On January 16 – 17, 2010, Cowpens National Battlefield will celebrate the 229th 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 all activities are family-oriented.
All weekend there will be a Revolutionary War soldier encampment, including a blacksmith, set up for visitors to observe camp life and ask reenactors questions about daily life in the Revolutionary War. Eighteenth century cavalry demonstrations will be held at 10:30, 12:30, and 2:30 on Saturday, and at 2:00 on Sunday. 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. Reenactors will present 18th century musket, rifle, and cannon firing demonstrations at 11:00, 1:00, 3:00, 4:00, and 7:15 on Saturday and at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, and 2:30 on Sunday.
Both Saturday and Sunday, visitors can attend ranger-guided battlefield walks, musket and cannon firing and cavalry demonstrations by reenactors, lectures, storytelling, and book signings by authors. Ranger-guided battlefield walks will be offered at 9:30, 11:30, 1:30, and 3:30 on Saturday and at 9:30, 11:30, and 3:30 on Sunday. At 10:00 on Saturday, Dr. Christine Swager, will give a talk about her book, Heroes of Kettle Creek, as well as on her 8th grade book, Come to the Cow Pens. At noon, Eric Williams, former Chief Ranger of Ninety Six National Historic Site and author of Old Ninety Six a History and Guide, will present a talk. Finally at 5:30 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 in the program tent.
On Saturday, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony to honor Revolutionary War soldiers, a drama by actor Howard Burnham about British General Lord Cornwallis, and lantern-lit battlefield walks. At 10:30 a.m. on January 16, at the Daniel Morgan statue in Spartanburg, members of the Daughters, Sons, and Children of the American Revolution will honor their ancestors with a ceremony. Then, at 2:00, at the US Monument at the battlefield, there will be a wreath-laying at the monument by the DAR, SAR, and CAR, followed by an 18th century weapons firing demonstration. On Saturday at 4:30, Howard Burnham will give a one-man show as Lord Cornwallis in the program tent. During this humorous program, “Cornwallis” will present the British point of view of the American Revolution and explain, his view, how England lost the 13 colonies.
Saturday night, the park hosts guided lantern-lit walks on the battlefield. The walks, which last a maximum of 45 minutes, depict what may have happened the night before the battle. The National Park Service staff encourages visitors to interact with the reenactors and “experience” the night before the battle. Free cookies and cider will be available after the lantern walks. A twist to this year’s program includes a night firing demonstration following the lantern-lit walks at 7:15.
On Sunday, there will be ranger-led battlefield walks, musket, rifle, and cannon firing demonstrations, the arrival of the Morgan’s March participants, and another author talk and book signing. The 2-day Morgan’s March from Grindal Shoals concludes at Cowpens National Battlefield on January 17. 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. At 12:30, the public is welcome to join the Morgan’s March participants at Cowpens National Battlefield’s Trailhead Parking Lot march with them down the Green River Road. At 1:30, park staff will award a “Morgan’s Flying Army” medal to children who joined the walk at the Trailhead and Jim Piecuch, author of the new book, Cool Deliberate Courage: John Eager Howard in the American Revolution, will give a talk in the program tent.
No food or hot drinks are available in the park, so visitors should plan accordingly. Also, most activities take place outside - please dress warmly.
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 Day.
For more information, call (864) 461-2828. Visit the Cowpens National Battlefield webpage at www.nps.gov/cowp/ and click on Special Events to see or print the detailed schedule.