Digital Resources, In-Person Gatherings Help Preservationists Mark Anniversary of Revolution's End
Mary Koik, (202) 367-1861 x7231
Colleen Cheslak-Poulton, (202) 367-1861 x7234
(Yorktown, Va.) — The nation’s premier battlefield land preservation organization, the American Battlefield Trust, is turning its attention to Virginia’s Historic Triangle this October, both through the launch of a brand-new Yorktown virtual driving tour and in-person events that will position audiences and attendees to gain a deeper love of history and preservation. With the 242nd anniversary of the Siege of Yorktown eliciting pride in the country’s hard-fought independence, the Trust launched its virtual tour of the Yorktown Battlefield, at Colonial National Historical Park, this past Saturday. Meanwhile, this coming weekend holds the promise of adventure for battlefield preservationists gathering for the nonprofit’s annual Grand Review in nearby Williamsburg and, not long after, on October 19, local Yorktown Day celebrations will be in full swing to remember the momentous events of October 1781 when “the world turn’d upside down” and the British Army surrendered, leading to the end of the Revolutionary War and American independence won.
“Each year, visitors seek out Virginia’s Historic Triangle to learn about and acknowledge the rich expanse of events this location has witnessed,” said Trust President David Duncan. “Between those who are fortunate enough to step foot upon this treasure trove of history and those who cannot make the journey, the American Battlefield Trust is stepping up to immerse audiences in the many lessons found in the centuries-old location.”
The newly released virtual driving tour is the fourth in a series that puts historians in the driver’s seat while mounted GoPro cameras capture a landscape brimming with stories of years past — however, the Yorktown tour is the first to focus on a primarily Revolutionary War site. In just over 90 minutes, Trust historians Kristopher White and Dan Davis provide viewers with a lay of the Yorktown Battlefield landscape at Colonial National Historical Park and an overview of events that led to British General Charles Cornwallis’ surrender on October 19, 1781. Going beyond the National Park Service’s 12-stop driving tour, White and Davis visit the French Grand Battery, Redoubts 9 and 10, the Moore House and Surrender Field, among other locations on the battlefield. As is the style of the driving tour series, the video is complete with on-screen maps, historical imagery and out-of-the-car experiences. With already more than 16,000 views in five days, the free tour is available on the Trust’s YouTube channel and website.
While many thousands acquaint themselves with Yorktown through this new on-screen resource, hundreds of Trust members belonging to its Color Bearer donor society are gathering nearby in Williamsburg for a weekend of fellowship and historical tours during the nonprofit’s annual Grand Review. This invitation-only event will venture out on educational tours to Colonial National Historical Park, Historic Jamestown, Fort Monroe, Richmond National Battlefield Park, Westover Plantation and more. Learn about the benefits of Color Bearer membership here.
Resources and opportunities to explore Yorktown’s past are unquestionably abundant. Aside from the aforementioned video tour and events, Colonial National Historical Park’s visitor center and 12-stop driving tour can serve as a springboard for the curious-minded. The Trust also offers a Yorktown Tour Guide app, developed in conjunction with the National Park Service, that is among the most popular apps created by the battlefield preservation nonprofit.
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 57,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War across 155 sites in 25 states. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.