Victory at Yorktown

Victory at Yorktown

3.7 11
by Newt Gingrich, William R. Forstchen

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New York Times bestselling authors Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen present the triumphant conclusion to their George Washington series—a novel of leadership, brotherhood, loyalty, and the victory of the American cause.


It is 1781, and Washington and his army have spent three years in a bitter stalemate, engaging in near


New York Times bestselling authors Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen present the triumphant conclusion to their George Washington series—a novel of leadership, brotherhood, loyalty, and the victory of the American cause.


It is 1781, and Washington and his army have spent three years in a bitter stalemate, engaging in near constant skirmishing against the British.  The enemy position in New York is far too strong, and all approaches covered by the Royal Navy.   At last two crucial reports reach Washington.   The first is that the French have briefly committed a fleet to the American coast to engage the British.  The second is that British General Cornwallis, driven to distraction by the protracted warfare in the Carolinas, has decided to withdraw into Yorktown to establish a new base.  


Washington decides to embark on one of the most audacious moves in American military history.  He will take nearly his entire army out of New Jersey and New York, and force march it more than three hundred miles in complete secrecy.  He must pray that the French navy is successful in blockading Chesapeake Bay, so that he can fall upon Cornwallis, lay siege to him, and capture his entire force.   It is a campaign ladened with “Ifs” but the stalemate must be broken, otherwise the American spirit, after six long years of war, will crumble.


Sergeant Peter Wellsley is tasked with “paving the way” for the rapid movement of the army, and above all else neutralizing any loyalists who might slip off to provide warning. The entire operation is predicated on complete, total surprise, a near-impossible task for an army moving through areas that harbor strong loyalists.  On the other side, Allen Van Dorn, still mourning the loss of his friend Major Andre, receives bits and pieces of reports from civilians that something is afoot across New Jersey and is tasked to find out what.   When one of the former friends is captured, both must decide where their true loyalties lie during the heat of the Battle of Yorktown as Washington’s professional army, once a “rabble in arms,” executes the war’s most decisive contest.


With Victory at Yorktown, critically acclaimed authors Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen have reached the pinnacle of their talents in a tour de force narrative of one of America’s most important heroes.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Politico Gingrich and historian Forstchen combine their talents to produce their entertaining third historical about George Washington during the American Revolution (following To Try Men’s Souls and Valley Forge). This time the authors cover the war’s dark days from 1780 to the climactic Battle of Yorktown in 1781, vividly bringing to life the hardships, despair, and troubling leadership decisions confronting Washington after six years of brutal warfare. Stuck in New York, the weakened Americans face the powerful British army and navy, with Washington wondering if the French fleet will ever join the fight. When tactical victories in the South confound the British and force General Cornwallis into fortifications in Yorktown, Va., Washington sees the opportunity to strike a decisive blow that will bring victory to him, his army, and his French allies. The novel colorfully and accurately portrays Washington and other historical figures as they struggle with tactics, strategy, logistics, intelligence, meddling politicians, and petty rivalries. Less powerful is a sappy fictional subplot about an American officer and a British officer, two friends in love with the same woman. Still, this is exciting historical fiction, offering insight into just how close George Washington and the Americans came to losing the war. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
Gingrich and Forstchen (Valley Forge, 2010, etc.) continue their series on the American Revolution by following Washington and the Continental Army to Yorktown. Washington is little understood as a man, perhaps because his widow burned decades of their correspondence. Thus, the authors have undertaken to "enrich and broaden our knowledge of the past" through fiction. In that quest, much of the narrative filters through the perspectives of the fictional Peter Wellsley and Allen Van Dorn, New Jersey childhood friends who pledged allegiance to opposite sides. It is fall, 1780. Wellsley serves at West Point on Washington's staff. Van Dorn, a Loyalist, serves the British Gen. Clinton in Manhattan. The friends meet at opportune times during the narrative. The success at Yorktown begins when Washington dispatches Gen. Nathanial Greene to the Carolinas to right the bumbling of Gen. Gates. With Wellsley on staff, Greene bleeds Cornwallis in the Carolinas. Cornwallis maneuvers toward Virginia, dragging a train of casualties. Contemptuous of colonials at heart, Britain's passive Clinton lingers on Manhattan behind impregnable fortifications, with the less-than-audacious British fleet securely anchored around Staten Island. Ably supported by French Gen. Rochambeau, Washington receives word the French can also come to his aid with de Grasse's Caribbean fleet, blockading Chesapeake Bay and pinning Cornwallis at Yorktown. Washington realizes he can take half his northern army and 4,000 of Rochambeau's allied French forces and spring a trap, one that will cost the British their mid-Atlantic forces while simultaneously undercutting peace initiatives from "sunshine patriots" in Philadelphia. Wellsley and Van Dorn, meanwhile, gather intelligence behind enemy lines. Augmented with character sketches of lesser-known patriots, the book brings Washington to life as a resolute and bold general. The authors shine brightly in describing the depth of his emotion flowing from the victory at Yorktown.
From the Publisher

