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

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

Marched to Guilford Court House, a place remarkable for ye action between genl Greene and Cornwallis, and encamped on part of the battle field. —LT. JOHN TILDEN, December 1781


EPILOGUE

The epigraph is an entry from the journal of Lt. John Bell Tilden recorded on 8 December 1781, nearly nine months after the battle of Guilford Courthouse. Gen. Anthony Wayne's Pennsylvania Continental Line Brigade had encamped on the Guilford battleground en route to South Carolina and Georgia, where they were intended to participate in American offensives against Savannah and Charleston. Delayed on the field for the next three days due to incessant rains, the Pennsylvanians actually performed the first archaeology on the site. Camped among the detritus of the battle, Lt. William McDowell of the 1st Pennsylvania recorded in his journal digging up “a number of but[t]s of muskets lying on the ground which the enemy had broke.”1

The authors of this book sincerely hope that our work successfully extends that which the Pennsylvanians so crudely began that cold, rainy December afternoon. Wayne's Continentals likely had questions about what actually had taken place at Guilford, and so did we. Our research into the battle derived from an examination of North Carolina's Continental officers as well as enlisted men who claimed service at Guilford. It had been generally assumed that no North Carolina Continentals were involved in the battle in a regu-

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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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