"They have one or two little works to preserve a communication with the Country." American General Anthony Wayne describes the British defenses at Gloucester Point, 1781
In 1781, large armies and important events came to Gloucester Point and to Yorktown across the river. An 8,300 man British army, commanded by General Charles Lord Cornwallis, marched to the Virginia coast to establish a naval base. A French battle fleet, allies of the Americans, beat British ships sailing to ensure British control of the Chesapeake Bay. After the September 5th "Battle of the Capes," in which the French navy inflicted heavy damage on the British fleet, Cornwallis's army was all but trapped at Yorktown.
In late September, General George Washington, commanding a 17,600 man American and French army, arrived at Yorktown. Gloucester Point became the only "communication with the country" for the besieged British. They needed the Point as a base to forage for local supplies and as an escape route from Yorktown.
British forces built a strong defensive line across the Point nearby to your right. Four redoubts, earthen forts reinforced with artillery, were joined by a stockade that stretched from shore to shore. About 900 soldiers guarded these isolated defenses.