|Cost:||Adult (16 and older) -$7 15 and younger are free.|
|Hours:||Opened daily 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Park is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.|
|Notes:||Tickets are good for 7 days entrance to Yorktown Battlefield (and NPS areas at Historic Jamestowne); can be upgraded to see Preservation Virginia areas at Historic Jamestowne for an additional $7 at the Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center. Yorktown Battlefield will not be selling the $14 entrance permit for Historic Jamestowne.|
Awhile back we were able to visit the Colonial National Historical Park – Yorktown Battlefield in Virginia. We didn’t have a lot of time to explore but were able to do most of the driving tour and it was a truly eyeopening experience. We all learned so much and cannot wait to back.
We spent most of the day visiting a lot of historical places and finished with the Yorktown Battlefield…and plan on going back very soon to see all that it had to offer. There are guided ranger tours, Siege Line Walking Tours, Yorktown Tours, Non-Firing Artillery Demonstrations, Young Soldiers Program, Special events throughout the year and our new favorite “gotta catch ’em all” task, the Junior Ranger Program.
For those that have never heard of this program, your child can complete a booklet where they learn all about that particular national park (almost all NH Parks have them) and turn it in to become a Junior Ranger.
They get a badge or patch, a stamp and a certificate and you had them learn things disguised as fun! We plan on doing this soon and are making a special trip to re-visit the national parks their specifically for this program…and we love going to those parks!
As far as Yorktown Battlefield goes, it was amazing to see and experience but somewhat heartbreaking as well. I have never been so proud of this nations history as when I was standing near a hill that was used to fight for our country and our independence. My heritage does not make me american, but my being born in this country and my pride in it sure do.
We purchased the CD to listen to in the car which is a tour that includes when to pause and what to look for. It was sort of confusing to follow the markers and you couldn’t always see them (it was getting darker) so the CD is worth it to get. You can hear the history, the meanings behind the areas and what happened in each one. I highly recommend this when you go. Put it in and start it in the parking lot and it talks your through the whole tour.
The tour we chose to do that day was the Battlefield Tour (red arrow signs) which is seven miles driving and covers the British Inner Defense Line, the Allied siege lines, the Moore House, and Surrender Field. Stop A was the British Inner Defense Line but I am not sure i can explain what we saw on any part of this tour. A lot of it required an appreciation for history and even a little imagination.
B was the Grand French Battery. This was the largest gun emplacement on the first siege line. C marks the Second Allied Siege Line, however, D marks Redoubts 9 & 10. These two redoubts were attacked simultaneously by French and American troops. The night of October 14 French troops attacked Redoubt 9 and American troops attacked Redoubt 10. Both Redoubts were successfully captured in less than 30 minutes and this success allowed Allied troops to complete their second siege line and construct the Grand American Battery for siege artillery. Cornwallis proposed a cease fire 3 days later.
Most of Redoubt 10 was washed out to sea but they were able to reconstruct it based on fragments that were found in 1956. It was amazing to see these two historical and significant places and even my kids, who are just starting to understand what this war meant, were in awe.
We did stop at the cemetery before the Redoubts and I couldn’t believe there were still graves from soldiers there. In fact there are 1,596 marked graves. There are a total of 2,204 burials but only 747 are of known persons and there are 1,436 unknown.
The majority of those buried here were Union Army soldiers, however, 10 Confederate soldiers and three wives are also here. A must see location for sure.
The Moore House, or marker E, was where the discussion was held for the surrender of Cornwallis and his army were held. Officers on both sides met here on October 18, 1781. F is the last stop on this particular tour but you can continue if you wish and do both sides. Site F is Surrender Field where on October 19, 1781, Cornwallis’s army marched and laid down its arms. The last major battle of the Revolutionary War was over and American’s were basically assured their independence.
It was a truly amazing experience to see sites where the war for our independence took place. My kids are so proud to be American and they finally have a better understanding of that means thanks to places like Yorktown Battlefield and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (which I will be posting my review of soon).
We plan on going back very soon to check out the rest of what they have to offer and to learn even more about our fight for independence. Let us hope we never have to have a war like this again. This is such an important site for our history and I highly recommend everyone visit at least once in your life.
Show us your Revolutionary trip! @MyGeeklings #BeRevolutionary