Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Battle of Cowpens
|Battle of Cowpens|
|Conflict||American Revolutionary War|
|Date||17 January 1781|
|Place||Cowpens, South Carolina|
|Result||Decisive American victory|
As part of the campaign in the Carolinas, a force of 1,100 British under Sir Banastre Tarleton were sent against 1000 men under Morgan. The American forces were able to perform a double envelopment of Tarleton's force, at the cost of only 12 killed and 61 wounded. Tarleton was one of around 160 British troops to escape.
Daniel Morgan carefully prepared his men for the coming battle by visiting the campfires of his men and telling them of his plans for them to defeat the British forces in the morning while regaling them with tales of how as a teamster on General Braddock's expedition, during the Seven Years War, he had struck a British officer and had been sentenced to receive 500 lashes. Oftentimes this punishment was enough to kill those sentenced to receive it but instead Daniel Morgan counted out the strokes and forever maintained that the British officer in charge of the count got it wrong and only gave him 499 lashes and therefore he owed the British one lash. His instructions were to station his sharpshooters around the side of the clear area known as "the cowpens" (Cows got penned up there prior to being driven to market), with orders to shoot a few volleys when the British arrived. Behind a small hill he stationed the rest of his force.
Colonel Tarleton roused his troops around 2:30 AM. to continue the pursuit of the American forces under Morgan; this ensured that they arrived at the field of battle tired and hungry at about 8:00 AM as Col. Tarleton decided to send them straight into battle without even giving them time to fix breakfast.
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