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Battle of Cowpens, January 17, 1781. American Revolution in the Carolinas.   Tags: american history. american revolution. southern campaign. carolinas.  

This research guide provides resources for the study of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. The Continental soldiers commanded by Daniel Morgan defeated a British force near Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Last Updated: Jan 19, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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7 Leadership Lessons of the American Revolution - John Antal
Call Number: ONLINE for SSI personnel. EBSCOhost.
ISBN: 9781612002026
Publication Date: 2013-08-19
See Chapter 6: Charge Bayonet! Daniel Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens.

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Battles of the Revolutionary War, 1775-1781 - William J. Wood; John S. D. Eisenhower (Introduction by)
Call Number: ONLINE for SSI Personnel. EBSCOHost.
ISBN: 9780945575030
Publication Date: 1990-06-15
See Chapter 8: The Cowpens

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Nathanael Greene: A Biography of the American Revolution - Gerald M. Carbone
Call Number: ONLINE for SSI Personnel. EBSCOhost.
ISBN: 9780230602717
Publication Date: 2008-06-24
See Chapter 6: The Cowpens. Nathanael Greene transformed a small unit into an elite fighting force.

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The South Carolina Encyclopedia Guide to the American Revolution in South Carolina - Walter Edgar (Editor)
Call Number: ONLINE for SSI Personnel. EBSCOHost.
ISBN: 9781283739498
Publication Date: 2012-01-01
As America's first civil war, the revolution pitted Loyalists against partisans and patriots in the fierce combat that established the legacies of figures such as Francis Marion, Nathanael Greene, Peter Horry, Henry and John Laurens, Daniel Morgan, and Andrew Jackson. In addition to profiling these leaders, this guide also chronicles the major combat operations, including the battles of Ninety Six, Cowpens, Camden, Kings Mountain, and Charleston Harbor.


Books in the SSI Library

A Battlefield Atlas of the American Revolution - Craig L. Symonds; William J. Clipson (Illustrator)
Call Number: 911.73 S988b
ISBN: 0933852533
Publication Date: 1986-06-01
Part Four: The War Moves South. MAP 33 - King's Mountain. Map 34: Cowpens. Map 35: Guilford Courthouse.

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A Devil of a Whipping: The Battle of Cowpens - Lawrence E. Babits
Call Number: 973.337 B114 1998
ISBN: 080784926x
Publication Date: 2001-02-26
On January 17, 1781, in a pasture near present-day Spartanburg, South Carolina, Daniel Morgan's army of Continental troops and militia routed an elite British force under the command of the notorious Banastre Tarleton.

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A Gallant Defense - Carl P. Borick
Call Number: 973.336 B734
ISBN: 1570034877
Publication Date: 2003-01-01
Provides background information for the study of the Southern campaign.

Battle of Cowpens: The great morale-builder - Kenneth Roberts
Call Number: 973.3 R645
Publication Date: 1956, 1957, 1976 reprinted
Illustrations include: Daniel Morgan, LTC Banastre Tarleton, plan of the Battle of Cowpens,

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Battles of the Revolutionary War - W. J. Wood
Call Number: 973.33 W881
ISBN: 9780306813290
Publication Date: 2003-12-25
Battles of the Revolutionary War is designed for the armchair strategist with dozens of illustrations of the weapons, battle plans and combatants. Americans won their independence on the battlefield by employing superior strategies, tactics and leadership in the battles of Bunker Hill, Quebec, Trenton, Princeton and Saratoga and Cowpens.

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Brave Decisions: Moral Courage from the Revolutionary War to Desert Storm - Harry J. Maihafer
Call Number: 355.00973 Maihafer 1995
ISBN: 0028811089
Publication Date: 1995-05-01
Ch. 1. Decision at Cowpens -- Daniel Morgan.

Brave Men and Great Captains - R. Ernest Dupuy; Trevor N. Dupuy
Call Number: 973 D945
ISBN: 0963869221
Publication Date: 1995-02-01
It should provide a basis for understanding the peculiar qualities of American leadership and thus for projecting those qualities into the future to meet the challenge that will certainly be ours.

