This is Part 4 of my American Revolution road trip story. If you are just finding this page and want to start from the beginning and read my introduction and catch up on the other places we visited before this post then go to Part 1: American Revolution Roadtrip Introduction by clicking this link
Writer: Aidan Housden | Photography: Laurel Housden
The Siege of Yorktown was the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War, and definitely one of the most important battles. In the spring of 1781, Cornwallis moved his army north to Virginia and set up base in Yorktown. Meanwhile, French ships sailed up from the West Indies to blockade the Chesapeake, cutting off any chance of British escape by sea. General George Washington then led his 17,000 men down from New York to gather in Williamsburg, Virginia. On September 28, the patriots moved to Yorktown and began preparing for a siege. Soon after, they began to attack Cornwallis’s 8,300 man garrison, and after a failed escape down the York River, Cornwallis surrendered. Though this didn’t mark the official end of the war, it secured independence for the United States.
Now, as for the touring of this national treasure, I highly recommend getting an audio CD to play in your car as you drive through the battlefields. We got our CD at the Yorktown Visitor’s Center, and not only did it explain all of the events of the siege, but told you where to go, how to get there, and exactly what happened at each of these sights. At certain points, you’re going to want to get out and explore the beauty that this park holds. Most of the pictures you see here were taken at Redoubts 9 and 10. Here you will be able to read about and explore how American and French troops captured these British posts, and even see how Hamilton helped secure the victory! Another important spot on the grounds is the Moore House, where both sides met after the battle to discuss terms of surrender. To completely take advantage of everything the battlefield has to offer, you should put aside a couple hours to take the audio tour and completely explore all of the wonder these historic grounds have to offer. Planning your tour around sunset is perfect.