Download This Sample
This sample is exclusively for KidsKonnect members!
To download this worksheet, click the button below to signup for free (it only takes a minute) and you'll be brought right back to this page to start the download!
Sign Me Up
The Siege of Yorktown in Virginia was the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War, which ended with the surrender of British General Charles Cornwallis and his army to the American Continental Army and French Army troops. It led to the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which gave the American colonies their independence.
See the fact file below for more information on the Siege of Yorktown or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Siege of Yorktown worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
COOPERATION BETWEEN THE AMERICANS AND FRENCH
- In 1780, around 5,500 French soldiers commanded by Comte de Rochambeau arrived in Newport, Rhode Island to help General George Washington and the American Continental Army fight the British forces. They planned to launch a joint attack.
- Washington proposed an attack on New York, which was controlled by the British army under General Henry Clinton. He initially believed that it was the best option since the Americans and the French outnumbered the British troops there.
- French Admiral de Grasse informed Washington that he and his fleet were heading to Virginia and encouraged them to attack Virginia instead, which was controlled by the British army under General Charles Cornwallis.
- The American and French troops decided to attack Virginia instead. To hide this, they fooled Clinton into thinking that the Americans and French were still planning to attack New York.
MARCH TO VIRGINIA
- On August 19, 1780, 3,000 American and 4,000 French soldiers led by Washington and Rochambeau began marching from Newport, Rhode Island to Yorktown, Virginia. It is now known as the “Celebrated March.”
- On August 30, 1781 de Grasse’s fleet arrived at Chesapeake Bay (located in Virginia and Maryland).
- On September 5, 1781, de Grasse’s fleet fought against the fleet of British Admiral Sir Thomas Graves. This is known as the Battle of the Chesapeake, which ended with the defeat of the British. This enabled the Americans and French to trap Cornwallis and prevent him from escaping through sea.
- On September 14, 1781, Washington and Rochambeau’s troops arrived in Williamsburg, Virginia.
- On September 28, 1781, the joint American and French troops began surrounding the British army in Yorktown. By that time, Cornwallis’s men had built a defense of 10 small forts/redoubts.
- On October 6, 1781, the Americans and French began digging their first parallel trenches surrounding British defenses.
- By October 9, 1781, the French and American guns began bombarding the British army. Many British soldiers left. British ships were also damaged.
- On October 11, 1781, Washington ordered the construction of a second parallel that was 400 yards or 370 meters closer to British lines. To complete it, they had to take out British redoubts 9 and 10 which were in the way.
- On October 14, 1781, French troops under Wilhelm of the Palatinate-Zweibrücken attacked redoubt no. 9, while American soldiers led by Colonel Alexander Hamilton attacked redoubt no. 10. Their victories enabled the allied troops to complete their second parallel.
- The completion of the second parallel enabled the Americans and French to intensify their bombardment of the British Forces, greatly weakening their defenses.
THE SURRENDER OF CORNWALLIS
- On October 17, 1781, the British sent a drummer followed by an officer waving a white handkerchief. It meant that Cornwallis had surrendered. The Americans and French stopped bombarding the British. Negotiations began the next day.
- On October 19, 1781, the terms of Cornwallis’ capitulation/surrender were signed. A surrender ceremony took place. Cornwallis did not attend, saying that he was sick.
- More than 7,000 British soldiers were captured. The British Government decided to negotiate with the Americans to end the war.
- Upon hearing news of the surrender, British Prime Minister Frederick North reportedly exclaimed “Oh God, it is all over!”
WHO WAS CORNWALLIS?
- Charles Cornwallis was a British Army general and official. In the United States and England, he is best known as one of the leading British generals in the American War of Independence.
- His surrender in 1781 ended the bad blood in North America.
- General Cornwallis later became a civil and military governor in Ireland, where he helped bring about the Act of Union; and in India, where he helped establish the Cornwallis Code and the Permanent Settlement.
- Despite his defeat, he kept the confidence of successive British governments and continued to serve his countrymen.
- He died in India a few months after his arrival.
Siege of Yorktown Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Siege of Yorktown across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Siege of Yorktown worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Siege of Yorktown in Virginia which was the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War, which ended with the surrender of British General Charles Cornwallis and his army to the American Continental Army and French Army troops. It led to the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which gave the American colonies their independence.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Siege of Yorktown Facts
- Who was Cornwallis?
- Who was Washington?
- Almost a Month of Bloodsheds
- Battle FAQs
- Battle Plan
- Discussing the Battle
- Two Sides
- Tell Me More
- Cultural Relevance
- Battle Comics
Link/cite this page
If you reference any of the content on this page on your own website, please use the code below to cite this page as the original source.
Link will appear as Siege of Yorktown Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 4, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.