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Cowpens 1781: Turning Point of the American Revolution - Richard Blackmon; Graham Turner (Illustrator); Catherine Gilbert; Ed Gilbert
Call Number: 973.337 Gilbert 2016
ISBN: 9781472807465
Publication Date: 2016-09-20
"Tension had long been simmering between British loyalists in the southern coastal enclaves and the patriot back-country settlers. The disastrous British defeats at Saratoga in late 1777 made a southern strategy attractive to the Crown, and a string of victories over the rebels ensued. When Charleston fell on May 12, 1780, a horrific partisan war began, growing in scale and savagery. Determined to crush the last vestiges of rebellion, Cornwallis sent the hard-charging Banastre Tarleton in pursuit of Daniel Morgan's rebel army through the South Carolina interior. Using bird's eye views, vivid illustrations and detailed maps, this superbly illustrated book explores in detail Morgan's decisive stand at Hannah's Cowpens, one of the finest tactical performances of the war." -- from the book cover.

Cowpens: "Downright Fighting." The Story of Cowpens. Official National Park Handbook - Thomas J. Fleming
Call Number: 973.3 F598c
Publication Date: 1988
A Handbook for Cowpens National Battlefield, South Carolina. Produced by the National Park Service.

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Daniel Morgan - Donald Higginbotham
Call Number: 973.33092 H635
ISBN: 0807813869
Publication Date: 1979-07-23
Over the vast distances and rough terrain of the Revolutionary War, the tactics that Daniel Morgan had learned in Indian fighting were an important element of his success as a commander. He combined this success on the battlefield with a deep devotion to the soldier serving under him.

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Decisive Battles of the American Revolution - Joseph B. Mitchell
Call Number: 973.33 M681
ISBN: 159416004X
Publication Date: 1962
Describes the battles of: Lexington, Bunker Hill, Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, Bennington, The Brandywine, Germantown, Saratoga, Monmouth, Camden, Charleston, Cowpens, Yorktown

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Encyclopedia of the American Revolution - Harold E. Selesky
Call Number: REF 973.3 E56
ISBN: 0684315130
Publication Date: 2006-05-05

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Forgotten Patriot: "the life & times of Major-General Nathanael Greene" - Lee P. Anderson
Call Number: 973.3092 Anderson 2002
ISBN: 1581126352
Publication Date: 2002-01-01
Campaign - Greene makes his way South - Heavy weight of command - Greene prepares to fight - Battle of Cowpens - Green retreats - Battle of Guilford Courthouse - Cornwallis licks his wounds - Battle of Hobkirk's Hill - The Partisan War - The Battle of Ninety-Six - Battle of Eutaw Springs - Politics of Peace - After the peace, the road back to Rhode Island.

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Leaders and Battles: the art of military leadership / W.J. Wood - William J. Wood
Call Number: 355.33041 Wood
ISBN: 030753703X
Publication Date: 1990-06-01
Dan Morgan at the Battle of Cowpens, 1781.

Nathanael Greene; strategist of the American Revolution - Thayer, Theodore.
Call Number: 973.33092 Thayer 1960
Publication Date: 1960
Potowomut days -- At Coventry -- A Fledgling general -- A Desperate game -- The Fires burn low -- Sir William takes a beating -- Wandering like the Arabs -- Campaign for a Quaker city -- Saving an army -- As both supplier and fighter -- Keeping the wheels turning -- An Unexpected victory -- Cornwallis foiled -- We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again -- At Eutaw Springs the valiant died -- The Dawn of peace -- The Last years

Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution - Dan Morrill
Call Number: 973.3 M874
ISBN: 9781877853210
Publication Date: 1999-08-01
Chapter 12: Cowpens.

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The American Revolution in the Southern Colonies - David Lee Russell
Call Number: 973.33 R962
ISBN: 0786407832
Publication Date: 2000-12-01
"The origin of the five Southern colonies - Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia - their development, the role of patriot and loyalist Southerner, and critical battles are examined. Included is a discussion of the leadership of the British forces and of the colonial patriots who inspired common citizens to fight for the sake of American independence."--BOOK JACKET.

