Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Yorktown in York County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Grand French Battery

First Allied Siege Line

 
 
The Grand French Battery Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
1. The Grand French Battery Marker
Inscription. The Grand French Battery formed part of the first Allied siege line around Yorktown. French and American soldiers worked through the night of October 6, 1781, to establish the line from a point about one hundred yards to your left (across the road) to the York River.

Largest gun emplacement built during the siege, the Grand French Battery opened fire on October 10 and inflicted great damage on the British. A French officer noted that “ … the superiority of the fire of these different batteries over those of the enemy, silenced the firing from the town.”   This superiority in artillery contributed greatly to Allied victory.

The National Park Service has reconstructed most of the Grand French Battery on its original site and equipped it with original and replica Revolutionary War period artillery.
 
Erected by Colonial National Historical Park, National Park Service.
 
Location. 37° 13.404′ N, 76° 30.386′ W. Marker is in Yorktown, Virginia, in York County. Marker is on Cook Road (Virginia Route 704), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is located on the Yorktown Battlefield in Colonial National Historical Park, at stop B on the Battlefield Tour. Marker is in this post office area: Yorktown VA 23690, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Marker on the Yorktown Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
2. Marker on the Yorktown Battlefield
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Grand French Battery (within shouting distance of this marker); First Allied Siege Line (within shouting distance of this marker); Shiloh Baptist Church (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Yorktown National Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Shiloh Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Slabtown (approx. 0.2 miles away); Surrender at Yorktown (approx. 0.2 miles away); Second Allied Siege Line (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Yorktown.
 
More about this marker. The left side of the marker features pictures of various artillery used during the 1781 Siege of Yorktown. It has a caption of:

Artillery of 1781
French and American artillerymen used three types of cannon in the siege.

Field Guns
Effective range, 900 to 1340 yards. Fired mainly solid shot to batter down enemy earthworks, but could fire grapeshot against troops.

Mortars
Effective range, 670 to 1670 yards. Fired explosive shells, called bombs, at high angle so they would drop behind enemy earthworks.

Howitzers
Effective range 900 to 1120 yards. Fired bombs at low velocity, medium to high angle. An American artillery officer wrote that in this
Artillery in the Grand French Battery image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
3. Artillery in the Grand French Battery
Howitzers (left) and mortars, which were used during the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, are present here at the Grand French Battery.
siege the howitzers “ … are of the greatest importance, in firing ricochet, as the shell hops along the ground and drops just over the enemy’s parapet, destroying them where they thought themselves most secure.”

The middle of the marker contains a map of the fortifications at Yorktown, including the Grand French Battery.
 
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 EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Revolutionary
 
The Grand French Battery Artillery image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
4. The Grand French Battery Artillery
These field guns are located at the extreme left of the First Allied Siege Line, across the road from the marker.
Yorktown Fortifications Map from Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 12, 2008
5. Yorktown Fortifications Map from Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 29, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 928 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 29, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
Paid Advertisement