A Near Thing at Yorktown

“Admiral Graves lost no ships… he merely lost America”

It has been called “the one decisive engagement” of the American Revolution, since by closing the crucial gap in the ring around Cornwallis at Yorktown, it changed American independence from a possibility to a certainty. Yet many Americans have never heard of it, perhaps because the outcome of the long and bitter war was decided between the French and British navies, with no Americans present. Fought out of sight of land, it had only its participants as eyewitnesses, and their accounts have remained hidden in the naval archives of England and France.

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