The famous battle of Cowpens is said to have taken place in the year 1789, starting from the month of January. It took place during the American Revolution and specifically on the southern campaign. It is on record that it in the southern campaign latter part. In the war of the south, it became the turning point as it formed the chain of event that lead to the victory term as patriot in Yorktown. A crack over the regular British army lead to the winning of the Cowpens victory and it is worth noting that it united strong leaders as well as soldier who worked together to ensure that they put a mark in the history.
There were a number of reasons as to why the Continental army moved to the south. One of the reasons identified for their move to the south was assisting the loyalist from south. They wanted to help this loyalist to have the capacity against the colonial governments by regaining control over them and eventually forcing them towards the north. This would have facilitated in the crushing of the existing rebellion where a large population was estimated to work towards achieving the victory (Babits, pg 300).
The British redcoats are on record to have moved to the south in the year 1779 and the year 1780 where they succeeded in capturing Savannah and then moved on to capture Camden and Charleston. This took place in the South Carolina, where, in the process they managed to defeat and, in the long run, capture the continental army in the south. These kinds of victories are the ones that boosted the confidence of the British that they would eventually win the south since even loyalist were flocking in support of their cause.
It is worth noting that the British got a false sense of victory after they continued winning and conquering the population centres. This made them forget that they were facing strong opposition from the “ back country”. The back country there was much conflict that worked to their disadvantage without their knowledge and it turned out to be their worst of all other experiences (British Invasion of South Carolina, Battle of Cowpens, pg 27).
In the back country, the campaign in the south was basically a civil war since record has it that population that was made up of the colonialist had split into two where there were loyalists and the patriots. The situation on the ground continued to worsen where it was pitting between neighbours and these brought to life old animosity. It was evident that each of the antagonist groups arranged themselves into militia groups that from time to time engaged each other. The situation in the country side was said to be deteriorating and reprisals and raids became the order of the day (Babits, pg 300).
The Continental Army, which took part in the battle, was under the command of Brigadier general Daniel Morgan. These men made several contributions. It is worth noting that in this conflict Nathanael Green was one able soldier who took part in the commanding the army from the south. A close look into the history shows that this able soldier was sent a general by the name George Washington. A further examination of history reveals that these army soldiers went a mile extra to bend the customs of the soldiers. One of the soldiers that were known for going against the custom of the army is Green who did the unexpected just two weeks ahead of his appointment. Green is said to have split the army that he lead where he gave different soldiers different tasks aimed at hindering and frustrating the operations of the British especially in the back country.
On the other hand, the British army was led by General Cornwallis who commanded the soldiers from Britain in the south. He was smart enough to counter the move Green had made. He was sent by the commander of the army, Banastre, a Lieutenant Colonel was charge with countering the move that Green was making. The colonel was one of the youngest in the army who was much feared due to his capacity to do extra ordinary things. This is one thing that prompted his fellow soldiers to hate him and especially because he was one who led to the victory they recorded at Waxhaw.
Reasons why the soldiers joined
The soldiers who took part in the battle did so for different reason. One common thing about them is that they were known to have the capacity to lead the battle. Green one of the soldier in that battle was selected to head the army after the congress stopped appointing soldiers based on their political affiliation. Green brought Morgan into the battle since he was believed to have the capacity to command in the battle. Tarleton on the other hand being a young and strong soldier joined in the battle since he was on record to have led other soldier and won other battles. He was on record having won several decisive victories (Babits, pg 300).
It is worth noting that all the soldiers in the battle line were adequately trained and were ready to engage in the battle (Babits, pg 300). The level of training of the soldiers was evident with regard to the strategies they used. For instance Morgan used a strategy of deception where Tarleton army was deceived on a false retreat. This strategy is used by the nervous militia where its objective was to get their enemies on a battle up hills. Morgan was believed to have had an experience that was dating back to the Indian and French wars. He also had a high level of training since he had taken part in another battle, for instance, the siege of Boston and Canada invasion in 1777. Another strategy that reflected the level of training of the armies involved was Tarleton marching his troops to the point exhaustion. The strategy was aimed at catching Morgan unaware. This helped them to approach them and directly attack them with the assumption that victory would be assured.
Previous battle experience
It is worth noting that the soldier had been in other battle and it is believed that they took part in the battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge. Another battle that the soldiers took part in is the failed naval expedition where they had aimed at taking Charleston back in the year 1776. Morgan had experienced several other battles for instance the climactic battle French and Indian battles among others. Tarleton on the other hand had participated in other battle in the past. For instance he had taken part in the battle of Waxhaw.
How the soldiers were affected by victory or defeat
The Cowpens battle had serious implications on the soldiers who took part in the battle. For instance, Tarleton, who led the British army, suffered casualty rate of close to 86%. In addition to that his brigade experienced the worst as it was wiped out with respect to the fighting force. On the other hand, Morgan who led his soldiers to defeat the militia gained fame and was referred affectionately to as the “ old Waggoner”. He was praised for leading his troops in fighting a mastery battle. Morgan was praised again for having made decisions that were tactical and also made use of his leadership at a personal level to enable his men to win one of the most convincing and complete wars.
As for the Continental Soldiers, any more effort they tried to make to the south always proved to be futile. The overconfidence that was expressed by Tarleton has been justified by his history where he always won easy victories. British loss of grip in the south was attributed to by their underestimation of revolutionaries and the ultimate overconfidence.
How the soldiers were paid and by who
British Invasion of South Carolina, Battle of Cowpens, 17 January 1781. Fort Gordon, GA: US Army Signal Center, 2005. Print.
Roberts, Kenneth L. The Battle of Cowpens: The Great Morale-Builder. Garden City, N. Y: Doubleday, 2008. Print.
Babits, Lawrence E. A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000. Print.