Virginia trip – Yorktown

Hello my dear Amy’s Garden readers! This is Lydia Tyndall.

As I said in the last post we went to Yorktown in the afternoon and evening of our first full day. There was a super important battle that happened here. For some context I am going to describe this battle before I talk about our visit.

Lydia Tyndall’s interpretation of what happened at the battle of Yorktown.

It’s 17 something and America and England are at war. There’s this guy named Cornwallis who’s a top dog in the British army. He decides to hang out in Yorktown and brings all his soldiers with him. They build up some defenses.
There’s this other guy named George Washington. (Maybe you’re heard of him) he is in charge of the American army. He is chillin’ with a bunch of soldiers in New York.
The French have agreed to help America in the war and have sent over a bunch of troops led by a dude named Rochambeau. They are also chillin’ in New York. For some reason Washington and Rochambeau got it in their heads that it would be a good idea to try to lay siege Yorktown and kick out Cornwallis. So they all march down to Yorktown.
One thing that is really nice for the Americans/French is that a French navel commander named de Grasse comes into the Chesapeake bay and kicks out all the British ships there. This eliminates the possibility of Cornwallis escaping by water.
Once they arrive in Yorktown, Washington and friends are joined by more Americans led by a guy named Marquis de Lafayette. He is my favorite general who led American troops but originally came from France. (He is also one of my favorite generals ever)

The Americans have absolutely no idea how to do a siege, but the French do! They instruct everyone to start digging trenches a little ways away from where the British are. After the trenches have been dug they start firing cannonballs (from guns provided by France) at the British.
After a while, the French-American forces decide to dig another trench closer to the Brits. The problem is those same Brits have two readoubts (Redoubts 9 & 10) right where they wanted to build their trench. (A redoubt is a small fort with 70 or so men. In the case of Yorktown they were a little ways out from the where most of the British were.) It crucial for the Americans/French to capture these in order to finish their defense line.
It is decided that Redoubt 9 will be stormed by the French. I don’t remember the name of the guy who led this assault. Redoubt 10 will be stormed by the Americans, led by Alexander Hamilton.

Now that the redoubts are taken, the Americans/ French finish digging their trenches and start mercilessly firing at the British.
This is a pretty rough spot for ole Cornwallis. He can’t escape by land cause of the siege line. He can’t escape by water cause de Grasse and his ships are still there. The only hope for Cornwallis is that his buddy sir Henry Clinton (above) will come with reinforcements and save him. This is not a very practical option considering Clinton is way up in New York and it’s 1781 and travel is super slow. Cornwallis is left with one option…

Surrender! This means America/France wins!!!!!!!!! Please note, this victory would have not been possible without the French.

Lydia Tyndall’s interpretation of what we saw at Yorktown yesterday

The first thing we went to was this place called the American Revolution museum at Yorktown. This was a museum about the American revolution as a whole. Outside there was a recreation of an army encampment.
We watched a demonstration of a guy shooting a gun.
A guy talking about medicine.
The inside of one of the tents.
They also had a recreation of a farm. This lady is talking about the loom.
There was a kitchen.
This is a barn in which people would have dried tobacco. That’s what those brown leaves on the ceiling are.
There was a cat that was lying on the floor of the tobacco barn. Don’t worry it was alive but hot.
Next, we visited the inside part of the museum. This is me posing with Patrick Henry.

This is me with a bust of Marquis de Lafayette, my favorite general who led American troops but originally came from France.
The next place we went was the actual Yorktown battlefield. To show our appreciation to France for the crucial role they played in America’s victory at Yorktown, we wore shirts that said “thanks France”.
There was a museum at the battlefield. This is General Washington’s tent.
They had a replica of a ship. I guess it was supposed to be one in de Grasse’s fleet.
The inside was rather dark.

There was a tiny bathroom on the ship. Luke demonstrated how it would be used.

This is a British cannon from Yorktown. There is a dent in it from when an American cannonball hit it. Apparently Lafayette, has hugged it.

The dent.
This sign tells about the hug the cannon received from Lafayette.
My mom putting her pamplet in her purse.

We took a driving tour around the battlefield. All the earthen works have been rebuilt. That hill is a small part of the first seige line.
More of the first seige line. Remember it was France who made all this seige line stuff possible.
This is a view from the top of the second seige line. This was the one intrupted by redoubts.
This photo was taken just behind the second seige line. I am standing with a replica of the cannons provided by the French. (Thanks France)

This is redoubt 9, the one stormed by the French.
My dad with redoubt 9.
Another Redoubt 9 pic.
One more redoubt 9 pic. I’m glad I was not the one to storm it.
Redoubt 10. This is the one the Americans stormed.
It’s hard to see it in any of the pictures, but redoubt 10 was right on the water.
This is the house where they worked out the terms of surrender.

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