victory that ended the Revolutionary War on October 20,
1781. British General Charles Cornwallis had met defeat in
the south, at Cowpens, and his force had been continually
weakened, especially by American General Nathanael Greene at
Guilford Courthouse. Cornwallis left the Carolinas and
proceeded north to Yorktown, Virginia, there to await
reinforcements from General Henry Clinton, who was occupied
in the north. American forces under Greene and
Commander-in-Chief George Washington pursued Cornwallis by
land while French ships surrounded the bay of Yorktown.
Faced with the prospect of no reinforcements, Cornwallis
stood and fought. But the Americans won the battle and the
war. At the surrender ceremony, Cornwallis's sword was
accepted by General Benjamin Lincoln while a British band
played "The World Turned Upside Down." This was the last
major battle of the war, although some minor skirmishes took
place for the next two years, until the Treaty of Paris
ended the war in 1783.
The Battle of Yorktown
Blow-by-blow account of the war-ending battle that resulted in "The World Turned Upside Down."
Yorktown Battle Map (large)
Yorktown Siege Map (large)
The American Revolutionary War
This fun, illustrated article tells you all you need to know
about this famous war, from an easy-to-understand point of
on the Web:
The Surrender at
Some good background, as well as the famous picture of the
Battle of Yorktown
This site has a few details and the text of Cornwallis's
letter sent to George Washington.
of Details about
Excellent details here!
of the Battle
See just how surrounded the British really were!
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