Virginia Memory, Library of Virginia
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THIS DAY IN VIRGINIA HISTORY

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October 28, 1781

Parole of Charles Cornwallis, earl Cornwallis (1738–1805), 28 October 1781, Special Collections, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

General Cornwallis Was Paroled

Major General Charles Cornwallis, 2d earl Cornwallis (1738–1805), surrendered his British forces to General George Washington (1732–1799) and the combined American and French armies at Yorktown on October 19, 1781, effectively ending major military operations in the American Revolution. (The last British units were not withdrawn from the United States until after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.) This parole, written nine days later, acknowledged his status as a prisoner of war and allowed him to return to Great Britain but under the condition that he take no part in military actions against the United States or their allies.