TAH goes to Yorktown

After breakfast we departed for perhaps the most poignant battle of the American Revolution, The Battle of Yorktown.

Some of our stops included Redoubts 9 and 10, the Moore House, Surrender Field, the Continental Army encampment, and finally the Yorktown Victory Monument.

After a fabulous lunch of fresh seafood along the beach of Yorktown, our group visited the Yorktown Victory Center to attend a “Farmer to Solider” program.  The program walked our group through the life of a colonial farmer and gave a detailed insight into the activities of a solider. We participated in methods of loading a musket, marching in proper formation, and witnessed an artillery being fired.

We finished the day observing the cave in which British General Cornwallis hid from the Americans and French along the shore of the York River.

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Where Cornwallis surrendered to Washington

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Redoubt 10 along the river

 

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3 Responses to TAH goes to Yorktown

  1. Cynthia Wagoner says:

    Who would have guessed that the October 14, 1781, night-time attack on Redoubt #9 (French) and #10 (Patriot forces under the command of Lt. Col. Alexander Hamilton) would change the fortunes of the rebel army? This battle, unbeknownst to me prior to this trip, along with the French Adm. de Grassee’s strategic water battle against Corwallis’s British ships in the Chesapeake Bay, changed the course of ourAmerican history. As our esteemed guide Mike is quoted as saying, (paraphrased) “If not for winning that battle, we might be speaking British.” Hmm.
    As a sidenote: Our history books do not include the dastardly surrender of Cornwallis to Gen. Washington. Cornwallis did not attend the surrender; rather, he waited out the ceremony in a cave while one of his officers completed the negotiations at Moore House.
    The “Farmer to Soldier” program at the Yorktown Victory Center was most entertaining. The first part, that of Farmer, had me in awe. I have read about hornbooks, but I didn’t know that that versatile material was used for toothbrushes and spoons! The kitchen, which is separate from the house, had a very informative gentleman in character give us advice on preserving fruits and vegetables. His best advice, however, was for spicing up aple pie. Add two shotes of buorbon to the spiced apple mixture. Yum. Our little cohort became a modern version of F-Troop with wooden muskets (thank goodness, or we would have killed each other during the loading process!). We learned left from right (sort of), how to wheel right, march in step, and fix bayonets in order to charge our imaginary enemies.

  2. Anita Martinez says:

    Great day in Yorktown today. Standing in the same spot that the British were gave you a sense of what it was like to be facing the Patriots lead by George Washington. The Redoubts the soldiers dug, and the abatis that were put into place to keep the enemy at bay, was interesting. I like to imagine that I was participating in the battle taking place. What would I do and where would I run?
    The river being in close proximity was a sure way to excape, but God being on the side of the Patroits, conjured up a storm that sank most of the small boats that were trying to flee.

    The best part of the day was that our group was chosen to take part in a militia training exercise. This was quite a show! Our leader became quite annoyed with us because we didn’t know our right foot from our left, and giggling was not suppose to be apart of the training. The sound effects added to the scene trying to make things as realistic as possibe. Again more laughter from the militia. We made F-Troop look good!

    What I found most interesting, never knew this before, was General Cornwallis hid in a cave when when it was time to surrender, and was worried about what the king would think. This you would never find in the history books.

    It was a hot and humid day, but who cared when there was so much to learn and experience. Another great adventure.

  3. Caleb Foucault says:

    October 19, 1781 British General Charles Cornwallis surrenders to Continental and French troops under the direction of General George Washington at a battlefield in Yorktown, Virginia. Our third day brought us to this integral battlefield in the American Revolution. An unbelievably large area marked with British, American and French flags that signified where the battalions would have been positioned, one could easily imagine the oncoming Colonist and French soldiers attacking the outnumbered and arrogant British. In a moment of luck, the British are unable to flee across the York River due to a storm that capsizes fleeing soldiers, resulting in Cornwallis or his men being unable to retreat. Our primary area of exploration was the British tactic of creating redoubts, or embankments, that provided a high point for defense and a canon. These redoubts were secured with a palisade type perimeter consisting of sharpened trees embedded into the embankment. These redoubts were created to prevent an allied attack against the British flank. Washington understood that if these redoubts could be compromised the forces of America and France would have a much easier route to Cornwallis. Future Secretary of the Treasury and founding father, Alexander Hamilton, led the charge and ultimate defeat of both redoubt 9 and 10 paving the way for the allied forces to continue the march toward the British frontline. Prior to this experience I knew little about the intricacies of the Battle of Yorktown and the battle that would bring major confrontations of the American Revolution to an end. In the spirit of contingencies, the inability of the colonists to break the stronghold of the redoubts the war would have continued, Britain could have united with reinforcements and the outcome of the war could have been different. Finally, I find it interesting that a greatly revered and honor man, Lord Cornwallis, ultimately banishes himself to a small cave along the coast of the York River ultimately sending an officer in his place to surrender to Washington, in what becomes a shameful point in the British campaign, yet symbolically defiant moment in the battle for independence.

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