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On this Virginia field the final major battle of the Revolutionary War with England ended on October 19, 1781, with the surrender of Lord Cornwallis to General George Washington and the Continental Army. The earthworks Washington had built 80 years before were used again in 1862. Union officer Major George B. McClellan, in a campaign to reach Richmond, lay siege to Yorktown only to find it abandoned when he reached it May 4, 1862. Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston gave up the battle in the face of McClellan’s superior numbers and retreated leaving behind a new weapon- land mines- to claim the lives of the Union soldiers. Yorktown remained in Union control for the rest of the war.