WASHINGTON'S LAST BATTLE
 WASHINGTON had been fighting for seven years to drive the British
soldiers out of this country. But there were still two strong British
armies in America.
One of these armies was in New York. It had been there for years. The
other army was far away at Yorktown in Virginia. The British general
at Yorktown was Cornwallis. You have read how Washington got away from
him at Trenton.
The King of France had sent ships and soldiers to help the Americans.
But still Washington had not enough men to take New York from the
British. Yet he went on getting ready to attack the British in New
York. He had ovens built to bake bread for his men. He bought hay for
his horses. He had roads built to draw his cannons on.
He knew that the British in New York would hear about what he was
doing. He wanted them to think that he meant to come to New York and
fight them. When the British heard what the Americans were doing, they
got ready for the coming of Washington and the French.
 All at once
they found that Washington had gone. He and his men had marched away.
The French soldiers that had come to help him had gone with him.
Nobody knew what it meant. Washington's own men did not know where
they were going. They went from New Jersey into
they marched across Pennsylvania. Then they went into Maryland. They marched across that State, and then they went into
By this time everybody could tell where Washington was going. People
could see that he was going straight to
Yorktown. They knew that
Washington was going to fight his old enemy at
But he had kept his secret long enough. The British in New York could
not send help to Cornwallis. It was too late. The French ships sailed
to Virginia, and shut up Yorktown on the side of the sea.
Washington's men shut it up on the side of the land. They built great
banks of earth round it. On these banks of earth they put cannons.
The British could not get away. They fought bravely. But the Americans
and French came closer and closer.
Then the British tried to fight their way out. But they were driven
back. Then Cornwallis tried
 to get his men across the river. He
wanted to get out by the back door, as Washington had done. But the
Americans on the other side of the river drove them back again.
Washington had now caught Cornwallis in a trap.
The Americans fired red-hot cannon balls into Yorktown. These set the
houses on fire. At last Cornwallis had to give up. The British marched
out and laid down their guns and swords.
The British army in New York could not fight the Americans by itself.
So the British gave it up. Then there was peace after the long war.
The British pulled down the British flag and sailed away. The country
was free at last.