“Dude, there’s not a Home Depot on the continent,” the men protested. Virginia’s native son and nephew-in-law to the expected first American president, Peyton Randolph, was not a man to mince words. Still, sacrificing one’s home just because it had been overrun by Redcoats was serious stuff.
“Fire on my house!” Thomas Nelson, Jr. commanded. He was all-in. Men loaded the big guns and followed orders, but perhaps half-heartedly because the Nelson house still stands proud 200 years later. Her walls pockmarked with American cannonade bear witness to the battle where Cornwallis cried uncle.
Visitors who don’t wish to walk historic Yorktown can sight-see by segway. Colonial-era homes and grounds look much the same now as then and the battlefield is just to the right of Main Street. Owned and operated by the National Park Service, maps and driving tour CD’s are available in the Visitors Center. Park the segway outside and stroll in to see a replica revolutionary era warship.
Spring 2016 promises the transformation of the Yorktown Victory Center. Interpreters will bring history to life with re-creations of a Continental army camp and a 1780’s farm.
Don’t head home though before making the short stroll to Water Street where you can dine on great seafood at the Duke of York Restaurant and toast those boys across the pond. They lost. We won. Americans carried the day and now there is a lovely little York River beach where you can go stick your toes in the sand.