• Yorktown Battlefield

    Yorktown Battlefield

    Part of Colonial National Historical Park Virginia

Chronology of Events After The Siege

October 21, 1781 - British and German soldiers begin their journey to prison camps in Winchester, Virginia, Frederick, Maryland and Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

October 24, 1781 - Washington orders the allied fortifications leveled.

November 3, 1781 - Washington begins to move the Continental army back to winter quarters at Newburgh, New York. French forces remain in Yorktown, Williamsburg and Gloucester Point over the winter.

November 25, 1781 - Word of the defeat reaches London. When informed of the disaster, Prime Minister Lord North exclaims, "Oh God, it is all over."

February 28, 1782 - Reflecting popular mood and opinion, Parliament authorizes the King to negotiate an end to the war.

March 20, 1782 - A vote of "no confidence" forces Lord North to resign from office. The new government, under Lord Rockingham, opens negotiations with American commissioners in Paris.

November 30, 1782 - American and British commissioners agree to terms for peace.

September 3, 1783 - The Treaty of Paris is ratified in its final form. The treaty ends the war and establishes American independence.

November 25, 1783 - British forces evacuate New York City, their last stronghold in the United States.


Compiled and written by Jim Eccleston, July 1993

Did You Know?

Painting of Colonial Yorktown

During the period of its peak prosperity from 1740-1770, the town of Yorktown contained 250-300 buildings and had almost 2000 residents. Approximately 80% of the town were damaged or destroyed during the 1781 siege. Today Yorktown is still an active community of about 200 residents.