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The place where freedom was won

August 10, 2011 - Pam Rodgers
On my recent vacation, my family and I traveled to Virginia to visit the historical sites that launched our great nation into what it is today. Our first visit was to Yorktown, the place were America won its freedom over the British. It started our fun yet educational vacation on the right path.

Yorktown has two sites to visit, the Yorktown Victory Center and the Yorktown Battlefield.

The Victory Center is where all of the historical artifacts and collections can be found. It had a full working farm to show how the colonists grew their crops back in the day. The most interesting display, to me, was the replica army encampment where you could see how the Revolutionary soldiers spent their days in camp. They had the different tents for the all the different ranks, medical tools and other supplies. The best part were the artillery and firearm demonstrations. The musket demonstration had an “interpreter”, dressed in traditional battle attire, explain how the musket works, how it was loaded and then demonstrate what he discussed. We also saw a mortar and cannon demonstration, with the interpreter(s) explaining everything along the way. Those two were awesome and very loud to witness.

The Battlefield had a CD tour that we purchased and you could drive yourself around the different key points of the Battlefield. We got to see how far back the American and French troops started from Cornwallis and how they continually moved their battle front closer to bombard the British soldier with artillery for an eight day siege. (As an aside, at the second line, there was a Civil War cemetery located near there. Yorktown was used as a “hospital” during the Civil War so there was lots of graves, some known but many unknown soldiers from that war.) The tour took you through the hills surrounding the Battlefield and pointed out the places that would have been supply areas and encampments used by the Americans and French. We got to see the Moore house near the Chesapeake Bay where the terms of surrender were discussed and surrender filed where the final ceremony took place.

I would recommend these sites to anyone interested in learning about the amazing history behind the Revolutionary War. Even if you are completely into it, it is still important for Americans to know our history. It was awe-inspiring to learn what our forefathers went through to gain the freedom we enjoy today.


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Musket demonstration at the Yorktown Victory Center