Despite his personal feelings, Cornwallis fought against the colonists, honoring his British heritage. He won some victories, but, because of the erratic orders from England, his command was doomed. The high command in England could not make up its mind as to how to fight the "War in the Colonies."
Surrounded by the superior forces of Washington, Cornwallis was forced to surrender. He did so with both honor and dignity. He returned to England in defeat and believed his career to be over.