Battle of Cowpens

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Battle of Cowpens
Occurred January 17, 1781

The Battle of Cowpens occurred on Jan. 17, 1781, during the American Revolution. American General Daniel Morgan ordered his line of militia to fire into British General Cornwallis' and Colonel Tarleton's soldiers, who included Highlanders, dragoons and loyalists. The British pursued the Americans, but American Continentals were waiting for the British over a hill. Mel Gibson's movie "The Patriot" depicted this battle.

The Americans scored a huge success, killing 110 British and capturing 830.

But then British General Cornwallis reassembled his men and chased the Americans. He reached the Catawba River shortly after the Americans had crossed it. But a storm and flooded conditions then made the river impassable. Similar intervention by weather interfered with Cornwallis at the Yadkin River and Dan River.

British Commander Henry Clinton described this as follows: "Here the royal army was again stopped by a sudden rise of the waters, which had only just fallen (almost miraculously) to let the enemy over."

General Washington made a similar observation, "We have ... abundant reasons to thank Providence for its many favorable interpositions in our behalf. It has at times been my only dependence, for all other resources seemed to have failed us."