On my 60th Birthday, my friend Jim gave me a book "Victory at Yorktown". I quipped "Jim, it was a defeat at Yorktown!". Yorktown, Virginia was the defeat of the British that ended the War of Independence. I read the book. Very interesting.

Washington was facing defeat in 1781 as the War entered its sixth year. The British held New York and had won a major siege in Charleston, South Carolina. However, incredible assistance was to arrive from France. One year earlier, Rochambeau with 5,000 troops and 8 ships arrived in Newport, Rhode Island. In 1781, 28 French ships arrived with many sailors and marines. Lord Cornwallis had moved his army from the Carolinas to Yorktown, Virginia to establish a safe naval position on the River York which discharges into Chesapeake Bay.

In a daring move, Washington marched his army 450 miles south from New York and gave siege to Yorktown. He fooled the British in New York by pretending to attack. By the time the British realised that Washington had marched south, the trap was being set at Yorktown.

During the march, a huge naval battle occurred at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay and the superior number of French ships defeated the 22 British Ships. Cornwallis was surrounded with no escape and little choice but to negotiate surrender.

The British still held New York and I'm not too sure how that was resolved. The will of the British to continue the fight had been broken. The British were a long way from home. Thanks to the French, the Americans had military superiority. The War of Independence was over. The United States of America was reality.

Before reading the book, I didn't know much about George Washington. The book spelt out in detail the incredible effort he made to lead the Continental Army in the War of Independence. It's not possible to overstate the commitment he made and the suffering he endured. After the War and the Constitutional Convention, he became the First President of the United States of America. He defined the role of the President. The United States of America would not exist without George Washington.

The Ranger led tour of the Battlefield was outstanding. Ranger Linda was very knowledgeable, entertaining and charming.





















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