The_Battle_of_Cowpens - The Battle of Cowpens The Battle of...

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The Battle of Cowpens The Battle of Cowpens January 17, 1781, took place in the latter part of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution and of the Revolution itself. It became known as the turning point of the war in the South, part of a chain of events leading to Patriot victory at Yorktown. The Cowpens victory was won over a crack British regular army and brought together strong armies and leaders who made their mark on history. British strategists looked to take the war to the south, primarily to assist Southern Loyalists and to move north to crush the rebellion. They estimated that the population would rally to the Crown. In 1779-80, British redcoats indeed came south and captured Savannah and Charleston. Such victories gave the British confidence they would soon control the entire South. Conquering these population centers, however, gave the British a false sense of victory they didn’t count on so much opposition. The Southern Campaign, especially in the backcountry, was essentially a civil war as the colonial population split between Patriot and Loyalist. Conflict came, often pitting neighbor against neighbor and re-igniting old feuds and animosities. Those of both sides organized militia, often engaging each other. The countryside was devastated, and raids and reprisals were the order of the day. Into this conflict, General George Washington sent the very capable Nathanael Greene to take command of the Southern army. Against military custom, Greene, just two weeks into his command, split his army, sending General Daniel Morgan southwest of the Catawba River to cut supply lines and hamper British operations in the backcountry, and, in doing so "spirit up the people". General Cornwallis, British commander in the South, countered Greene’s move by

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