General George Washington

My fellow Americans, I come to you with great news! Under the command of General George Washington and his French ally Lieutenant General Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau[1], we have defeated Major General Lord Charles Cornwallis and his British troops of 7,500 men at the battle of Yorktown.[2] It was a hard fought win, beginning on September 28 and ending with Cornwallis signing the surrender document on October 19.[3]

Cornwallis had been campaigning in the southern states and retreated to Yorktown for supplies and reinforcement after an intense two-year campaign.[4] Washington learned of his encampment near Yorktown and decided to leave New York City and embark for Cornwallis' isolated troops. As the continental- French army moved towards Williamsburg they joined with the forces of the Marquis de Lafayette. They now had a combined army of 11,133 Americans and 7,800 French troops.[5] With the army assembled, Washington and Rochambeau began the march to Yorktown on September 28.[6]

Washington had the American-French army organized into 3 divisions for the siege: Rochembeau commanded the 7,800-man French contingent that had occupied the left wing of the siege line.[7] The American troops formed the base of the right, and the third division of 3,200 Virginia militiamen occupied the southern eastern sector.[8] On October 6, Washington personally fired the first gun and or the next three days, French and American guns pounded the British lines.[9] On October 11, a second siege line was begun and as bombardment continued Cornwallis ordered an evacuation of his troops to Gloucester Point on October 16.[10] This was a last attempt to get to New York where he knew reinforcements and supplies would be waiting for him. However bad weather, a lack of adequate transports, and minimal ammunition forced Cornwallis to abort the effort.

"I remember this day well," said a fellow solider, "At 9:00 AM on October 17, a single drummer mounted the British works and beat the long roll as a lieutenant waved a white flag. We had won." On October 17, around 10:00 A.M., the British called for a parley, and Washington gave Cornwallis 2 hours to submit his proposals. Finally, on October 19, the surrender document was signed by Cornwallis officially stating that we had won the last major engangement of the American Revolution and this effectively ended the conflict in American favour.

From the account

  1. Fleming, Thomas. 2008 The battle of yorktown: the story of the climactic battle of the american revolution. City: Missing. Ibooks
  2. Anderson, Dale. 2004 The battle of yorktown (landmark events in american history). City: Missing. Gareth Stevens Publishing
  3. Ibid, 12
  4. Fleming, Thomas. 2008 The battle of yorktown: the story of the climactic battle of the american revolution. City: Missing. Ibooks
  5. Ibid 24
  6. Ibid 18
  7. Anderson, Dale. 2004 The battle of yorktown (landmark events in american history). City: Missing. Gareth Stevens Publishing
  8. Ibid 27
  9. Fleming, Thomas. 2008 The battle of yorktown: the story of the climactic battle of the american revolution. City: Missing. Ibooks
  10. Anderson, Dale. 2004 The battle of yorktown (landmark events in american history). City: Missing. Gareth Stevens Publishing

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