Friday, May 8, 2009

Yorktown National Battlefield

I was able to take sometime in the past week to do an incomplete visit to Yorktown National Battlefield, the final battle which won the Americans their independence from the British with help of the French. 

The entrance to the park.

The nice thing about the historic triangle (they call this, Williamsburg, and Jamestown that) is that when you go to both Jamestown and Yorktown you pay $10 and you get to go to both for one week as many times as you want. So I took advantage of the admission paid at Jamestowne to visit here. Again, I hadn't visited here in over 10 years, and I look forward to going back before my stay here is finished. 

The battlefield museum is highly out of date, where it's funny. The displays are okay, but things are dusty, old and not updated in regards to conservation techniques and lighting. I was pretty interested in the African American representation there, in regards to blacks fighting in the battle, and the personal "servant" of George Washington, Billy Lee. If was able to have written this fresh from leaving Yorktown, I'd have more to say. I guess that says things didn't stick with me enough - but an entire exhibit could be made around blacks in the revolutionary war, but, I was glad to see something. They did not discuss anything in regards to Native people fighting there, but I am not sure yet of Native peoples fought at Yorktown. 

So, after exploring the small museum, I took a walk to downtown Yorktown, but wanted to see the battlefields, so I didn't spend much time there. I do hope to go back, because I missed the surrender spot! I did however take a few pictures...

A section of the Yorktown Victory Monument at the town. It was passed by congress to be resurrected as early as 1781, but, ground breaking wasn't until 1876.

A replica American cannon and earthworks. 

The above three pictures are French cannon replicas in the area that the French armed the heaviest, the built all the earthworks within a day and when the English woke up in the morning, they freaked out by how close the French were, and how large the mounds were. 

Most people don't know that Civil War battles also took place on the land in the park. The Yorktown National Cemetery is here, featuring a small but nice plot of land catering to Civil War soldiers. There are a large number of plots dedicated to unknown soldiers, and they are all double buried, quite chilling! 

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