Battle of Yorktown

(520 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

Yorktown was to be the last major battle in the American War of Independence.

In the summer of 1781, British forces under General Lord Cornwallis fought scattered engagements in Virginia and North Carolina, so Cornwallis decided to concentrate his forces by joining with Benedict Arnold’s in Virginia. They were, however, unable to defeat American guerrilla resistance. Cornwallis therefore decided to build a base at Yorktown on the peninsula between the James and York rivers south-east of Richmond where his army could recuperate and prepare itself for future operations, linking by sea with the base already established at New York. The French and Americans, however, turned the peninsula into a trap. Washington made a feint …

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Editors. "Battle of Yorktown". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 February 2010
[, accessed 09 October 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. American War of Independence