"Revolutionary America! 1763-1789 April 20-November 3, 2002


In this photo:

YORKTOWN ARTIFACTS: TRI-CORNER HAT, French model 1777 PISTOL, BUTTON of a French officer from the 8th Regiment, and a WOODEN CANTEEN.

  On loan from the collection of:
    --Andy Ball, Des Moines IA
DRUMSTICKS and FIFE played at Yorktown. Also DOCUMENTS including a RECEIPT for baggage transportation for the 2nd Division of the French army on their march to Yorktown, an EXPENSE ACCOUNT of waggoners that transported baggage of the French army, a DISCHARGE signed by General Henry Knox 12 days before the surrender of Cornwallis, and EXPENSES of an express rider carrying documents from Virginia headquarters (possibly carrying news of the surrender) on November 1, 1781.
    --Robert G. Oswald
GOURD POWDER HORN carried throughout the entire war and at Yorktown by Ephram Polk from 1777-1783
    --State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines IA
BROADSIDES (reproduction) announcing the retreat of Cornwallis' British army, and later the victory of the American and French forces at Yorktown
ARTWORK (reproduction) includes PORTRAITS of the British commander, Lord Cornwallis (at left) and the Marquis de Lafayette (upper right), commander of the assault to capture a key redoubt that led to Lord Cornwallis' surrender, shown in center.

"The play, sir, is over." (Marquis de Lafayette)

In August 1781, Sir Henry Clinton ordered Lord Cornwallis to the coastal city of Yorktown, Virginia, with promises to send British reinforcements. Quickly the Marquis de Lafayette blocked paths of British escape by land, and alerted General Washington who abandoned his plans to attack New York City. Washington marched south with his army of Continentals and French soldiers as the French fleet headed north from the West Indies.

When the armies converged on Yorktown, the British withdrew to inner fortifications, surrounded by American earthworks on land and a forest of French masts in the harbor. Finally on October 19, 1781, General Washington accepted the unconditional surrender of Lord Cornwallis and his 8,000 Redcoats. On the same day in New York City, Clinton and the British fleet sailed south. It was too late. The war was over.


The French
  Prisoners of War
Redcoats and Turncoats
  Benedict Arnold
Southern Campaign
Yorktown (You are here)