On September 28, the combined Continental and French forces left Williamsburg at around 5:00 A.M. They moved to within a mile of Cornwallis' Yorktown defenses by dark. The siege of Yorktown had officially began. On the British right, Lt. Col. Robert Abercromby withdrew as the French Wing advanced there, while Tarleton withdrew as the American Wing moved to the southeast of Yorktown.
Washington had the American-French army organized into 3 divisions for the siege:
1. Rochembeau commanded the 7,800-man French contingent. They occupied the left wing, or northwestern sector, of the siege line. It consisted of 3 infantry brigades, a heavy cavalry corps, and a large artillery corps.
2. The American troops formed the base of the right, or southern sector, with two wings of 8,845 troops. These were divided into 3 divisions. They were commanded by Brig. Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, and Maj. Gens. Marquis de Lafayette and Baron von Stueben. Col. Henry Knox was in command of the artillery, engineers, sappers and miners. Col. Stephen Moylan was in command of the cavalry.
3. The third division of 3,200 Virginia militiamen were commanded by Brig. Gens. George Weedon, Edward Stevens, and Robert Lawson. They occupied the southeastern sector, or far right wing of the siege line.
The siege line was initially established 2 miles below Yorktown in a giant arc, with the French on the west/right and the Americans on the south/center and east/right. Additionally, Washington dispatched 4 regiments, commanded by Compte Claude G. de Choisy to the northern side of the York River to lay siege to the British troops operating on Gloucester Point. There, Weedon's 1,500 Virginia militiamen, aided by 1,400 French troops under Duke de Lauzun, joined forces to bottle up the British.
On September 29, Washington inspected the British position while the army continued to surround Yorktown. Artillery and siege equipment and stores were also brought to the front. The Americans in the...