George Washington and the Miracle at Newburgh

Presidential History Blog

There are several versions of this story, but the essence is always the same.

The Yorktown Surrender

Most people think the American Revolution ended in 1781 when Cornwallis surrendered his Redcoat army to Washington in Yorktown. That is not exactly true.

George Washington accepting Lord Cornwallis’ sword. An symbolic-historic painting. Photography was decades in the future.

In October, 1781, after nearly seven years of fighting a motley bunch of American militiamen, Lord Charles Cornwallis found his British Army in an untenable situation: surrounded on three sides with his back to the Chesapeake Bay, now patrolled by the French Navy. There was no way out.

If effectively brought the British and Americans to the negotiating table, but it took nearly another two years before the war actually ended.

Since it also took weeks and months for the British to disband their armies and arrange for transportation home, the American army…

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