OLD YORKTOWN AND ITS HISTORY
THE HARBOR, YORKTOWN, VA.
When the British Prime Minister heard the news of the sur-
render which ended the great Revolutionary War, he threw up
his hands and exclaimed, "MNy God, it's all over." It was all
over and "America was free."
When Cornwallis first entered Yorktown he made his head-
quarters at Secretary Nelson's house, which stood on Secretary
Hill. This secretary of the King's Council was called Tory
Nelson, because of his friendliness to the English, and it was be-
cause of his sympathy with the enemy that Cornwallis selected
this place for his headquarters. The French found that Corn-
wallis was hiding there and opened fire on the house. The
occupants were dining. The butler was killed while serving the
general. When Cornwallis found the house was being shelled he
said, "It's time to be moving," and went immediately to Governor
Nelson's home. Secretary Nelson's house was totally destroyed.
Learning that the British commander had moved to the gov-
ernor's house, the French troops began firing on him there.
Washington, hearing that Nelson's property was being destroyed,
sent word that nothing belonging to him must be damaged.
Nelson himself, who was commanding the Virginia militia, when
he heard Washington's orders, went out to the ships and said,
"I want no property of mine saved that holds refuge for the
enemy." Whereupon he aimed the gun and offered five guineas