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Detailed plan of Yorktown, compiled by Louis V. Caziarc at the U.S. Artillery School, Ft. Monroe, Virginia.

The map was drawn by Louis V. Cazariac, then a Lieutenant, who would go on to earn the rank of Brigadier General.

In the summer of 1780, the Comte de Rochambeau and 5,500 French Troops arrived in America to support the American cause. At the time, the English held strongholds in New York City and the Lower Chesapeake. Washington and Rochambeau initially planned an attack on New York, but later decided upon a surprise attack against Cornwallis. Cornwallis was in Yorktown to protect the British fleet in the lower Chesapeake.

The French fleet arrived in August 1780. Following a French victory at the Battle of the Battle of the Capes on September 5, 1780, the French under Admiral de Grasse, established a blockade. By the end of September, approximately 17,600 American and French soldiers were gathered in Williamsburg, while 8,300 British soldiers were occupying Yorktown. Clinton ordered a British fleet with 5,000 to sail for Yorktown from New York on October 5. Cornwallis had his men construct a main line of defense around Yorktown that consisted of ten small enclosed forts (redoubts). The Americans and French marched to Yorktown on September 28, 1780. By October 9, the allies' commenced their attack, knocking out the British guns by October 11. The next days were spent bringing up artillery and strengthening the new line.

On the night of October 14, 400 French stormed redoubt 9 and 400 Americans stormed redoubt 10, capturing them in less than 30 minutes. On October 16, the British tried two desperation moves. Early that morning they attacked the allied center, attempted to silence a French Battery, but the French cannons were firing again in less than six hours. Late that night they tried to evacuate Yorktown by crossing the York River in small boats to Gloucester Point. A violent windstorm forced an abandonment of the escape. Arrangements for surrender were commended on October 17. On October 19, most of Cornwallis' army marched out of Yorktown between two lines of allied soldiers-- Americans on one side and French on the other. The British marched to a field where they laid down their arms, and returned to Yorktown.