Yorktown, Battle of2018-01-15T14:32:14+00:00

Battle of Yorktown External Links

September–October 19, 1781

External Links for Battle of Yorktown

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Articles of Capitulation; October 18, 1781

Transcript of the Articles of Capitulation dictated by General George Washington ending the Siege of Yorktown.

Battle Of Yorktown

In the late summer of 1781 when George Washington and Rochambeau heard of Lord Cornwallis' encampment in Yorktown they raced southward from New York to link up with the French fleet under Admiral Comtede Grasse in Chesapeake Bay. Washington arrived just in time to bottle-up the British, who were anticipating reinforcements that never came from either General Henry Clinton or the British fleet.

The Battle of Yorktown 1781

Detailed information about the events and troops engaged at the Battle of Yorktown

Battle of Yorktown

The Battle of Yorktown was one of the last battles of the American Revolutionary War. The engagement lasted 20 days and ended with British Gen. Charles Cornwallis's surrender on October 19, 1781.

American Revolution: Battle of Yorktown

In August 1781, General George Washington learned that Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis' army was encamped near Yorktown, VA. After discussing options with his French ally, Lieutenant General Jean-BaptistePonton de Rochambeau, Washington decided to quietly move his army away from New York City with the goal of crushing Cornwallis' isolated force. Departing on August 21, the Franco-American army began marching south. As any success would be dependent upon the French navy's ability to prevent Cornwallis being resupplied, this movement was supported by the fleet of Rear Admiral Comtede Grasse.

Yorktown Battlefield

On October 19, 1781, a British army under General Charles Lord Cornwallis was forced to surrender to General Washington's combined American and French army. Upon hearing of their defeat, British Prime Minister Frederick Lord North is reputed to have said, "Oh God, it's all over." And it was. The victory secured independence for the United States and significantly changed the course of world history.

The Battle of Yorktown

When General Rochambeau met General Washington in Wethersfield, Connecticut on 22 May 1781 to determine their strategy against the British, they made plans to move against New York City, which was occupied by about 10,000 men under General Sir Henry Clinton, the commander-in-chief in North America.

The Battle of Yorktown

In May 1781, British Lt. General Charles Earl Cornwallis decided to move north into Virginia. The first few months of the year had been trying times for the general. In January, he had burned his baggage trains in a vain attempt to catch Maj. General Nathanael Greene during the 'Race to the Dan'. On March 15, 1781, he had held the field at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina against Greene, but suffered huge losses.

The Yorktown Campaign

From today's perspective, it is difficult to appreciate the long odds faced by Americans and their French allies in the Yorktown campaign of 1781. The prospects for George Washington and his northern army at the start of the year were not bright. They were keeping a lonely vigil outside of New York City, monitoring the actions of Sir Henry Clinton's vastly superior British forces.

Surrender at Yorktown

Following an abortive attempt to evacuate his army from Yorktown, Lord Charles Cornwallis faced the reality that aid from Sir Henry Clinton would not arrive in time. French and American guns resumed bombardment of the British position at dawn on October 17. By mid-morning, Cornwallis came to a decision and sent a drummer to a visible location on the fortification, where he beat out the call for a parley. The guns were quickly silenced and a British officer came forward to the American lines; he was blindfolded and taken to confer with George Washington.

Vincennes to Yorktown

It was the French fleet—ironically, the same one defeated by the British under Admiral Rodney the next year in the West Indies—that bottled up Cornwallis at Yorktown. Outnumbered and surrounded, the British commander surrendered (Oct. 19, 1781), and the fighting was over. The rebels had won the American Revolution.

Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris

The year 1781 found a large squadron of British troops led by Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. Cornwallis hoped to keep his men in the Chesapeake town until fresh supplies and reinforcements could arrive from Britain. The French and the Americans conspired to capture the British before that could happen.

