Yorktown and Tidewater Virginia

October 19, 2001


Provided by: NASA/GSFC
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster

The above Landsat image was taken last fall (November 2000) and shows the lower Chesapeake Bay and the tidewater area of Virginia. On this "true color" image, forests are green, agricultural areas are tan, water is dark blue, wetlands are brownish, and urban areas are bluish-gray. The large rivers entering the bay from the west are (from north to south) the Patuxent (in Maryland), the Potomac (border of Maryland and Virginia), the Rappahannock, the York, and the James.

Yorktown is on the south shore of the York River, just before it empties into the Chesapeake. On this date 220 years ago, October 19, 1781, the battle of Yorktown marked the end of the Revolutionary War. The battle began late in September 1781, and after a long bombardment by American and French troops, the British General Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington. The Chesapeake Bay played a role in not only the Revolutionary War, but the War of 1812 and the Civil War as well.

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