1781 - The World Turned Upside Down

As October began, Gen. Charles Cornwallis and his army of 8,000 redcoats and Hessians knew they were in deep trouble. In late August, after a summer filled with conflicting instructions, they had been ordered to establish a naval base on the Chesapeake. They chose a site at Yorktown, Virginia, set up camp, and waited for the Royal Navy to arrive. It never did. Read more »

Time Machine

25 Years Ago

October 1, 1981 President Ronald Reagan pledges that the United States will not let Saudi Arabia fall into the hands of any power that threatens to cut off its supply of petroleum to the West. The statement seems motivated by fears of an Iran-style revolution. On October 28, after much horse-trading and arm-twisting by Reagan’s aides, the Senate votes, 52–48, to permit sales of AWACS planes and other high-tech military equipment to the Saudis. Read more »

The Revolution Continues

The bell is old and it is badly cracked and it has not been rung for years, nor will it ever be rung again. But although it is quite useless from a practical standpoint, it is perhaps the most prized possession we have. It carries words about proclaiming liberty to all the people, and when it spoke it set off long echoes that have never stopped reverberating.Read more »

Men of the Revolution: Cornwallis

In war the final defeat is the one that counts. Yet there are wars and wars, and only rarely do historians conclude that a particular surrender was not only a cessation of fighting but a watershed marking the end of one epoch and the start of another. Otherwise there would be no memorable pairings of the vanquished with the scene of ultimate disaster—Harold and Hastings, Napoleon and Waterloo, Lee and Appomattox. Read more »

The Last Battle

Yorktown was not the end of the Revolutionary War. The Americans were to gain one victory more. Read more »