Yorktown campaign

(1781) American-French land and sea campaign against the British that virtually ended the American Revolution. About 7,500 British troops under Charles Cornwallis occupied defensive positions at the coastal port of Yorktown, Va., on Aug. 1, 1781. They were opposed by a smaller American force under the marquisde Lafayette, assisted by Anthony Wayne and Frederick Steuben. From New York, George Washington ordered Lafayette to prevent Cornwallis's escape by land.

Siege of Yorktown

The Siege of Yorktown or Battle of Yorktown in 1781 was a decisive victory by combined assault of American forces led by General George Washington and French forces led by General Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by General Lord Cornwallis. It proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War, as the surrender of Cornwallis's army (the second major surrender of the war, the other being Burgoyne's surrender at the Battle of Saratoga) prompted the British government to eventually negotiate an end to the conflict.

George Washington - Master of Misinformation

Ever wonder why Sir Henry Clinton kept his troops in New York instead of helping Cornwallis in Yorktown? Again, the Washington misinformation machine! The British commander, Clinton, had decided to attack the recently arrived French army before it could become entrenched. Accordingly, Clinton mustered six thousand troops and sailed to Huntington Bay off the north side of Long Island. An American spy, Robert Townsend, code name Culper, Jr., reported the British movement of troops.

Battle of Yorktown

The Battle of Yorktown was fought in the fall of 1781 in Yorktown, Virginia, between British forces under the command of General Lord Charles Cornwallis, and the American Continental Army under Lieutenant General George Washington along with the French army under Comte de Rochambeau, and the French fleet under Admiral de Grasse. The victory at Yorktown effectively ended the American Revolution.

Colonies gain victory and freedom

When the news of the American victory at Yorktown reached Europe, the House of Commons voted to end the war. Peace negotiations began in April 1782 and continued through November, when preliminary treaties were signed. These were not to take effect until France concluded peace with Great Britain. In 1783, they were signed as final and definitive.

The Yorktown Campaign

The 1781 Yorktown Campaign, in Virginia, was the final major military episode of the American Revolution. The campaign involved a remarkable degree of cooperation and coordination between French and American forces over a vast region of North America and the West Indies: a French army in Rhode Island under the comte de Rochambeau, an American army outside New York City under Gen. George Washington, an assortment of American regulars and militia in Virginia under the Marquisde Lafayette, a small French naval squadron at Newport under the comte de Barras, and a formidable French fleet in the West Indies under the comte de Grasse.

Battle of Yorktown

Month by month account of the Yorktown Campaign

Battle of Yorktown

The Battle of Yorktown or Siege of Yorktown was fought from April 5 to May 4, 1862, as part of the Peninsula Campaign of the American Civil War. Marching from Fort Monroe, Union Major General George B. McClellan's Army of the Potomac encountered Major General John B.Magruder's small Confederate army at Yorktown, behind the Warwick Line. McClellan suspended the march up the Peninsula toward Richmond, and settled in for siege operations.

1781: the Battle of Yorktown

The situation of Cornwallis was now becoming desperate. A superior force environed him, and his works were crumbling; and he knew that when the second parallel of the besiegers should be completed, his post would be untenable. He resolved to make an effort to escape by abandoning his baggage and sick, crossing the river with his troops to Gloucester, cutting up or dispersing the allies who were imprisoning the British garrison there, and by rapid marches gaining the forks of the Rappahannock and Potomac, and, forcing his way through Maryland and Pennsylvania, join Clinton at New York.

The British Surrender at Yorktown, 1781

In the summer of 1781, after six years of war, the American Army was struggling. The British occupied New York City. A second British army lead by General Lord Cornwallis ravaged the South - capturing Charleston, Richmond, and apparently was heading for the Chesapeake Bay. Mutiny plagued the American army in New York and New Jersey.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Battle of Yorktown External Links
  • Coverage September–October 19, 1781
  • Author
  • Keywords battle of yorktown
  • Website Name American History Central
  • URL
  • Access Date June 26, 2019
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update January 15, 2018

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