Sunday, August 8, 2010
The Ghost of War Whispers
The patina of bronze age is dull in the full sunlight of the Yorktown battlefield but close up below the verdigris it is easy to spot the year, 1756. This cannon was #16 built to kill; it says so right on its barrel. It sits against a bulwark and trench looking over what was once the British line on this bright August morning in 2010 on the Yorktown National Battlefield less than a mile from Chesapeake Bay. This place is significant because it is where our freedom was born; as Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington on October 19, 1781 after the bloody last battle of the Revolutionary War. From the National Park Service brochure: “In the spring of 1781 the American War of Independence entered its seventh year. Having practically abandoned their efforts to reconquer the northern states, the British still had hopes of subjugating the South. By trying to do so, they unwittingly set in motion a train of events that would give independence to their colonies and change the history of the world."
Come along on the tour but keep in mind today it exists in a bucolic splendor of peaceful deep woods and empty fields. It is achingly beautiful country which far belies the travesties which must have occurred here.