Cornwallis Cave – Yorktown, VA

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Cornwallis’ Cave

The National Park Service created Cornwallis’ Cave in Virginia through stone quarrying. Located at Water St, Yorktown, VA 23690, this cave is believed to be the hiding place of General Charles Cornwallis’ during the siege of Yorktown during the American Revolutionary War. The National Park Service also claims that Generals Lafayette and Lee used this cave to store ammunition and Confederate guns during the Civil War. The origin of this mysterious location is unclear, but it does have historical significance. To learn more about the cave, read the National Geographic article "Cornwallis’ Cave”.

Visitors to Cornwallis’ Cave can walk through the stone quarry. The cave is believed to be a grotto where General Cornwallis’ hid during the Battle of Yorktown. During colonial times, the cave was used to store potatoes. During the American Civil War, the cave was used as a storage facility for Confederate munitions. The Confederate forces cut holes in the front wall, installed support beams to support a plank roof, and covered the walls with earth to protect their munitions from the Union warships. Today, the cave has fallen into the process of erosion and weathering.

A natural landmark in the American Revolution, Cornwallis' Cave is a cave made of stone and overlooks the beachfront of the York River. The grotto, or cavern, is believed to be the hiding place of General Cornwallis’ during the Siege of Yorktown. This cave was also used during colonial times as a storage facility for potatoes. However, it was repurposed as a munitions storage facility by the Confederates during the American Civil War. In order to protect their munitions from Union warships, the Confederates cut a hole in the front wall and installed a plank roof. The grotto is now covered in earth, while the rest of the structure has fallen into the natural processes of erosion and weathering.

Although it is believed that Cornwallis’ used the "cave" to hide during the Revolutionary War, the cave has been used for other purposes. It was once used for potatoes during colonial times. It later became a storage area for Confederate munitions during the American Civil War. In 1862, Confederate forces used the cave as a storage facility. The Confederates cut recesses in the front wall, installed support beams for a plank roof, and covered the walls with earth to protect their munitions from Union warships. Consequently, the space has fallen into the natural processes of erosion and weathering.

The story of Cornwallis' fall from grace is a fascinating one. The reconstructed cave was once the only one in the world to be used for storage purposes. Despite its spooky origins, the tunnel and the natural bridge are still visible. A modern visit to the site is an exciting adventure that will leave you breathless. This is a wonderful way to spend the day and learn about the history of Yorktown.

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