A combined force of troops from the American Continental Army and the French Army, the former led by General George Washington and the latter by the Comte de Rochambeau, won the Battle of Yorktown against British Army troops. Also called the "Siege of Yorktown" or "Surrender at Yorktown," the confrontation began on September 28, 1781, and ended on October 19 of the same year when Major General Lord Cornwallis surrendered.Continue Reading
The Battle of Yorktown was the last major confrontation between the American and British armies in the American Revolutionary War. A total of 16,000 troops, consisting of Continental and French troops, besieged the 7,500-strong army of General Cornwallis which had fortified Yorktown.
General George Washington had earlier planned to attack the British forces in the city of New York. However, when his aide, the Marquis de Lafayette, informed him of the British army under Lord Cornwallis settling in Yorktown, he changed his plans and led his force there. The British forces in New York, believing that Washington was leading his army towards the city, did not send reinforcements to General Cornwallis until it was too late.
The Franco-American army laid siege to the British force, capturing two redoubts on October 14. Despite suffering only light losses, the British soon realized their position was hopeless as they were outnumbered and running short on rations. Lord Cornwallis asked for a truce on October 17 and surrendered on October 19, 1781, effectively ending the American Revolutionary War.Learn more about US History