SIEGE OF YORKTOWN – AMERICAN REVOLUTION
28 SEPTEMBER-19 OCTOBER 1781
American General George Washington led 18,900 American and French troops in the Siege of Yorktown against General, Lord Charles Cornwallis and 9,000 British and German troops at Yorktown, Virginia. This battle culminated in the surrender of the British Army and ultimately led to the end of the war and American independence from England.
After the French Admiral de Grasse defeated British Admiral Graves in the naval Battle of the Chesapeake, British General Cornwallis found himself surrounded in Yorktown, Virginia without an escape by sea. American General Washington and French General Rochambeau bombarded the British lines from 28 September-14 October and then attacked the remaining outer defenses. After more fighting, the British surrendered on 19 October 1781.
Yorktown, Virginia, United States
Major General, Lord Charles Cornwallis (Commanding)
Brigadier General Charles O’Hara (Second in Command, surrendered Cornwallis’ sword)
Colonel Banastre Tarleton (later, 1st Baronet, GCB)
Lieutenant Colonel, Sir Robert Abercromby (later, Commander-in-Chief India, 1793-1797)
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Dundas (prisoner of war; later, Governor of Guadeloupe, 1794)
Lieutenant Colonel John Yorke
Colonel August von Voigt
Lieutenant Colonel Matthew von Fuchs
Admiral Thomas Graves (later, 1st Baron Graves)
Captain Thomas Symonds, Royal Navy (Sr. Naval Officer at Yorktown, signed surrender along with Cornwallis)
THE CONTINENTAL ARMY
General George Washington, Commander-in-Chief
Major General Benjamin Lincoln (Second in Command, accepted Cornwallis’ sword from O’Hara; later, first Secretary of War of the United States, 1781-1783)
Lieutenant General Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau
Major General Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette
General Anthony Wayne
Major General Frederick William, Freiherr (baron) von Steuben
Major General John Sullivan
Brigadier General Henry Knox (later, first Secretary of War of the United States after ratification of the Constitution)
General Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Major General François Marie, Comte d’Aboville
Brigadier General Claude Gabriel, Marquis de Choissey
Brigadier General Moses Hazen
Captain Alexander Hamilton (later, first Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, 1801-1809)
Admiral François Joseph Paul, Comte de Grasse
Admiral Jacques-Melchior Saint-Laurent, Comte de Barras
A major victory for the Americans that resulted in the surrender of the British Army.
The British suffered 142 killed, 326 wounded, and 7,685 taken prisoner. The Americans and French had a grand total of 88 killed and 301 wounded. The surrender of the British Army at Yorktown brought an end to the war and led to the signing of the Treaty of Paris wherein England recognized the independence of the United States.
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