Cowpens 1781: Turning point of the American Revolution
(Osprey Books, Campaign Series)
Author: Ed Gilbert, Catherine Gilbert
This is a blistering account of the battle of Cowpens, a short, sharp conflict which marked a crucial turning point in the American Revolution. With Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton and the British troops in hot pursuit, Daniel Morgan, leading a small force of 700 Continentals and militia, chose the Cowpens as the battlefield in which to make a stand. The two forces clashed for barely more than 45 minutes, yet this brief battle shaped the outcome of the War in the South, and decisively influenced the conflict as a whole. The authors provide a shrewd analysis of what was perhaps the finest tactical performance of the entire war. Bird’s-eye views, vivid illustrations and detailed maps illuminate the dynamism of this clash between two of the most famous commanders of the War of Independence.
Other reviewers wrote
The 1781 Battle of Cowpens, contested deep in the Carolina back country, matched the British Legion of the hard-charging Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton against a mixed Continental and militia force under General Daniel Morgan. The outcome of this close fight triggered a series of events that led eventually to Yorktown. Historians Ed and Catherine Gilbert dissect the battle and the surrounding campaign in this Osprey Campaign Series book.
General Cornwallis wreaked havoc during the British Southern Campaign after the capture of the City of Charlestown and the decisive defeat of a Patriot army under Gates at Camden. British regular and loyalist forces fanned out over the Carolina’s, terrorizing the citizenry while suppressing Patriot militia and partisan forces. The arrivals of General Nathaniel Greene and Colonel Daniel Morgan from Washington’s Continental Army would bring about the revival of Patriot fortunes. The authors match the opposing commanders and their forces and plans, then lay out the ensuing campaign. The Battle of Cowpens is described in considerable detail despite the relative brevity of this book at under 100 pages. Whether or not the reader buys the authors’ premise that Cowpens was the turning point of the American Revolution, it is an exciting battle well worth the study. Highly recommended to students of the Revolutionary War as an excellent introduction to the battle and the circumstances of the war in the South in 1781.
This book is a good read and very interesting if one likes the details of the battle and information about the people involved. It also was informative about the differences between the lifestyle of English officers and soldiers. Sometimes the amount of information was hard to remember during the battle description. I am surprised that Banastre Tarleton was able to stay in good with his superiors when he blamed them for his errors.
Once again we see the excellence in research from their many books and writings! Not to mention the exhilarating, new, artwork included that Osprey always sponsors. Just loved it.
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