Profile of the Day: General Charles Cornwallis

Posted October 19, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: General Charles Cornwallis

General Charles Cornwallis

Did your ancestors fight in the American Revolutionary War? On this day in 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution.

During his early days in the war, Cornwallis had successfully driven George Washington’s troops out of New Jersey. In 1779, Cornwallis became a leading figure in the British “southern strategy” to gain control of the southern colonies. Although Cornwallis had generally been successful in his battles, including his notable victory in South Carolina, the constant marching and losses incurred had tired out his army. After moving his men to the coast of Virginia to resupply, Cornwallis soon found himself surrounded by Continental and French forces. Trapped and cut-off from any reinforcements, Cornwallis surrendered. On the day of surrender, Cornwallis claimed to be ill and therefore sent his representative to surrender his sword formally.

Although the war would still continue on, the Continental Army’s victory at Yorktown effectively ended fighting in the American colonies.

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

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