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  1. Anon

    Question Biographical narrative

    I want to know if this essay sounds like a biographical narrative or a summary of Charles Cornwallis's life. Please take to note that I'm a middle school student and this is going into a newspaper for a project.


    After being pursued by the combined forces of LaFayette, Baron Friedrich von Steuben, and General ‘Mad’ Anthony Wayne, General Charles Cornwallis chose a small town located on the York River, Yorktown. While closed off on land by a greater force, Cornwallis hoped to obtain reinforcements by sea. However, the French, lead by Count de Grasse impeded and the British had no control over the sea anymore. With Washington’s army on land and a French fleet off the coast, Cornwallis was surrounded. On October ninth, Cornwallis had unsuccessfully tried to cross the York River. Eight days later, he sent General Charles O’Hara to surrender the British Army. Charles Cornwallis is still in the colonies as of now, and what will happen to him after he returns to England is not known. However, it is doubted that he will get punished, because of his many contributions to the Revolutionary War.

    Before the war, Cornwallis was in Parliament. He had sided with the colonists about the unfair taxing. In 1765, Charles had argued for the repeal of the Stamp Act, and was one of the five people who voted for the repeal of the Act, and with the right to not tax America anymore. A year later, he also voted against the Stamp Act. However, when news about Lexington came to England, there was so issue about which side he was on. In December of 1775, after being promoted to the rank of lieutenant-general, he headed off to the colonies to help support the war.

    Soon after reaching the colonies, Cornwallis took part in the Battle of New York. Commanded by General William Howe, he helped drive out the American troops out of New York, took control of the abandoned Fort Lee, and planned to pursuit Washington’s army. In December 1776, a year after Cornwallis set sail from England to the Americas, he sent his luggage home on a ship thinking that the war would be over soon. Unfortunately, he was wrong; the Battle of Trenton was a major victory for the Patriots. At that battle, he was “outfoxed” by George Washington and his troops. At Princeton, Washington had another scored another victory for the colonists when his troops attacked Cornwallis’s camp. This forced British troops to retreat into New Brunswick.

    On September 11 of the next year, at the Battle of Brandywine, he defeated the colonists yet again. Fifteen days later, on September 26, he took over Philadelphia, and on October fourth, with Howe, moved onto Germantown. During January 1778, Cornwallis sailed back England, but was back in the heat of battle by May. The twenty-eighth of June was the day of The Battle of Monmouth, which was the longest and perhaps hottest battle of the War. The British lost many men due to heatstroke and the enemy. Sir William Howe also resigned because he believed King George didn’t support him. George Clinton took Howe’s place. In the next years following, Cornwallis led many battles against the Americans, including the battle at Charleston, Battle of Camden, and the Battle of Guildford Court House.

    It is very reasonable to say that Charles Cornwallis was a huge part of the Revolutionary War. This will be one of the many reasons he will most likely not be punished for losing America. The King has developed a soft spot for Cornwallis—they both have similar personalities— this means that maybe King George III will not be as hard on him. However, an even bigger part of letting Charles off is about is education, status, and family.

    Lord Cornwallis is the first son of Charles, the fifth Baron of Eye and the first Earl, while his uncle was Archbishop of Canterbury. His mother is the daughter of Lord Townsend and niece of a famous British Prime Minister, Robert Walpole. Cornwallis was born with connections to achieve greatness. Not only did he have great connections, his education was very rare to come by. He first went to Eton, a very restricted private school. Afterwards, he went to a highly prestigious military academy for two years in Turin, Italy. Lord Charles is also the second Earl of Cornwallis and had a seat in the House of Lords, the upper-class House in Parliament. He also carries the title of British general.

    Cornwallis will always be remembered as “the man that lost America,” but he will also be known for the several military and political achievements he has done. That includes the role he played in the Revolutionary War and the position in the British government

  2. Editor,
    English Teacher
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    Re: Biographical narrative

    The reason you're asking, I think, is because it's a bit of both- the first part is a narrative of the key events, then there is a summary of his background. However, I think the main drive is his role in the war rather than his schoolling, so I'd say it is more of a narrative than a summary- the last part is there to flesh out the character of the man in the events in the first part.

    PS- I think you've missed 'it' out here after with: and was one of the five people who voted for the repeal of the Act, and with the right to not tax America anymore.

    Also- the tenses here go a bit weird to my ear, but I am a British English speaker:
    This will be one of the many reasons he will most likely not be punished for losing America.
    Then you start using the present, which doesn't really work for me.

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