On January 17 – 18, 2009, Cowpens National Battlefield will celebrate the 228th anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens, a Revolutionary War battle that helped turn the tide of war to the advantage of the Americans. All activities are free and open to the public and many of the activities are targeted especially for children.
On Saturday, the park has planned ranger-guided battlefield walks, musket, rifle, and cannon firing demonstrations by reenactors; lectures, readings, storytelling, and book signings by authors. There will be a wreath-laying ceremony to honor Revolutionary War soldiers, and a drama by actor Howard Burnham about British General Lord Cornwallis. This year the park is showcasing the lantern walks on Saturday night. On Sunday, there will be ranger-led battlefield walks, musket, rifle, and cannon firing demonstrations, and the arrival of the Morgan’s March participants.
There will be two ranger-led lantern walks at 6:00 and 6:30 on Saturday, January 17. During these 45-minute walks, which depict what may have happened the night before the battle, the park staff encourages visitors to interact with the reenactors. British commander, Banastre Tarleton will be portrayed at one stop on the walk. Tarleton, known as Bloody Ban, had a malicious reputation, and the Americans knew that they would be fighting for their lives the next day. Militia and Continental reenactors will depict possible activities at Morgan’s camp the night before the battle. As participants in the walks, visitors will have the opportunity to “experience” the night before the battle. Park volunteers will serve free cookies and cider following the walks and the park will close at 7:30.
The park has planned ranger-guided battlefield walks at 9:00, 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 on Saturday and at 10:00 and 3:30 on Sunday.
At 10:00 on Saturday, Dr. Christine Swager, will give a talk on her new book about the Revolution, Heroes of Kettle Creek, as well as on her 8th grade book, Come to the Cow Pens. At noon, Gerald Teaster will give a reading from his book, Spirit Up the People: Four Days to the Cowpens. Finally at 5:00 on Saturday while visitors are waiting for the lantern walks, Sheila Ingle will give a dramatic presentation entitled, “A Scary Day for Kate Barry”, from her book, Courageous Kate: a Daughter of the American Revolution. All three authors will be available for book signings.
Eighteenth century cavalry demonstrations will be held at 10:30, 12:30, and 4:30 on Saturday. Members of the 3rd Continental Light Dragoons will talk about the importance of cavalry in the 18th century in general and the Battle of Cowpens in particular as well as demonstrate Revolutionary War era cavalry skills.
At 10:30 a.m. on January 17, at the Daniel Morgan statue in Spartanburg, members of the Daughters, Sons, and Children of the American Revolution will honor their ancestors by placing carnations in a wreath. Then, at 2:00, at the US Monument at the battlefield, there will be a moment of silence and reading of the names of the men who died in the Battle of Cowpens and aboard CVL-25, USS Cowpens. This will be followed by a wreath-laying at the monument by the DAR, SAR, and CAR.
Reenactors will give 18th century weapons firing demonstrations at 11:30, 1:30, and 3:30 on Saturday and at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 on Sunday.
On Saturday at 4:00, Howard Burnham will give a one-man show as Lord Cornwallis. During this humorous program, he will present the British point of view of the American Revolution and explain, his view, of how England lost the 13 colonies.
On January 17 – 18, 2009, individuals can relive a part of history by participating in all or part of the 2-day Morgan’s March from Grindal Shoals to Cowpens National Battlefield. To participate in the 25-mile march, pre-register with the Town of Pacolet at 864-474-9504 or email Mayor Elaine Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Sunday, at 1:00, the Morgan’s March participants will arrive at Cowpens National Battlefield’s Trailhead Parking Lot and continue their march down the Green River Road. At 2:00, park staff will award a “Morgan’s Flying Army” medal to a maximum 150 participants - adults who register and participate in the march, and to school-aged children who accompany the marchers on the Green River Road from Cowpens National Battlefield’s trailhead parking lot to the Visitor Center. On Sunday, the park will close at 5:00.
Only drinks and snacks are available in the park, so visitors should plan accordingly.
Cowpens National Battlefield is located 10 miles west of Gaffney, SC, and 3 miles east of Chesnee, SC at the intersection of Highways 11, 110, and 221-A. Normal Visitor Center hours are 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily, closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Days.
For more information, call (864) 461-2828. Visit the Cowpens National Battlefield webpage at www.nps.gov/cowp/ to see or print the detailed schedule.