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"The Surrender of Cornwallis", painting by John Trumbull, 1820

On October 18, 1781, the British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to the American and French Armies under General George Washington, thus ending the American Revolutionary War. The victorious American Army, together with its French allies, faced off against the British Army, and its hired Hessian soldiers. This was not how the war was expected to finish. The British soldiers were in shock.

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It is believed that thee fife and drummers of both armies responded by playing music for the troops as they marched forward. The American fife and drummers played "Yankee Doodle" and the British fife and drummers played "The World Turned Upside Down". The soldiers used music to express their feelings on this momentous day.




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Click here to listen to "Yankee Doodle" and read the lyrics

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Click here to listen to "The World Turned Upside Down" and read the lyrics