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American Revolution
The Final Battle - Yorktown 1781



The Final Battle - Yorktown 1781
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.82

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    untrained, negotiation, forged, rebellion, leadership, semi-circle, victorious, commander, possibility, smallpox, criticism, defeat, favor, particularly, attempt, aboard
     content words:    Boston Harbor, Many English, Sir William Howe, General Henry Clinton, Lord Charles Cornwallis, New York, Lord Cornwallis, South Carolina, York River, Chesapeake Bay


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The Final Battle - Yorktown 1781
By Jane Runyon
  

1     In 1773, the colonists dumped British tea into Boston Harbor. From that time on, the fight between the British and colonists grew fiercer. Battles were won and lost on both sides. Many English and Americans lost their lives. Eight years of fighting were hard on both sides. It was particularly hard on the British. This was a strange land to them. The commanders of the army were thousands of miles from the battle. The cost of the war was draining the treasury.
 
2     Sir William Howe resigned as commander of the British troops in the colonies. He was tired of the criticism he was receiving for his leadership. General Henry Clinton replaced him. Clinton believed he would be able to inflict a final defeat on the colonists by moving his troops south. He thought he would find more colonists loyal to the British cause in the southern colonies. If he were to take control of the southern colonies, he would be able to crush the entire rebellion. He appointed Lord Charles Cornwallis to lead his troops in the southern colonies. He remained in New York with a small force and put the rest of the British soldiers aboard ships sailing to Georgia.
 
3     Lord Cornwallis and his troops first took over Savannah, Georgia. He declared all of Georgia to be in British hands. They then headed to Camden, South Carolina. It was a fierce battle, but the British were victorious. Believing that the war was finally going in their favor, the British headed for Virginia. They made camp in Yorktown. Yorktown was on the York River near the very important Chesapeake Bay. They sent word to General Clinton, who promised to send more troops by ship to meet them there.

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