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The Battle of Yorktown - Essay Example

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In the battle for American Independence, the decisive battle was the battle of Yorktown, which was also known as the siege of Yorktown. It was marked by Cornwallis’s mistakes, and the American and French allies were able to take advantage of these mistakes…
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The Battle of Yorktown
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The Battle of Yorktown

Download file to see previous pages... At this point, as noted by Fuller, Cornwallis was waiting at Yorktown with 7,000 men. Lafayette, who was a French general, and part of the allies, was also at Yorktown with 5,000 men. Fuller states that, at this point, Cornwallis made the mistake of not attacking Lafayette and his 5,000 men, which would have been crucial for Cornwallis, as Washington and Rochambeau were on the move towards him at Yorktown, and defeating Lafayette before Washington and Rochambeau could get to him would have been beneficial to Cornwallis (363). The siege itself opened on September 30, 1781, according to Fuller. Puls gives a description of Yorktown itself during this time. Puls states that York town was a small village of about sixty houses, which sat on the south side of the York River, which flowed into the Chesapeake. Therefore, the American and the French armies set up below the town, and Cornwallis was pinned against the river. At this point, Puls states that Cornwallis made another potential mistake, which is that he evacuated fortifications at Pigeon Quarter and three other redoubts, as he thought that he could escape by the sea (161). Urban states that there was a reason why Cornwallis would have given these up, and this was that he felt that these redoubts were too exposed to be defended. However, as Urban notes, this decision caused much consternation with the British, and gave hope to the French, who thought that giving these up gave them the best possible advantage (121). Urban states that the siege was getting underway, in earnest, on the morning of October 1, 1781. At this point, the French had their eye on the small fort on a cliff overlooking the York River, and they were also unloading their heavy guns and a landing point on the James River,...
The Battle of Yorktown

British ships ended up in flames, and Cornwallis was soon surrounded by trenches built by the French and American allies. This led to his eventual surrender. And, although it was not necessarily known at the time, this battle effectively ended the Revolutionary War. This is because, after Cornwallis’s unconditional surrender, there were only two posts that the British had – New York and Charleston, South Carolina. It was not long, only six months later that the British had agreed to American independence. Therefore, it is arguable that the Battle of Yorktown is the most important battle of the American Revolution, because it was the battle that literally decimated and demoralized the British forces. This paper will explain this battle, what happened during the battle, and will also explain, briefly, what happened after the battle, as the British agreed to give the Americans independence. Body The siege at Yorktown was the most important battle of the War for American Independence, because it was the last battle, therefore was the decisive battle, and it led to the surrender of Cornwallis and his fleet, who were fortified at the base of the York River. Moten states the siege began with Washington marshalling his forces, which included both of his fleets, but also those of De Grasse, who was his French ally. While there were many battles during the American Revolutionary War, perhaps none were as important as the siege of Yorktown. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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