Battle Of Yorktown Essay

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The small coastal village of Yorktown, Virginia, became in October 1781 the scene of the final major battle of the American Revolution. General George Washington and his French allies besieged the forces of British General Charles Cornwallis, which were trapped inside the town. Finally, after his army's food and ammunition ran out, Cornwallis pleaded for peace. This victory was a catalyst for Britain's decision to seek an end to hostilities with the Americans. Though the war continued overseas until 1783, Yorktown was the event that brought most of the fighting to an end. Some scholars have questioned Cornwallis' judgment in taking his army to Yorktown in the first place. British General Henry Clinton had given his subordinate command over…show more content…
An American militia unit with other continental soldiers covered the exodus of the armies out of New York. The armies reached Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 1, a trip of 130 miles. On September 2, British General Clinton discovered that his adversaries had left New York and had reached Philadelphia. He sent word on toward Cornwallis to be on guard, but did not move to pursue the potential threat. Three days later, Washington learned that Admiral de Grasse had arrived ahead of schedule, with 28 ships and 3,000 men. A fleet of Royal Navy ships was also sailing toward the Chesapeake Bay. The British and French naval forces came to battle on September 5, in the Battle off the Chesapeake Capes. The French forces under de Grasse damaged the British severely, though not winning a complete victory. De Grasse's fleet of 24 ships occupied the 19-ship fleet of British Admiral Thomas Graves while the forces of Admiral de Barras from Newport slipped into the Chesapeake Bay. On September 12, the vanguard of the Continental Army reached Baltimore, Maryland. On September 16, Washington learned that the French fleet had scared the British ships out of the bay, leaving the Chesapeake solidly under French control. On September 28, the British troops encamped at Yorktown heard the approach of the French and American armies. The previous day, September 27, the Continental Army was reorganized into three divisions of two brigades
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