SAUTHIER, Claude Joseph (1736-1802)
A Topographical Map of the North Part of New York Island, Exhibiting the Plan of Fort Washington, now Fort Knyphausen, with the Rebels Lines to the Southward, which were Forced by the Troops under the Command of the Rt. Honble. Earl Percy, on the 16th Novr 1776, and Survey'd immediately after by Claude Joseph Sauthier. To which is added the Attack made to the Northd. By the Hessians. Survey'd by Order of Lieut. Genl. Knyphausen
London: Published by Permission of the Rt. Honble. The Commissioners of Trade & Plantations by Wm. Faden, March 1, 1777. Copper-engraved map, with period outline colour. Some light old surface soiling. Sheet size: 22 1/2 x 15 1/8 inches.
This is one of a small handful of Revolutionary War battle plans that relate to the City of New York. Sauthier's delineation of upper Manhattan was the most accurate and detailed to date.
After the British occupation of New York, General Washington evacuated Manhattan, except for Fort Washington at the northern tip of the island. The British under General Howe moved north and attacked the main American army at White Plains in October 1776. But the Americans still remained in control of Fort Washington behind their forward lines.
On November 16, the British mounted a six-column attack on the fort that forced the patriots to surrender. Washington's decision not to evacuate Fort Washington was one of his most serious tactical errors of the war. Almost three thousand men were taken prisoner and the British seized large quantities of supplies and weapons. Four days later General Cornwallis was sent to take Fort Lee on the opposite New Jersey shore, but the Americans stationed there had retreated.
Sauthier illustrated the four phases of the attack with the letters A through D. The key at right identifies the first attack as that by Gen. Knyphausen, the second by Matthews and Cornwallis, the third as a feint, and the fourth by Lord Percy.
Cumming, British Maps of Colonial America , pp. 72-74; Guthorn, British Maps of the American Revolution , pp. 41-42; Nebenzahl, Atlas of the American Revolution , pp. 90-91; Nebenzahl, Bibliography of Printed Battle Plans of the American Revolution , 116; Wallis, The American War of Independence , 116.