What Is a Summary of the Battle of Yorktown?

General George Washington started the Battle of Yorktown when he led a force of 17,000 Continental and French forces to besiege General Lord Charles Cornwallis and his 9,000 British troops in Yorktown, Virginia on September 28, 1781. The Battle of Yorktown is the most significant battle in the Revolutionary War in America.

Earlier, General George Washington had commanded Marquis de Lafayette and the army of about 5,000 American troops to block General Cornwallis on land to ensure that he did not escape Yorktown. The French naval fleet commanded by Francois, Count de Grasse blocked General Cornwallis’s escape by sea. Washington had already surrounded Cornwallis by September 28 when he commanded the bombardment of Yorktown using cannon and artillery. The attack continued non-stop for three weeks. General Washington’s ground troops also infiltrated the city, forcing General Cornwallis and his troops to surrender to George Washington on October 17, 1781.

The Battle of Yorktown was the last major act that brought the War of Independence to an end with the Patriots emerging victorious. General Cornwallis feigned illness and deliberately missed the formal surrender ceremony. Instead, he sent General Charles O’Hara, his second-in-command, to deliver his sword to the American and French soldiers.