|Colonial Yorktown, VA where a decisive battle of the American Revolution took place in 1781. Rita and I spent our 40th anniversary day touring colonial Yorktown and the battlefield Historical National Park nearby. It was a beautiful day to be out and about and visiting another piece of colonial American history. It was at Yorktown where General George Washington with the colonists and the help of the French under the command of Lafayette struck a blow to the British commanded by General Cornwallis in 1781. The town has many existing buildings from the era as well as the battlefield where the two armies fought. Next to the battlefield overlooking the York River is the Yorktown Victory Monument which commemorates the colonist victory over the British. On a tour of the battlefield with a National Park Service guide you are brought up to speed about a lot of history we never got studying US history in high school nor college. It was very interesting to hear how close the colonists came to allowing a foothold by the British at Yorktown. Yorktown served as a major port for Jamestown the British capital of Virginia. By 1750 Yorktown had nearly 250 buildings and 1800 residents. After the war in 1790 the town reduced to fewer than 70 buildings and 661 residents. In spit of two major wars where battles were fought in the fields nearby, Yorktown is still a thriving community. During the Civil War the battlements built during the Revolutionary War were used by both the Union and Confederate armies. The town was also occupied by both armies. Many of the redoubts and siege lines are still throughout the battlefield. These mounds were built very strong to absorb cannon fire from the enemy during the siege. They were all built by hand, some in less than ideal circumstances. Imagine weaving baskets of reeds and vines and filling them with shovels of soil and rocks, then building a wall with them and covering that with soil. Some were even built at night and with rain falling. While walking through the old town you can still see some signs of war. Cannon balls are embedded in walls of some buildings within range of the battlefield. Some cannon were positioned within the town for defense. The grave yard and Grace Episcopal Church are very interesting to visit for the colonists buried there. A Declaration of Independence signer and colonial American leader Thomas Nelson Jr., Esq. is interred there His home is still standing on Main street and may be toured for a fee. After the interesting tour of town Rita and I went down by the waterfront and had lunch of crab cakes and shrimp in an old pub overlooking the York River. There were just too many interesting historical sites to mention all of them here. It was well worth the visit.