History

Battle of Yorktown: These Haunting Fields Offer History and Culture

Filed Under: Virginia

After the Battle of Yorktown on October 19, 1781, British Prime Minister Frederick Lord North is said to have uttered the phrase: "Oh God, it's all over."

And it was. The Revolutionary War, that is. Yorktown marked the last major battle, ultimately securing independence for the United States.

Administered by the National Park Service, Yorktown Battlefield in Virginia is part of the Colonial National Historical Park, which includes Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America.

A 7-mile Battlefield Tour Road takes about an hour to navigate by car. Still visible are original and reconstructed earthworks and siege lines built and used by both sides. Visitors may stand on the very site where the allied troops took British Redoubts 9 and 10 during a surprise night attack on October 14, a decisive event in the Americans' favor.

Surrender Field is where British troops laid down their arms, surrendering 8,300 troops and effectively ending the American Revolution.

Featured sites along a 9-mile Encampment Tour Road are allied encampments, including Washington's Headquarters.

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