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Join us for a two-day tour and battlefield excursion experience that highlights the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of the Yorktown campaign. Taught by noted historian and military expert, Dr. Ricardo Herrera from the US Command and General Staff College, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between leadership, planning, and execution that lead the American coalition forces from Mount Vernon to Victory.



[SOLD OUT] $475 general public


Events will begin at The Fred W. Smith National Library, with travel to Colonial Williamsburg mid-day. Day Two will include travel from Colonial Williamsburg to the Yorktown Battlefield, returning to the Mount Vernon Estate by late-afternoon.

The Yorktown program emphasizes the roles played by the leading actors during the campaign. The examination of the events leading to and throughout the campaign will stress the military leaders’ understanding of the situation at select moments, the contingent nature of their decision-making, as well as the attributes of their leadership.  The second day will use the Yorktown battlefield as a classroom as participants witness, step-by-step, the events constituting the siege and the final surrender of Lord Cornwallis’s forces on October 19, 1781. The program will conclude with a discussion of the consequences of the campaign and lessons learned. Additional highlights of the program will include unique behind-the-scenes experiences at The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington and Mount Vernon.

Facilitator: Ricardo Herrera, PhD

Courtesy Ricardo Herrera
Courtesy Ricardo Herrera

Ricardo A. Herrera is a historian and Associate Professor of Military History at the Fort Leavenworth US Army Command and General Staff College’s School of Advanced Military Studies, with a specialization in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American military history and Early American history. Prior to joining SAMS, he spent six years teaching, leading, and designing staff rides at the Combat Studies Institute, US Army Combined Arms Center, Fort Leavenworth. His forthcoming book,
For Liberty and the Republic: The American Citizen as Soldier, 1775-1861, is being published by New York University Press and will be released in April 2015.


  • Lecture, discussion, and battlefield tour from a leading military scholar on the American Revolution
  • Lunch on both days, Saturday dinner
  • Travel to and around Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown
  • Accommodations at the Woodlands Hotel and Suites, right in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg


Saturday 9:00am Check-In at The Fred W. Smith National Library
  9:30am Overview of the Yorktown Campaign
Exclusive Tour of The Fred W. Smith National Library
Rare Document Viewing
  12:30pm Boxed Lunch at The Fred W. Smith National Library
  2:00pm Departure to Colonial Williamsburg
  6:00pm Dinner in Colonial Williamsburg
Site-seeing On Your Own
Sunday 8:00am Gather for Departure to Yorktown Battlefield
  9:00am Yorktown Battlefield with time at the Visitor Center, American Artillery Park, General Washington’s Headquarters, French Cemetery, Encampment, Pigeon Hill Redoubt, Untouched Redoubt
  12:30pm Lunch and Program Debrief
  2:00pm Departure for Mount Vernon

Day One

  • Overview of the Yorktown Campaign at The Fred W. Smith National Library by noted historian Ricardo A. Herrera
  • Staff-lead tour of The Fred W. Smith National Library and the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center
  • Exclusive viewing of rare Yorktown Campaign and Revolutionary War related documents and manuscripts 
  • Provided lunch and transportation to Williamsburg
  • Dinner in Colonial Williamsburg
  • Evening accommodations at the Woodlands Hotel and Suites, in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg

Day Two

  • Historian lead bus and walking tour of the Yorktown Battlefield
  • In-Depth discussion and examination of the Yorktown Campaign 
  • Lunchtime accommodations and transportation back to Mount Vernon