The Battle of Yorktown began on September 28, 1781. It did not officially end until October 17, 1781, when British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered.
The battle pitted General George Washington against the British forces. The Americans outnumbered the British with 17,000 troops to their 9,000 troops. Washington relied on help from the French naval force to surround the British and attack. The Americans attacked the British for three weeks before the battle ended.
The Battle of Yorktown marks the end to fighting within the colonies. It also was a push in the direction for negotiations between the American colonists and the British government.