American and French forces under General Lafayette attacked the British at Yorktown, Virginia. It was the last major battle of the Revolution. On October 17, 1781, British general Charles Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington.
In the Newburgh Conspiracy, Continental officers who had long been waiting to receive pensions and back pay from Congress threatened to revolt against a “country that tramples on your rights.” Washington convinced military leaders to resist sedition.
American forces took part in the forty-seven-day Meuse-Argonne offensive. The Allies advanced through the Argonne Forest and pushed the German line back until, cornered and with no hope for success, the Germans agreed to cease fire and an armistice on November 11.
John Brown, with allies including five black men, led an armed abolitionist raid on the Harpers Ferry arsenal in Virginia. Two days later the US Army, led by Colonel Robert E. Lee, stormed Harpers Ferry and captured Brown.
In reprisal for the Sack of Lawrence and the attack on Charles Sumner, John Brown and six companions murdered five pro-slavery men at Pottawatomie Creek in Kansas. A war of reprisals left 200 dead in “Bleeding Kansas.”