Cowpens National Battlefield
During the American Revolution, the Carolinas was a bevy of activity. Known as the Southern Campaign, both Carolinas were setting for numerous battles between 1778 and 1781.
The Battle of Cowpens - fought on January 17th, 1781 - was a turning point in the Southern Theatre of the war. The American victory, swift as it was, would begin a series of events leading to British General Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown that November.
|Battle of Cowpens Monument is located at the park's visitors center.|
The battle pitted 1,065 American forces under General Daniel Morgan against British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton's combined 1,150 British and American Loyalist troops. The battle was fought just after dawn on the morning of January 17th over an open field near the Broad River. The battle was a decisive victory for the Americans. By 8:00 AM, the fighting was over. The Americans suffered nearly 150 casualties (killed and wounded) - the British saw 868 casualties (110 killed, 229 wounded, and over 500 missing or captured by Morgan's outfit.) The Americans destroyed Tarleton's army, and Tarleton narrowly escaped capture.
As a result of the American victory, the British gave up on South Carolina and fell back into North Carolina and eventually Virginia.
Cowpens National Battlefield
|The Cowpens National Battlefield is well preserved.|
Cowpens National Battlefield sits along South Carolina Highway 11 just east of Chesnee. The over 840-acre park offers different ways to explore the battlefield.
|Part of the 1-mile Battlefield Trail loop follows the original Green River Road.|
The park is home to a 3.8-mile one-way driving loop around the battlefield. Several wayside points will allow you to stop and see specific topics of interest. In addition, the 1.3-mile Battlefield trail takes you through the heart of the battlelines. This is easily accessible via the visitor's center or at the Battlefield Trail Trailhead at SC 11 and Hayes Road.
The park is home to a visitor's center, a picnic area with additional hiking trails, and a historic replica of Robert Scruggs' log cabin. Scruggs farmed the land on and around the battlefield before it became part of the National Park Service.
|A replica of Robert Scruggs cabin is one of the stops on the Cowpens Driving Tour.|
Cowpens National Battlefield is year-long from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. After the gates close, the park is still accessible via the Battlefield Trail Trailhead at SC 11 and Hayes Road. The park is not only popular with battlefield visitors but also with runners, bicyclists, and hikers. The visitor's center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. If your visit is on a non-visitor center day - the restrooms and a kiosk for park maps and NPS Passport stamps are available.
Cowpens National Battlefield began as a National Battlefield Site in 1929 and was designated a National Battlefield in 1972. With the new designation, the National Park Service began acquiring land to preserve the battlefield. The visitor center opened in 1979.
Sources & Links:
- Cowpens National Battlefield ---National Park Service
- Battle of Cowpens ---American Battlefield Trust
- Trip to Cowpens National Battlefield ---Personal photo set on flickr.