For those of us who are crazy about early American history, there aren’t many places better for spending a few days than Virginia’s Historic Triangle. Jamestown and Yorktown—the two places where England’s colonial experience in the future U.S. began and ended—are right there within a short distance of each other, with Colonial Williamsburg in between.
I just visited the triangle for the first time in over a decade, where I kicked things off with a stroll around Yorktown. Here are a few highlights.
British redoubt #10, captured by a party under Alexander Hamilton on the night of October 14th and incorporated into the Americans’ second parallel:
Redoubt #9, assaulted by the French on the same night:
Grand French Battery:
The Moore House, where officers from both the Allied and British armies met to negotiate the terms of surrender:
Surrender Field, where the British laid down their arms:
Site of the French artillery park:
An untouched earthwork that survived the siege:
The Victory Monument:
One side benefit of visiting the battleground is getting some spectacular views of the York River:
In the town, a few structures that were present during the siege are still standing, such as Gov. Thomas Nelson, Jr.’s house:
Nelson’s home took fire during the siege. The cannonballs embedded in the walls are twentieth-century additions…
…but the effects of the originals are still evident:
Before the war, Yorktown was an important tobacco port. Here’s the custom house:
Grace Episcopal Church dates from the 1600s and is still in use: