Long, Obstinate, and Bloody: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

By Lawrence E. Babits; Joshua B. Howard | Go to book overview

It was resolved to follow Greene's army to the end of the World. —BRIG. GEN. CHARLES O'HARA, Brigade of Guards, 20 April 1781


CHAPTER ONE THE RACE TO THE DAN

The “Race to the Dan” began shortly after the battle of Cowpens ended. During the early morning of 17 January 1781, Brig. Gen. Daniel Morgan had destroyed a British expeditionary force led by Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton in less than one hour. Morgan, along with his army and nearly 600 British prisoners, immediately marched north, crossing the Broad River and bivouacking. Convinced that Cornwallis, learning of Tarleton's defeat, would come after him to free the prisoners, Morgan set a furious pace and led by example, despite his deteriorating health. The “Old Wagoner” had his army moving up the road before dawn on 18 January.1

That same morning a dejected Tarleton rode into Cornwallis's camp along Turkey Creek, South Carolina, delivering news of the disaster. Nearly onequarter of Cornwallis's army had been killed or captured. His lordship was in an extremely difficult position, having lost two expeditionary groups from his main force: one, chiefly provincials, to backcountry riflemen at King's Mountain; and the other, his light troops, at Cowpens to Morgan's Continentals and militia. Cornwallis confessed in a letter to Lord Francis Rawdon four days later that “the late affair has almost broke my heart.”2

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Long, Obstinate, and Bloody: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations and Maps ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction: The Strategic Situation 1
  • Chapter on E the Race to the Dan 13
  • Chapter Two: From the Dan to Guilford Courthouse 37
  • Chapter Three: Greene's Army 52
  • Chapter Four: The British Army Advances 79
  • Chapter Five: The First Line 100
  • Chapter Six: The Second Line 117
  • Chapter Seven: The Battle within a Battle 129
  • Chapter Eight: The Third Line 142
  • Chapter Nine: The Aftermath 170
  • Chapter Ten: The Guilford 190
  • Epilogue 214
  • Appendix A: Order of Battle 219
  • Appendix B: Battle Casualties 223
  • Appendix C: Postwar Location of Pensioners by State of Service 227
  • Glossary 229
  • A Note on Sources 235
  • Notes 239
  • Bibliography 269
  • Index 289
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