Monday, March 19, 2012

Episode 103 (March 19, 2012): History on the York River--"The Surrender of Cornwallis" by Bobby Horton

Please see below (after the transcript and show notes) for links to news and upcoming events.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of March 19, 2012.

This week we feature another song in the theme of the role of rivers in the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars.  Have a listen for about a minute.


You’ve been listening to part of “The Surrender of Cornwallis,” performed by Bobby Horton on the 2008 album “Homespun Songs of the Patriots in the American Revolution.”  Established on the York River in 1691, Yorktown was an important Virginia port by the time of the Revolutionary War.  In 1781, Lord Charles Cornwallis led Great Britain’s southern army to Yorktown to establish a protected harbor for the British fleet.  When George Washington learned that a French fleet was sailing towards the Chesapeake Bay, American and French forces marched from New York to Virginia in order to trap Cornwallis’ army.  The resulting siege of Yorktown—aided by the French blockade of the lower Bay after the September 5 naval battle on the Bay between Virginia’s Cape Henry and Cape Charles—led to Cornwallis’ surrender on October 19.  That surrender helped end the war, but the battle severely damaged Yorktown, which never regained its former prominence as a port.  Thanks to Bobby Horton for permission to use this week’s music.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

Acknowledgments: “Homespun Songs of the Patriots in the American Revolution” and its version of “The Surrender of Cornwallis” are copyright by Bobby Horton, used with permission.  More information about Mr. Horton is available online at  The first installment in this series on music about rivers in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars was Episode 101 (Week of 3-5-12).

Sources: Information on Yorktown and its role in the Revolutionary War, and on the Battle of the Capes, was taken from the National Park Service’s “Colonial National Historical Park-Yorktown Battlefield” Web site at (3/19/12).

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Water Meetings and Other Events
            For events related to Virginia's water resources, please visit the Quick Guide to Virginia Water–related Conferences, Workshops, and Other Events, online at  The site includes a list of Virginia government policy and regulatory meetings occurring in the coming week.