Friday, October 26, 2007

Yorktown, Virginia

Another chapter of Protech RV Travels can finally begin! We left CT on Monday, October 22, heading south and west down I-84 to I-81, avoiding all the major cities along I-95, including New York City, Baltimore and Washington. We stopped overnight in Harrisburg, PA and Charlottesville, VA, where we decided that we would spend a few days in Williamsburg, VA. It's raining all up and down the eastern seaboard, so rather than fight it and dodge raindrops with the motorhome, it's nice to be in an area with lots of interesting things to see and do.

We're staying at the Colonial Williamsburg KOA campground. Not cheap, but off the beaten path, nicely maintained, and it has free WiFi (excellent for updating this blog) Yesterday we toured Yorktown Battlefield, site of the last major Revolutionary War Battle in October 1781 before America gained independence from Britain. The Americans, with help from the French, laid siege to British troops holed up in Yorktown. Washington's army defeated Cornwallis' army that was twice its size.

The battlefield consisted of wide open fields with trenches dug for the siege lines.

The National Park Service ranger that led our walking tour pointed out that the French navy provided pivotal assistance by delivering a dozen of these cannon, whose 24 lb. cannonballs could penetrate earthworks for fourteen feet. The British cannon couldn't compete with this firepower.

Terms of surrender were negotiated at the home of Augustine Moore, owner of the local grist mill. The house was pretty badly damaged during the battle, and agin after the Civil War, but has been restored. The interior was not open on our visit.

Arms were laid down in this field, now called Surrender Field. General Cornwallis called in sick that day. He sent his second-in-command to turn over his sword.

Yorktown is a very small town with few permanent residents but a number of historic homes and building are still standing. The Nelson House has been preserved and still boasts its original floors.

The Yorktown Victory Monument stands sentry in this park along the bank of the York River.

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