Cowpens National Battlefield

4001 Chesnee Hwy, Gaffney, SC

Cowpens National Battlefield

Date of Battle: January 17, 1781

The Battle

General Cornwallis leads British regulars into North Carolina. General Daniel Morgan confronts the British at Cowpens. Morgan puts his unreliable militia in the center of his line. He tells the men that he needs them to fire only two volleys, then they can withdraw.

British Colonel Banatre Tarelton sees the American center falter and retreat. He leads his men in a charge into the retreating center, only to find himself surrounded by Continentals on both his left and right flanks. Almost all of the British engaged are killed or captured.

Visiting the Battleground

Cowpens National Battlefield, a unit of the National Park System, is a Revolutionary War battle site that commemorates the victory of Brigadier General Daniel Morgan over British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton. At the time of the battle, the Cow Pens was a well-known pasturing area in the upcountry of South Carolina.

Address: 4001 Chesnee Highway, Gaffney, SC

Entrance fee: None

The Cowpens National Battlefield includes a visitor center, a walking trail, and an auto loop road around the perimeter of the battlefield. At the visitor center, you can view Revolutionary War artifacts, exhibits, and a laser disk presentation titled “Cowpens: A Battle Remembered.” The Battle Trail is a self-guided 1.2-mile walking trail that includes wayside exhibits and a portion of the historic Green River Road that both armies used to get to the Cow Pens. You can travel the perimeter of the battlefield and view additional wayside exhibits on the 3.8-mile auto loop road.

Check the Cowpens National Battlefield web site for information on hours of operation.

Don’t Miss!

The Battlefield Trail, which begins and ends at the Visitor Center, is at 1.25-mile self-guiding walking tour that includes a portion of the original Green River Road along which the battle was fought.

→ Have you been here? Do you have suggestions for others who are passionate about history and want to make the most of their visit, or recommendations for things nearby that every history lover should see?  Please send them in and we may add them to this page.

Contributor: This list of major Revolutionary War Battles and descriptions was written by Michael Troy, the creator and host of the American Revolution Podcast, who selected these sites and described the battles.

Photo: By Ken Lund, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Editor: Creation of this trip, including additional research on visiting these historic sites by Donna Keesling, editor at The History List.

Updated April 8, 2022

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