Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vireur, Comte de Rochambeau was a French nobleman and commander of a 5,500 man French Expeditionary Force sent to assist the American Continental Army in their fight for independence from Great Britain. Rochambeau arrived in North America with his small force in July of 1780 and encamped in the vicinity of Providence, Rhode Island. After a year of inactivity the French joined forces with Washington’s army and the combined force then marched to lay siege to the British at Yorktown, Virginia. The siege ended as a decisive victory for the allies on 19 October 1781. The surrender and capture of Cornwallis’ army prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict. It was the last major land battle of the American War for Independence.