Battle of Yorktown (1781) - Video

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The Battle of Yorktown in 1781 was the last major battle of the American Revolution. American forces led by General George Washington combined with French forces led by General Comte de Rochambeau to fight the British Army commanded by General Lord Cornwallis.

The campaign plan first started in 1780 when General Comte de Rochambeau and 5,500 French soldiers landed in Rhode Island to help the Americans attack British-occupied New York City. The two armies met North of New York City in 1781. Rochambeau convinced Washington that an attack on New York City would be very difficult and may not succeed. He suggested it would be it would be easier for the French Fleet to assist in an attack further south. They agreed to attack General Lord Cornwallis and his army of 9,000 men at Yorktown, Virginia.

In early September, the French fleet led by Comte de Grasse defeated a British Fleet sent to relieve Cornwallis. This blocked any escape by sea for Cornwallis. Washington also French general Marquis de Lafayette to contain Cornwallis in Yorktown until he and Rochambeau arrived with their troops. By late September the American and French forces had Cornwallis surrounded and began an artillery bombardment. Seriously outnumbered, with no way to escape, Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, 1781. General Washington and his French allies had captured 8,000 British troops.

This was a decisive victory for the American and French forces. The surrender of General Cornwallis and his army was the second major surrender of the war. Previously General Burgoyne had surrendered at the Battle of Saratoga. This surrender led the British to negotiate an end to the war, and the signing of the Treaty of Paris. Check out these videos to learn more about the Battle of Yorktown.






















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