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The Battle of Cowpens: A Documented Narrative and Troop Movement Maps - Edwin C. Bearss
Call Number: 973.337 B368
ISBN: 1570720452
Publication Date: 1996-01-01
In mid-December 1780, General Nathanael Greene did what many military strategists considered unthinkable. Facing a superior British force under General Cornwallis, he divided his army, sending Brigadier General Daniel Morgan west of the Catawba River. Morgan's pursuit of Cornwallis' favorite cavalry officer, LTC Banastre Tarleton, led to one of the great battles of the American Revolution.

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The Cowpens Staff Ride and Battlefield Tour - John Moncure; Jerry D. Morelock; Combat Studies Institute Press
Call Number: 973.337 M739
ISBN: 1782664459
Publication Date: 2013-08-01
The Cowpens Staff Ride and Battlefield Tour by LTC Moncure offers a staff ride guide on a critical revolutionary battle. The guidebook examines the war from a strategic perspective, looks at the campaign as an operational event and provides the backdrop to the tactical battle.

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The Cowpens-Guilford Courthouse Campaign - Burke Davis
Call Number: 973.337 D261c
ISBN: 0812218329
Publication Date: 2002-08-19

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The Day It Rained Militia - Michael C. Scoggins; Walter B. Edgar (Foreword by)
Call Number: 973.336 S422
ISBN: 1596290153
Publication Date: 2005-09-01
In a July of 1780, when the Revolutionary War in the Southern States seemed doomed to failure, a small but important battle took place on James Williamson's plantation in waht is now York County, South Carolina. The Battle of Williamson's Plantation paved the way for the calamitous defeats that the British suffered at Hanging Rock, Musgrove's Mill, Kings Mountain, Blackstock's Plantation and Cowpens, all in the South Carolina back country.

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The Historical Atlas of the American Revolution - Ian Barnes; Charles Royster (Editor)
Call Number: 973.3 B261
ISBN: 0415922437
Publication Date: 2000-08-03

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The Road to Guilford Courthouse: The American Revolution in the Carolinas - John Buchanan
Call Number: 973.393 B918
ISBN: 9780471327165
Publication Date: 1999-07-01
Includes chapters: Southern Strategy; King's Mountain; Tarleton pursues Morgan; Cowpens. Also index: The Major characters and their order of Appearance and what happens to them.

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This Destructive War: the British campaign in the Carolinas, 1780-1782 - John S. Pancake
Call Number: 973.3309756 P188
ISBN: 0817306889
Publication Date: 1985-02-28

The Fighting Quaker: Nathanael Greene - Elswyth Thane
Call Number: 973.330924 Thane
ISBN: 0884119718
Publication Date: 1972
Chapter 22: 1780-1781

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William Washington - Stephen E. Haller
Call Number: 973.3092 H185
ISBN: 9780788418037
Publication Date: 2001-01-01
The making of a soldier: 1752-1776 -- The making of a cavalryman: 1777-1780 -- A cavalry commander: 1780 -- The sword of the army: Cowpens and Guildford -- The last charges: Hobkirk's Hill and Eutaw Springs -- The peaceful planter: 1783-1810.


SSI Command Historian Papers: Southern Campaign, American Revolution.

Staff Ride Manuals

  • Staff Ride Study Manual: The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution  
    The Battle of Kings Mountain
    Oct 7, 1780
    The Battle of Cowpens
    Jan 17, 1781
  • The Cowpens Staff Ride and Battlefield Tour
    To place the campaign in the Carolinas in context, chapter one addresses the Revolutionary War in its strategic context -- how military planners determined to prosecute the war to achieve its political goals -- and relates the principal events of the war. To provide the environment for the Battle of the Cowpens, chapter two discusses operational issues and narrates the campaign. The third chapter focuses on the tactical aspects of the battle on that cold morning in January 1781.
    Call Number for Print Copy: 973.337 M739
  • Guided Battlefield Walk videos by Ed Bearss On 8/1/2011
    Guided Battlefield Walk videos by Ed Bearss On 8/1/2011, Ed Bearss led a battlefield walk for a teacher workshop. The National Park Service uploaded the 9 video clips of the tour.
  • Staff Ride Information -- Cowpens National Battlefield, National Park Service
    "A military staff ride is a group exercise of three distinct phases: preliminary study, field study, and integration. It is designed for further the development of officers, in which each participant gives a briefing on plans, orders, events, decisions, and individuals."

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