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Today In History- October 17

General Charles Cornwallis offers his surrender to the American revolutionists at Yorktown, Virginia.


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Yorktown, Virginia


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British General Cornwallis cedes defeat at Yorktown.

Yorktown, Virginia

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After weeks of intense battle against the American and French forces, on October 17, 1781, British General Lord Cornwallis finally unconditionally surrendered at the Battle of Yorktown.  Cornwallis attempted to alert General Clinton, who was in New York, about the need of more supplies and ammunition; however Clinton was unable to arrive in time, as Cornwallis was running low on food and fresh troops.  Immediately after the surrender, nearly 7000 British troops became American prisoners, with Clinton's force arriving nearly 5 days after the surrender.  It was the most decisive battle of the war.

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