Col James Wood II Commemorates the Battle of Cowpens

On 14 January 2023, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted a ceremony to commemorate the Battle of Cowpens.  The event was held at Mt Hebron Cemetery, near the grave site of Daniel Morgan.  Morgan was the commander of the American forces and won this decisive action against one of the elite units in the British Army.  This battle was the turning point in the southern campaign of the War for Independence.  It was fought on 17 January 1781 near the town of Cowpens, South Carolina.  General Nathanael Green was the commander of the American Army in the south.  He split his army, sending Morgan to southwest to cut supply lines and hamper British operations in the back country.  General Lord Cornwallis, British commander sent Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton to find and defeat Morgan. Tarleton was highly regarded by Cornwallis, but feared and hated by the Americans.  It was his army at the Battle of Waxhaws where American soldiers attempting to surrender were given no quarter.  This became known as Bufords Massacre and infuriated the colonists.  Morgan's Army was joined by militia units, increasing his force to about 2,000 men.  Tarleton led an army of 1,150 men, chasing Morgan through harsh weather conditions and rough terrain.  Morgan chose the spot for the battle and deployed his troop in three lines in an open pasture known as cowpens.  The land was between two low hills with the Broad River at his back.  Tarleton was an aggressive leader who pushed his men hard on an exhausting march to catch the Americans.  Morgan developed a plan of double envelopment which led to a devastating defeat for the British.  With superior tactics, he crushed an elite British army which eventually led to the Siege of Yorktown and the American victory in the War of Independence.  Morgan's army had 72 casualties and the British suffered over 300 casualties with over 500 men captured. 


The ceremony was attended by five SAR chapters, Colonel James Wood II (CJW), Sgt Maj John Champe (SJC), Fairfax Resolves (FR), Culpeper Minutemen (CMM) and Fort Harrison (FH).  The Daughters of the American Revolution were represented by the Lane's Mill Chapter.  A presentation was given by compatriot Michael St Jacques with wreath presentations followed by a musket vollet to commemorate the occasion.  Participating from the SAR were Brian Bayliss, Ken Bonner, Bryan Buck, Paul Christensen, Dave Cook, Jim Cordes, Forrest Crain, Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Doug Hall, Charles Jameson, Brett Osborn, Dennis Parmerter, Eric Robinson, Marc Robinson, Bill Schwetke, Jim Simmons, Mike St. Jacques, Richard Tyler, Mike Weyler. 



Photo is the participants at Daniel Morgan's Grave site (photo courtesy of Thomas "Chip" Daniel). 



Photo is the wreath presenters l. to r. Mike Weyler, Bill Schwetke, Thomas "Chip" Daniel, Dale Corey, Forrest Crain, Ken Bonner, Anita Bonner (photo courtesy of Thomas "Chip" Daniel). 



Photo is the musket squad firing a salute l. to r. Jim Cordes, Ken Bonner, Mike St Jacques, Paul Christensen, Bill Schwetke, Dave Cook, Thomas "Chip" Daniel and Doug Hall (photo courtesy of Anita Bonner).

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