Colonial National Historical Park: Yorktown Battlefield – Redoubt 9

The Battle of Yorktown was a decisive Revolutionary War battle fought between September 29 and October 19 in 1781. In September of 1781, General George Washington, with his French ally, Comte de Rochambeau, marched south from New York to attack British General Lord Cornwallis’ army, camped in Yorktown, Virginia with his is back to the York River. Washington and his men arrived outside of Yorktown on September 20, and they laid siege to the city. With a hostile force at his front, Cornwallis’ only hope of escaping was through the British navy. However, the British became trapped at Yorktown following their naval defeat at the Battle of the Capes. The Americans and the French slowly dug their trench lines closer to Cornwallis’ position, which became untenable following the Americans and French captured Redoubts 9 and 10. Cornwallis tried to break out, but it failed, and he was forced to surrender. While the Revolutionary War continued for two more years, the Battle of Yorktown was the last major battle of the war. The French capture of Redoubt 9 was critical in winning the Battle of Yorktown since it allowed the completion of a trench that brought the American artillery in range of Yorktown. French General Baron de Viomenil commanded 400 men in the assault of Redoubt 9. After clearing the opposites in the face of enemy fire, the French troops rushed to the top of the parapet and began engaging the British Redcoats. To break the French line, the Redcoats attempted a bayonet charge, but the French repulsed it. After 30 minutes of fierce fighting, the British pulled back, allowing the French to capture Redoubt 9, They sustained 92 casualties, with 15 men killed and 77 wounded.