Yorktown Battlefield is the site of the final, major battle of the American Revolutionary War and symbolic end of Colonial English America.
On this battlefield, between September 28 and October 19, 1781, General George Washington and his allied American and French army of 17,600 troops surrounded and besieged General Charles Lord Cornwallis' 8,300 British, German and American loyalist forces, which were fortified within the port of Yorktown.
American and French artillery crews fired over 15,000 rounds of siege artillery upon the British continuously for nine days. On October 17, Lord Cornwallis, seeing the futility of risking further destruction of his army, requested a cease-fire to discuss surrender terms. Two days later, his army marched out of their defenses to an open field, now known as "Surrender Field," stacked their weapons and became prisoners of war.
Upon hearing the news of the defeat, the British Prime Minister is said to have clutched his chest and exclaimed, "Oh God, it's all over." And indeed it was. After two years of diplomatic negotiations, Great Britain signed the Treaty of Paris, formally recognizing independence for the United States of America.