Visitor Information

Participant Information

Are you considering a visit to Colonial National Historic Park on the weekend of 28th - 29th September?

Are you planning to wear your period clothing (please see the civilian clothing guidelines)?

Are you expecting to see some sort of quaint gathering of jolly Redcoats on display for your amusement?

It's not going to be like that.

The British Army has been at war for seven long years. At Yorktown, by late September, this tough, confident, experienced army was determined to defend Yorktown, and is not in a party mood.

It will be more like this:

Or this:

Are you perhaps thinking you are going to "spy" on the Redcoats, or "smuggle" goods?

Don't bother. Lafayette has been keeping an eye on Cornwallis for weeks. Washington and Rochambeau arrived in Williamsburg on the 14th. Anyone with a pair of eyes knows exactly where the British are and what they are doing - digging in to defend Yorktown.

As for smuggling, the British will gladly pay you for your goods in hard coin, which is a better deal than you are going to get from the Continentals.

Yorktown was not a tourist destination. Nobody was "just visiting" Yorktown. We will not be issuing "Passes", "Paroles", or "Loyalty Oaths". Bear in mind that in September of 1781 Yorktown was home to roughly 8500 soldiers and sailors, plus a like number of teamsters, laborers, scouts, artificers, and wives and children of the soldiers, as well as merchants, sutlers, vendors, escaped slaves, refugees, and the few residents of the town who decided not to leave, all of whom needed to show a really good reason why they had to be there or risk being turned out of the lines.

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