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Lostwithiel campaign

Lostwithiel campaign, 1644. Charles I's stunning success at Lostwithiel rescued the royalist cause when almost at its last gasp. Marston Moor in early July 1644 had been a devastating blow to the king. He was given respite through Essex's ill-conceived excursion into Cornwall. The people were hostile, liaison with the fleet bound to be difficult, and it was not clear what strategic advantage the county would afford, even if it could be held. Unsurprisingly, Charles took the opportunity to pursue Essex and cut off his retreat. Essex was bottled up in the Fowey peninsula, heavily outnumbered and desperately short of supplies. His cavalry managed to break out, and Essex himself abandoned his troops, but 6,000 of the infantry were forced to surrender on 2 September. Since the royalists could neither feed them nor guard them with safety, they were disarmed and allowed to leave. Many of them died or were killed on their way home.

J. A. Cannon

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