NPS Logo

Historical Background

Survey of Historic Sites and Buildings

Suggested Reading

Colonials and Patriots
Survey of
Historic Sites and Buildings

(formerly Cowpens National Battlefield Site)
South Carolina
Cowpens NB

Location: 11 miles northwest of Gaffney and 2 miles southeast of Chesnee at intersection of S.C. 11 and 110; address, Box 31, Kings Mountain, N.C. 28086.

The American victory at Kings Mountain in October 1780 (see below) was the first setback to Lord Cornwallis' strategy for conquering the South. Falling back to Winnsboro, he learned that part of Gen. Nathanael Greene's army had been sent to the northwestern part of the State under Gen. Daniel Morgan. Cornwallis dispatched his cavalry leader, Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton, with more than 1,000 men, to dispose of Morgan's 970. At Cowpens on January 17, 1781, the two forces joined battle, and in little more than an hour the British were driven from the field. Barely a fifth of Tarleton's command escaped, while Morgan lost only 12 killed and 60 wounded. Along with the results of Kings Mountain and Guilford Courthouse, Cowpens renewed American hope and ultimately led Cornwallis to abandon his attempted conquest of the Carolinas.

monument at Cowpens National Battlefield Site
The United States monument at the right, honors the patriot soldiers who fell at the Battle of Cowpens. (National Park Service)

A commemorative monument stands in the angle of the highway intersection near the rear of the American lines. The fighting took place for a distance of about 600 yards southeast along present S.C. 11. At the time of this writing, the National Park Service administers 1-1/4 acres on which the monument stands, but no attendant is on duty, the superintendent of Kings Mountain National Military Park exercising general supervision.

Over the years the park has grown to 842 acres and includes a visitor center, auto loop tour, and interpretive walking trail.

Previous Next
Last Updated: 09-Jan-2005