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Jane Eyre

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Essay title: Jane Eyre

When General Rochambeau met General Washington in 1781 to determine their next move against the British, Washington wanted to attack New York City. Rochambeau convinced him that the wiser move was to move South. Word had come from General Lafayette in Virginia that Cornwallis had taken up a defensive position at Yorktown. Cornwallis was situated next to the York River. If they could surround the city by land and cut off Cornwallis' escape route on the river, Washington and Rochambeau would strike an enormous blow to the British forces. Planning for the elaborate campaign began immediately.

French Admiral de Grasse, stationed in the West Indies, would sail with his fleet to the Chesapeake Bay and secure the mouth of the York River. Meanwhile, Washington and Rochambeau would march south to Yorktown and form a semicircle around the city. The plan was simple in concept, but it would take great military skill to execute.

First, Washington and Rochambeau started to march towards New York City. They stationed approximately 2500 men at the American forts near the city to fool the British into believing that Washington's entire force was still there. Then the combined Franco-American army raced south to Virginia. As they marched south, Admiral de Grasse's fleet arrived at the Chesapeake Bay. They defeated the British fleet of Admiral Thomas Graves and won control of the entire bay. More importantly, this meant that they controlled the mouth of the York River and could prevent both Cornwallis' escape and any British communication with Cornwallis. On September 28, 1781, Washington and Rochambeau, along with Lafayette's troops and 3,000 of de Grasse's men, arrived at Yorktown. In all, there were approximately 17,000 men converging on Cornwallis' camp. The stage was set for the final showdown in America's fight for independence.

The combined forces approached Yorktown from the South. The French, under Rochambeau, formed the left flank of the attack, while the American troops, under Washington and Lafayette, approached from the right. The city was soon surrounded and under heavy fire. On October 14, the Franco-American forces captured 2 major British redoubts. Cornwallis' options were running out. He even tried sending blacks infected with smallpox over enemy lines in an attempt to infect the American and French troops. After a futile counterattack, Cornwallis offered to surrender on October 17. On the 19th of October, the papers were signed and he officially surrendered. This would be the final major battle

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