As the Battle of Yorktown got underway, General Washington led an army of 17,000 men into battle on September 28, 1781. Before that, the Patriots got a stroke of luck from the French. The French, who had fought a lot with the British themselves, sent a strong army of 5,800 troops to help the Patriots. The army was lead by Count de Rochambeau, a French commander.
It was a stroke of luck because the Patriots were running low on soldiers.The day before the Patriots attacked, George Washington knew that Charles Cornwallis was moving the British army to Yorktown. Washington’s plan was to go and surround the British so they couldn’t leave Yorktown. After many battles and lost men, Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, 1781. Cornwallis did not go to the surrendering ceremony during that time because he was battling illness. Charles O’Hara brought General Washington and General Rochambeau Cornwallis’s sword. It was a symbol of the surrender. Although on land the battling had stopped, the war still continued on the high seas.
The Battle of Yorktown ended fighting that was happening in the colonies so they could be peaceful. Negotiations about peace started with Britain in 1782 . On September 3, 1783 the Treaty of Paris was finally signed to make sure there would be no more fighting in the colonies. If the Battle of Yorktown had not been won by the Patriots, the war would have continued. The day after the Battle of Yorktown started, a British spy was found and sentenced to death. John Andre, an accomplice to Benedict Arnold, was the spy.
Andre was captured by the Patriots six days before his trial. During his trial he revealed some of the traitorous actions of Benedict Arnold. Arnold was once a Patriot and a hero of a battle before the Battle of Yorktown. He did not get as much recognition as he wanted. Arnold had agreed to turn over a Patriot base for money to the British. Arnold escaped to one of many British warship after hearing of Andre’s capture.
A few days after, Andre was allowed to write to his British general Henry Clinton. As he wrote to Clinton he was also allowed to write to General Washington. Andre wrote asking if he could have a death by a firing squad instead of being hung. It was considered a nicer death.