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Profile of the Day: General Charles Cornwallis

Profile of the Day: General Charles CornwallisDid your ancestors fight in the American Revolutionary War? On this day in 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis formally surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution.

Cornwallis was known as one of the leading British generals during the American Revolutionary War. A gifted strategist, Cornwallis was generally successful in battle. However, in October 1781, in what became known as the Siege of Yorktown, Cornwallis found his troops trapped. Surrounded by Continental and French forces and cut-off from any reinforcements, Cornwallis had no choice but to surrender.

On October 19, 1781, the British general gave his formal surrende. Claiming illness, Cornwallis sent his second-in-command, General Charles O’Hara, to present his sword to George Washington and the French commander, the Comte de Rochambeau.

Although the war would still continue, the Siege of Yorktown would mark the last major battle in the American colonies. On September 3, 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed to formally end the war.

Explore General Charles Cornwallis’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re connected!

View General Charles Cornwallis’s Geni Profile


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Image: Library of Congress


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