What was the Battle of Cowpens?

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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The Battle of Cowpens occurred on January 17, 1781 in South Carolina. It was during the Revolutionary War, and a major victory over the British. The British had won some fairly major battles in the South in Charleston and Camden. Major General Nathanael Greene, who was in charge of the Continental Army's Southern campaign, split his army into smaller segments in order to attack the British troops in more areas. Brigadier General Daniel Morgan was sent to attack British Fort Ninety-Six. General Cornwallis, in charge of the British troops, sent Banastre Tarleton after Morgan. According to History.com

As Tarleton’s men attacked, Morgan instructed the militia to skirmish with them but to leave the front line after firing two rounds. The British mistook the repositioning of the Americans as a rout and ran into an unexpected volley of concentrated rifle fire coupled with a cavalry charge.

The British suffered heavy casualties during this battle, and it proved to be a turning point in the Southern campaign. Less than a year later, the British surrendered at Yorktown. Two US ships have been named for this battle.

 

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