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Washington suffered many defeats before 1781 - he had to plan his next move carefully in order to win against the British.

Grand Strategy

George Washington was prepared to fight the British with his own strategy. However, Rochambeau had other ideas.

Washington's Grand Strategy


Washington wasn't fighting alone. He had the help of many French generals, including the Comte de Rochambeau.

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Washington's Officers

The Continental Army fought throughout Northern America and was commanded by George Washington. However, Washington had many important officers under him.

Washington's Officers

The American Revolution Timeline

What led up to the Battle of Yorktown? Learn more with this interactive timeline.

Explore the Timeline

Why did the French help the Continental Army?

Primary Source: A French Map of New York

Washington initially wanted to launch a campaign to reclaim New York from the British - the French thought New York's landscape was too difficult to navigate, as displayed in this map.

Explore the map

Primary Source: George Washington to Benjamin Tallmadge

This letter to Benjamin Tallmadge asks him to deliver information to Rochambeau in New York. At this time, Washington is seriously thinking about attacking the British in New York, not Yorktown.

What did Washington say?

Primary Source: George Washington to John Laurens (Founders Online)

This secret letter to John Laurens explains the most recent happenings of the American Revolution in April of 1781. Washington talks primarily about the French Navy and the Battle of the Virginia Capes.

Read the Letter

Watch Now or Never

Learn how the Continental Army won the Revolution with this 30 minute film!