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150 The National Music of America.
the prelude to the war, it became also its postlude.
At the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, in 1781, there came up a peculiar matter of music for decision.1 The Americans had been lenient in many of the details of the surrender, but on one point they were inflexible. The British had always made it a point to demand, at the surrender of an enemy, that the bands of the captives should play their national music, thus humiliating the conquered by dragging their melody in the dust with them. They had exacted this of the American general, Lincoln, at the surrender of Charleston. And now the American who was conducting the negotiations, Colonel Laurens, directed that Lord Cornwallis's sword should be received by General Lincoln, and that the army, on marching out to lay down its arms, should play either a British or a German air. The
1 See Fiske's " American Revolution," Vol. II., p. 283.