Bastendorf Beach, Coos Bay Oregon

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Yorktown, the French and the USA

We went to Yorktown, Virginia to look at the battlefield, which is the site of the last major land battle of the Revolution (Oct 1781)  where the British General, Cornwallis, surrendered to General George Washington.  

Battlements from 1781

After this, there was mostly talking and negotiating, up until the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783. We became an independent nation when the Treaty was signed.

A mortar 

The American/French forces built battlements over night
How they did it & the techniques/tools are explained

It was a good visit. The ranger tour/talk was superb, the movie was old (but it explained things well), and the driving tour (with the $5 CD for the audio) was worth the time. The lesson on how "lucky" things turned out for our side was a real eye opener!

Without French assistance, we could not have pulled it off.  Their fleet kept the English fleet busy, and their expertise with siege warfare allowed the siege to be successful. The Spanish silver they brought allowed Washington to pay his men, and a sudden storm dashed Cornwallis's attempt to escape the trap.

The French & the USA

Today we have a less-than-close relationship with France, that's just how it is. Just last week an email showed up that listed the numbers of American solders buried in  France accompanied by photos of different military graveyards in France. Over 100,000 American dead helping France against Germany in two World Wars.

I thought of that when I saw the "French Graveyard" on the Yorktown battlefield tour. 

A French graveyard at the battlefield

Without French help, we probably would not have the USA we have today.  The Frenchmen buried here in Virginia, before the United States was the United States, are just a reminder.

It was a moving visit.


  1. One can learn something new everyday, I did not know over 100,000 Americans lost their lives helping the French during the two World Wars.

  2. Dissing the French is as recent as W - Remember Freedom Fries?
    the Ol'Buzzard