Sunday, June 24, 2012

Part 2 Yorktown and Jamestown Colonial National Histroical Parks.

Yorktown 1691

Late today we decided to go to Yorktown and Jamestown.  We came 5 years ago with Laura and David.  

Soldiers gathered at Yorktown in the late summer and early fall of 1781 to fight the last major battle of the American Revolution.  It is interesting to walk around and imagine what it must have been like back in the day.  An important part of our history happened right here where I am standing.
At the visitors center they have this life sized model of what one of the ships would be like inside.  It was quite interesting.
Like touring the battlefields of the Civil War the terrain of the land was so important in fighting the battles.  You would not know that the troops were so close because you could not see them over the ridge.  The guns were placed at the top of the ridge to fire at on coming soldiers in the fields below. 
The British are coming! the British are coming!
More canons and I love the fence.
On October 19, 1781, Cornwallis's (British, bad guys at the time) army marched onto this field and laid down its arms to George Washington.  This ended the last major battle of the Revolutionary War and virtually assured American independence.  This is the field were Cornwallis surrendered his sword and his troops.  Well not really.  He was "sick" so he had someone else do the dirty deed.  Coward.  The three flags are the French, British, and American.   If it was not for the French we could not have won this battle. 
So beautiful driving through the battlefields and the encampments. 

Jamestown, first British settlement in America

Ships brought 104 colonists May 13, 1607

The established the colony of Virginia with Jamestown as its capital.  It was a established with a grant to the Virginia Company of London to make the company money.  It was under the leadership of Capt. John Smith. 

Times were tough and many died, but they managed to overcome with help of reinforcements and all.
1600s church. 
This is the Tercentenary Monument, built to honor 300 years. It was built 100 years ago.
This is the actual sight and you can see in the pics areas with tarps over them.  Those are the dig sites.  They have unearth many artifacts and have learned much about the settlement.  Here you see brick "H" shapes on the ground and brick outlining a section of white rock.  They believe the "H" shapes are the foundations to a lodge inside the fort.  The crosses are markers where people were buried.  They believed they were buried under the building to hide the fact from the Indians.  They did not want them to know they were getting smaller in number. 
You will notice how the walls were constructed for the fort.  Upright boards and a wooden cross support with pegs to hold them in place.  Rog made the comment that they made the pegs to hold their hats at the wrong angle.  I had him show me what he meant and they knew what they were doing after all.  LOL
Large tower and entrance to the fort.
You can see the James River in the distance and the covered digs that they actively are working on.  This is Sunday so not so much working today.
Inside the church they have dug down and learned that they have rebuilt this church on the foundation of the original.  The foundation is under glass so one can see.

This is the end of our day of history.
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