I’m still posting photos that were taken in or near Williamsburg, VA, this past August. These are of the Yorktown battlefields where the Revolutionary War was fought. In a way, the fields reminded me of the Civil War battlefields at Kennesaw Mountain north of Atlanta except they are smaller and more compact. This is where General George Washington and his commanders strategically lead the Revolutionary troops in victory over the British.

One historical account tells us that on October 18, 1781, “the Battlefield was quiet” due to a temporary truce as two allied commissioners met with two British [commissioners] and drafted the terms of surrender. The site of their meeting was in this house, which was owned by Augustine Moore, a merchant in nearby Yorktown.

Above is the outline of the road that led to the place of surrender. Historians say it is in the same location as it was during the Revolutionary War. On the afternoon of October 19, 1781, soldiers from Cornwallis’ army marched into this area and filed off into the field on the left. This was the place that had been designated for the formal surrender and capitulation of the British Garrison. 

Yorktown Battlefield is definitely the site of one of the most important moments in United States history. On October 19, 1781, a British army under the command of General Charles Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American and French forces led by General George Washington and General Comte de Rochambeau, effectively leading to the end of the American Revolutionary War.

When the British prime minister, Lord North, learned of Cornwallis’ defeat, he reportedly said, “Oh God! It is all over!” The American victory at Yorktown, the last major battle of the American Revolution, secured independence for the United States and significantly changed the course of world history.

Here are the cannons that were left behind by the British. Rather than ship them back to England, they left them for the Americans to dispose of. Notice that they are marked by the word “surrendered.”

This one bears the mark of Queen Elizabeth I!