The battle of Yorktown took place in Yorktown, Virginia October 19, 1781. This battle was important because General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington as French and American forces trapped the British at Yorktown. The British surrender at the Battle of Yorktown ended the American Revolutionary War.
The lead up
In the spring to 1781, General Washington traveled to Rhode Island to meet up with a French fleet of nearly 5,500 and planed to travel to Yorktown, Virginia. The French troops were planed to travel on water into Chesapeake bay and attack the British from the east. Washington's troops were planned to travel 500 miles and come up behind the British troops so the American and French troops would surround the British troops. Overall there were 17,000 American and French troops but only 9,000 British troops. French Admiral DeGrasse sailed to the Chesapeake Bay with a large battle fleet of 28 battleships and a 3,000 man army from the Caribbean.
During the battle the British had a small pit around the city to protect themselves. The British soldiers were digging the trench but some of them were dying from heat stroke. When the French troops arrived by boat the Americans were not there yet. A British fleet under Admiral Thomas Graves failed to break French naval superiority at the Battle of Virginia Capes on September 5, denying Cornwallis his expected reinforcements. By late September Washington arrived and the army and naval forces completely surrounded Cornwallis. With the British defense weakened, on October 14, 1781 Washington sent two columns to attack the last major remaining British outer defenses.
After many hours of battle the British army's were running out of food and supplies so they had no choice but to surrender. On October 19, 1781 General Cornwallis signed the British surrender, Thus ending the American Revolution. The document was called the Articles of Capitulation. Around 8,000 British soldiers surrendered.