Two Shots: The Battle of Cowpens

Tuesday, January 17, marks the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens. Few, even in South Carolina, are aware of the battle, and its significance to the outcome of the War for American Independence.
While few are familiar with the name, the battle was recreated as the big battle scene in the Mel Gibson movie "The Patriot". True to what really happened, led by Gen. Daniel Morgan, a rough-and-tough farmer turned solider (sound familiar?), the militia fired two rounds on the over-confident British regulars, who charged with bayonet right into American regular soliders. While the rest of the battle in the movie differed somewhat, the outcome was the same - a major defeat for the British.

General Cornwallis, angered by the loss of his dragoons and seeking to avenge defeat, as well as at
King's Mountain the previous fall, defied orders to keep his army in South Carolina. He pushed northwards into North Carolina and then Virginia, allowing a coalition of militia and regular Continential forces took advantage of his departure to push the British to evacuate the entire state, with the exception of the vicinity of Charleston.

Cornwallis' quest led him to a draw at Guilford Courthouse, then to resupply his diminshed and exhausted army at the small Virigina port of Yorktown. I'm sure you know the rest of the story from there.

On Tuesday, take a moment to reflect on this important battle, and the sacrifices made here in South Carolina by so many that would help allow these remote British colonies to win their independence, and go on to have such a major impact upon the course of world events.

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