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On October 19, 1781, the British surrendered to George Washington’s army

October 19, 2025

On October 19, 1781, the British, led by General Lord Charles Cornwallis, surrendered to George Washington’s army at Yorktown, Virginia, effectually ending the Revolutionary War. The surrender marked an end to a three-week siege carried out by allied American and French forces against the British.

Did you know? Today’s artwork is by a Frenchman for good reason – French troops were a huge presence at the Battle of Yorktown, coming together with the Americans to outnumber the British by roughly 2-1 (!)

Going against accepted military custom, Cornwallis refused to surrender in person, instead sending his second-in-command to the official surrender ceremony.

The war would not officially end until the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

 

Siege of Yorktown (1781), Louis Charles Auguste Couder, 1836

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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October 19, 2025
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