Chesapeake Bay, 1781 French Navy Map of the Battle of the Capes, Revolutionary War



The engagement fought between the British and French fleets on September 5, 1781 off Cape Henry and Charles. The French victory sealed the fate of British General Cornwallis’ army in Yorktown. The surrender of Cornwallis to General Washington and Comte de Rochambeau signaled the beginning of the end of Britain’s attempt to retain control over the thirteen American colonies. The Battle of the Capes or The Battle of the Virginia Capes, as the engagement would come to be known, is captured in this beautiful hand-drawn French map. This map depicts the movements of the battle lines of the British fleet under Admiral Graves and French fleet under Admiral de Grasse during the indecisive engagement. The two fleets battered each other for over 2 ½ hours with Graves breaking off the fight as darkness descended on the Chesapeake Bay. The map shows in amazing detail the order of battle for each line in pen and ink. It is a must have for anyone interested in the Yorktown Campaign and the birth of the United States of America. Full Map Title: Combat naval à la hauteur de la Baye de Chézapeake [sic] le 5 7bre. 1781

"The Battle of Chesapeake Bay was one of the decisive battles of the world. Before it, the creation of the United States of America was possible; after it, it was certain."---Michael Lewis, The History of the British Navy

  • Pen and ink, watercolor and wash (green, brown, yellow, blue)
  • Fine Art Premium Giclée (Gouttelette) Print (100% cotton 340 gsm fine art paper)
  • Made in USA