Surrender of Lord Cornwallis by John Trumbull, 1820

On October 19, 1781, the British General Lord Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington in Yorktown, Virginia.

The Siege of Yorktown, otherwise known as the Battle of Yorktown, was a decisive win for the continental troops, assisted by the French (commanded by Comte de Rochambeau). The beginnings of this win began as early as 1780, when the first French soldiers landed in Rhode Island. The French and American armies then united north of New York City during the summer of 1781.

I could go into all the battle history, but ultimately that would get super long and detailed and I might lose some of you (myself included).

So, let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

As The British band played The World Turned Upside Down (because they weren’t bitter or anything), they marched out in formation and surrounded to the Americans. How many were there? I’m glad you asked– more than 7,000 British and Hessian troops.

The war between Britain and its American colonies was ended. Now we no longer shout, “God save the queen!” since we pretty much can’t shout “God save” anything without someone else shouting, “OFF WITH HIS HEAD!”

See what I did there?


The final peace treaty was signed in Paris on September 3, 1783. Yep– about two years later. Talk about beating around the bush to give us our FREEDOM.

I’m sure they had their reasons.