Siege of Yorktown Facts

Siege of Yorktown Facts
The siege of Yorktown was the culmination of the Yorktown or Virginia campaign, which was carried out by the Continental and French armies during the American Revolutionary War in 1781. As French financial and military support started to give the American forces the upper hand, the leaders of both armies discussed how to drive the British from the colonies for good. American commander Washington believed that attacking the British in New York was the best course, while French commander Rochambeau thought that pursuing the smaller British forces in Virginia was the best course. The allies decided to go with Rochaembeu's plan and the combined French and American armies of more than 20,000 men and twenty-nine French warships began their trek south to Virginia in the summer of 1781. On September 28, the Allied forces surrounded British commander Cornwallis' forces at Yorktown and the French ships blockaded them in the Chesapeake Bay. The siege finally ended on October 19 with the British, which effectively ended the hostilities in the American Revolutionary War.
Interesting Siege of Yorktown Facts:
The Yorktown Campaign was precipitated by British General Benedict Arnold's (formerly an American general) raiding in Virginia in late 1780 and early 1781.
Washington's and Rochambeau's march to Yorktown became known as the "Celebrated March"
When the Allied forces arrived in Philadelphia in early September, many of the Continental Army soldiers refused to march further south until they were paid in hard currency. Commander Rochambeau paid for their salaries with his personal supply of coins.
German played a large role in the Battle of Yorktown: more than 3,000 German-Americans were in the Continental Army and another 2,500 Germans were dispersed in the British and French armies as mercenaries, comprising about one-third of all the forces.
Yorktown was a coastal town that the British had fortified with a series of trenches, redoubts, ramparts, palisades, and gun nests.
The Allied strategy was to slowly move toward Yorktown, engaging in skirmishes and then building their own trenches and fortifications in the process.
The Allied bombardment started on October 9, with General Washington firing the first shot.
Capturing the heavily fortified British redoubts was key. Once the Allied forces captured the redoubts they were able to turn the British guns and cannons against them.
The malaria infested region around Yorktown wreaked havoc on the British forces, but the Americans, whom many had developed a resistance to the diseases, fared far better.
Less than 100 Allied soldiers were killed during the siege, while up to 300 British and German mercenaries were killed.
Because the British had denied American forces the traditional surrender of marching with flags and fixed bayonets the previous years when they surrendered at Charleston, he refused the British the honor at Yorktown.
General Cornwallis refused to attend the surrender ceremony where he would turn over his sword. He claimed illness for the reason, although some historians are skeptical of that claim.
Washington refused to give amnesty to American loyalists and General Cornwallis never pressed the issue, which upset the loyalist community in North America and many of their sympathizers in Britain.

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