Yorktown Battlefield Reviews
The World Turned Upside Down Sep 22, 2009
Yorktown Battlefield is the site where combined American and French forces lay siege to the British Army under Lord Cornwallis. On October 19, 1781, Cornwallis surrendered to the allies, effectively marking the end of the American Revolution and victory for the new United States.
Cornwallis was engaged in creating a British naval base at Yorktown following a successful campaign in Georgia and the Carolinas. French naval and land forces had come to assist the American cause. The allied forces laid siege to the town and bombarded British positions from September 28 to October 17. Meanwhile, a French fleet blockaded the York River.
Eighty-one years later, in 1862, Yorktown became involved in a second siege during the Civil War. The Confederates had established a defensive line across the Virginia Peninsula that included many of the Revolutionary War entrenchments at Yorktown. Union forces advancing from Fort Monroe toward Richmond in the action known as the Peninsula Campaign laid siege to the Confederate defensive lines in May 1862. (Ultimately, the Confederates repulsed this Union advance on Richmond.)
Today, Yorktown Battlefield is managed by the National Park Service as part of Colonial National Historical Park. A museum at the visitor center has an orientation to the events that took place here. Exhibits display items such as George Washington's field tent. But, the highlight of a visit to Yorktown Battlefield is the driving tour around the preserved site. Maps are available at the visitor center and each stop is interpreted. Original earthworks can still be seen. The driving tour culminates at the Surrender Field.
Admission is $10, which also includes the NPS Historic Jamestowne site. (Note that Yorktown Battlefield and Historic Jamestowne are sites administered by the NPS and are different from the Yorktown Victory Center and the Jamestown Settlement administered by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.)
Part of the Around the Chesapeake travel blog
Part of the list Civil War Historic Sites
Part of the list Andy's Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
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