Yorktown in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
1781 Siege of Yorktown
—Colonial National Historical Park —
“The column marched in silence, with guns unloaded, and in good order: Many, no doubt, thinking that less than one quarter of a mile would finish the journey of life … ”
Captain Stephen Olney, 1st Rhode Island Regiment
The Marquis de Lafayette selected the light infantry companies from his Continental Army division to carry out the American attack on Redoubt 10. Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Hamilton led the assaulting force of 400 Americans against the 70 British defenders.
Concerned an accidental musket firing would give away their advance, the light infantry approached the redoubt with unloaded weapons. The British discovered the attack column as it neared the redoubt and vigorously defended their position. The Americans surged through the abatis obstructions surrounding the redoubt, then through holes in the palisaded log walls within the trench, breached the top of the redoubt, and within 10 minutes of mostly hand-to-hand combat, secured their objective.
Alexander Hamilton, in his report to Lafayette on the action, noted that the British were “intitled to the acknowledgement of an honorable defence.”
Erected by Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Service.
Location. Click for map. Marker is located on the Yorktown Battlefield in Colonial National Historical Park, at stop D on the Battlefield Tour. Marker is in this post office area: Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Capture of Redoubt No. 10 (here, next to this marker); Redoubts 9 and 10 (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Time, Tide and Erosion (about 400 feet away); The Second Siege Line (about 400 feet away); Grand American Battery (about 500 feet away); Redoubt 9 (about 600 feet away); French Soldiers and Sailors (about 600 feet away); Communicating Trench (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Yorktown.
More about this marker. The right of the marker features a picture of Alexander Hamilton in the fortifications at Yorktown. He is next to a cannon and in front of a grouping of gabions. The picture is Courtesy of the Museum of the City of New York.
Next to this is an illustration of a “1st Rhode Island Light Infantry Soldier – The light infantry company of the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, a predominantly African-American
The background of the right side of the marker contains the “Signatures on the Articles of Capitulation. After General Cornwallis signed the ‘Articles of Capitulation,’ from his Yorktown headquarters, the surrender terms were sent to General Washington at Redoubt 10, where Washington signed them.”
Also see . . .
1. Yorktown Battlefield. National Park Service. (Submitted on August 29, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. The Battle of Yorktown. The Patriot Resource website. (Submitted on August 29, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
3. The Battle of Yorktown 1781. A British perspective of the Battle of Yorktown from BritishBattles.com. (Submitted on August 29, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Notable Events • Notable Places • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,554 times since then and 117 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.