“Masterful storytelling.” —William E. Butterworth IV, New York Times bestselling author of The Saboteurs, on Pearl Harbor

“Creative, clever, and fascinating.” —James Carville on Gettysburg

“Compelling narrative force and meticulous detail.” —The Atlanta Journal Constitution on Gettysburg

“Gingrich and Forschten write with authority and with sensitivity.” —St. Louis Post Dispatch on Gettysburg

“Grim, gritty, realistic, accurate, and splendid, this is a soaring epic of triumph over almost unimaginable odds.” —Library Journal on To Try Men's Souls

“With each book… Gingrich and Forstchen have gone from strength to strength as storytellers.” —William Trotter, The Charlotte Observer, on Never Call Retreat

“The authors' research shines in accurate accounts of diplomatic maneuvering as well as the nuts-and-bolts of military action.” —Publishers Weekly on Pearl Harbor

“The writing is vivid and clear.” —Washington Times on Gettysburg

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
George Washington Series, #3
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.58(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

NEWT GINGRICH, recent Presidential Candidate and former Speaker of the House, is the bestselling author of Gettysburg and Pearl Harbor and the longest serving teacher of the Joint War Fighting Course for Major Generals at Air University and is an honorary Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Professor at the National Defense University. He resides in Virginia with his wife, Callista, with whom he hosts and produces documentaries, including their latest, A City Upon A Hill.


WILLIAM R. FORSTCHEN, Ph.D., is a Faculty Fellow at Montreat College in Montreat, North Carolina. He received his doctorate from Purdue University and is the author of more than forty books.  He is the New York Times best selling author of One Second After. He resides near Asheville, North Carolina, with his daughter, Meghan.


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Victory at Yorktown: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 11 reviews.
ChadwickCT More than 1 year ago
Victory at Yorktown is a dynamic portrayal of war, friendship and heroism intertwined with one of, if not the most important moments in the Revolutionary War. Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen have produced another successful rendition of George Washington and other fascinating characters in this latest installment of their Revolutionary War series. This is a must-read for anyone interested in historical fiction, but it is also enjoyable for those- like me- who do not typically read this genre. Gingrich may be better known for his political career than his writing one, so readers may be pleasantly surprised at how entertaining and engaging he is as a writer of fiction. The authors seamlessly pull together the historical, political and personal to create an enjoyable tale reminding us of the difficulties our forefathers went through to give us freedom, and just how easily the outcome could have been different. Victory at Yorktown is full of fascinating scenes, like General Cornwallis agonizing over his military losses as well as lack of support from the British military system in the colonies. It is a look at and portrayal of a man one rarely if ever gets to see at a personal level. Overall I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, the Revolutionary War or is looking for an “insider’s” take on the conflict that won us our freedoms.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the seventh book I've read by these authors, and it is by far their weakest offering to date. Their Civil War books are uniformly interesting. The first book of this trilogy is average, but the second is extremely good and is the best of the seven works I've read. I therefore had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately, this book really reads as if it was banged out while the authors were focused elsewhere. The writing is truly pedestrian and the authors repeat (over and over) facts and insights many times, omit critical and fascinating elements of the real story, and include a number of "facts" of dubious correctness. It is truly a sophomoric effort and a disappointing conclusion to any otherwise worthy story.
Vintage-Rider More than 1 year ago
Learning history in school was the description an accumulation of events. Books such as ‘To Try Men’s Souls,’ ‘Valley Forge,’ and now, ‘Victory at Yorktown’ put you directly into the passion, the conviction and the motivation George Washington and the Founding Fathers lived by in order to achieve freedom. There is no better way to truly experience what went into the founding of this great nation than to read this book.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book, well written and highly recommended!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very readable well-constructed novel, but with exciting observations about how the last year of the American Revelution took place. Although I read many books on this war, I learned a lot about the why's and how's of the last year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While keeping a tight line on the historical facts surround this critical time in US history, the latest by this wonderful hisotrical novel team falls short of the mark when compared to its predecessors, "To Try Men's Souls" and "Valley Forge". The Revolution is at a critical stage and success or failure is in the hands of the country's French allies and the French fleet. The revolutionary army and the French army march out, unsure of the support of the fleet and in fact, the very outcome of the revolution. It is a suspense-filled, intelligent read but has the feel of being thrown togethr quickly to follow-up on prior successes and ends "not with a bang, but a whimper".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Slipshod, kindly