About 7,000 British and German soldiers surrendered at Yorktown on Oct. 19, 1781, 236 years ago, marking the formal end of the Revolutionary War.
Still, most Americans didn't believe it was over.
The Marquis de Lafayette wrote home to France and said "the play is over … the fifth act has ended," according to Edward Ayres, a historian for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation.
But news of the British surrender following the Battle of Yorktown would have been news to residents on Virginia's Eastern Shore. There, British troops were still raiding farms for food and other supplies for more than a year after Yorktown, according to an account by the late author Kirk...