5 Things You Should Know About Cowpens, 1781

No, we’re not talking about the cleaning or actual up-keep of pens for cattle. We’re talking about another battle from the American War For Independence.

Unlike the other battles we’ve discussed this month, Cowpens was fought in the South. The Southern campaigns of the war are often overlooked or glazed over in the history books. Why? My theory is because George Washington didn’t fight down there, and the history isn’t quite as clear as “Redcoats vs. Patriots” because there’s guerrilla fighting, turncoats, loyalists, and…oh, that’s right – the war didn’t go in the Americans’ favor until the very end in the Carolinas.

However, Cowpens is right there in the ending of the campaign. (Spoiler: It’s an American victory!) And it’s a turning point in the war which will force the British Army to return north. And one of the American commanders was from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia which is one of my favorite regions to study – so without further spoilers, let’s discuss five things you should know about this battle. Continue reading