Cowpens - Annotated Battle Map from USMA

Cowpens-Annotated Battle Map from USMA

Before we think about the Battle of Cowpens, which the Patriots won against the British (who were led by Banastre Tarleton), let's examine the word "Cowpens."

If we break the word in two, we have "cow pens." Does that have something to do with the battle scene? As it happens, the answer is "yes"—and—the term "cowpens" is associated with South Carolina (where the Battle of Cowpens was fought).

The U.S. Park Service tells us about the meaning of "cowpens," as it was used during the Revolutionary-War era:

A term, endemic to South Carolina, referring to open-range stock grazing operations of the colonial period. These were usually cleared areas, 100 to 400 acres in extent. Many, in eastern South Carolina, were known for their native canebrakes. Piedmont pastures, though less numerous, often contained peavine. ["Peavine" is a legume often found in piedmont South Carolina cowpens.]

The battle of Cowpens (January 17, 1781) occurred in two phases:  

  • The British attack was phase one;
  • The American counterattack was phase two.

The Patriots’ victory was surprising and became a stepping stone to ultimate victory at Yorktown.

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Media Credits

Annotated map, courtesy United States Military Academy.


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"Cowpens - Annotated Battle Map from USMA" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Jun 02, 2020.
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