Washington had directly under his command in Yorktown? Yep, Lincoln ! He was afforded justice by “Providence” just as you will be when you suffer injustice and still do right ! And old Cornwallis, he sent a message to the Americans that he was “sick” and could not attend the formal surrender ceremony, an ungrateful winner and loser ! History can teach us so much for it is really HIS-story! God works in the affairs of men, He is unfolding His plan. And He is right now, TODAY, in YOUR life too. Just look for the hand of “Providence” for it’s there and He will always do right by YOU !!