Surrender of Yorktown


The American Revolutionary War was essentially shifted to the winners column in October, 1781. Following successful land and sea campaigns of joint American and French armies in Virginia in early 1781, the British found themselves trapped on the Yorktown peninsula. British commander Lieutenant General Lord Cornwallis realized that he did not have the necessary firepower or forces to defeat the Franco-American army. His only hope was to escape. But Cornwallis’ attempt failed. On October 19, 1781, Lord Cornwallis accepted the terms of surrender. Though armed hostilities continued for the coming weeks, the Surrender of Yorktown signified the inevitable conclusion of the Revolutionary War. The British were pushed to the brink of defeat, and it would be a position from which there would be no comeback. The Americans’ independence was secured at the Surrender of Yorktown, this month in history, 234 years ago.


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