236th Anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens

Cincinnati Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution Compatriot Michael Gunn attended the 236th Anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens at the National Park Site in Cherokee County, South Carolina on January 14, 2017 where he placed a wreath on behalf of the Cincinnati Chapter, SAR.

The Battle of Cowpens was a pivotal confrontation with the British in the Revolutionary War that enabled the colonists to turn the tide of the war into a favorable trend towards a victory against King George III in the war which began in the mid 1770’s. Forces under General Daniel Morgan included his renowned Riflemen (sharpshooters), units of backwoods militia and crack units of the Continental Army from Delaware and Maryland.

The opposition army was commanded by Banastre Tarlton, who led a large force of British regulars. He had a reputation of cruelty from his actions in many earlier conflicts with George Washington’s military as well as the general colonial population. He had split off of General Cornwallis’ army under the objective to destroy the colonists and gain a marked advantage for the British through defeat of Morgan. He had intelligence that Morgan’s forces were encamped at a frontier pasturing ground on the Green River Road close to a ford across the Broad River, six miles to the northwest. He planned to dispatch Morgan’s army, then rejoin Cornwallis to continue a rout of the Americans.

However, a brilliant strategy developed from the minds of Daniel Morgan and General Washington’s favorite General Nathaniel Greene would win over the blunt attack planned by the British commander. Even going up against forces of greater numbers, General Morgan used an approach that caused the overconfident British troops to experience losses they couldn’t imagine. The battle was over in less than an hour. British losses were: 110 killed, 229 wounded and 600 captured or missing. Morgan’s losses were: 24 killed and 104 wounded.

All in all, this event won a signal victory over what was at the beginning of the revolution considered far superior forces. Celebrating this battle is worthy of our expressing gratitude to those who risked so much to give us these United States of America.

Michael B. Gunn, Ph.D.

Past President, Patriot Graves Chair Cincinnati Chapter of the
Sons of the American Revolution
NSSAR Committees:
Patriot Biographies, Veterans and
Patriot Index/Rev War Graves Register

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