General Cornwallis is probably best known as the British general who surrendered to the American troops, effectively ending the war. Charles Cornwallis was born on New Year's Eve in 1738 to Charles Cornwallis, 1st Earl Cornwallis and Elizabeth Townshend. He received is early education at Eton and later went on to attend a military academy in Turin, Italy. When he returned from his studies, he immediately wanted to be a part of the French and Indian War. He spent most of the war in Germany. He stared out as a staff officer for Lord Granby but was soon appointed to the position of captain of the 85th Regiment of Foot. He was later promoted to lieutenant colonel of the 12th Foot in May 1761. In July 1761 Cornwallis was cited for his bravery as he and his men fought in the Battle of Villinghausen. After he felt as though he had proved himself a great soldier and commander her returned home in 1762 following his father’s death.
Compelled by his sense of duty, Cornwallis served in the American Revolution. He was promoted to lieutenant general. After being defeated by Washington in Princeton there was tension between Cornwallis and his fellow officer, General Clinton. Over the next few years Cornwallis defeated Washington’s army at the Battles of Brandywine, Germantown and Fort Mercer. Cornwallis took a trip home to see his family and when he came back, he discovered that he had become second in command. Little did he know a few years later he would fight and later surrender in the last major battle of the American Revolution, the Battle of Yorktown, in 1781. The cave was used during this battle; towards the end it is believed that General Cornwallis used this cave to hide before making the decision to surrender.